How to Sell a Mobile Home in California

How to Sell a Mobile Home in California
A DeAnza, California community. Photo courtesy of Equity Lifestyle Properties.

California is one of the most competitive and high-priced real estate markets in America. Homebuyers love the Golden State’s desirable cities and great weather, but they’re looking for better solutions for affordable housing as the market continues to become more expensive. It can be particularly difficult for first-time homebuyers to find a great place to call their own.

That’s why selling a mobile home in California right now can be a great decision. Sellers will find a receptive market of buyers who are looking for a quality manufactured home. In the latest entry of our state-by-state series on selling your mobile home, we’ll talk about the key techniques and decision points of how to sell a mobile home in California.

Who’s Selling Your Home?

One of the first decisions in the process of selling a mobile home in California is choosing who to sell the home through. You’ll have a few choices.

If your home is located in a mobile home park in California, the first thing to do is talk to your park management and tell them you’re interested in selling. In most manufactured home communities, you’ll work with the park’s sales agents to sell your home. They’ll coordinate showings, organize the paperwork and help you present your home attractively.

How to Sell a Mobile Home in California
Photo courtesy of Tharakan Consulting

Sellers selling a manufactured home on land they own will have the choice of selling “for sale by owner” or selling through a real estate agent that they hire. An agent will help with some of the biggest tasks of selling a home, although it’s important to find one who works with manufactured homes and knows how to sell them effectively. Selling a mobile home by owner, meanwhile, can save a seller substantial money by avoiding agent fees, but requires the seller to do more of the legwork on their own.

You may also be able to sell the home directly to a manufactured home dealer. Selling to a dealer is among the simplest and fastest ways to sell a manufactured home, but the trade-off is that the dealer will often pay less for the home than a private buyer might.

Appraisal and Inspection

Getting a professional manufactured home appraisal and inspection is key for selling a mobile home in California. An appraisal will ensure that you have an accurate valuation for your home and that you’re aware of any major repairs that need to be completed before selling the home.

MHVillage offers an ideal way to get started. Every manufactured home listed on our site receives a free mobile home book value to help California homeowners price their properties more accurately and fairly. When sellers have the most accurate price information available, it’s easier to arrive at a price that buyers and sellers can agree on.

Marketing Your Mobile Home

Even in a seller’s market like California, it’s still important to know how to market your manufactured home. If you’re working with a real estate agent, they’ll do most of the marketing work for you, but FSBO sellers will need a little know-how.

Improve curb appeal for your mobile home

Improving the curb appeal and presentation of your manufactured home is one important step. Adding a little bit of simple landscaping, trimming the grass, and applying a fresh coat of paint can go a long way toward attracting a buyer. It’s also a good idea to get your home’s interior “show ready” with a deep cleaning and a redecoration in neutral colors.

Give some careful thought to the images and description of your home that you use in your listing. You can use MHVillage’s Mobile Home Online Listing Checklist to create an optimized listing for your manufactured home that will attract buyers and showcase your home’s most attractive features.

California Mobile Home Paperwork

Unlike most states, California mobile home title transfers are not performed through the DMV. Instead, the California Department of Housing and Community Development website contains the key forms you’ll need for transferring and titling a manufactured home in California. All relevant forms are available on the HCD mobile home registration website.

The forms that will need to be filed with the HCD for a California mobile home title transfer include:

  • California Multi-Purpose Transfer Form
  • Original title for the manufactured home
  • Bill of Sale signed by both parties
  • Tax clearance certificate from county assessor’s office

Other forms and fees may be required by your local government. If your manufactured home is affixed to a permanent foundation and titled as real property rather than personal property, the transfer will be much the same as a real estate title transfer for a site-built home.

MHVillage is America’s number one listings site for buying and selling mobile homes in California, with over 25 million unique visitors per year and over 80,000 homes sold nationwide annually. For the next steps to sell your manufactured home, read our Mobile Home Seller’s Guide. It’s full of useful information and resources on how to sell a mobile home in California.