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How To Sell A Manufactured Home

Before you put your manufactured home on the market in Florida, you must understand the unique challenge in marketing and selling this type of home.

In the N. Central Florida area where I live, manufactured homes are prevalent.  From Ocala to Dunnellon and in between you will find communities dedicated to these homes, or mixed neighborhoods that have site built and manufactured homes.

Many cities are changing and will no longer allow manufactured homes in certain areas.  So, before you sign a contract on a vacant parcel of land, be sure you check with the city zoning and building department.

The number one issue with selling a manufactured homes is that they, in general, are more likely to depreciate than appreciate in value over time.  Unless they are permanently affixed to a foundation, they may depreciate.  Additionally, without land, they are not considered real property.  

There are times when a manufactured home will appreciate in value.  Factors such as the location of a home can have a tremendous impact on its value.

The condition of the mobile home can determine its appreciation as well.  So if it has been well maintained with renovations and additions, that will increase the value and resale price.

So, its essential when you price your home for sale, that you calculate how much the home has depreciated to help you find the right listing price for your home.

In general, the standard method used to calculate the amortization of mobile homes is the straight-line method. Most people in the manufactured home industry say they depreciate between 3-5% annually. However, if you are not good with numbers, you can contact your county auditor instead of using the depreciation calculations. The value you receive from the auditor is what’s used to determine the tax rate, and will be a good place to start.

Another possible problem with selling a manufactured home is that the home might need extensive repairs.  Its a good idea as a seller, that you hire a home inspector to inspect the home before you place it on the market.  Then you can perform all repairs before it hits the market and save the aggravation of potential buyers walking away from the deal following inspections.

Next, there is the issue of finding the right Realtor to market and sell your homes.  Many real estate agents wont list or sell manufactured homes.  And beware of an agent who wont spend the money for professional photos and even a fantastic video tour like I did for this one in Dunnellon, Florida.  The right marketing will attract more potential buyers!

Another concern in selling the home is there are less financing options available to buyers, and the interest rates are typically higher on this product.  You may have to wait a little longer to find a buyer compared to a site built home.

Be sure that the HUD tag (label) is not missing from the home.   The data on this label gives consumers the Wind Zone, Snow Load and Roof load for the construction of the home. This is typically found inside the hone in one of three locations:  in a kitchen cabinet, bedroom closet or on or near the main electrical panel.

The US Dept. of Housing does not reissue labels for manufactured homes, but they can issue a Letter of Label Verification if they can locate the historical information.  Most home buyers of these homes are FHA borrowers and to be eligible for FHA mortgage insurance, the home must be built after June 15, 1976 and must have the certification label to prove it.  On older homes, this may not be possible and may hinder the ability to sell the unit.

Bottom line is to be prepared with understanding what’s required for financing and insurance for a buyer seeking a loan, make sure the home is in tip top shape so that inspections are a help not a problem and getting the right agent who understands how these homes depreciate to price it accurately and to market and sell the home.

Ann-Marie is a real estate agent in the Greater Ocala, Florida area with over 2 decades in the business. She is a veteran of the United States Air Force and her clients know her as a go-getter and pro-active agent specializing in the luxury market.