SELL YOUR MOBILE PARK DIRECT
Having been in the mobile home park business for 25 years, I know why people want to sell.

The Best Ways to List Your Mobile Home Park for Free or Cheap

Mobile home park owners are the independent type. I know I am. I enjoy the freedom of running my own business and providing housing to people who want to be homeowners without the hassle of owning and maintaining land. And, this type of rental space ownership typically has less overhead than your average apartment building; the mobile home parks business is one that’s designed around self-sufficiency. That’s why I’ve noticed that when mobile home park owners decide to sell, they almost always try to do it themselves first.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with trying to sell your mobile home park yourself. One big plus is that if you do it on your own, you don’t have to pay a sales commission. However, you may lose out on some potential profits if you’ve never attempted to sell commercial property before. After all, finding someone to buy an entire park isn’t as simple as finding someone to buy a home. It’s a big purchase that not many people are in the market to find.

That’s why you need to advertise your park where commercial property buyers are looking. You might be surprised to learn there’s more than a few low-cost, or even free, online resources that will help you connect with buyers. As an even better option, you can connect with a direct buyer to make that sale fly by. Let me talk you through the popular ways to list your mobile home park for sale.

Looking to LoopNet to Sell Your Park

LoopNet tends to be one of the first places I look for new park properties, as it’s a resource designed specifically for selling commercial property. It’s a high traffic site, one of the more well-known in the commercial property sector. The site reports getting about 5 million views a month and is currently listing more than 800,000 properties. Here are the basics you should know about using LoopNet:

It’s free—with a catch:

It’s free to put a standard listing on LoopNet, but the standard listing is limited. Your property is only available to be viewed by an estimated 2% of the sites’ 5 million monthly visitors. You’re also only permitted one photo and, I have to say, photos are a big draw for any property listing, commercial or otherwise.

It’s user-friendly:

The site is setup for mobile, as more and more buyers search on their cell phones, and offers tutorials for how to list a property. And, it will appear in Yahoo and Google search results, putting it in front of people searching for similar properties in your area—even if they're not active on LoopNet.

It offers useful tools—if you pay:

At the first-tier membership level, you pay $69 a month to make your listing viewable by the site’s entire audience. You’re also allowed unlimited pictures of your mobile home park.

LoopNet is probably the gold standard when it comes to commercial real estate property listings, but it also gets expensive. Another option, that you can use for free, is Craigslist.

Catching the Right Buyer with Craigslist

Craigslist’s biggest draws for listing your prak property are that it’s free and already optimized to focus on your local area. You can also include up to 8 pictures of your mobile home park. Craigslist even offers email relay, meaning messages will go to your email, but your email won’t be shown, even when you respond. No one will receive your personal info unless you give it to them. Here’s what you need to know about using Craigslist:

It’s mostly user-friendly:

You might need a little HTML knowledge if you want to post a really nice ad, but you can post a general text ad with images very easily.

It has a huge pool of users:

It’s a widely known site with a huge pool of users. You don’t have to sign in to search available listings on Craigslist. You will have to create an account to post an ad, though. But that can be a double-edged sword...

You’ll get a lot of spam, scams, and marketing emails:

Most correspondence you’re going to receive will be from brokers and agents trying to get you to give them the listing, or scammers trying to get you to send them money.

Its demographic is on the lower end of the income scale:

Craigslist doesn’t typically attract buyers with deep pockets, so you might find this site is more about the quantity of replies over the quality. You’ll have to sift through a lot of messages, but you can occasionally find a gem that makes it worth your time.

One thing to remember about Craigslist is you’re better off not putting your personal details in the listing. As long as you keep that in mind, it doesn’t hurt to try this avenue for selling your park. It’s open to everyone, unlike more industry focused sites like Zillow and Trulia, that we’ll get into now…

Trulia and Zillow as Alternate Routes

It’s important to talk about Trulia and Zillow because these are the two big players amongst real estate websites. Users can search by location, price range, and more. And, both have over a hundred million views a month. Trulia and Zillow have similar features and requirements to each other, including:

They’re easy to use:

The sites are similar in setup to Craigslist and LoopNet, with resources to answer any questions.

They show up in search engines:

Their individual listings show up at the top of search engines, so even though the site’s audience may be residentially focused, it's entirely possible to find a good commercial buyer or two thanks to a Google search.

Not everyone can list on these sites:

You have to be an agent, broker, or listing your own personal home for sale. Even then, they might have conditions that make you ineligible for a listing. Also, they’re expensive, with some quotes going as high as $350 for a listing membership. However, if you owned a lot of vacant mobile homes in your park, and wanted to sell them, this could be a valuable tool—although this is never an investment I recommend.

The market isn’t the best for commercial sales:

The issue here is that these sites are designed to get buyers and renters for residential real estate, rather than commercial.

