Closing on a Mobile Home – What to Expect and How to Prepare

Closing on a mobile home

You’ve picked out the manufactured home of your dreams. Now, it’s time to make the sale happen. So, what comes next?

To finalize the purchase of your manufactured home, you’ll need to complete the closing process. Closing is where the action happens: You’ll deliver your payment to the seller, they’ll deliver possession of the home to you and the transaction will be made legally binding.

In this guide, we’ll discuss the basics of closing on a manufactured home. The process is largely similar to closing on a site-built home, but you’ll want to be familiar with the key steps before beginning this final leg of your manufactured home buying journey.

Closing on a Mobile Home: The Basic Process

The “closing process” isn’t just the day on which you sign the mobile home selling paperwork. It’s actually a longer series of steps that you’ll take in the weeks and months leading up to the moment of delivery:

  1. The buyer and seller sign a conditional purchase agreement. The purchase agreement outlines the terms of the sale and makes it contingent upon conditions such as a satisfactory inspection, appraisal and financing approval.
  2. The buyer hires an inspector and appraiser to assess the manufactured home. If everything is to the lender’s satisfaction, the buyer receives financing approval from their mobile home financing company.
  3. The buyer opens an escrow account for the transaction and deposits earnest money (a portion of their down payment) as a guarantee of their intent to purchase the manufactured home.
  4. The buyer performs a final walkthrough of the manufactured home and approves any disclosures from the seller.
  5. The buyer and seller decide on a mutually acceptable location for the closing (often a law or real estate office) and set a date.
  6. The buyer and seller meet and sign the paperwork on the agreed-upon day. The buyer signs the lender’s mortgage deed and the final purchase contract. The escrow account releases the buyer’s payment to the seller, and the seller gives the buyer the keys to their new manufactured home.
Closing on a mobile home

If you’re purchasing a new manufactured home that will be custom built, some of these steps will be different. Contact your dealer or builder to learn about their specific requirements for the closing process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are closing costs, and how much can I expect to pay?

Closing costs are the fees that are associated with purchasing a home and taking out a mortgage. Among other things, they can include:

  • Property tax payments
  • Inspection and appraisal fees
  • Mortgage origination fees
  • Mortgage insurance
  • Attorney’s fees
  • HOA fees
  • Title and homeowner’s insurance

Closing costs will always vary, but they’re typically around two to five percent of the value of the mortgage loan. You can use a closing costs calculator to find the approximate amount you can expect to pay. Check with your lender to see if you can roll your closing costs into the balance of your mortgage.

Does the buyer pay closing costs on a mobile home?

The buyer will usually pay at least part of the closing costs. Certain closing costs, such as loan origination fees from your lender, are almost always the buyer’s responsibility. Other closing costs, such as the real estate agent’s commission and real estate transfer tax, are usually required from the seller.

Buyers are free to ask sellers for a “seller concession” in which the seller pays some or all of the buyer’s closing costs. In a seller’s market with high demand and a low supply of manufactured homes, asking for a seller concession is less likely to work. In a buyer’s market, however, a buyer may have sufficient leverage to get a seller concession.

Is there anything I should avoid doing during closing?

During closing, you don’t want to take any actions that may impact your credit score or income. If possible, don’t apply for new lines of credit, close unused credit card accounts or change jobs. Make sure you’re staying up to date with all bills and taxes.

After closing on a mobile home, how long until delivery?

This depends on what kind of manufactured home you’re buying and where you’re buying it from. If you’re buying a new manufactured home from a home manufacturer, they’ll deliver the home to you upon completion. The process can take from a few weeks to a few months.

If you’re buying an existing manufactured home, the seller should deliver possession immediately upon completing the closing. If the home has to be moved before you take possession, make sure to arrange for moving the mobile home as part of the closing process.

When should I transfer the title to my manufactured home?

Complete the final title transfer from the seller’s name into yours as quickly as possible. Usually, the easiest way to do this is to have the seller sign the title and a title transfer form during the closing. Then, the buyer should sign and file the paperwork with the appropriate local authority (usually the county recorder) as soon as possible.

Be sure to check out our buyers guide for more useful resources and tips for buying a manufactured home.

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