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How to Sell a Florida Mobile Home

Dale Devries

In Florida, you are allowed to put a mobile home on your privately owned piece of ground, in most cases, unlike in other states, where it must be in a mobile home park. Therefore, selling your mobile home in Florida isn't very different from selling a regular house. You'll find the biggest differences when you're dealing with a government loan like FHA. You can sell the home yourself, or you can list it with a Realtor, just like other homes.

  1. Get your paperwork together. Whether you are planning on selling your mobile home yourself or through a Realtor, you will need you title or titles to pass on. If it is a single-wide mobile home, you will have one title; if it is a double-wide you will have two. If you are going to try to sell the property yourself, you will need to find a place to advertise and get a good "For Sale" sign. You can get your sign and a standard copy of a letter of intent from your local business supply store.

  2. Decide how much your property is worth. If you are listing with a Realtor, they will do a comparative market analysis for you and tell you how you should price the property. They will compare active listings, sold listings within 6 months and listings that have expired in the last 6 months that are comparable to your property, and they will come up with a good listing range.If you are selling the home yourself, you can hire an appraiser to find a value, or you can do some work and get a close price to what you should put it on the market for. You will have to go into your county's tax records and find out what the homes around you sold for. The homes should have sold within the past year, no longer. You can call a Realtor who has comparable listings that are active and see how much they are selling for. Try to stay under the active listing prices and a little over what the last comparable properties sold for.

  3. Put up a sign and start to advertise. If you are listing your property with a Realtor, she will do this as part of her agreement with you, called a listing. The listing will state how much the Realtor is charging you for her work, how long you are in contract with her and what the penalty fee is should you cancel your contract. There is no set fee for commission; this can be negotiated between the company's broker and you.If you are going to try to sell the property yourself, you will need to put up your sign and start to advertise. Advertising can be very expensive, so do your due diligence and see which local real estate magazines and papers get the most circulation. You can also set up a website and advertise it on the Net. This is really good because you can add pictures and tell all the great features of your neighborhood and home. Put the Web address on a brochure and put them in grocery stores, laundries and restaurants. If you live in a resort area, find out where most of the people come from and advertise there. Craigslist is another place to go on the Internet. Set up an account for the area you want to advertise in. Never, ever lie in your advertisements. It is against the law, and you can be sued.

  4. Be prepared to show your home. If you are living in the home, keep it clean and neat. Get rid of clutter, and burn scented candles to keep it smelling fresh. If it needs some paint or small repairs, do them now. You will sell much faster this way. If you are listing with Realtor, give him a key and have him put on a lock box for when you aren't home. If you are selling yourself, put your cell phone number on the ad so you don't miss any possible showings. Keep your grass cut and your yard neat and free of debris and clutter. If the home is vacant, clean it well and do some painting and fixing where needed. Be prepared to show the home when someone calls. If you make them wait too long, they will move on and find another home they like.

  5. Negotiate and write a letter of intent. You will be made an offer by someone. Be ready to negotiate back and forth until you can both agree on a sale price. If you have a Realtor, she will draw up a contract. If you are doing this on your own, write up a letter of intent when everything is agreed on and take it to a real estate attorney to draw the contract. Include in the letter of intent, the price, any inspections the buyer wants, date of settlement and anything included in the sale. There is a lot involved in a real estate contract, and it is not advisable that you try to do one on your own. It is best if both parties sit down with the attorney at the same time to write the contract. There will be many things to consider, such as type of financing the buyer will use. This is important to the seller because the use of an FHA mortgage will require certain things be done to the mobile home, if they are not already. For example, newer mobile homes are set and tied down to withstand a category 3 hurricane, while older mobile homes are not and FHA requires retrofitting. This is a big cost, and it should be made clear in the contract as to who will pay for it. There are many other things to consider, such as a home inspection, pest inspection and mold inspection. A Realtor or real estate attorney is trained to handle all of this, so make sure you consult one or the other.

  6. Go to a title company or attorney's office for settlement. Usually a buyer picks the these. They will have done an abstract of title to make sure there is nothing wrong and there are no other claims to the property. If the buyer is getting financing, the title company or attorney will arrange for the package to be there for signatures on the day of settlement. They will also have a deed prepared for your land and have you sign over your titles and have them recorded. They will be the one to issue you a check from the proceeds of the sale. You can contact them ahead of time to find out exactly what you are being charged for and what your proceeds will be.