Used Mobile Home with for sale sign
April 4, 2019

How to Sell Your Old Mobile Home

Selling and Removing a Used Mobile Home from Your Property

Sometimes when a family is ready to purchase a new mobile home, they must first sell and have removed from their property an older home that has fallen into disrepair or needs renovation to update the overall style of the home.

Generally, these are homes from the 70’s or 80’s and often come with land either purchased or gifted from other family members.

So how should you go about selling that old home? What should you price it for? What about trade-ins?

I’ll answer all those questions and more today as we discuss selling your old mobile home.

Exterior of a modern caravan on a trailer park in summer, England.
“We would much rather see our customer get what is fair in cash for the home, which is why we direct these buyers to other selling outlets and coach them through making a private sale.” -Rachel

Mobile Home Trade-ins

We get questions every so often of potential home buyers asking if we take trade-ins. While the short answer is yes, the longer answer is a bit more involved.

Often, with used home trade-ins (meaning trading the home in to represent monetary value on a down payment) we can’t offer the amount of money that a private buyer is able to offer once all our upfront and potential costs are accounted for.

Your trade-in home may be valued at $15,000 but after the cost of moving the home, making any immediately necessary repairs, and budgeting for the 60 day “Habitability Warranty” required with used homes sold from a dealership, your actual down payment value will only be around $2,000.

It doesn’t seem fair when you look just at the numbers and that’s why we aren’t in the habit of pushing trade-ins. We would much rather see our customer get what is fair in cash for the home, which is why we direct these buyers to other selling outlets and coach them through making a private sale.

Pricing Your Used Mobile Home

If you’ve decided to sell your used mobile home to a private buyer, you’ll need to make sure the price is right.

Some used homes are in great shape and are basically move in ready for the buyer. A family might be selling the home because it is too small or too large for their needs.

In these instances, having the home appraised according to USPAP standards, you can advertise the home in online selling spaces such as Craigslist, Facebook selling groups, and OfferUp.

If the agreed upon sales price meets the USPAP standards mentioned above, the buyer might even qualify for a loan through 21st Mortgage if they do not have all of the cash needed to buy and move the home.

But, now that we’ve talked about the best case scenario—selling a used mobile home in well-maintained, move in ready condition—we need to talk about the more typical circumstances.

As I mentioned earlier, many people selling a used mobile home basically “inherited” the home through purchase/inheritance of the land.

The homes were often previously abandoned and need a good amount of work to make them livable. Often, sellers will want to price this category of used home in the $4,000-$6,000 range. Not unreasonable for a home with a roof, appliances, toilets, flooring and walls.

However, the problem comes in with the cost of transporting the home to a new home site and having it professionally set and leveled.

This process in and of itself can cost the same if not more of what the home’s asking price is, making it a $10,000 or even $12,000 home.

After the buyer finishes the renovations, they could have bought a brand new home and saved their own labor for just a little bit more in cost.

What I’m trying to say is it’s important to recognize that the home itself can’t be the only factor in your price—transportation costs, future labor and repair costs, and demand for the kind of home you are selling all should be taken into consideration.

Real estate is typically a very sentimental product for folks to sell, leading them to price at what they feel their home or property should be worth instead of the reality of what someone else is willing to pay for it.

This is a difficult subject to broach, but the main takeaway here is to seek an expert opinion if possible or speak to someone experienced in the used mobile home business who can help you determine a realistic asking price once all other factors are considered.

In some cases, you may not receive true cash money, but will have the home disconnected and moved from your property without having to pay thousands for transportation costs.

Mobile Home with wood steps leading to the Front Door
“Going back to the root of why you set out to sell the home will help you focus in on what you are willing to do to get it sold.” -Rachel

Why Do You Want to Sell?

It’s important to remember why you set out to sell your used mobile home. Was it to make room for a new home? To make some cash? Because it was a project you didn’t want to take on?

Going back to the root of why you set out to sell the home will help you focus in on what you are willing to do to get it sold.

If it was the cash you were setting out for, maybe you should get some quotes on the cost of transporting and setting the home to get a better idea of what others might be worried about. Or maybe you know someone who is qualified to transport homes that would offer you a better price than a mainstream company.

If you simply want it moved, but the idea of making some cash distracted you from that goal, maybe it’s time to remember why you started and let go of needing to make a profit. Lower your asking price and be open to offers you may have before felt were too low.

In the end, your mind might still be made up. And that’s okay. Just know, the business of selling a used mobile home can be frustrating without the right expectations, especially when it means you might have to lower them.

And just to be clear, when I talk about selling a used mobile home, I am talking specifically about a home that will be detached and removed from the property. If your plan is to sell the home and property, it would be in your interest to fix the place up a bit first, because a habitable home sold with land is worth significantly more than a home by itself, but that’s a blog for later.

Until next time, y’all.

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