Selling a mobile home looks different depending on your state. In Texas, the Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) tracks all of your transactions and changes in ownership. This means that if you’re thinking of selling a mobile home in Texas, you’ll have to follow their procedures closely. The process should be fairly simple as long as you have all of your necessary documents in order.
What’s different in Texas
Buying and selling a mobile home in Texas changed in September 2003 when outstanding documents of title became Statements of Ownership and Location (SOLs). The state converted to SOLs, which are stored online, to be more internet-friendly. If you purchased your mobile home after 2003, then you probably already have an SOL. If you were sold a mobile home without an SOL, you need to apply for one with evidence of ownership such as a bill of sale, purchase agreement, contract receipts, deed records, etc. The THDCA FAQ page has more information on this process.
How to transfer ownership
Since the TDHCA tracks all purchases, both you and the buyer will have to sign a revised SOL form indicating that you are transferring ownership. Revised SOLs must be submitted 60 days ahead of the sale for any of the following changes:
- Owner name(s)
- Physical location of the home
- Lien information
- Elected treatment of the home (real/personal property)
- Use (residential/non-residential)
Here’s an example of an SOL form. Notice that the form is for more than just transferring ownership. SOLs are also used to change a mobile home from personal to real property, update the location or record a new lienholder. You might even be filing an SOL to record a combination of these changes and others.
Filling out the form
While the document is only two pages long, checking off the correct boxes and information can be a bit confusing for a first-timer. Please note that you will have to include a statement from your tax assessor-collector or a “PAID IN FULL” receipt from the taxing office in your SOL if you want to transfer ownership. You will also need to submit a $55 issuance fee plus an extra fee if your mobile home doesn’t have the required HUD Label or Texas Seal. This will cost $35 for each section of the home (single = $35, double-wide = $70, triple-wide = $105). The TDHCA has provided a more in-depth guide for filling out the SOL that we encourage you to check out.
Please note that the application can take up to 15 business days to process. You can mail your SOL to the THDCA at P.O. BOX 12489 Austin, Texas or drop it off in person. Fill out the SOL thoroughly as they’ll likely mail it back to you if it’s incomplete. This request for additional information will result in delays and longer processing times.
Site preparation responsibility
Some buyers expect the site of their mobile home to be prepared for them. According to the THDCA website, a consumer acquiring a used manufactured home is responsible for the proper preparation of the site where they want it installed. So this responsibility does not rest with you.
Warranty requirements also differ depending on a number of factors. Anyone selling a used mobile home must provide a written disclosure describing the condition of the home and any of the appliances included in the home. They must also provide a written warranty saying the unit will remain habitable until the 60th day after and the later of the date of the purchase agreement. Retailers and manufacturers have to follow a different process. You can find the warranty rules for these situations and others here.
Safety conditions for a mobile home
Like we stated in the previous paragraph, a seller must provide a written warranty saying the home will remain habitable until the 60th day after. The THDCA has provided a list of conditions that must be checked off if a mobile home is to be considered habitable.
A habitable mobile home will be clear of defects or deterioration in or damage to the home that creates a dangerous situation. A safe home will have working plumbing, heating, and electrical systems as well as properly placed doors and windows. Additionally, the walls, floors, and roof need to be structurally sound. Not additional openings should have been added.
Ready to start selling a mobile home in Texas?
We hope this guide to selling a mobile home in Texas has given you a better idea of how to work within the THDCA rules and regulations. Don’t forget that you can’t sell your mobile home without finding a buyer first. Check out our guide to selling your mobile home in 10 easy steps to help you with that process.