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A Beginner's Guide to Selling Tiny Houses: Everything to Know

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A Beginner's Guide to Selling Tiny Houses: Everything to Know


Demand for tiny houses is on the rise, with 53% of Americans saying they'd consider living in a 600 square foot house or smaller.

With the average new American home clocking in at 2,600 square feet, that would mean some serious downsizing.

If you're tasked with selling a tiny house, how can you tap into this rising trend?

Let's take a look at everything you need to know about selling tiny houses.

What Are the Selling Features of Tiny Houses?

People choose to move into tiny houses for a wide variety of reasons. They might be mainly driven by the financial incentives, the easier maintenance, or the urge to live a simpler life, to name a few.

When advertising tiny houses, you want to point to all of the benefits of living in these mini houses that have made them so popular.

Fewer Expenses

Tiny houses are cheaper to build and buy than full-sized houses, not to mention that you'll spend a lot less furnishing the place. Without a mortgage and lower utility bills, the money you would have spent in a normal house can go straight into your savings or travel budget.

For people who aren't able to get a mortgage and don't have quite enough cash to purchase a house outright, tiny houses can be appealing. Building a tiny house is on average ten times cheaper than building a traditional home. While there is obviously a wide range of how luxurious or primitive a tiny house can be, their smaller size can make them more accessible to people with smaller pockets.

Reduced Energy Use

Whether a tiny house is completely off the grid or if it's fully connected, it's going to use a lot less energy than a regular-sized house.

This is cost-saving but also appeals to people because it reduces their carbon footprint. Many people desire to live a life where they have less of a negative impact on the environment.

Off-grid tiny houses can run entirely on solar power, be heated with wood stoves, and have a composting toilet rather than a septic system. For anyone trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle, off-grid tiny house living is a dream come true.

Easier Maintenance

The less house there is, the less there is to take care of. The reality of less time on house chores can be very appealing to people who feel like they've spent all their free time fiddling with little issues around the house. Not to mention how much more inexpensive house repair costs are on a 400 square foot house vs. a 2,000 square foot house.

The Appeal of a Simpler Life

Many Americans have begun to realize that the excess of material possessions only weighs them down. The dream to live a minimalist life where you only have what you need is shared by countless Americans.

Lots of people look to tiny houses as a place to rediscover what really matters, unburdened by piles of newly manufactured stuff. Tiny houses can be sited in natural surroundings, and they serve as a means through which people can live closer to nature.

What Are the Drawbacks of Selling Tiny Houses?

Selling tiny houses isn't the same as selling a regular full-sized house. When you're considering listing a tiny house, you should be aware of some of the complexities attached to it.

The Difficulty of Getting Financing

If a buyer doesn't have the cash to buy a tiny house, they're likely going to have a hard time finding financing. Most mortgage lenders won't give out standard mortgage loans for tiny houses because they aren't seen as having enough value to act as sufficient collateral.

While buyers might be able to take out a personal loan or borrow money from friends and family, the financing will not be nearly as straight forward as with a traditional house.

The Complexity of Local Building Codes and Zoning Regulations

Different municipalities have different building codes and zoning rules, and these will need to be taken into account when selling a tiny house.

Though it seems like tiny houses are small and should be able to go anywhere, that isn't necessarily the case. Both sellers and buyers should be aware of the codes and regulations so there isn't an unfortunate surprise in the middle of the transaction.

Less of a Market

Just because people love the idea of tiny houses, doesn't mean everyone's actually willing to give up their four-bedroom house when it really comes down to it.

Tiny houses offer less living space, less storage space, and less room to entertain and have guests. People who buy tiny houses will likely get rid of nearly all of their possessions. It's not for everybody, so the key will be to advertise tiny houses to the people who they truly appeal to.

Repairing Tiny Houses

For most houses, it's worth making necessary repairs before listing them on the market. The same goes for tiny houses.

If you're going to sell your tiny house on your own, take the time to do a thorough inspection and repair any issues that you find. You'll want to make sure your tiny house makes the best first impression possible, and even something as small as chipping paint can spoil it.

Pricing Tiny Houses

Coming up with appropriate tiny house prices isn't the easiest thing to do. Since there isn't an official tiny house market, it's hard to come up with real estate comps as well as calculating appreciation or depreciation.

If you're lucky enough for your local housing market to have had a number of recent tiny house transactions, take a look at what people were willing to pay for them.

Some tiny houses are completely decked out to fulfill everyone's Pinterest fantasies, while others are barebones and low-budget. Be reasonable about what features the house and what it lacks, and try to find the closest comparisons off of which to base the price.

Are You Selling Land Along with the Tiny House?

Some tiny houses on the market might just be for the structure itself, while others might come on a piece of land. This is going to affect how you both price and market a tiny house.

Staging Tiny Houses

When it comes time to have showings in the tiny house, staging is essential.

Prospective buyers require a sense of what it's like to live in the space, particularly if they've never lived in a tiny house before. All clutter should be gotten rid of and it should be set up in a cute, simple, and practical way.

Invest in High-Quality Photos

Without high-quality real estate photos, you're going to have a hard time getting people out to look at your tiny house.

You can either take them yourself or hire a photographer, but it's highly recommended to use a wide-angle lens. This is because wide-angle lenses can capture more of a small space in one photo and will prevent the house from looking cramped.

Use the Power of Video to Show Off a Tiny House's Features

There's no reason not to offer a video tour with your listing. This gives you the opportunity to show-off everything special about the tiny house, including hidden storage areas, folding furniture, and eco-friendly utility systems.

Where to List Tiny Houses

Since there really isn't an official real estate market for tiny houses, creating tiny house listings requires a little more creativity.

There are a number of websites that specialize in tiny house listings and listings for sustainable properties. You can also make posts on Craigslist, Facebook, and other online marketplaces. You might even consider posting your tiny house on appropriate forums and subreddit pages.

You don't have to just stick with online marketing, though. The local newspaper and popular bulletin boards are also great places to let people know about the tiny house that's for sale.

Selling Tiny Houses: A Unique Opportunity

Selling tiny houses differs in a number of ways from selling traditional houses. That being said, with the rise in popularity of these micro-houses, there are definitely people that are interested in purchasing tiny houses and the downsized lifestyle that comes along with them.

If you're selling a tiny house, it's important to understand that the process might look different and take longer than selling a more conventional home. Marketing your tiny house properly is essential to make sure the right people see your listing and understand the features and perks of your particular tiny house.

Is it time for you to sell your tiny house? If yes, check out our 3D virtual tours service.

Want to talk to an agent about selling or buying? Find the right professional licensed realtor in your area today!