Selling a mobile home in Southern California - updated

In 2007 my mom passed away and I had the daunting task of cleaning and purging her mobile home, and prepping it for sale. What I learned, just in the nick of time, saved me $7965.00 in unnecessary fees.


It turns out that for many mobile home parks in California, you own the "home" but you do not own the land. In this case the mobile home is virtually the same as a car, not real estate, parked in a space.

When you sell the home under these circumstances, you do NOT need a realtor. You do NOT need a special broker. If the seller has the title, you can create a private bill of sale, have that document notarized and transfer the title just like a car. That transaction is handled at the mobile home equivalent of the DMV. It is called the HCD.

The fee was approximately $35.

The office for my mom's mobile home park had a part time worker who happened to also be a "broker" who charged residents a flat $8,000 for handling the transactions. She* provided "escrow" and other assistance. However, as I said, IF you already have title to the mobile home, or a pink slip as it would be more appropriately be referred to, you simply pay the small fee to transfer the title. Just like a car. In fact, my mom's double wide unit had 2 license plates, one on each section, just like an automobile.

The HCD office should be able to provide information on how to obtain a "pink slip" for anyone who owns or is paying on a mobile home.

Dept of Housing/Community Development (HCD) offices in CA

* Note - sadly, this woman also would drive around the park and try to find out who was in financial trouble or who may have just passed away, so she could offer her "services"....

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