As a mobile home owner who’s looking to move to greener pastures, selling your mobile home can seem daunting. After all, an evil and pernicious enemy lurks among the various pools of mobile home buyers. Who might that be? some readers may wonder.
That’s right — scammers. Scammers aren’t limited to telemarketers living in a foreign country, requesting your bank information in broken English while warning you that your computer has been infected by a virus. Scammers aren’t limited to solicitations that land in your spam box, assuring you that you’ve won a million bucks.
No, scammers may also find themselves lurking in the pool of eager mobile home buyers.
It comes as no surprise that you want to know how to tell if a mobile home buyer is legit. We’re going to walk you through some tips to increase your mobile home selling street smarts. Scam-free is the way to live. And with the right knowledge in hand, you’ll sell your mobile home pain-free and unscathed by the piranha scammers.
Our focus in this article will be on companies that buy mobile homes and how to tell if they’re legit mobile home buyers.
How to tell if a buyer is legit
In a world where being scammed is a very real and life-altering possibility wisdom is called for.
It’s worth noting that in Pennsylvania, home buyer scammers became prevalent enough that Attorney General Josh Shapiro made public note of the situation.
“Signs offering to buy homes for cash are multiplying weekly on busy street corners, but these kinds of transactions are often scams that leave homeowners in even worse financial shape than they were before,” said Shapiro. “These scammers are attempting to exploit Pennsylvanians in vulnerable financial situations, and my Bureau of Consumer Protection isn’t buying it.”
But these scammers aren’t just in Pennsylvania. They’re a real threat all across the nation. And they’re not just sitting on the roadside. They’ll come to you as they prowl advertisements or notice “for sale by owner” signage.
In a world of scammers, will the legit home buyer please stand up?
It’s not as easy as making that simple request, is it?
Spotting the empty promises
It’s tempting to strike a deal with a company that promises a quicker turnaround than going with an individual buyer. And there’s nothing wrong with selling to such companies as long as they’re legitimate and trustworthy.
Now come along and let us guide you as you learn how to tell if a mobile home buyer is legit. We’ll put the spotlight on a variety of warning signs to look out for.
At the end of the day, it’s you who needs to be in the know. After all, it’s your home and your sale.
Zero or questionable references
Of course, rather than waiting around for an individual buyer, jumping at a deal with a company that wants to buy your home on the spot is appealing.
But does this company have positive testimonials?
Before you consider any agreement, look for testimonials and reviews. The good news is that there’s a whole community on the internet ready to share their good (or bad!) experiences.
Does the mobile home buyer have good testimonials? Good reviews? Can you speak to anyone who’s worked with them in the past? Make it a point to seek out this information and connect with others who’ve done business with the mobile home buyer.
We can assure you the effort will be worth the exertion.
Not licensed and insured
Additionally, see to it that you’re working with a buyer who is licensed and insured. Don’t feel embarrassed about asking for evidence of this. It’s your home and finances on the line here.
A legit mobile home buyer isn’t going to take offense at your request. They’ll be more than glad to provide peace of mind to the seller.
Oversharing and overzealous
If the mobile home buyer is oversharing and overzealous, you may want to look elsewhere. This could be a sign of a scammer trying too hard to seem legit.
If they’re going above and beyond in offering all sorts of financial data before you’ve even solicited the data, you likely have a scammer on your hands.
Overeager and blazing blindly into a purchase
Speaking of eager sharers, consider an overeager buyer — that’s another sign you have a scammer on your hands.
Does it seem like he or she is blindly going into the purchase? No request for a tour of the home? Little interest in details surrounding the home?
You may wish to hit the brakes on the sale.
Desiring to send money before it’s requested
If he or she is eager to send you money before you’ve even brought it up, that’s another warning sign!
How you can take action
Now that you know some warning signs, what are some proactive steps you can take to steer clear of scams and purchase with peace of mind? Check out these tips.
Ask for proof of available funds
Oftentimes, these scams can play up cash purchases even though the buyer does not actually have the cash to come through on the promise. Ask for proof of available funds.
Visit the office
Do these buyers have an office location? Can you meet the buyer? An in-person visit to the company’s office may help you feel at ease or forewarned.
Run from unrealistic offers
In many cases, a scammer will offer an unrealistically high price for a home and then, just before the deal is closed, change the offer in hopes that your eagerness to sell will compel you to go along with the inconvenience.
What to do if you’ve been scammed
There you have it. Now you know how to tell if a mobile home buyer is legit or a scammer.
But what advice do we have to offer to those who’ve been scammed or think they’ve been scammed?
