I recently bought my AS off Craig's List and the owner wanted cash and to meet at a hotel. I was very leery of the situation. Once I got there, the widow's story was very sad. She didn't have the title with her. Still uncomfortable, I gave her a small deposit and waited for her to go get the title and bring it back the same day. Everything worked out fine. After meeting her, the anxiety subsided somewhat.
I have bought 2 other trailers and a truck camper off the internet before, each with it's own story. Bottom line is wait until you meet the seller. An open title is not legal in VA, but people do it all the time to avoid paying title and transfer fees. If you have a title in hand, signed, DMV will issue you a new title and registration.
Glad this all worked out for you. I try to heed the words of my father, "Trust, but verify." You know sellers have anxiety with giving up their titles and vehicles to strangers as well. Not like it used to be when all it took was a hand shake.