Real Estate vs Personal Property: What’s the difference? (VIDEO)

Real Estate vs Personal Property: What's the difference?

In this post, we’re going to talk about real estate vs personal property.

The reason for this post is because we’ve had two different people reach out to us about listing personal property on the MLS this week. They thought they were listing real estate, but it turned out that what they were trying to list on the MLS was personal property.

There is a big difference between real estate and personal property. We can only list real estate on the MLS.

In this post, we’ll go over two real-world examples of situations we’ve encountered with sellers who wanted to list personal property on the MLS with a flat fee MLS listing, and we’ll explain to you why we weren’t able to do that.

Real Estate vs Personal Property

Real estate is land and anything that is attached to the land. Personal property is everything else.

Cars, boats, motorcycles, RVs, and construction equipment are all personal property.

As a flat fee MLS real estate brokerage in Florida, we can only list real estate on the MLS. After all, real estate brokers and real estate agents sell real estate, not personal property.

Here are ways to determine whether or not you own real estate vs personal property:

  1. If you pay lot rent, you most likely don’t own the real estate.
  2. If you own the real estate, you’ll receive a property tax bill from the county every year and have to pay property taxes. You do not pay property taxes on personal property.
  3. If you own real estate, your parcel will have a unique tax identification number assigned to it, and you’ll be able to use that number to pull up your property on the county property appraiser website.

Example #1: A mobile home in a mobile home park.

The first person who reached out to us this week wanted to list his mobile home for sale. His mobile home was located in Cypress Lakes, a 55+ retirement community near Lakeland.

After doing some research, we determined that he does not actually own any real estate. He owns the mobile home, but not the land underneath. In fact, he pays lot rent to Cypress Lakes along with the rest of his neighbors. A quick check of of the Polk County Property Appraiser website showed that the land his mobile home sits on is owned by Cypress Lakes Associates LTD.

In this case, even though the seller owns the home and has a physical street address, we are unable to list his property on the MLS because he doesn’t own any real estate. The real estate is owned by the community.

To make things more complicated, there are several sections of homes in the Cypress Lakes community where the residents own the real estate as well, instead of just the personal property (mobile homes). You can tell which parcels of real estate the residents own by looking at the plat map on the property appraiser’s website. The resident owned parcels have been subdivided and assigned their own tax identification numbers. When you view the property record card for each parcel, you’ll see the names of the individual owners, not the community. These residents own the land (real estate) under their mobile homes, so they would be able to list their properties on the MLS if they decided to sell.

Example #2: Property that has not been subdivided.

The second person who contacted us this week about listing personal property on the MLS had a very unique situation that we had not seen before.

The seller owns a parcel of land near Tampa, FL that was previously an RV park. He cleared everything off of the parcel and completely redid everything, but instead of an RV park, he turned it into a community of tiny homes. The property looked amazing, and the tiny homes were really cool!

However, we could not list the tiny homes on the MLS individually like the seller wanted us to do. Why? Because the property had not been subdivided. It was still only one parcel even though there were multiple tiny homes located on it.

Subdividing the property would break up the large parcel into multiple smaller parcels, one for each tiny home, and give each new parcel it’s own tax identification number. This would allow us to list these parcels on the MLS since each parcel would be considered real estate. Without subdividing the property, we can only list the entire parcel for sale on the MLS.

Mobile Home Dealers

A real estate agent in Florida can only list a mobile home for sale if it includes the land underneath (real estate). If the mobile home is located in a community where lot rent is paid and the resident does not own the real estate, a real estate agent cannot list the property for sale.

Instead, the seller would need to find a licensed mobile home dealer. A mobile home dealer buys and sells mobile homes that do not include the real estate underneath. Anyone who deals one or more mobile homes in a 12 month period is considered a mobile home dealer by the State of Florida and must be licensed. This license is different than a real estate license.

In both of the examples above, the sellers could enlist the help of a licensed mobile home dealer to sell their homes (personal property) without the real estate underneath.

If you are interested in selling real estate, consider a flat fee MLS listing!

If you do have real estate to sell, and you want to save a bunch of money on real estate commission when you sell it, consider listing your property on the local MLS using a flat fee MLS listing.

Instead of paying the 6% commission that most real estate agents charge, you’ll only pay a low, flat fee to get your house listed on the local MLS. We have a calculator on the homepage of our website that will show you how much money you could save on real estate commission. For example, on a $250,000 house you’ll save a little over $7,000. That’s quite a bit!

If you’re a house flipper or real estate investor, you know that margins are tight right now. So, if you can save $7,000 on the sale of a $250,000 house, that’s huge for your bottom line.

At List Now Realty, we provide flat fee MLS listings all over the State of Florida. In fact, we cover 16 Florida counties, including Lakeland, Ocala, Orlando, Tampa, and Sarasota.

If you have any questions about real estate vs personal property or flat fee MLS listings, please reach out to us anytime!

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