A home doesn’t sell itself, you know. As much as we try, our homes are almost never visitor-ready as a matter of course. If you are trying to sell your home, it’s crucial that it looks its best to attract potential suitors and close the deal and if it gets you a better offer along the way, why not? In this article, we will help you make your mobile home looking its absolute best so that it’s ready to sell.
#1 Comply with the HUD code
The Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (or simply, the HUD code) was instantiated in 1976. It governs the standards that mobile homes should meet to be considered safe and appropriate for occupation. Mobile homes need to be built according to HUD standards.
If a home does not adhere to the HUD code, it’s almost impossible to finance and will be viewed with a good amount of caution by just about any buyer. It also seriously affects the value of the home.
If your home was built before 1976, there is no hope of it ever being HUD compliant. Homes built after this date still need to meet the criteria for amendments to the code that were made later on.
A buyer interested in your home will most likely have it inspected, especially if they want to apply for financing. But, if you can establish its compliance with the HUD code, you can use it as a strong selling point.
The difficulty and cost of getting your home HUD compliant are entirely dependant on its faults. Professionals like IBTS can inspect and certify your home as well as give you an indication of how to fix any issues.
#2 Make repairs around the home
There are a few ways in which your mobile home probably will pick up damage during its lifetime. Some of these will drastically affect the appearance of your home as well as others’ perception of it.
Luckily, mobile homes are by nature relatively affordable and easy to fix up as you can replace most parts with inexpensive materials. Let’s look at some repairs that you should assess the need for and carry out:
Replace or repair flooring
Mobile home floors, especially older models, are under severe risk of water damage throughout their life. This is a massive concern as any visible damage could mean severe structural damage. You should check your home for any signs of this and replace the floor where needed.
Replace or repair wall panels
Because of the materials used to construct mobile homes, if you have a part of the wall that is heavily damaged, you can usually just replace the specific panel. This should be less than a hundred dollars.
The worry, of course, is that it will be hard to blend the paint afterward. That being said, try to convince someone to buy a home with a hole in the wall.
Replace or repair the roof
You would be surprised how easy and inexpensive it is to repair or replace a mobile home roof relative to a stick-built home. In fact, a mobile home roof over is a common home upgrade or repair.
For around $1000-$3000, you can have an entirely new roof on the home. Replacing a flat roof with a pitched one will definitely drive up the appeal and the value. A roof with a damaged roof will be a tough sell, to say the least.
Fill up cracks
Mobile homes bend, expand, and contract over time in a process that’s called “settling.” As a result, cracks often develop, particularly near any seams or corners. Although they aren’t a huge concern, they also aren’t very nice to look at.
You can easily fill up cracks in the wall using caulk that’s appropriate for your type of wall. The only concern is that you might need to repaint for an even paint cover if there are too many. However, uneven paint still looks much better than cracks.
#3 Make small upgrades
Doing repairs in the hope of improving the value of your home is a dicey move. You can’t always guarantee that the money and effort that goes into the upgrades will result in an equal increase in value. That’s why we don’t recommend making significant aesthetic upgrades unless they are absolutely necessary before selling your home.
The small upgrades we encourage you to do will be inexpensive and easy enough that you won’t feel let down too much if they don’t translate into profits. However, they are also apparent enough that they will conversely enhance the curb appeal or interior appearance of your home. If they don’t up the value, at least they will improve your chances of selling the house.
Some of these small upgrades will also make your home more energy-efficient, which could be another selling point:
- Install awnings
- Add new skirting
- Install new doors or windows
- Paint the home
#4 Pay special attention to the kitchen
The kitchen has become one of the first things people look at when buying a home. Along with the main bedroom, it’s the room that’s most often listed as a selling feature. Just think of how many times you have heard or seen the words “designer kitchen” in your own search for a new home…
It’s also no surprise then that it’s also one of the first places people who flip houses renovate as it can dramatically increase the home’s value. So, if you want to upgrade a room in the house, the kitchen is the one.
Upgrade your kitchen cabinets
Kitchen cabinets usually take up a considerable part of the visible area in the kitchen and are also something we interact with often. What makes them a good candidate for a kitchen upgrade is the fact that they are also relatively inexpensive to renovate.
If you have wood cabinets, sanding down and a coat of varnish and/or paint can do wonders. You can also flat out replace the kitchen cabinets or doors depending on how much you want to spend. Some mobile homes come with very dated cabinets so even replacing the handles with something snazzy is a good move.
Add kitchen countertops
Kitchen countertops made of stone or some other attractive material is all the rage right now. It’s also functional because fancy kitchen tops are resistant to damage which means that you can chop right on it.