These two aren’t especially useful for selling your mobile home park, although some sellers may get lucky. For mobile home park sales, you’re better off with sites that target commercial real estate, like the Commercial Investment Multiple Listing Service I describe below.

Using CIMLS to List Your Property

The Commercial Investment Multiple Listing Service is a free tool for selling your park property. The site breaks down listings very specifically, allowing you to target the right audience. Here are the basics on CIMLS:

Its audience is limited:

Compared to its next biggest competitor, LoopNet, the site has a limited number of people to advertise to—only about 320,000 registered users. And, it requires registration to see any real estate listings, meaning that those listings aren’t making it to the search engines where people outside the site could find them while browsing online.

It has low-cost and free options:

You can get a gold membership for about $20 a month to gain priority listings. However, its limited user base means it’s unlikely that you’re going to get a lot of hits. The ones you do get could be very valuable, though.

It pulls in more professional buyers:

Despite its limited viewership, it does tend to have a more serious pool of commercial property buyers because it’s so specific. It’s more of an industry site, which means you’re dealing with serious investment buyers.

What You Must Do before Listing Your Park

Listing your mobile home park for sale on a website isn’t as simple as writing an email. It may require some technical ability and keyword optimization knowledge. You’re also going to need to be prepared to provide the following information about your park:

  • The approximate size of your property
  • Your asking price, and a market value assessment if available
  • Multiple photos of the property from different angles
  • The current occupancy rate
  • Property tax information
  • Any current resident amenities

Once you have all this information, you’re going to want to craft an eye-catching ad and then put it up on every avenue you can think of. If it’s free to list, then you may as well list it. If it costs money, you’ll have to weigh the cost with what you expect to get in return. Some of these property listing sites can be very expensive when you’re considering premium options.

Note that by listing on these sites, you’re going to get flooded with emails from brokers and agents who want to list the property for you. Your inbox probably isn’t going to be filled with potential buyers, but instead with brokers who want a commission from the sale. If you’re selling your park yourself, you’re probably trying to avoid that.

Now, if you’re starting to feel a bit over your head with all these different options, there’s an alternative that doesn’t include a realtor. Minimize your expenses; find a direct buyer.

Why Selling to a Direct Buyer Saves Time and Money

While real estate sites can be very useful, the cheapest and fastest way to sell your property is a direct buyer. They’re the best selling route because even if you don’t wind up going with them, they can give you insight about your property, like a good idea of your park’s value or any issues that might make it unsellable. Here are just a few of the benefits of working with a direct buyer:

Ease of use:

You don’t need to worry about figuring out websites, preparing a listing, or responding to a hundred inquiries. With a direct buyer, all you need to do is pick up the phone or send an email to let them know you’re interested in selling your park.

Speed and efficiency:

With a direct buyer, you submit a request, they give you an offer. There’s no need to negotiate prices or worry about getting lowballed. When I offer a quote, I make it competitive because I’m not worried about making an immediate profit. My goal is to make money on the park through its future operation. That means I can afford to pay a little more upfront than someone who's just looking to flip your park and sell it again.

No bank delays:

When it comes to any kind of property purchase, the big cause of delays isn’t usually the buyer or the seller, it’s the bank. A bank can seriously slow down a sale, even over a nominal issue, because of internal company policy. Direct buyers have cash to invest. They usually don’t need bank loans or any other form of financing. They don’t need anyone’s permission to spend that money—except maybe their spouses’.

They’re willing to work with you:

If you’re not sure if your park is worth selling, you should check with a direct buyer. They’re usually willing to negotiate when you have a problem park, like one with a low occupancy rate or a minor maintenance issue you can’t afford to fix. Again, it’s all about the long-term investment. If a direct buyer thinks they can make your park pay off in the end, they’ll probably buy it.

If it doesn’t hurt to do it, do it. If it doesn’t cost anything more than a few minutes of your time, why not? You don’t need to roll out a major marketing campaign to sell your mobile home park. You just need to take advantage of online tools and connections already out there. Worse case scenario, you walk away smarter.

The same goes for dealing with me. I’m one of those direct buyers who’s in this for the long haul. That’s why I’m not going to lowball you. If I’m interested in your park, I’m going to offer you what it’s worth. Even if you don’t go with me, you’ll still have a free estimate that you can bring to the table when you look for buyers through online sites or if you decide to sign a contract with a broker. If that sounds like a good deal to you, give me a call or shoot me an email.

joe-tobin

I’m one of those direct buyers who wants to give you a free, fair market quote on your mobile home park. Before you start searching for agents or brokers, give me a call or shoot me an email. Even if you decide not to work with me, I can give you the right valuation on your park that you can use to negotiate the best deal. I know why people sell. They want to simplify their lives. So I make selling your park as seamless as possible.

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