Need HELP with Buying a MH for "Lonnie Deal" LONG.. - Posted by Robert Biddle

Posted by Robert Biddle on January 16, 2000 at 18:50:17:

Yeah, I was tempted to just make a really low offer, But figured I’d stick to Lonnie’s policy of letting them name the price. They just would’nt do it :frowning:


Need HELP with Buying a MH for “Lonnie Deal” LONG… - Posted by Robert Biddle

Posted by Robert Biddle on January 16, 2000 at 16:47:02:

First off let me say, that I know this will work for me. It just has’nt yet. I need some help finding/negotiating a MH Purchase.

I just started looking this week-end. Called sellers from the newpaper this week during work and set up some to see on the weekend.

I think I just wound up with the wrong type of sellers. I’m going to run an add in the paper like suggested to find some real motivated sellers.

Anyhow, here’s how the ones I looked at went.

The first one was a 2bdrm home asking $3000. It was in a REAL bad community, looked like a scene out of “Deliverance” The lady had been renting it to her Granddaughter and her hus/kids. And she kicked them out. (WOW tough landlord!) The guy that was showing it was the owners son. It was’nt completely destroyed or anything, just really not taken care of. It needed a new furnace some new windows new paint inside ect. ALL of which this hilljack claimed he would fix! I don’t believe that he would really fix it. I’m sure he would do something to make it look like he fixed everything. Anyhow, when I asked how much he would be willing to take for it if I gave him all cash and closed this week. His response was “Oh, I don’t know” I told him that we had some others to look at and had to go. He said “OK” And we left.

I then happened to see another home with a sign on it in that same park. I immediately called it from the cell phone. After calling twice I finally woke the lady up. She was also asking $3000. I asked how much she would be willing to let it go for if I paid cash and closed within a week. she said “Well, of course you’d pay Cash, how else would you pay??” she did drop down to $2500 immediately on the phone, but it turned out to be a 1 BDRM and I’m trying to avoid those.

The next one we went to see was in a MUCH nicer area. Good sized fenced in yard. It was a 78 2 BDRM. This lady told me on the phone that her husband had died and she was living on SS and could’nt afford the home anymore. This sounded like a pretty motivated seller. Although when I asked on the phone what she would take for it if I could close this week all cask she told me to stop by and discuss it. She was asking $5500. I went through it and tried to squirel dog and the biggest thing I found was a window with water stains underneath it and the wall underneath the window was cracked too from water damage. She swore up and down it did’nt leak though?? She said maybe someone left it open. Eitherway there was water damage. I asked her the famous question, “How much would you let it go for if I could get the cash to you and close this week?” She said “I don’t know, make an offer.” How should I respnd to that??? I said “I was’nt sure how much I would be willing to pay. Certainly less than $5500.” After that I told her that I had some more to look at and I might get back to her.

The last one was a 74 3BDRM 1 1/2 BTH. Very well taken care of. The owners lived there for 14 years and just moved into their new home over the holidays. I could’nt find anything to complain about. She is paying $250/month lot rent. I would think that would motivate them. I again asked what she would be willing to take If I got here the cash and closed this week?" She also would’nt name a price and told me to just make an offer??? I need a good way to respond to this. Or is this just not a motivated enough seller??

Again, I’m placing an Ad this week to try and find some motivated sellers. But I would like some Advice/Criticism for the ones I have gone to look at.



Re: Need HELP with Buying a MH for “Lonnie Deal” LONG… - Posted by Rick_IL

Posted by Rick_IL on January 18, 2000 at 20:54:41:

There are many problems with offering a particular amount for the home, as opposed to letting them name
it themselves:

  1. You risk offending the seller if you offer your price to them. As Jacob said, he offered $5500 and the
    lady was offended. Now he may not have a chance at that home as she gets more desparate. If you never name a price, the seller cannot get offended because you simply can’t pay his current price, and who could fault you for that?

  2. When you name a price, you can’t start with your best price because you have to expect some further dickering that will result in paying MORE than you’re willing to. This makes your initial offer all the more insulting.

I find the “make me an offer” tactic by the seller to be particularly aggravating as well (though I can’t blame them because I use it myself when I’m selling!)

Tony’s higher authority gambit works well here, or sometimes I will say “I need your lowest price to enter into my calculator to see if the numbers work. I can’t give you a price, I can only see if your lowest price will make the numbers come out right.” Also that way I can say “call me back if you lower your price and I’ll run the numbers again”.

