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Old 08-14-2017, 08:05 PM   #1
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Southern Pines , North Carolina
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Logistics of selling (safe form of payment, transfer of title, other)

I have been looking to sell my 2014 25'FB International. A potential buyer from Florida (I live in NC) raised pertinent questions about transfer of title and getting tags for taking possession and driving the unit to Florida after picking it up in NC. I don't own -- I have the unit financed through US Bank.

I have appreciated input from the forum in the past. Once I ultimately sell, I will post my experience for advertising, experience with scam responses, receiving payment, and arranging transfer of title etc.

Questions:

1) Safest form of payment (from perspective of both seller and buyer)?
a) I accompany buyer to their bank and watch them obtain cashier's check?
or
b) seller brings cashier's check, and we then go together to my bank. My banker calls seller's bank and checks that seller's account has sufficient funds?
or
c) wire transfer? from buyer's bank to my bank? how to adequately wire money on same day as buyer picks-up unit from me (and how to ensure wire transfer is complete).

2) Paying off RV loan on day of sale.
- Once I have funds in my account, on the same day, I would then wire payment to US Bank (who I am financed with). Yes? I had briefly called US Bank about logistics of this, and I need to further clarify. I would likely enlist the help of my banker in doing this.

3) Bill of Sale and transferring property.
- On day of sale, I provide unit to buyer. There should also be a bill of sale for proof of ownership (any suggestions for good templates for this?). Do folks generally have the bill of sale notarized, or generally signature by both parties adequate?

4) Transfer of title.
*This seems the trickiest part when selling/buying a financed unit. After I pay off US Bank they would then send me title which I then send certified mail to buyer (over the ensuing weeks)? Is their a way for US Bank to send title (electronically even?) directly to the new owner, or do I need to wait on paper title to come to me, and I in turn safely send to new owner? Any issues for the buyer, since they are out of state.

5) How is new buyer to transport unit without title and tags?
Potential buyer notes concern of how to transport unit to Florida if they do not yet have tags (can't get tags until they have title etc)? Have folks used a transport service when buying or selling out of state? Has anyone ever towed their airstream to deliver to an out of state buyer (but issues of time/cost and risk of buyer reneging with agreeing to drive unit to them before payment has occurred)?

Thanks for responses to any of these questions. I'm looking for how to make sure it is an honest and safe transaction for both me and potential buyer.

Paul J.
Southern Pines, NC
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Old 08-15-2017, 11:32 AM   #2
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There is no method that is 100% safe for both of you and in practice it is very difficult to make these sorts of deals work out where there is existing financing involved. You may be better off selling to a dealer, or having a dealer handle the transaction on your behalf.

I purchased my Cayo from an out-of-state seller for several thousand dollars and paid cash. There was no financing involved. Based in part on that, here's what I would recommend:

1) Chat a little with the buyer and get to know them. Where do they work? Where do they live? How long have they been there? Are they on facebook, linkedin, etc.? What are they using for a tow vehicle? Does their story check out? Most honest buyers have a plausible story that is easy to check out by looking at property tax records, calling a landlord, using google maps, etc. There is no substitute for knowing your buyer.

2) Talk about yourself and encourage the buyer to realize that you are an honest upstanding member of your community and give specifics about jobs, neighbors, education, friends, etc. Be prepared to show some ID.

3) At the time of the sale, ask for ID, make a copy or at least write down all the info, and make a reasonable effort to be sure it's genuine.

4) The safest thing for YOU is for the buyer to wire the funds to your bank account beforehand, and for you to confirm with the bank that the wire is complete. Since that is an irrevocable transfer, most buyers are going to be unwilling to do that (but I've had it happen when selling stuff internationally to motivated and trusting buyers). The second safest thing for YOU is for the buyer to pay cash, but again most buyers won't do that.

5) A reasonable middle ground is for the buyer to give you two checks (or cashier's checks), one made out to the bank for the amount owed on the loan, and the other made out to you for the balance. You're on the hook if the checks bounce, but at least you have recourse through the courts. The buyer is on the hook if you don't handle the paperwork with the bank and the title in a reasonable way, but they have recourse through the courts too.

Good luck. Usually everything goes fine. Sometimes things go pear-shaped even if you do everything right.
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Old 08-15-2017, 11:43 AM   #3
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Thanks - this is the type of insight I'm looking for. Appreciated.
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Old 08-15-2017, 11:56 AM   #4
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We went through this when we purchased our AS from a private seller. The holder of the lien won't let it go until the loan is cleared, so your lender and their lender need to be in communication. Once the wire transfer is done and the lien is cleared, then you do the bill of sale, etc.

It took quite a few emails and phone calls to do the coordination, but we got it done.

Good luck!
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Old 08-15-2017, 12:01 PM   #5
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Hi

In many ways this is similar to selling a house with a mortgage on it or a car that has open financing. It's a bit messy but it's not unusual. As noted above, the first step is to let the buyer know what's going on so there is no "freak out" at the last moment. There may be (or may not be) a way for your bank to have a representative present at the sale. Talking to them about this is also a really good idea.

One rather novel solution (which I would not do) is to get an unsecured loan to pay off the trailer now. You then have the title and the deal is "clean" in that respect. To me this is way more cost and hassle than it's worth. Loans secured against 401K or your home are another option. I still would not go that way.

