5 Tips to Consider Before Selling
Selling a Mobile Home or Manufactured Home Can Be Easy if you have all the right documents
Maybe you purchased your mobile home or manufactured home with a realtor, or from a private owner but now you are thinking of selling. You might be wondering, how to sell a mobile home or manufactured home?
Great question! The short answer……it depends on which state you live in. We are licensed and bonded to sell mobile homes in Oregon and Washington so I will speak about those states only. However, I’m pretty sure some of the documents I list below will be similar in other states.
1. Before you decide to sell, find your title or ownership document
The title to your mobile home or ownership document has a lot of valuable information. Some information that it usually includes is the Make or Manufacturer of the home.
This is similar to a car (think Chevy, Honda, Ford, etc). Here are a few names of common manufacturers for mobile homes: Fleetwood, Golden West, Palm Harbor, etc. It will also have a serial number or VIN (vehicle identification number) listed. Typically, it will also have the size of home. The size of the home is determined by its dimensions. For example, the title could say “24 x 48”. This means it is 24 feet wide and 48 feet long. To figure out the square footage of the home just multiple 24 by 48 = 1,152 sq ft.
All of this information is important when selling your mobile home especially if the buyer needs to get a loan from the bank. Besides, the banks will require you show proof that you own the home.
2. What if I can’t find the title or ownership document?
If you are certain that the title or ownership document has been put in your name but you just can’t find the darn thing….there is still hope. Most states have some sort of “Lost Title” form that needs to be filled out and notarized. Since we are mobile home dealers, we can pull records from the states of Washington and Oregon and verify ownership.
However, if you are planning on selling the home “By Owner”, you will want the title sorted out before putting the For Sale sign in the window. It will be tough to convince a buyer to purchase your home when there is no title or ownership document. If you need assistance with sorting out your title or ownership document, we can help. This is one of the services that we provide.
If your purchased the mobile home and never put the title in your name…..this is where things can get interesting. Each state handles this situation differently. WA state will give you two options – 1. Try and find the previous owner and have them fill out and notarize a Lost Title and Release of Interest form. 2. Get a Bonded Title / Three Year Registration without Title Affidavit.
A Three Year Registration gives a previous owner an opportunity to claim ownership of that home for three years once papers have been submitted to Department of Licensing. If no one has tried to claim the mobile home “as theirs”, a title can be issued after the third year.
3. What if the mobile home has back owed property taxes?
Washington and Oregon (most other states, I assume) require property taxes to be paid before a change of ownership can happen. If you are utilizing a manufactured home dealer, like us, to help with the sale of your home, we always check the status of your property taxes. If your property taxes have not been paid, we will withhold the back owed amount of taxes once your home sells and pay the county.
If you can afford to pay your property taxes before you list your home for sale, it makes things easier for everyone. If you are selling your home mid-year and paid for the whole year of taxes, we will collect property taxes from the buyer and add it to your proceeds. That just means you are getting reimbursed for the days you paid in advance.
If you are selling the home on your own, you don’t want to leave the buyer on the hook with unpaid property taxes. If you don’t have the funds to get your taxes current, you could always ask the buyer to pay the back owed property taxes as part of the deal. If you haven’t shared this information with the buyer, I suggest you should. It’s not good karma and it can cause legal problems when you are trying to handle the transaction without a third-party.
4. What if the mobile home has a lien or mortgage?
If you borrowed money or have a mortgage or lien on your mobile home, you can still sell the home even if you owe money on it. First, you will need to contact the mortgage company or lender and ask for a “30 day payoff”.
The 30 day payoff provides an estimated balance to payoff the loan 30 days from now. This is great information to have before trying to sell because it gives you a better idea of your listing price.
Once your home sells, the mortgage company or lender needs to get paid first. They won’t give up that title and sign off on it until they are paid in full. It usually takes a mortgage company or lien holder about 15 – 25 days to release their interest (or sign off on the title) once they receive their payoff.
If you hire a company to help you sell a mobile home, usually they will provide this service. However, it is always good to ask and not assume. This is a service that our company does provide to its customers. We ensure that the sellers and the buyer have a clean title.
5. How to sell a mobile home that is on land and needs to be moved?
This goes back to one of the first questions listed earlier in this post, “do you have a title or ownership document for the home?” If the answer is “yes”, then your sale will be much faster!!
If you purchased the manufactured home with the land and there was a deed and not a title, this process will take longer. Washington state and Oregon require additional papers to be completed to generate a new title for the home. The process involves getting signatures from County Tax Assessor, Title Company and possibly your lender (if you owe a mortgage).
In short, you will need to have a title created (if you don’t have one) to be able to move the home off of your property. You might be wondering, can’t a company just move the home without a title? No. Any licensed or bonded mobile home transport company cannot move a home without a title. Department of Transportation and the local county require a Trip Permit for the home to be transported on public roads.
If the home is in complete disrepair, it could always be demolished. But, this does cost money and it might be easier to just go through the process of getting a title issued for the home.