Profile picture for keeztan

Finders Fee vs. Commission

I have a unique home that has no "Real Property" (it is a floating home). I currently am marketing the home on a number of sites but can not be listed on the local MLS. I have no problem in paying a fee to a Buyers Agent if they could produce a buyer. Most properties in our area are priced at the high end of the market in comparison to most of the Florida mainland and though little is selling very few are reducing prices to reflect any downturn. With that in mind I have talked to a number of agent friends with the suggestion that should they have someone that is sticker shocked by what is available, my home may be a viable alternative. How would a broker or agent handle a commission or finders fee in this case?
  • December 09 2007 - US
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Answers (32)

keetzan, this is actually a very interesting question. Altough I have never dealt with a floating home, I would assume that they are considered personal property much like a mobile home that is not attached to real property. Agents list mobile homes all the time (at least out here), so I don't understand why you couldn't list it. Have you talked to an agent in the area?
  • December 09 2007
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Keeztan,

You are correct, your home would not be listed in the MLS in your area, it would be handled by boat dealers.

Your home is beautiful, and no doubt there is certainly a market for it! (look at all the "house boat" sales there are...and yours is certainly unique and beautiful)

You may want to consider talking to several boat dealers, advertise in the boat trader magazine, and other boating magazines and sites.

Your home would not only appeal to a full time resident, but also the 2nd home resident (from the north or even other countries and who would love to have a Florida vacation home)

Best of luck
  • December 09 2007
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That's very interesing. I looked on the MLS out here, and the floating homes are listed by agents.
  • December 09 2007
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Profile picture for Angelique01
The things I learn about on Zillow! How ardorable, Keeztan! What a great lifestyle.
  • December 09 2007
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Profile picture for rockinblu
Keeztan

I realize your price is probably competitive for your area as for as a home goes, but how about the dock space rent?
  • December 09 2007
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Keeztan,
have you had any luck advertising the Floating house in the local paper or the "large town" paper closest to you? Many of them have their classified ads on line that would increase your exposure. Another suggestion would be to market to "second home" seekers or snowbirds. Your ad should place the potential buyer in the "watery lifestyle" for maximum effect.
  • December 09 2007
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Keeztan,

Sorry, should have defined further:
There is a difference between a floating home docked in an owned slip (which can go in the MLS) or a leased slip.

Since your slip is leased, your best bet would be to
consider talking to several boat dealers, advertise in the boat trader magazine, and other boating magazines and sites.

Best of luck :-)
  • December 09 2007
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Profile picture for keeztan
Thank you all for your input.
Because there is no "real" property involved, here in Florida it can not be listed on MLS as a home. It is a great place to live and quite frankly I love the unique quality of life it offers. I guess I just need to find the buyer that remembers the old TV show Surfside Six, Troy Donahue and Kookie Burns (am I dating myself?).
I have it listed on many Boating sites, but it seems limited to those who are looking for a particular craft or vessel instead of a lifestyle. How do I best reach the buyer who wants the lifestyle our area has to offer without paying the cost? The upside of the Floating Home is there is NO REAL ESTATE Taxes!
How do I interest the "Realtor" into thinking outside the box?
  • December 09 2007
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keeztan

Make an attractive flyer of your home and personally deliver it to the managing broker or broker owner of all the Real Estate companies in your area.

Commit in writing to the fee you are willing to pay for a realtor to bring you a buyer. (That can be done by simply noting the fee on your flyer or by an attachment to the flyer with cross reference)
The reason for personally delivering your flyer is to talk with that managing broker or broker owner.

You want the managing broker or broker owner to discuss the opportunity you are offering at their office meeting, or, in offices that cater to only the more experienced agents which may not have office meetings, to copy the opportunity to each of their agents.

Because your offering is not in the MLS, you may want to repeat this monthly (squeeky wheel philosophy)

