For Sale By Owner, or Selecting an Agent.

1. You will pay for any, and all adverting costs - and may not have access, at any price to the hottest web sites to help market your home. Remember that almost all mobile home sales at least start with people researching and shopping over the Internet.

2. Once you put out the FSBO sign and advertise it in the newspaper, or the Internet, you can expect to receive calls any time of the day or night and, even worse, just have people coming up and knocking on your door wanting to see your home. Your security is threatened!!

3. OK ...You've put up with the frustration of taking the calls and having to show your home at all times of the day and night and you've found a buyer. Congratulations!! Now comes the hardest part of the sale, getting them approved by Colony Cove management!. Colony Cove management, to their credit, is very strict regarding the applicants' income, credit, and background information. This strict review is performed to assure that we continue to have quality neighbors (and try to make sure that they can afford to pay their rent).

4. OK... you've gotten your home "sold" and your buyers have been approved by Colony Cove. There is still one more step. The title still has to be transferred to the new owner. While this is probably the easiest part of the process, beware, because if you sign at the wrong place, or put the wrong date, or simply sign it differently that the name appears on the title, the title becomes voided and a replacement title will need to be secured before the sale can be completed.

So, while the FSBO approach to selling your home will save you some commission dollars, at least you are now aware of some of the things to expect. The more popular approach to selling your home is to hire one of the several agents that offer homes for sale here at the Cove. Here are some suggestions and questions to ask to pick the right agent for you. Most are just common sense, but it's amazing to us how often the answers to these questions are not taken into consideration.

5. Of course, the first question usually asked is: What's this sale going to cost me? Commissions vary widely, but, an average is 7% of the sale price, or, a base amount of between $2,000 and $2,500. This commission is taken out of the negotiated sale price of the home and reduces the net amount to you, the seller. Other agents offer a consignment arrangement where you list the home at the net amount that you want to have in your pocket at the completion of the sale and the agent makes their "profit" on the difference between that net payoff to you, and the amount of the negotiated sale. At Tropical Mobile Home Sales we offer both methods of listing your home and will consult with you on the best method to sell your home.

6. Be sure to find out how long this exclusive listing contract will limit your sales opportunity to just that realtor. Most listing contracts last for 6 to 12 months and some will even "roll over" to a new term contract if the seller doesn't cancel the contract IN WRITING within a set period of time prior to the expiration date. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!! If a realtor tries to sell you on a 12 month listing, tell them to hit the road!!! Once that realtor has a 12 month contract you will continue to pay the rent and they can take their good old time to show and sell it. At Tropical Mobile Home Sales we offer a 90 day listing agreement that will continue in force unless cancelled by you in writing.

7. Ask the listing agent: What are the penalties of canceling your listing contract early with them? I've seen situations where the seller foolishly signed a 12 month listing agreement and the realtor didn't even show the home once in 10 months. When she wanted to cancel the agreement due to non-performance, she was told that she would have to pay off the full $2,500 commission to get out of the contract. BEWARE!!! At Tropical Mobile Home Sales you can cancel your listing agreement at any time, in writing, and the only penalty is a $600 fee to cover our costs of advertising your home.

8. If the agent demands to hold the original title(s) to your home, tell them to hit the road. The only reason any agent would want to hold your original titles is to keep you from being able to cancel the contract. You can't sell your home without the original titles!!! At Tropical Mobile Home Sales we will ask for copies of your original titles for the office files (this is mandatory under state laws) and a copy of your drivers license for identification. You keep your original titles until your home is sold!!

9. Does the agent seem to have a 9 to 5 job? The prime time to show, and sell, your home is evenings and weekends. Your agent should be able to work within the potential buyers' schedule, not the other way around.

10. Does your potential agent sell homes in other mobile home communities or are they exclusive to Colony Cove? You have enough competition already with the other homes that are for sale right here in Colony Cove. You don't need the extra competition of having your agent showing potential buyers homes in other communities.

11. Does your potential agent have access to all of the Colony Cove amenities? An example; a potential buyer loves your home, but, they are boaters and want to see the marina. If your agent doesn't have the entry card, they can't show them the marina and you could lose a saIe!l

12. Can your agent cost justify the perceived high lot rent or do they make apologies for the amount? This one is my 'hot buttons' and a qualification that is very hard to find in most agents that work the Cove. While no one wants to pay more rent than is absolutely necessary, I feel that the amount of the lot rent that we all pay is a great value for the amenities and services that we receive. Colony Cove is not a 'trailer trash' community. Of course, there is a cost to maintain the quality of our lifestyle here in the Cove. We live right here in Colony Cove and we are uniquely qualified to explain the value received for the monthly dollars that a buyer will spend in rent.

Finally, if you get even the slightest feeling of pressure from a listing agent, tell them to hit the road. You are making a major decision and should be afforded whatever time you feel is necessary to make the correct decisions.