Best of the hotline: Mobile homes and Agreement of Sale acknowledgements

By James Goldsmith | July 17, 2018 | 4 min. read

As a Realtor®, can you sell a mobile home? Does a seller’s agent have to provide the Consumer Notice and the Statement of Estimated Closing Costs to the listing agent? Recent calls to the hotline yielded answers.

Question: I’m a real estate salesperson whose been asked to list a pre-owned mobile home located in a mobile home park. The listing includes no land (lease or sale). The seller’s intent is to purchase a new mobile home and place it on the lot where the old one now sits. My question is whether, in the absence of a license issued by the State Board of Vehicle Manufacturers, Dealers and Salespersons, can I list and sell the mobile home?

Yes. This answer comes from the Pennsylvania Board of Vehicles Act, which establishes licensing regulations pertaining to the sale of mobile homes. In the case of a new mobile home, the act makes clear that a dealer’s license is required. It is also required for the sale of a preowned mobile home located at a sale’s lot. A real estate license is sufficient, however, for the listing and sale of any preowned mobile home not offered for sale on a mobile home sale’s lot. This means that a broker or salesperson can list a preowned mobile home that is located in a mobile home park or on an individual parcel, whether that parcel is owned or leased by the mobile home owner.

Note: The agent who called with this question had been told that the answer depended on whether the mobile home was a vehicle (personalty) or whether it had been incorporated onto the property in such a way that it was now real estate. While it’s true that a mobile home may be real estate or personalty, the answer to our question is not based on this distinction.

Question: Above the buyer’s signature on the Standard Agreement for the Sale of Real Estate are four buyer acknowledgements (not verbatim):

  • Buyer has received the Consumer Notice
  • Buyer has received a Statement of Estimated Closing Costs
  • Buyer has received the Deposit Money Notice (where applicable)
  • Buyer has received the Lead-Based Paint Hazards Disclosure Notice (also where applicable).

A hotline caller related that the listing agent to whom the caller had submitted an offer was demanding to see a copy of the Consumer Notice and the Statement of Estimated Closing Costs that the caller had given to his buyer. The caller felt that the listing broker was intruding and was insulted by the request. He questioned whether he had to comply with the request.

No. This section asks buyers to acknowledge whether they received documents that are or may be required by state law. They are not terms of the sale between buyer and seller and if the acknowledgements are not true, it is the selling agent who may face the music. (Note: If there is no selling agent, then then the listing agent would be the one responsible for providing these documents to the buyer.)

There are a number of other representations in the agreement, the truth of which may not be material to the terms and the binding nature of the document. For example, the buyer includes a mailing address at the top of page one. Will it matter if the address is inaccurate? Is there a need for the listing broker to request address verification from the selling agent when the offer is received?

Acknowledgements found above the buyer’s signature were inserted to remind selling agents of the law’s requirements, so that any lapse could be caught and corrected. To the listing agent making this request, you probably have more important things to worry about!

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