Regardless of the situation, if you’re looking to sell your mobile home in Southern California, and don’t really know where to start, here’s a thorough guide from a professional mobile home seller in the Inland Empire.
This isn’t your typical guide where it gives you information most people already know. When you search things like, “sell my mobile home fast”, ” how do I sell my manufactured home”, etc, you’ll get a whole bunch of articles that all say the same thing.
And all those articles are as useless as a broken watch.
Instead, I’m going to break down some REAL, working advice that I use myself to market and sell my mobile homes…. in other words, this isn’t going to be your usual, “How to sell your mobile home by putting up signs” article.
Hiring an agent?
If you’re hiring an realtor, then this is still for you to read. Here’s why: The agent will do ALL the work for you (as they should), and hopefully, they are good enough to implement a solid marketing and selling strategy. You should decide what a good marketing strategy is when you’re deciding on choosing an agent.
So let this be THE guide to help you when you’re doing a For Sale By Owner listing, or using an agent and making sure he/she is doing a good job.
Also, whether you have one in a mobile home park, or you have one on your own land. The advice applies to both.
But a word of warning… this article isn’t for the procrastinator. I’m going to give you some very actionable steps to selling your property. It takes some hard work to sell a mobile home. Some sell quicker than others, and some take months to sell. It’s just the nature of the beast. But, don’t let that worry you. Because if you hustle and implement these simple actions, then you’ll be selling much faster than your neighbors.
So let’s get started…
The more you tell the more you sell
Putting a sign in your window and walking away will not help you.
Sure, there are lucky occasions where just putting a sign up will work because the park gets A LOT of foot traffic and is a highly desirable park or area.
But if you don’t get a lot of foot traffic (even if you do you should still implement other advertising tactics), then you need to let the entire public know that you’re selling.
This principle is true in every way…
… and its a principle you need to have in the back of your mind when you’re planning your marketing AND when you’re out in your everyday life….. “The more you tell, the more you sell”.
This means, that your advertising must be in front of as many people as you can. But how do you do that without depleting your bank account?
By plucking out what doesn’t work, and including as much FREE advertising in front of the right people.
Let’s stop and think about it…
Who are your buyers…
If we are going to spend some money on advertising, we don’t want to waste time and money by advertising to people who aren’t going to be doing business with us.
For instances, you aren’t going to pay for 100 copies of flyers, then advertise your manufactured home that’s in a 55+ park… in a luxury area. It’s just reality, very few people who live in a luxury area aren’t going to move to a park (unless this is a high-end park).
Ask yourself who your buyers are?
- Are they coming from a different area…? Meaning, are you selling your desert home and there’s a lot of people who are retiring to warmer climates?
- Are they retiring?
- Are they low income (if the park that your in is of a lower income, or it’s run down because of low rent space, then your buyer is going to be of lower income).
- Are they migrating from Riverside or farther west and coming east for more affordable homes? If so then maybe placing ads in those areas will help.
- Where are they searching? I’ve found a lot of people searching on Craigslist and Facebook. Are they looking on the MLS? If so, you might want to consider paying a flat MLS fee to get your ad on the MLS.
Next, let’s consider some tactics to marketing…
Remeber rule #1… the more you tell the more you sell.
That means telling everyone about it.
- Start with your family and friends that you’re selling. Its affordable, easy, and free. Make a round of calls to friends and family to let them know you’re selling (you might not be selling directly to them, but they may connect you with someone… even if they are across the country)…
- Go knock at doors throughout the community and let them know if they have any friends or family looking to move into this park, that you’re giving out a $500 referral for a buyer. If you have a flyer for your open house, give it to them…
- Post on Facebook…
- Join as many groups as possible in Southern California and post your marketplace ad in every group (I’ll show you how to do this later)…
- Post Craiglist ads daily and frequently… and all the other classified online places.
- Place flyers up in high traffic areas where your buyers may be (maybe another mobile home park further West where a lot of people migrating from)…
- Call as many agents as you can (If you’re worried about paying a commission, I’ll show you how to avoid that).
I’m not talking about the paid advertising… although if you know how to use it and able to spend a couple hundreds of dollars it can be very effective. However, I don’t recommend it because there is a free way to do it.
Create an ad on the Facebook Marketplace. Make the ad as detailed as possible, however, leave out some important info like the rent space, or park name, or bedroom number, or square footage. This is important because it will start conversation, and the more people comment on the ad the more Facebook will keep your ad on top.
When you do make that ad, And you’ve been added to those buy-sell groups I was telling you about you can now post your marketplace ad to every group with just a touch of a button.
If you haven’t added those buy-sell groups, it’s important to do this right away because you’ll have to wait for the administrator to ad you until you can post an ad. To find them, just search on Facebook, “buy and sell Riverside” or “buy and sell Yucaipa”, and join as many cities/area buy and sell as you can find.
After a week, you can create another similar ad, and repeat. That way your ad is always somewhere on top.
To post on Craiglist you must create an account with them at Craigslist.com. This won’t be a guide on how to properly advertise on Craigslist. But I will tell you that if you know your buyer is coming from farther east or migrating from another location, then It might be a good use of time to also post in other location areas like Los Angeles CL, Palm Desert CL, Orange County CL (or even cold climates).