Don’t worry, if you’ve left your number with all the sellers at least half will call you back at some point.


Re: Need HELP with Buying a MH for “Lonnie Deal” LONG… - Posted by Bill K. - FL

Posted by Bill K. - FL on January 17, 2000 at 11:23:36:

The key is they have to be motivated to do something right now. Ideally the home is vacant, they are out and still paying or behind in lot rent. I feel if they are paying for an ad they are more motivated than someone who just has a sign up waiting for offers that meet what they want. Ask them why they are selling. I always ask on the phone, " How soon can you be out?" The answer to this question really qualifies them for me. If they say they are not sure I won’t even look at it. When I am at the home I make some complimentary comment about the home or park and continue with " I guess you hate to sell don’t you?, and then wait for their comment. Once I know the motivation I know if there is a possibility of making a deal now or whether they are worth following up on. It also gives me ammunition to negotiate with. I think you need to be a little more patient with them, come across as wanting to help them and explain your offer to them. Always offer less than what you are willing to pay. "Would ya take $ ? The most I could give you would be… Then let them talk. Also don’t forget about the dealers in your area who took a home in trade and also the park managers/owners who have repos for sale. Don’t rely on only one source. If you have a decent number of homes in your area you should have no problem finding good deals. Good Luck.

Re: Need HELP with Buying a MH for “Lonnie Deal” LONG… - Posted by Tony-VA

Posted by Tony-VA on January 17, 2000 at 24:08:59:

I suggest you use a derivative of what is sometimes called the “higher authority” technique. Tell the seller that you work with different investors who buy mobile homes, sell them and hold the financing.

When you get hung with a non-response to your “lowest cash price” question, simply explain that you would need a number to take to your different investors.

The seller may offer a number that is still too high. Reply that you feel certain that this price is too high for a quick cash close. Use Lonnie’s walk-a-way technique, hand them your business card and ask them to call if they change their mind.

You are going to find that many times, these deals take awhile to mature. I found it most frustrating because I wanted to close every deal today! I found that patience is often the key. Let lot rent and other circumstances work in your favor. Most times you will get a call in due time. Some times you won’t. If you don’t get called, chances are good that the seller simply was not motivated enough yet.

Since some of these deals do take time to mature, keep cultivating new prospects while you are waiting. Many will close immediately, but I have found that for me, a greater majority take some time.

Hope this helps,


Re: Need HELP with Buying a MH for “Lonnie Deal” LONG… - Posted by Jacob

Posted by Jacob on January 16, 2000 at 21:14:13:

You asked an excellent question, one that deserves an answer. Hopefully I will not be the only response.

You cannot rely on the seller to help you determine what a particular mh is worth. It sounds to me as though you are simply waiting for the seller to name a figure that you are willing to pay. In that case, who is in control? Not you, because you are allowing the seller to dictate your terms.

This is an excellent case study for knowing what a particular mh can sell for. However you arrive at that figure, you need to know before going in. In my case, my ceiling is 65-70% of what it could sell for, minus rehab costs. I know I will probably pay a months rent, and I am constantly running ads. I might go in and name a price a llittle below ny final price in order to gauge the seller. I had one lady who tearfully told me that she had a job waiting in another state. She owned the home free and clear, and was stuck on $13,000 for a 1984 3/1. That is probably what I could sell it for, but it needs work. I offered her $5500 cash. Basically, she got pretty nasty and I left her alone. Supposedly, she has a better paying job waiting in a state with no income tax. How motivated is she? In my book, not very.

Anyway, the point of all that was to state the importance of being in control during negotiations. Have a figure in mind and stick to it.
Good luck!

Re: Need HELP with Buying a MH for - Posted by MarkF (NorthernCA)

Posted by MarkF (NorthernCA) on January 16, 2000 at 18:45:42:

Hi Robert…

I agree with your posting and would also like any/all tips in how to deal with owners that respond in the way you mentioned. Granted if they are truly motivated they would not hesitate to much to take a cash offer as long as they felt it was the best offer you could make. We made an offer on a single wide where the owner was asking $5000…we offered $2500 all cash as a starting point. The mobile was in good shape with siding and a new roof that had been replaced 3yrs ago.
Anyway he did not say NO to our offer…then again he did not say YES either…haha. Told him we were looking at other mobiles this weekend and if he did not have any buyers soon to feel free to give us a call as we might still be interested in his mobile if we had not already bought one.

Well anyway…hope some of the Mobile Home experts will respond in some way to your posting.

Sincerely MarkF (NorthernCA)