Closing a Mobile Home Sale

Completing a Mobile Home Sale: Know What Documentation is Needed to Sell Your Mobile Home

Once a buyer is found, there are several documents needed to close on a mobile home sale. This information can be difficult to obtain; here are the basics.

The required documents are as follows:

Title
This document is usually the same as one an owner would receive upon paying off a car loan. The title for a home can be obtained from the local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This piece of documentation is needed at the time of sale in order for both parties (the seller and buyer) to sign. Once signed, be sure to obtain a copy to keep for the record. The buyer keeps the original copy and must take it to the DMV in order to have the home officially put in their name.

Certificate of Occupancy (C.O.)
A Certificate of Occupancy states that the home is safe for individuals to reside in. This certificate is typically obtained from the local Zoning Office, which sends an inspector to the residence. The inspector will ensure that there are no architectural defects inside or around the foundation outside, as well as the absence of any plumbing, heating, or electrical issues.

Proof of Fire Safety Inspection
Often times, the C.O. inspector will also check that all fire safety codes are met. Items that are usually checked include:
Fire Extinguishers – these are usually required to be by the main doorway and within the kitchen
Smoke Detectors – there should be one within 10 feet of each bedroom
Carbon Monoxide Detectors – there should be at least one in the home
Stairways – each door is required to be free from obstruction and must have a stairway with at least one railing (check the local office for specifications)

Proof of Homeowner’s Insurance
Depending on the mobile park’s location and ownership, a sale can not be completed without proof of homeowner’s insurance. If the home is greater than 29 years old, it may be difficult to find a company willing to insure it. If this occurs, try contacting a private insurance broker; they usually can help. Some states require ALL homes to be insured, so check with the park’s leasing office for details.

Bill of Sale
At the time of sale, each party (buyer and seller) will sign a document stating the terms of the sale. Typically, it is the responsibility of the seller to compile the body of this document. The sale price, condition of the home, any appliances left, and any other pertinent information should be included in this document. In a private sale, it is beneficial for both parties to sign in front of a notary to make this a legally binding contract. Most banks offer notary service for free to its customers. In a sale made between reality agencies, the contract suffices as the Bill of Sale.

Sample Bill of Sale:
We, (enter the seller(s) here), herein referred to as “Seller(s)”, agree to transfer all of Seller’s rights and title in the (enter the year, make, and model of the home) located at (enter the home’s address), to (enter buyer(s) here), herein referred to as “Buyer”.

The Seller(s) hereby acknowledge receipt of (enter amount received from sale) from Buyer as payment for the mobile home sold.

Seller(s) warrant that they are the lawful owners of the described property and that there are no liens, adverse claims, encumbrances, or charges on the property sold herein.

The Buyer acknowledges that the property described herein is used and sold “as is” and “with all faults.” This property is sold without warranty of any kind.

This Bill of Sale shall be effective as to the transfer of all property listed in it as of (enter date of sale).

Closing on a Sale
Upon closing, be sure to receive a copy of all documents from each party. In a private sale, these include:

A copy of the Title with both the buyer and the seller’s printed and signed names on the back
A copy of the Certificate of Occupancy/Fire Inspection Certificate
A notarized copy of the Bill of Sale, which should be signed by both theeseller and the buyer

In a sale completed by a realtor, be sure to receive a copy of the signed contract.