Negotiating with seller out of state - Posted by Tim

Posted by Lyal on September 03, 2003 at 12:22:34:

The process is the same whether or not you’re face to face or long distance (you have read Lonnie’s book haven’t you?). If the price says FIRM, he’s not sufficently motivated (yet). Tell him to call you if anything changes and move on.
Making offers to unmotivated sellers is a waste of time. At worst you make them mad so they don’t want to call you when they finally “come out of their coma” as Lonnie says, at best…hmm, can’t think of any.
All the best, Lyal

Negotiating with seller out of state - Posted by Tim

Posted by Tim on September 03, 2003 at 11:25:21:

I have been watching an ad for a ‘89 Bayshore 14X64 2 bath, 3 BR with porch and shed’. He wants $8,000 (firm). I talked to the owner - (he is in New York) MH is in West Virginia - he seems very nice. I asked him if he was going to be here on the weekend. He said he hadn’t been here for two months.
I can play the waiting game as I look for other MH’s. He probably just paid another month’s rent. I just wonder how long will firm remain firm? I can’t talk to him face to face.
I plan to look at the home’s insides today. He sent the key to the PM.
I can’t use regular face to face tactics. Do I just make him a low ball offer? Or wait and see if his price goes down?

As always thanks a million for your replies - you’re a super group!

… and you are the cat. - Posted by Dr. Craig Whisler CA NV

Posted by Dr. Craig Whisler CA NV on September 04, 2003 at 13:05:03:

Sellers will just use your lowball offer to shop for a better offer. If you offer $4k and someone else offers 6k, the seller may be realy ticked off at you and may not call you back to punish you for making such a low offer originally. Every offer he gets will be like another step in a ladder. He probably won’t get his asking price but when he gets to the highest step he thinks he can reach he will accept that offer. Don’t help him reach ANY step by leaving an offer with him now. It will only make him feel more secure to have your lowball ofer as a ‘back up’ as he continues to look for a better one. Eventually the market itself will educate him as to the REAL value of his mobile. You need to be just ‘a phone call away’ when that moment occcurs.

There is nothing you can really do except wait until he gets tired of paying for space rent. I’d just tell him that if he lowers his price he can call me back. Then I would keep in close contact with the park manager because he will generally be the first to learn of any changes in the sellers price or motivation. I would remind the seller that many times sellers with such high prices end up paying space rent for a year or two before selling and that they usually have to lower their prices even then to get any sale at all. Run the space rent numberts by him. Say “if you pay $300 per month for a year you will be out $3,600 and still not have it sold, and then it will be another year older and worth even less”. You should do this in a lettter to him if rather than on the phone where he will try to argue with you in an adversarial way. Remind him that HE has the problem and you are just trying to help him. Ask the park manager how long it generallly takes to sell such a mobile at that price. If he give you a long time period, then tell that to the seller in your letter. If it is a short time don’t repeat that, of course. Also add in how much more will be due in property taxes, in a year if he still hasn’t sold it. Also remind him of winterization costs if that is appropriate. Mention potentiall vandalism, and insurance costs. Then add up all of the numbers for two years. Mention that if he gets behind on the park rent the park will hold a lien sale on it and he will lose EVERYTHING. Its great if all of this is in a letter so he can stare at it for a while. Maybe others family members will see your letter and read it and discuss it. A letter generally insures that he will not lose your phone number.

Check the title to see whose name is on it or ask the park manager. If the name is different from his, he may be trying to sell it for someone else, a family member, perhaps. Maybe you are talking to the wrong person. You need to be sure you are talking to the REAL decision maker. He may be trying to sell it for his mother and collect a couple grand in commission on the deal. Don’t laugh, it happens all of the time. You never know until you investigate. If the title is still in the name of a deceased parent you may have titling problems. All of this will affect its resale value and should be taken into consideration when negotiation the price.

Out of state owners are usually great to deal with, hang in there. He must sell but you don’t have to buy. You are in a good position to wait this guy out.
I would call him on the phone about every 3 months, just in case he has lost your phone number. Also leave your number with the park manager just in case the seller has lost it and needs to sell in a hurry, for some unxecpected reason (like park rent being due). Don’t phone him more often so you won’t sound too interested. If he thinks you are a serious buyer he is likely to remain more firm on his price. There is a real art to making an offer while at the same time conveying the idea that you don’t really want the thing you are making the offer on. Make it clear that you can’pay his asking price. Ask if he will finance it. When (not if) he says no, then say that it is normal to be willing to consider lowering his price if he needs quick cash. You DO want your seller to feel normal don’t you? If he asks how much you can pay just say you don’t know but if he lowers his price he can call you, and if you haven’t ALREADY spent your money on another mobile home you could consider HIS offer. Make him WORRY about losing you (and your money). You are probably the only buyer he has. Remind him you have cash and that you are looking at several other mobiles and that you can only afford to buy ONE.

You should go on making ofers on other mobiles just as if you hadn’t ever seen this one. You should try to have 25-50 offers outstanding on different mobiles at ALL TIMES. A watched pot never boils.

This is a wait and see, cat and mouse game and YOU are the cat. ~:)

Regards, doc

Re: Negotiating with seller out of state - Posted by Rod - Mo

Posted by Rod - Mo on September 03, 2003 at 17:54:32:

When I was looking at the second MH I bought, I called the number on the For Sale sign. A lady answered and was quite excited to get a call. She stated that the price was $10K firm, but she would take anything over $5K.

Seems anything can happen with patience and chit-chat.