Advice on selling a mobile home park? - Posted by Gordon

Posted by Brian, WI on November 02, 2002 at 23:26:23:


Advice on selling a mobile home park? - Posted by Gordon

Posted by Gordon on November 02, 2002 at 20:17:52:

Hello all,

I’d like your advice. I have a 69-unit mobile home park in Conrad Montana for sale by owner (owner will carry financing). Trouble is, listing the property on classified ad websites draws in no leads.

Do you have any suggestions where I can list this park that will bring in interested prospects? Or any non-online places? Or even some creative ideas besides advertising?

Gordon P.

Re: Advice on selling a mobile home park? - Posted by ray@lcorn

Posted by ray@lcorn on November 03, 2002 at 13:19:27:


We just sold a 54 space park, and I was surprised how things have changed in the few years since we’ve tried to sell one. For years, we only sold through broker networks. Then about five years ago we had a park that just wouldn’t sell. We had it on the market for three months and hadn’t gotten a nibble. It was a large park (264 spaces) with some quirks that made it a tough sell, and we couldn’t even get anyone to look.

Then I discovered the Internet. We put up website with the sale package including photos, area demographics and financials, then sent the link to every listing site and listserve we could find. We were overrun with inquiries, and had four or five offers within a week. We eventually sold it to one of the first companies that responded.

This time, we did the same thing but without the website because we thought the listing sites had evolved to a point the property could be fairly represented in the listing. We listed it on, which is the biggest listing site, and signed up for the premium listing (~$75) that “pushes” the listing out to people who have registered an interest for that property type. We sent the link out on several national listserves, and waited for the deluge of interest like before.

We also did all the usual stuff that has worked for years. Newspaper classified ad, packages to brokers, a flyer to circulate at property auctions, and word of mouth to all the park owners and investors in the area we knew to be in the business.

I expected the park to sell within a couple of weeks, and would have bet that the buyer would come from online. I was wrong on both counts.

By far, the bulk of the leads came in from the newspaper classified ad. This may have been a function of the small size, or the slow economy (though not here), or the price (we weren’t shy!). But the most responses in number and interest came through the classified ad. We’re under contract to close later this month to a buyer from the ad. We got some online inquiries, but no one that was interested enough to come and look.

The one thing I have found through the years that is essential to selling a park regardless of the medium used to reach the buyer is a complete sales package. Mine includes three years of financials, a three year projection of operations, a site map and plat, photos, demographics for the area, and a market survey. That gives a buyer almost everything to establish interest, and the rest (rent roll, rental agreements, contracts, etc.) is available during due diligence.

One more tip: have a contract ready. Many buyers will present you with their own contract and I assure you it will be drafted to their favor. Every contract has bias to one side or the other. No matter how you amend a contract, it never loses that bias. You should have a contract ready that you have prepared to protect you as a seller.


p.s. A shameless plug: A copy of my sales package and contracts are included in my book, “DealMaker’s Guide to Mobile Home Parks” available here in the bookstore.