Selling a Manufactured Home
Updated: Mar 7
Selling your manufactured home in Conestoga Estates is easier than you may think, although it does require more effort than just putting a "For Sale" sign in the window. Proper planning and preparation for the sale, choosing a Sales Agent, determining the price and ensuring your home is marketed effectively should all be carefully taken into consideration.
Here are some ways you can help make your home attractive to buyers, competitive with other manufactured homes in your community and priced right for a quick and profitable sale.
Create a Good First Impression
House hunters look at dozens of homes that fit their needs, so you'll want to make your house stand out in the crowd. Sometimes all it takes to separate your manufactured home from the competition is freshening it up with paint, removing clutter and giving every room a good cleaning.
· Spiff up the outside. Paint the front door, clean up oil spills in driveway, wash windows, conceal garbage cans, remove any yard debris and put a couple of pots of blooming flowers on the porch.
· No matter what season of the year, it's important that the outside of your home looks good. In summer, mow, edge and fertilize the lawn. Trim shrubs. Get rid of weeds and lawn pests. In autumn, rake the leaves and in winter make sure to shovel the walkways and driveway.
· Quickly update your home's interior with light, neutral colors for paint and wallpaper.
· Clean carpeting or replace with a neutral colored carpet.
· Get rid of ugly clutter like piles of old magazines or newspapers. Look over each room with a critical eye and consider removing some pieces of excess furniture to help make rooms look larger.
· In the kitchen, clear counters, add a cheery curtain or a plant, clean stove and oven, fix dripping faucets and replace any burnt out light bulbs.
· Scrub the bathrooms thoroughly. Replace shower curtain, freshen grout or caulk around the tub, change the toilet seat and remove personal items.
· Clean out and organize closets in bedrooms so they look more spacious..
· Check cabinets and closet doors to make sure they open and close smoothly. If cabinets and doors stick, they will probably stick in your prospective buyer's mind.
· Pull back your curtains and drapes so prospects can see how clean, light and cheery your home is.
Choosing a Sales Agent
Plan to interview at least two sales representatives before you decide on one. You will be asked to sign a contract giving the Real Estate Brokerage the right to handle the sale for an agreed on period of time. This is reasonable. They will pay to advertise; publish listings on Web sites; possibly publish the listing in real estate/homes for sale publications and devote time to showing your manufactured home to prospects.
Ask how much experience the sales representative has selling manufactured homes. Ask for references from previous and current sellers. Ask what the marketing plan is for your property. Where, when and how often will your home be advertised? Will it be advertised on Web sites? When do they plan to hold an Open House? How much is the sales commission?
Regardless of which Real Estate Brokerage you choose, if your home is listed on MLS® System it will be well advertised and any REALTOR® can bring you an offer.
Selling By Owner
Is this method for you? If you've never offered a home "For Sale By Owner" you may find it can be a real challenge. Selling a home yourself takes a lot more energy and commitment on your part than listing it with a Real Estate Brokerage. Although selling by owner saves money on commission fees, you will still need to pay for advertising and other selling expenses. Be prepared to see the transaction through all the paperwork, such as preparing a proper sales contract to final closing.
A word of caution - It's best to ask an attorney to look over any sales agreement before you sign it.
Determining the Price
Everyone wants top dollar when they sell their home, but it's best to be realistic in pricing. Your Sales Representative should do a study of comparable homes for sale in your community. Here are some of the factors that can help you determine the sales price:
· Age: The older the manufactured home, the harder it is to price. Older homes are also more difficult to finance.
· The Manufacturer: Sales Representatives categorize manufacturers as first tier or second tier for pricing purposes.
· Condition: What is the condition of your home inside and out? What will it take to bring the home to top quality? What is the square footage? How many bedrooms, how many baths? What kind of lot – is it well landscaped and attractive? What improvements have you made?
· Shortcomings: Are there problems with the roof or appliances? How old is the air conditioner/furnace, water heater, etc.?
· Lot rental cost: What will the community charge when the lease comes up for renewal? The amount will probably be $50.00 more than you are paying now. Check with Community Manager to confirm the rent for a new homeowner.
· Inspections: Some buyers will hire an inspector to go over your home from the roof to the crawl space. Be prepared to negotiate the selling price after the inspection.
Marketing Your Home
Knowing how your home should be marketed is essential. The best marketing tools for selling your manufactured home are not complicated or expensive. Here are examples of simple marketing tools:
· The "For Sale" sign is your number one marketing tool. Make sure the sign is located where potential buyers can see and read it easily.
· Local newspaper and real estate trade magazine advertising. The ads should include words like affordable, well maintained, and attractive. You can decide what the ad copy reads.
· A "For Sale" announcement on community bulletin board.
· A flyer with your home's features and benefits. The purpose of this kind of flyer is to give quick facts and help buyers remember your property when they leave. It should be clear, brief and include the address, price, number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
· Internet advertising. Many buyers begin their initial search for a home on the internet. They not only use the MLS® System, they also search for communities. The more web sites your home is advertised on the more exposure.
· An open house. Many buyers are not from the immediate surrounding area and will often drive through the community before contacting a Sales Representative. Open Houses easily attract attention and give these buyers an opportunity to view the home without a second or third visit.
The Legal Stuff
Friendly discussion and negotiation about price is useful, but nothing is binding until the offer is in writing. It's best for a Sales Representative or an attorney to provide and prepare the buy/sell agreement and all other necessary documents. At the closing the purchase price is paid to the seller. Out of this amount are taken the realtor fees, the attorney fees, rent/taxes due, and any money still owned on the manufactured home. Hopefully after these deductions you will walk away with a cheque in your hand and smile on your face.