You can post every day multiple times a day… just make sure that every ad is about 30% unique or CL will flag your post. It’s very easy to post every day. After 24 hours of post an ad, you can renew that ad with a touch of a button.
Most mobile home buyers aren’t looking on the MLS. Most of them don’t even have agents. But there is an exception.
If in your nicer area with higher values for a manufactured home (anything at or above 50K), most likely there are a lot of buyers searching on the MLS through an agent. It might be a good idea to pay the flat fee to get your ad on the MLS.
You’ll have a lot of agents contact you, but that’s ok. They, of course, are going to want a commission for bringing a buyer. In most cases that’s good, because USUALLY, the agent can help with pushing the buyer to make a commitment and not dragging his/her feet (buyers do drag their feet).
Just be upfront and ask what they will require in a commission. Since these are lower valued homes, they might require a flat fee of anything from $2,000-$4,000.
Three ways to deal with the commission: 1. Build that commission into your sales price (for example if you’re planning on listing for $80k, then bump it up to $85K). 2. Every realtor that contacts you, you can negotiate a net commission (for example, if you list for $80k, and they bring a buyer with an offer of $85K the agent takes the difference…. this works better if your listing price is discounted already and there’s incentive for the buyer and agent like, the buyer with the agent gets top pick). 3. Take the commission off from your sale (if you sell for $80K and an agent brings a buyer that closes, the commission will come off your $80K).
Below is are some tips on structuring your ad… coming from a paid advertiser for other businesses and my own.
If you only have one house to sell, and you’re not an agent with an unlimited source of inventory to show buyers, then your ads need to be detailed to weed out people. There may be people only looking for a 4 bedroom, well then, you don’t want to waste their time or yours by calling you.
Include features like spa, pool, park, “space rent covers park maintenance and utilities”, etc. Good features help create attraction.
Is it a retirement community? Then mention how peaceful and quiet it is
Is there a casino nearby?
Is it near the shops?
You can even turn “bad” qualities into good. For instances, if it’s a bad community that’s a little run down, you can turn that around and say that its the lowest rent space in town (assuming that it is low rent space). Afterall, the type of buyer that’s going to buy the place is more concerned with monthly payments then how nice it is (rule of knowing your buyer).
If you’re open to payments (owner carry), then put that in your title. That’s a huge plus that’ll open up your buyer pool.
For God’s sake… have GOOD pictures.
This is a known fact, but so many FSBO’s miss it. If you don’t have any pictures shame on you. If you do have pictures, here’s some advice. No one wants to see pictures of your couch, or your dog, or a toilet.
Good pictures can be taken with a quality smartphone. Stand with your back against every corner, and take the picture. If it’s a small room you may want to leave it out. clear any personal objects. Make it as empty as you can. This will give a perception that’s it’s bigger and more spacious … not trying to trick people, just trying to eliminate them the perception of a small house because of all the clutter.
Rule #2…. stop advertising and start selling
I don’t mean to literally stop your advertising… you should NEVER stop marketing even after you found a couple of buyers who are interested. Only stop advertising when the house is sold.
But, this is taken from a book called “Obvious Adams”… and sometimes we get too caught up putting up ads that we don’t focus on the next most important thing, and that’s to SELL the house.
Sounds like common sense doesn’t it? But the goal of these ads is to get qualified buyers to SEE the house. Seeing the house is the first step to selling it. So, do everything in your power to get buyers to see the home and to get them to pull the trigger on buying it (I don’t mean twist their arm for it, but you have to push them past their procrastination.)
- Do open houses (and advertise the open house)
- Collect and save contact information for every buyer that’s interested and follow up on them
- Ask the question! (ask if they want to see the house and set up a time and day for them to see it. If you don’t ask, don’t assume they will. Get as many people to see the house. And that means asking them if they would like to see… I know that’s “duh!” advice, but you wouldn’t believe how easy it is to wait for the buyer to invite themselves because you don’t want to seem too salesy.
- Present the house in an attractive way (this does mean staging a bit, or at least making it presentable. If you live in the house that means not leaving food out… unless you’re baking cookies for the guests… not leaving any odors… cleaning up the place… clearing out junk… etc. Overall, it just means to have a good looking house when they walk through it).
- If you’re in a park, get them to fill out the rental agreement (on the spot if possible). Buyers will procrastinate on this. So don’t let them. Create scarcity factor but letting them know that need to turn this in ASAP because other buyers have also filled out the rental agreements.
There are numerous ways to advertise and sell your house. The more desirable the area the easier it is to sell and the less work you’ll have to do (sometimes just word-of-mouth and a sign will do it if it’s REALLY desirable).
So, this wasn’t an exhaustive eBook on selling, but it gives some real-world advice, that I use when advertising my properties.
One last thing... the more you are open to different strategies and offering them options (seller finance, bank loan, cash, rent to own, etc) the easier it is to sell. More options (or actually more knowledge) can solve problems for prospective buyers and open up the amount buyers qualified for your house.
If all this just sounds like too much work (and I’ll be honest, it is), and you can’t risk waiting months, then call me at (909) 255-9212.
I might be able to help with a solution and a hassle-free cash offer at your doorstep.
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