Selling a mobile home in California does not have to be a difficult process. First-time home buyers often look to mobile homes as a economical way to break into home ownership. Young families, empty nesters and retirees are attracted to move-in-ready homes. With careful preparation, presentation and a good price, it is possible to sell a mobile home in a reasonable amount of time.
Things You Will Need
Rental agreement from the park
Evaluate the mobile home. Decide what repairs and renovations are necessary. Write out a list and adjust according to the budget.
Hire a home inspector specializing in mobile homes. Incorporate his recommendations into your renovation plan.
Call the local power company for a free energy audit. For example, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) will do an inspection, give you energy-saving suggestions and, if you are income eligible, make free repairs and even replace windows and old appliances. The local water company may have free water-saving shower heads and other water-saving suggestions. If there is an income-eligible tenant renting the property, PG&E will provide the same services even if the owner is over the income limits.
Clean the mobile home thoroughly. If you are removing the carpets, do that first since there will be a lot of dust. Wipe every wall and clean every surface. Take down the light fixture covers, wash and dry them and then replace them. Clean out closets and change the light bulbs. Add stick-on touch lights if there are no lights in the closets. Wash all the windows, inside and out.
Remove about three-fourths of your possessions. Put them in storage. Mobile homes are perceived as cramped and dark. By clearing out most of your furnishings, you open up the space so buyers see themselves in a nice little home instead of a trailer.
Replace the appliances. A new stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, washer and dryer pull first-time buyers in to view the property. If the counters are ugly, replace them too. There is no need for granite and expensive appliances; buy a matching set of mid-range appliances from a well-known brand and install simple counters in a neutral color. Repair and paint the cabinets if necessary.
Install laminate or engineered hardwood floors. If the paneling and wallpaper are dated, remove or paint in light colors. There are new textured wallpaper products that are relatively easy to install and paint over, providing an entirely new look to the interior.
Rejuvenate the exterior. Power wash the outside of the mobile home, the porch and deck and the driveway. Paint the steps, porch and exterior if necessary. Pull all weeds and replenish the gravel in the landscaping. Add potted plants or plant trees and flowers. A simple fountain in the garden or on the deck is a nice finishing touch to a garden.
Discuss your plans with the park manager. Obtain the latest park rules and all written materials regarding selling homes in the park. Be aware that any buyer must be approved by park management before the sale.
Hire a realtor. Provide a written list of all the repairs and improvements that were made to the mobile home. Take at least 10 clear pictures of the mobile home for the listing. Buyers want to see the kitchen, the bathroom, any improvements, the flooring and the view. They are also interested in amenities, local schools and public transportation. A well-drawn floor plan is a plus.
First impressions are everything in home sales. The exterior needs to sparkle with fresh paint and clean landscaping.
A clean and bright interior keep buyers looking.
If you cannot afford to replace all the appliances and the flooring, scrub everything down, clean the carpets and offer money back for the buyer to make their own improvements.
A fair price, on the low end, will bring in buyers.
The park manager's cooperation is essential to the sale. Work with her, even if she is unreasonable.
Many potential buyers will look at the home, put all your valuables into storage.