For those with an independent spirit, it’s definitely possible to sell a manufactured home yourself rather than using a real estate agent. Sellers can save a considerable amount of money on commission fees—but those who don’t know how to sell a manufactured home by owner can also harm their selling prices by falling into the common pitfalls of going FSBO (for sale by owner).
That’s because those who choose to sell a manufactured home without a real estate agent have to cover the tasks an agent would normally do, so it’s critical to know what those tasks are and how to approach them. These five common mistakes can all trip up novice manufactured home sellers, so smart sellers will take notice before it’s too late.
1. Going in without an inspection and an appraisal.
A thorough inspection and appraisal should always be among the first steps a seller takes when putting a manufactured home on the market. An appraisal will help establish a fair asking price for your manufactured home, while an inspection will identify any issues and give potential buyers peace of mind.
Datacomp Appraisal Systems, Inc. is the industry leader in market-based appraisals and inspections for manufactured homes. Their expertise helps sellers across America set a realistic price for their homes. At MHVillage, we think a Datacomp appraisal is so important that we even offer a free mobile home book value to every seller who lists a home on MHVillage.
2. Neglecting to create a marketing plan.
It can be easy to forget that marketing is a big part of a real estate agent’s job, but it’s one of the most essential tasks for attracting buyers. A good marketing plan for selling a manufactured home should include:
- Identifying a manufactured home’s strengths and how to accentuate them
- Strategies for setting an asking price and vetting offers
- Designs for advertising materials
- Taking photos and writing descriptions that will attract buyers
- Listing your home on MHVillage, the nation’s #1 marketplace for mobile and manufactured homes
Marketing a mobile home can be challenging when you’re handling everything on your own, which is why MHVillage offers for sale by owner listing options specifically for individual sellers. In addition, we have developed a suite of marketing tips and resources for manufactured homes to help ensure you’re crafting a winning strategy.
3. Not staging the home to show its best side.
Presentation is an important part of selling a home. Doing basic maintenance is the first step—trimming the grass, cleaning the windows, and putting on a fresh coat of paint can make a home look 10 times better. The inside of the home should also sparkle before you show it, and it’s not a bad idea to spring for a professional cleaning service.
Sales stagings are also often more successful when they decorate in a way that encourages the buyer to imagine the home as their own. Neutral colors and unobtrusive decor are usually preferable because they help give a home a blank-canvas feel rather than putting the current owner’s personality on display.
4. Failing to offer a full and honest disclosure.
It may be tempting to gloss over some of the minor issues on a mobile home seller’s disclosure, but it’s not worth the risk. “When in doubt, point it out” is the rule. A small problem now can become a bigger problem down the road, and you don’t want to be on the receiving end of a lawsuit from a buyer who feels that you misrepresented the home. A buyer who’s genuinely interested in your home will be relieved to hear you point out the small problems because it speaks to your diligence and honesty.
An easy way to ensure full disclosure is to simply offer the full inspection reports to any buyer who requests them. Remember also that manufactured home seller’s disclosure laws vary widely, so familiarize yourself with state and local laws to ensure you stay on the right side of them.
5. Negotiating too much or too little.
There are two equal and opposite mistakes that a FSBO seller can make: Accepting an offer without trying to negotiate, and negotiating so hard that a good buyer loses interest. This aspect depends on how quickly you’re trying to sell a manufactured home. Someone who needs to sell quickly should usually entertain a wider range of offers, while someone who’s in no hurry can be a little more discriminating. Each seller simply needs to know their situation and be aware of how much they’re willing to budge on the sales price.
MHVillage makes it easy to sell a manufactured home with or without a real estate agent. Get started selling today by listing your manufactured home, or check out our step-by-step walkthrough for how to sell a mobile home for more insider tips.