As real estate investors one of our goals is to be able to attract sellers before or at the exact moment they need to sell. If you talk to 100 different investors you may get 100 different techniques to find sellers and their properties. Below are 5 great techniques that are actually working in today’s economy to attract and locate eager mobile home sellers.
Expired Listings: To help sell his home, a seller may sign a contract with a Realtor (usually 90 days to a year). If the seller’s Realtor cannot find a suitable buyer before the listing contract expires, then the responsibility for selling the property is usually returned to the seller. This is an excellent time for you as an investor to initiate conversations with the seller.
Ask a local Realtor for a list of mobile home properties that are days away from expiring or that have expired within the last few weeks. Make sure to double-check that these properties have not been re-listed with another Realtor or licensed agent.
Unpaid Property Taxes: Concerning mobile homes that sit atop land which you own; property taxes typically must be paid every year. A great precursor to a homeowner needing to sell in a hurry can be that the homeowner has the lack of money to pay their yearly property tax bill. If this bill is not paid within a certain amount of time (usually 1-3 years) the local government authorities may decide to foreclose on the property to compensate for the back taxes owed.
Most counties allow anyone with internet access to view unpaid property tax records. Make sure to mail letters to an owner’s ‘mailing address’ and not the physical address. The seller of record may not live or receive mail at their property.
Networking with Other Investors: In your area there are likely dozens of active real estate investors marketing and advertising for winning deals on all sorts of properties. Many of these investors will not be interested in mobile homes (perhaps because they believe them to be deals not worthy of their time). Other investors are a great source of mobile home leads! Tell every investor you meet that you are now purchasing mobile homes; mobile homes on land and inside parks. Pay a referral for any homes you close upon.
Mobile Home Park Managers / Leaders: Most mobile home parks/communities have a manager or some type of community leader. These individuals have their fingers on the pulse of who is selling or about to sell their mobile home property inside a particular park. Perhaps this park manager will give you a heads up on any mobile home owners inside their park that are behind on their monthly lot/pad rent. Back lot rent is another great precursor to finding eager mobile home sellers. Many park managers may not give you this private information (past due lot rents) unless they like, trust, and have done business with you before. Begin slow and ask for any homes available for sale within their park.
Driving mobile home areas/parks: Any mobile homes the park manager may have missed can be found by simply driving up and down every street with a mobile home on it. Look for “FSBO” signs in the windows, take down all phone numbers, and get all addresses for homes that look as if someone has not lived there for some time. Call and send targeted mailings to these home owners.
You may notice that 3 of these methods are similar to finding eager sellers with ‘traditional site built homes.’ The reason for this is because mobile homes which are permanently attached to land behave in must the same way as more traditional housing. Be aware that you may find a higher success rate using these same tactics to find mobile home sellers because of the simple fact mobile home sellers are not being contacted by as many (if any) investor in your area.