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Home > Affordable Housing, Analysis and Commentary, Association, Business, Manufactured Homes, Manufactured Housing Industry, mobile home, News, research > John Wake, FSBOs, Forbes, Real Estate Decoded, Mobile Homes or Manufactured Housing Resales

John Wake, FSBOs, Forbes, Real Estate Decoded, Mobile Homes or Manufactured Housing Resales

July 19th, 2018

The home above was shown as a manufactured home being sold by owner in a Google search on this date.  For those who aren’t familiar with the higher roof pitches found on some manufactured homes, click here to see other surprising examples of today’s manufactured homes.

The National Association of Realtors is usually a good source of statistics but they’ve gone off the rails with this factoid,” says John Wake in a new column on Forbes.  Wake’s column should get manufactured housing industry professionals and investors thinking.


Wake was looking at a tweet by the National Association of Realtors ™ (NAR), that he questioned (see below). He pointed to research done in the Madison, WI market that reflected an independent study of the relative performance between

  • selling a home via a real estate agent that uses the MLS (Multiple Listing Service),
  • vs. those on a “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO, pronounced “fizbo”) website.

Let’s note that the data may be true, for reasons that Wake cites. Is it an example of how information can be used for good or ill?  Is it just ‘marketing?’ 

Wake saves readers time by getting to a bottom line of that Madison study that is meaningful to the manufactured housing industry, investors, researchers, and others.

It’s not that homeowners who sell their homes themselves sell them for less money, it’s that homeowners who sell less expensive homes (mobile homes, manufactured homes, condos and single-family homes in rural areas) are more likely to choose to sell their homes themselves, “For Sale By Owner.” – said Wake.

If you’re selling a mobile home that costs as much as a used car, for example, you’re very likely to sell it the way you would sell a used car, directly from you to the buyer with no broker in between,” stated Wake. “Mobile and manufactured homes are six times more common among FSBO home sales than among agent-assisted home sales.”


Scholastica “Gay”  Cororaton, CBE in “The Market for Manufactured Homes” for Realtor University ®, and John Wake both made clear efforts to get the terminology right, and should be commended for doing so.  The graphic above is for first-time visitors that may not realize that there is a difference between a mobile home – the home above – and a manufactured home, second home, below.


Who is John Wake?

Hey, I’m John Wake, founder of Real Estate Decoded. I use my unique (weird) combination of 7 years as an economist and 14 years as a real estate agent to help home buyers and house sellers learn how real estate really works.” – states the About Us page of his website.


John Wake, Real Estate Decoded, Forbes Contributor.

The Wisconsin study found a 0% price difference between homes sold directly from sellers to buyers without real estate agents (FSBOs), and homes sold with the help of real estate agents,” said Wake, who linked to the Madison study, which is found at this link here.


Wake’s Takeaway

I agree the vast majority of people are far better off using a real estate agent to help them sell their homes,” said Wake, who concludes his Forbes column by saying the following.

But real estate agents should be able to convince home sellers of all the advantages without resorting to scare tactics like in the tweet.”  The tweet he referenced was the one shown above from the NAR.


The Manufactured Housing Industry Professional’s Takeaway? #1

Kevin, it seems to me that the problem of your industry is resale.” said Warren Buffett, according to Kevin Clayton in the video posted below.



Before one embraces or rejects that statement by Buffett based solely on who said it, consider this.

The challenge for us all is that bias enters into what we read, watch, say, think, and do.

That reality about bias is why publisher, consultant, and industry expert L. A. “Tony’ Kovach advocates a “wheat and chaff” approach in reading and analyzing objectively, based upon evidence. In brief, the wheat and chaff principle encourages accepting good information, regardless of the source, while rejecting or culling out whatever is problematic.  That’s what farmers at harvest time did for centuries, separated good grain from the inedible-by-humans chaff.

On the resale point, Tony has long argued that Buffett is correct, based upon the evidence.

Wheat, Chaff, and the Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales, Marketing Meeting

Editorially, we concur with Wake that the vast majority of what the NAR ™ publishes does seem to be accurate.

But as the Daily Business News noted yesterday, their recent report on manufactured housing – as overall sound as it is – did have some factual errors, but fewer than say some Manufactured Housing Institute data can be.  Analytically speaking, there were also some points beyond the scope of Scholastica “Gay”  Cororaton’s “The Market for Manufactured Homes” otherwise fine research published in Realtor University’s Journal of the Center for Real Estate Studies that needs to be considered if one is to have a more complete picture of manufactured housing today. Among those are points are ones like the one that Wake raised. Cororaton‘s important research is posted at the link below.


“Market for Manufactured Homes,” Scholastica “Gay” Cororaton, for Realtor University, Analysis and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)


Wake is correct in saying that manufactured housing is often not sold by real estate agents.

Those in the real estate field that learn how to market and sell manufactured homes (MH), often embrace manufactured housing (MH) as a quality housing option. The video interview below of real estate agent Linda Hazelhoff, who’s husband is a custom builder, is an example that realtors who take the time to learn the industry, are often impressed.  Those that decide to really understand the nuances of the manufactured housing business, profit from it.



Realtors and Builders Warm Up to the Wonders of Manufactured Housing

Millions, including some within the ranks of manufactured housing, do not question “why” something is as it is.

Susan Brenton, with the Manufactured Housing Communities of AZ association, was understandably excited when about the possibilities of working with real estate agents in her state.  See Brenton’s insights on that later in the linked post, below.


Law Allows Real Estate Personnel to Sell Homes in Your Manufactured Home Community


Equal access to:

these are all among the debatable reasons why manufactured homes are only a fraction of the total sales they once were or could be.

Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford, reads a quote under Tony Kovach’s contact information in his emails.

Understanding the realities of the industry, and helping others to see those realities, are critical for manufactured home sales to achieve a potential of 500,000 to 1,000,0000 plus new home sales annually.


The bulk of Scholastica “Gay” Cororaton’s research appears to be accurate, and is insightful for serious researchers. See the report, linked here.

Rollohome demonstrated that a factory builder can go from a start up to 60,000 new homes produced in just two year.

Rollohome, Creating 60,000 Factory-Built Homes in 2 Years

New factories are opening.

Companies like Legacy Housing or Sunshine Homes have demonstrated the independents can compete, despite the challenges caused by Warren Buffett’s strategic “Moat.”

John Wake and Scholastica “Gay” Cororaton have each in their own way done an important service to manufactured housing. How well and with what speed will the industry’s professionals and investors embrace the lessons and opportunities? “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

(Third party images, and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

Related Reports:

“Take the MH Advantage Challenge – Can You Tell the Difference?” Fisk of Sarah Edelman, Director of Duty to Serve, Single-Family Mortgage Business for Fannie Mae

What local officials may or may not realize, is that there is more than a legal cost to their town for discrimination against affordable manufactured homes. There is an economic and development cost too. The report below reflects an academic view that it can costs even modest sized cities millions, and the nation some $2 trillion a year, because of discriminatory land use that harms affordable housing such as manufactured homes. Read the report and downloads from the article below for more details.

YIMBY vs. NIMBY, Obama Admin Concept Could Unlock $1.95 Trillion Annually, HUD & MH Impact


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