Selling a used car out of state

Tom Cleary

Hello,

Can I ask for an opinion about an out of state sale?  I am new to selling cars out of state and my main concern is making sure the exchange isn't fraudulent.

I got an offer this morning for $11.5K from a buyer in Massachusetts for my car (Ford Mustang convertible 2011 with low mileage).

$11.5K seems like an okay price to me since I haven't gotten any other offers except from a dealer who offered $8.9K.

From what I can tell from reading online articles, the main problem for the seller is ensuring the cashier's check is good.

The buyer said he wanted two things before he would send a cashier's check: a photocopy of the title (pink slip) and a bill of sale. When he receives those, he said he would send a cashier's check. He also said he is willing to wait to pick up the car (by a transport company) until the cashier's check clears my bank.

Even though I would have possession of the car till the check cleared, I am concerned that sending the bill of sale before the check clears would obligate me to release the vehicle even if the check isn't right. Escrow services are available for out of state car sales, and if this plan sounds wonky, I wondered if a service like that would be better?

I've spent hours reading online articles and haven't come across a situation like this.  If anyone could recommend a resource for finding out more about it that would be great.

I would appreciate help more than I can say. If anyone wouldn't mind sparing the time to reply I would be glad of any advice. 

Matteo Batelli

Once you send the docs let buyers sign the bill of sale first. Its binding once you sign as a seller. You can also request to notarize the buyers' order/bill of sale and wait for the cashier check clear. You can also tell them to send a wire to your dealership bank account. if you are using docusign leave your part and sign later once everything settled. Send the executive papers either email or mail.

Jake Smith

I don’t think the worry can ever be completely gone.. However, when doing an out of state sale I make clear to the buyer from the start that they will not receive the vehicle until the money clears my account..whether that be certified check, wire, or funding from a lender. 
 

Google and Facebook are a powerful thing, I also try to do research on the buyer and make sure addresses and employment seem legit. 
 

Would love to hear some other ideas! 

Tom Cleary

Hi Jake

Thanks for the detailed reply. The suggestions were good, and I looked into them as thoroughly as I could tonight and will look again tomorrow. What you said about having payment first makes sense.  It hasn't been easy to find a good escrow service. Escrow.com is a big player but seems to have as many negative reviews as good ones. It charged $179, so the price was ok even if the service is bad.  I plan to talk with the buyer and let him know that I wouldn't be able to release the bill of sale until the check clears. It puts us in a standoff which is not my preference, but I don't see an alternative. I'll keep looking for escrow services with reliable reviews too.  Thanks again for the help.

Tom

Tom Cleary

Thanks Matteo,

I appreciate the wire idea. .  If that clears a bill of sale wouldn't be a problem.  Either that or an escrow service though a good one hasn’t been easy to find. 

Tom

Martins Ville

You can deposit the check and then find out 3 weeks later after it cleared - oops it's bad. BANK WIRE TRANSFER ONLY.... and if it costs customer $20 fee or whatever, tell them you'll deduct it from the price. RED FLAGS everywhere on this!

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