Buying used home from another park - Etiquette

I’m trying to do in-fill on my park and someone reached out to help me acquire homes for a finders fee. I’m fine with paying a fee for someone to locate homes, but so far the few she has sent me have all been in parks currently. When we initially talked I said it was important that the homes can be moved, and she claims that is the case for the ones she is sending.

Should I try to make contact with the owner of the park to make sure that they are OK with the home being moved? I just hate the idea of someone poaching a home from my park, so I want to be respectful to other park owners (particularly during this tight inventory period).

Sounds like shes poaching and flipping. Probably preying on residents who run ads on FB and need to sell. Especially if they are getting evicted. Can happen to any owner if you’re caught off guard and unaware its on FB.
Not good!

Yes it would be good to contact them. Likely they don’t want you to move them, but it is worth asking. Otherwise if you pay an agent and she is poaching, then you are poaching. Plus, contacting them gives you a chance to build a business relationship.

Most homes in communities can legally be removed, but most communities have verbiage in their agreements with residents/homeowners regarding the community getting first dibs on purchasing the home etc. I highly recommend you contact the community owner regarding this. Used homes, right now especially, are very difficult (in some states probably almost impossible right now) to find in general. Also as a precaution, definitely don’t pay any type of fee unless its a definite done-deal regarding the home that was found.

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Definitely contact the park owner. Some poachers are contacting tenants, possibly yours, via direct mail stating that they can ‘help’ the tenant if they are behind on rent, being evicted, etc and that landlords are greedy and evil - a total smear campaign to lowball the home owner, buy the home and ship it to the next park… ask me how I know.

I feel that asking a park owner if it is OK to poach a home from their park is like asking them if it is OK to poke them in the eye with a sharp stick. Not particularly respectful.

I would cut off communication with this person.

Greg, you may be right to an extent, but I would not phrase it that way. Some parks don’t mind removing older homes to bring in new homes. Unless you ask, you won’t know. Plus you can call to introduce yourself and bring up the issue as a secondary topic just to get their thoughts before you directly ask. Such as “hey, did you know that Jane Doe called me about moving some homes from your community?” then wait for a response.

Also you do not want to cut off communications with anyone. We have all heard the phrase “keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” I would definitely want to know what’s on the mind of the local poacher. I would not buy from him, but I would speak to him. Sort of like conversations between USA and North Korea.

Please identify this flipper/poacher so other Park owners can be on alert. We all work hard to retain homes and find it nearly impossible in this current market to replace them. I identified one in northern Ind who preys on FB advertising tenants who are desperate. Playing musical chairs with MH’s is NOT cool! Thanks…

The term poacher is generally refereed to illegal killing of an animal . A mobile home is generally mobile unless it is on a foundation and could than be considered real estate. Be in the business over 40 years and if someone comes to one of our parks and is willing to pay more than me the park owner so be it—isn’t that part of the capitalism system. We have not removed any homes from another park since we were filling sites with new or nearly new homes from dealers. We have required residents to have there old homes MOVED out and be replaced. Yes, finding homes to fill empty sites is difficult—gives thanks to the Biden’s for all the problems–stay cool–good hard working people always find solutions. We have recently filled sites with 5th wheel and with great success.

She isn’t doing anything that I would consider poaching. I think it is more of a training issue than someone will ill intent. She’s acting as more of a virtual assistant than a flipper, as she’s the one hunting down the possible homes, asking about price and if they can be moved, etc. I’ve been seeing a lot of this kind of stuff in mobile home lonnie groups.

She doesn’t own a park, so I don’t think she understands all the frustrations that go into it. She calls the owner and verifies it can be moved (or the listing says it can be moved) and she assumes that is the end of the story. I’m OK with that. She can provide me the information and then I can choose to make the deal.

In this case, the home in question is sitting in one of YES communities lots. I talked to the manager and asked if the home truly was able to be moved and her response was “Yup, people move them out all the time. As long as they are paid off, they can be moved.” She even gave me some good contacts for home setters and pad preparers!

I’m in agreement with @carl that the park owner has the ability to keep the home in the park by purchasing it. That said, I think it is MY responsibility as the buyer (and fellow owner) to make sure the park owner is aware that the home is for sale and is being advertised as moveable so that the park can make a reasonable offer to the current owner.

I think you’ve done everything ‘right’ guyanthalas. And it sounds like your virtual assistant is on the right track as well. Carl doesn’t understand that the issue here is that poachers are directly soliciting tenants and owners aren’t able to make an offer on the home - and not all park owners want or have the means to buy new homes for their community - and then there is the wait time for new homes.

Most park owners in THEIR guidelines have right of knowing FIRST any home that comes up for sale and right of first offer to buy home. What is problematic with the park owner declining; than anyone else can try buying it. If it remains in the park the buyers must met the park’s requirements. Our easy solution to fill empty sites is 5th wheel trailers—easy to find on Craig’s list.–check your zoning–educate your zoning board–be nice.

Guidelines mean squat for a tenant thats being evicted and wants to dump the home to the first dealer that calls them on FB. As far as 1/5 wheelers I choose not to look at a sloppy pink foam skirting all winter and lines strung across the lot. Neighbors would agree. NO thanks!

Yes, but I wouldn’t over think it. This poaching etiquette thing is a bit overblown and rarely an issue. And the folks who are overly concerned about it are typically in weaker markets or have above market rents.

Ask yourself this question: if shit hits the fan and YES needs to fill their park with homes to service their obligations, do you think they would call you first to ask permission?

I appreciate your opinion. The more time I spend on this issue the more I tend to agree that it is probably an exaggerated problem. As someone new to the space, and VERY thankful that other park owners are often extremely generous with advice and support, I want to err on the side of caution and not ruffle feathers.

No, I don’t think YES would pay me one iota of attention if the situation was reversed… but at the end of the day I need to live with my own ethics and I felt calling the manager and confirming was the best way to make sure I could live with my decisions.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Good for you. This is the right move and totally disagree with the prior comment.

And if you do decide to do the wrong thing, make sure you know who you’re wronging. I have not taken this lightly. Getting home(s) back is only one of many forms of retribution. Will leave it at that.

The YES analogy is horrible.

Wasn’t intending to be callous about it. I also wasn’t suggesting someone poach homes, particularly from colleagues and friends in the business. But I have seen a number of communities, owned by large organizations, that have above market rents.

What should a homeowner do under that scenario when they can no longer afford to live there then? Be forced to sell their home to the park owner at less than fair market value just so they can help their landlord maintain occupancy?

As I mentioned previously, if you buy right, act in good faith and provide good value, this is not something you need to really stay up late worrying about in my opinion.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.