That’s tough. We’re sorry if you’re among those who are victims of scams. The best advice we can offer is to seek out legal help. A lawyer in your area who specializes in this type of scam is going to be a big asset.
You can also report scammers to the Federal Trade Commission in hopes of protecting others in your community.
Is having a lawyer critical for a sale?
In the selling of a mobile home, it’s wise to have legal advice. Having legal advice will aid in ensuring that the wool isn’t pulled over your eyes in a contract agreement. Plus, it can aid in preventing a dire scam-related situation for you.
Ask your attorney to review the sales contract and share his or her understanding of it. Are there any points you should consider rewriting, adding, or removing? And how about liability for any damages that could occur after the home is sold? Would the buyer be able to come after you for water damage that occurs after the sale?
How do I find honest buyers?
For those who are frustrated by the possibility of dealing with a scammer, there is a plaguing question.
“How do I find honest mobile home buyers?”
Take to heart what we discussed above about how to know if a mobile home buyer is legit. That’s a good place to start.
Does that mobile home buyer come with stellar reviews and recommendations? If you can talk to someone who’s done business with them, what are they saying? Are they licensed and insured? Can they provide proof of having the funds to make the purchase?
Regardless of where you advertise your home or how you advertise it, the risk of running into a scammer is there.
But at least you know what to look for and what to stay clear of in terms of mobile home buyers.
Should I stick to cash only sales?
That’s a good question, and the answer is that it’s really up to you. We’ll lay out the benefits of cash sales.
There are some benefits to selling cash-only. You get to keep all the money. And you can save a pretty penny on realtor commissions. A cash home buyer typically buys your home “as is,” saving you the trouble of fixing up and beautifying your mobile home. Cash transactions are quick and few of them fall through. While it could take four to seven weeks for a more traditional approach, a cash sale can close in one to three weeks.
Speed. Commitment. And cash in your pocket. What’s not to love?
But as we said, it’s up to you to decide.
Paperwork you should have on hand
And now let’s talk about the paperwork you should have on hand for a mobile home sale. You want to make the sales process go as smooth as possible, right? We want that for you, too. So let’s discuss the must-haves.
You want to sell your mobile home fast, and having your paperwork in order is a must if that’s the goal. Make a checklist and take care that you have everything you need before you get the word out about your mobile home.
Title transfer document
First of all, you need your title transfer document. Is your mobile home titled as real estate or as a vehicle? Depending on which it is, you’ll either contact the DMV or the county clerk’s office and ask how they handle mobile home title transfers. Each jurisdiction can be unique in how they go about the process.
Documented permission to sell (if applicable)
If your home is in a mobile home park, you’ll need documented permission from the park that certifies your right to sell the home.
Insurance records and a seller’s disclosure
Insurance records and a seller’s disclosure form will also be helpful. A seller’s disclosure form will make note of the mobile home’s condition at the time of sale. It could mitigate serious grief down the road in terms of the law — should your buyer want to shift the blame on you for any issues that were actually there to begin with. Honesty is the best policy.
And don’t forget tax documentation. A buyer will want to see proof that you’ve been keeping up with the taxes on your home. You can acquire this documentation from your locality.
For those who have a lien on their mobile home, note that you can’t transfer the title until that lien is paid off. If you want to stay ahead, a list of any costs that the buyer must assume before the mobile home is theirs could help expedite the sales process. This could include utility fees or other fees related to the community in which the mobile home sits.
Isn’t there risk in mobile home investing?
At US Mobile Home Pros, we believe in taking calculated risks. Life is full of risk, but it’s not necessary (or wise!) to take uncalculated risks. Thanks to a sound mind plus a wealth of knowledge and learning opportunities on the web, calculated risks can be taken.
There are many pros and cons to mobile home investing. Feel free to visit our other articles to see if mobile home investing is right for you. Learn as much as you can, offer due diligence, and weigh the pros and cons carefully.
Navigating the world of scammers isn’t easy as one, two, three. However, a little bit of knowledge will go a long way in keeping you safe. It’s your investment to steward, after all.
Above you learned how to tell if a mobile home buyer is legit or not. Use this information to go out and conquer.
A little knowledge goes a long way
In a world of scammers, don’t be scammed. Be informed and prepared.
If you’re on the buyer end, learn why you should buy a mobile home (we love the benefits of owning a manufactured home). And if you’re a first-time buyer dive into everything that needs to be in a mobile home purchase agreement. You, as a buyer, matter too. We’re all in this together.
Here at US Mobile Home Pros, we want everyone to win — the seller and the buyer. Happy mobile home selling or hunting! Don’t forget to celebrate your big win after it’s all official. We’ll toast with you in spirit.