That said, try advertising on
WorkdWide-RealEstate-ForSale.com
great international exposure
  • December 09 2007
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Profile picture for keeztan
Durenda-
Thank you for your comments. I have tried what you have suggested (http://housefloat.vflyer.com/3/index.html ) and the resonse I get is "yeah,OK" but I think they really do not comprehend anything outside of Real estate 101. The fact of the matter is...I'M OFFERING REAL MONEY! I would think in this market an opportunity to sell anything would at least generate some interest. The ability to generate any type of income I would think would be a motivator. I have even tried to contact the agent that has dock slips available in the same marina to offer a package deal to their clients, the boat slip and a home, but can not even get a response. Given the opportunity, if I was an agent I would be open to any possibilities.
  • December 09 2007
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keetzan, I am really curious, why can they list boat slips but not your place? Did they give you a reason?
  • December 09 2007
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  • December 09 2007
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Profile picture for Angelique01
I know someone that sells boats in Santa Barbara. I don't suppose that would do you much good, Keeztan, would it?
  • December 09 2007
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Marci-
A boat slip has real property- the deeded bottomland under the water- or in some cases a land lease with the state- We are the ugly stepsister of housing and boating. :(
But I wouldn't have it any other way!
  • December 09 2007
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Yeah, out here it is totally different. They are listed and sold like a mobile home would be (albeit a LOT more expensive!). That really stinks that FL doesn't have the same rules of the MLS.
  • December 09 2007
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Marci
That is interesting
Any chance you can send a MLS link to a house boat
I would be interested in seeing how/if we could create a similar offering here
Thanks in advance
  • December 09 2007
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Durenda,

Hopefully this link will work.

http://www.greathomes.org/listings.asp
  • December 09 2007
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It doesn't take you directly to it, but in that link, you need to go to Marin County and select mobile/floating homes and the city is Sausalito.
  • December 09 2007
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Marci

Thanks for the info

It looks like the floating homes you have are conveyed with one of the rights of real ownership.

What is being conveyed is the personal property (the house boat) and the real property right (long term submerged land lease.)

Here too, a house boat seller with a long term submerged land lease or fee simple ownership of the submerged land could be represent by real estate broker.

But not house boat seller in rental slip.

Again thanks for the link
  • December 09 2007
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There is no long-term submerged land lease that is being conveyed. The owners pay rent like they would in a mobile home park.
  • December 09 2007
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Profile picture for keeztan
Marci-
You are correct, some of the homes do have bottom leases or a deeded moorage but many offered for sale do not.

http://www.oregon-floating-homes.com/portland_oregon_floating_homes_showcased.htm

http://www.come2marin.com/floatinghomes.html

I do not understand the difference between laws in the different areas but I guess that is the way it is.

With that in mind, is it the Realtor association or local law that prohibits a Broker from selling a Floating home in this area? I realize there is no real estate involved but is a Broker not allowed to sell it anyway? or just prefers not o list outside their realm? Could they be prohibited from recieving a Finders Fee?
  • December 10 2007
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Keeztan,

complete guess but you are in Monroe county ?
  • December 10 2007
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Keeztan

In your state, that is governed by state lisensure

3rd party selling personal property such as boat, mobile home, car requires a Dealer's license;
but if any of the rights of real ownership are involved, that requires a Real Estate license.
  • December 10 2007
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Scott-
Good Guess! We are in Monroe County (The fabulous Florida Keys) the land of the million dollar mobile home and the only place in the USA where you are closer to Cuba than Wal-Mart!
  • December 10 2007
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It's a leasehold improvement, just like a stick built house on a leased lot. It's a hell of a lot closer to Real Estate, than it is a boat. If the dock lease is over 20 years, you can possibly get a Fannie Mae loan for it. Though, yes, a boat dealer is way more likely to find a buyer, than a Realtor.
  • December 10 2007
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Profile picture for rockinblu
LMAO!! Man "Don't be Cruel," you are going to get ELV!S mad. However, I think you are referring to the market, and not the efforts of the agents. At least I hope you are.
  • December 10 2007
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Oops, I see you did take a shot at their qualifications. I outta here on this one.
  • December 10 2007
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But, I think most of the agents will feel that they shouldn't dignify it with a response.
  • December 10 2007
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keeztan,

Just "thinking outside the box" for you a little

Since your slip is a rental, not a land lease, but the slip can be purchased,
You may want to talk to a good experinced knowledgeable real estate broker in your area about securing a contingency contract on the dock with written permission (in the contingency contract) to market your house with deeded dock.

I'd suggest you have the contingency addendum with right to sell the slip option in the package written by a local REAL ESTATE attorney.

Should you choose to go that route, make certain you can withdraw from the slip purchase at sole discretion and without penalty, and that you maintain right to sell the house alone (separate from the slip).

That should possible cover all your options, and give you the opportunity for full real estate marketing by your agent.

just an idea
  • December 10 2007
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keeztan

While so many would love your home as a primary residence, there are a lot of people that would consider it as a week-end retreat. Maybe market it that way by way of e-mail to agents on the "mainland" that serve the more affluent areas. The e-mail addresses are easy to find off the agent's roster on the agency's site. Just type up what you want to say with a link to your VT on your word processor and copy and paste to save on typing. But, somehow I get the feeling you may have already done this.
  • December 10 2007
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