Without proper lighting, you might just cut off your finger in the kitchen. If you look at designer kitchens online, you will find that most of them have either big windows, comprehensive lighting or both. Lights installed under overhead cabinets are one such upgrade that most people love.
Install a new floor
This doesn’t need to be an expensive project. Most mobile homes allow you to just pull up the top floor layer and install a new one. If you only want to add vinyl tiles or something similar you may even be able to add it on top of your existing floor.
#5 Give your home a deep clean
If you are going to show your home to prospective buyers (or even take decent photos), it needs to be clean! You would be surprised what a proper deep cleaning can achieve when it comes to the interior and exterior appearance of your home.
The coat of paint on your walls, the furniture, and even that 20-year old rug will look brand new. You know, thorough deep cleaning will probably cover most of the steps in this article. This article by BHG is a thorough guide on how to spring clean every room in your home.
Most of the steps you can do yourself, but consider hiring a professional service for your carpet if you have any.
#6 Declutter your home
We could include this under the “tips for show day”. However, ideally, you should give your home at least one thorough declutter before you start showing it. Not only will this cut down the time you need to prep your home for show times but it will also help once you need to start packing.
It goes without saying that no trash should be left lying around. A good home decluttering goes much deeper than that. You want the spaces in your home to feel open during showtimes so that the home feels bigger and lighter. A decluttered home contributes immensely to the first impression when viewers walk through the door.
That means getting rid of those magazines you never read, that old remote that doesn’t work, moving unnecessary furniture or decorations to somewhere out of sight, etc. Another pro tip is to pack up your closets as much as possible. If they are staying behind or they are built-in, it will make them appear bigger. No one has ever complained about more closet space.
This step should go hand in hand with depersonalizing your mobile home which we talk about next.
#7 Make it less “your home”
Heartbreaking as it may be to part with your beloved mobile home, you might need to start distancing yourself from it early on. There are many benefits both for the chances of selling your home as well as your emotional well-being.
Let’s look at the practical side of things first. You should remember people interested in buying your home see it as their possible future home, not your current home. As such, you want to help them realize the possibilities available to them to make it their home.
This can be hard to do. There’s no clear line between what you and others want in a home. That’s also why it’s important to try and make your home as generic as possible. If you are struggling to do this, invite a friend over who you trust, and that can give you an outsider’s perspective.
The first stuff you should be looking at is anything decorative or sentimental. You can start by packing these items away first. As a side-effect, it will also help to declutter your home.
Many people also find the moving process more comfortable if they have done this early on. This way, you allow yourself to start distancing yourself from your home gently. Hopefully, it means you don’t have to deal with all those emotions on moving day.
#8 Prepare the yard
Unless you plan to blindfold people until the moment they are inside your home and sign the papers, you should prep your yard. After all, the new buyers are moving into the lot as much as they are into the home.
If you live in a mobile home park, you will need to check whether maintaining the yard is your or the park management’s responsibility. You don’t have to go crazy. There is no guarantee that the new owners want an elaborate garden to take care of either. Just do the basics.
That means mowing the lawn, pulling any unsightly weeds, trying to get rid of bald patches, raking up leaves or other debris, and trying to get your lawn as healthy looking as possible. This article will help you do just that.
#9 Tips for show day
This guide wouldn’t be complete if we left you hanging on show day! This is the most important day after all, and you will need to make sure everything is still in order.
The consensus on this is unanimous. Your home should be as adequately lit as possible. That doesn’t mean blinding guests to all the faults in your home, but it should by no means be dim. Throw open the curtains and turn up the lights. It will also make the house feel roomier.
If you have pets…
Just be aware that not everyone is as big a furry-fan as you are. Some people are scared or allergic to animals. A deep clean should take care of most wayward pet hairs, but you will probably need to double check on the day. Consider locking them out the back or dropping them off at a friend’s during the show days.
Wash your windows
This is one of those small things that can still have an impact on how people view your home. At least it’s quick, easy, and painless. If you did a deep clean, it will be easier to keep it clean for the following days.
Check for clutter
Unless you run a much more organized home than most of us, there is almost always new clutter or litter. A quick check on show day should take care of the worst of it.
Scent the home
We can get so used to the smells and aromas of our home that we forget about them. We aren’t saying that your house smells, but it pays to be safe and lightly scent the home with candles or incense.
There you have it!
Follow these steps, and your home will be ready to sell. Easy as pie. Remember to adjust these steps based on your specific situation and the amount of money you have available for last minute upgrades and repairs. If you have to choose, repairs are always the number one priority.
Selling your home can be a stressful time. So, we hope this article has taken some of the weight off your shoulders. Good luck!