Most humans make some mistakes. Mobile home sellers are humans. Therefore, most mobile home sellers make some mistakes.
Below is a short list of common (and costly) sales mistakes mobile home sellers are likely to commit. In many cases, sellers may never realize or acknowledge these errors. Whether it is losing potential profit, increasing your anxiety, or wasting time by not talking with potential buyers, these mistakes and pitfalls may be avoided simply by reading below.
5 Common Mistakes Mobile Home Sellers Make
Sellers that are guilty of this oftentimes don’t realize their sins. If you are a current mobile home seller, let me assure you that there are mobile home buyers in your market. Buyers with cash may certainly be “few and far between” in many areas around the country; however, there are almost always buyers for an attractive (and attractively priced) manufactured home.
Make certain you are advertising on a number of websites online, as well as in newspaper publications and bulletin boards around town. You may also wish to put up a big “For Sale By Owner” sign in your windows and yard signs around your neighborhood pointing in your home’s direction. Let buyers know exactly what you have for sale, and listen immediately to what the market is telling you.
Not Listening to the Market
“Stubborn” can be a great way to describe some sellers. In many areas of the country, there are few if any “mobile home authorities” that a mobile home seller may go to for an accurate price for their particular property. The local park manager (if located in a park) is typically the first source of information, followed by a possible real estate agent nearby. Due to a serious lack of information, many sellers will overprice their properties at first and become confident in their seemingly “fair” asking prices.
Seller Pro Tip: After 5-10 potential buyers have walked through your property, make sure to ask for feedback and if they would like to get approved or purchase your property for sale. Really listen to this feedback, and if potential buyers often complain about one issue, it can be wise to fix this issue or lower the price accordingly. Remember that time is money, and the longer you hold onto this home, the more holding costs you will invest.
Related: 7 Advantages to Working With Mobile Home Builders and Dealers as an Investor
Assuming a Sale
A mentor of mine would always say, “A deal is not closed until it’s closed.”
This quote often aggravated me, as he was proven right again and again. Some mobile home buyers are flakey. Until you have officially closed on the mobile home, received cash in your hand, and handed over keys, continue to invest money advertising and marketing the subject home for sale.
Not Getting Liens Recorded
In the event you resell your mobile home for monthly payments, it is imperative a lien is recorded so the new owner/buyer is prevented from reselling the title without paying you in full. Disclaimer: In California, a lien holder will be listed as registered owner.
Seller Pro Tip: In order to be confident a lien will be recorded on the title, it is important to be present when the title is transferred at your local manufactured housing title agency. This “mobile home title transfer location” will vary from state to state and may be located at your local DMV, DOT, tag and title agency, clerk of court, manufactured housing authority, etc.
In some states, you may not physically be required to walk into an office to transfer title, but instead mail notarized forms to the state and wait. Make sure the “lien holders” information is filled out correctly and all documents are successfully mailed into the state with certified funds. Be aware that you should not be asked the amount of the lien by the state; the clerk/state will only wish to know the lien holder’s name and mailing address.
Not Making Sure the Transferring Was Done
At least monthly, I receive an email from a mobile home seller who sold their mobile home property two or more years ago. Still, this two-year seller is continuing to receive tax information and mail corresponding to this “sold” property. These sellers are victims of buyers who failed to officially transfer ownership from the seller’s name into their own names. In most situations, the sellers and current owners are still responsible for taxes and any legal issues concerning the property. This can often happen due to ignorance in the buyers not knowing the after-sales process, fear of transfer due to illegal residency, or purposeful attempt to save money by not paying transfer fees and taxes to the state.
Seller Pro Tip: As stated above, stay in control of the deal and make sure you are confident the title ownership has been transferred successfully by going with the buyers to transfer title personally. Disclaimer: In many states, it it not needed for the sellers to physically attend or show ID when at the local Manufactured Housing Title Agency while transferring title from party A to party B.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, errors can be made throughout the selling process. Remember that in a perfect world, everyone does exactly what they say they are going to do. However, we do not live in a perfect world, so contracts and agreements should ideally be in writing.
When selling your mobile home property, aim to make the deal a win-win on both sides. When your buyers purchase your property, they should be just as happy as you in the transaction. It may be best to have someone on your side to ask questions regarding your sales and procedures.
Have any questions about the above or additional points you’d like to add?
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Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.