Bob
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Old 08-15-2017, 12:03 PM   #6
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Tags

It varies state to state but typically it is possible to get a "temporary tag" good for 10-20 days which will allow the buyer to legally transport the trailer.
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Old 08-15-2017, 12:04 PM   #7
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Some detailed replies on your questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sopines5 View Post
3) Bill of Sale and transferring property.
- On day of sale, I provide unit to buyer. There should also be a bill of sale for proof of ownership (any suggestions for good templates for this?). Do folks generally have the bill of sale notarized, or generally signature by both parties adequate?
Generally the seller prints out a couple of copies and signs it. You can have the buyer sign it too. Your name and address, buyers name and address, amount paid, check numbers, unit VIN.

Quote:
4) Transfer of title.
*This seems the trickiest part when selling/buying a financed unit. After I pay off US Bank they would then send me title which I then send certified mail to buyer (over the ensuing weeks)? Is their a way for US Bank to send title (electronically even?) directly to the new owner, or do I need to wait on paper title to come to me, and I in turn safely send to new owner? Any issues for the buyer, since they are out of state.
Varies from state to state. In Minnesota, lenders don't get to keep the title, they get a lien release card from the state, and the title can't be readily transferred without it. So around here the title has a form on the back of it that the buyer fills out and the seller signs. The buyer sends the payoff to the bank and the bank gives them the lien release card. If you're in a state where the bank keeps the physical title, it's more complicated.

Quote:
How is new buyer to transport unit without title and tags?
Potential buyer notes concern of how to transport unit to Florida if they do not yet have tags (can't get tags until they have title etc)?
Again it varies from state to state. In Minnesota, the tags stay on the trailer when it is sold and remain valid until they expire, so there's only a problem if the registration has lapsed before the unit sells. In other places it's different, but then again in some states you can register a vehicle even if you don't actually have the title for it.

In practice law enforcement will not usually issue a ticket if the driver of a vehicle with no tags has a recently dated bill of sale in their possession.

Quote:
Have folks used a transport service when buying or selling out of state? Has anyone ever towed their airstream to deliver to an out of state buyer (but issues of time/cost and risk of buyer reneging with agreeing to drive unit to them before payment has occurred)?
I would hold out for a local buyer or at least make the buyer come and inspect the unit and pay for it upfront to avoid problems.

I'm not an attorney and am just providing some friendly, general suggestions.

In dealing with an out of state buyer, don't get stars in your eyes. Be ready to kill the deal if you get a bad feeling about what's going on, if the buyer doesn't seem to check out, if the transaction doesn't seem to make sense, or if the buyer is unwilling to be forthcoming with information. If you have the unit priced fairly, there are Other Buyers Out There. If the unit is overpriced and this is the only buyer you can find, you probably don't have a real buyer anyway and have nothing to lose by dropping them.
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Old 08-15-2017, 07:25 PM   #8
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Again, thanks. All very helpful and appreciated.
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Old 08-15-2017, 07:36 PM   #9
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Hi

Don't know how much money is involved here, and it's none of my business. If we're talking what seems like a lot of money, you might consider talking to a lawyer. They are a common thing to have sitting at the table when you buy or sell a house in some states. There are a lot of questions here that one who understands your state laws might be able to help with. It's not going to be cheap ....

Bob
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Old 08-15-2017, 08:40 PM   #10
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Your bank owns your trailer for all intents and purposes. I'm 98.6% certain your loan officer will give you a detailed plan for how to achieve this sale. It is exactly like selling/buying a car that has a lien on it. The bank would/should provide the bill of sale (if not, there are thousands of templates online that are state specific) as they, technically are the ones releasing the lien.

The only issue I could see is that the buyer, in turn, has to finance the purchase and their bank makes issue of the value/credit/existing loans etc...

These transactions happen every day, talk to your bank. Hopefully they see you as a valued member and not just a potential interest rate.

As for temporary tags, I've done this just recently in Washington, Arizona and Texas. If the buyer has the proper documentation, it's a small charge and they are off. It's a minor inconvenience, unless you are dealing with the California DMV, then mercy on you.

Laying all information out to the buyer prior to final sale seems a given.

Best of luck,

Ian
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Old 08-16-2017, 04:36 PM   #11
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The several perspectives and information presented will help you make a plan that fits your particular circumstances. Cuation, is in order, but there is no reason this cannot be done. Any reasonable party will agree to a reasonable, if somewhat cumbersome, process. In addition, I would add:
1) be absolutely certain as to what your bank will accept as a deposit that will "clear" immediately. There should be no wait time before you can access the funds to pay your lender. Cash work well, but as others have said is not likely for such a large transaction. And anything over $10,000 is reportable to the feds in that event. The main point is that you do not want to have any time during which the Airstream is gone and your deposit can be called in to question by your bank.
2) the purchaser will definitely want to arrange for the Airstream to be insured immediately upon purchase. They should clarify how to accomplish this with their insurer.
3) in the unlikely event you were defrauded and the Airstream was taken without receipt of payment, would your own insurance cover this as a theft of the Airstream? Insurers usually do not cover fraudulent checks, but is this theft of the Airstream? You insurer should be able to anwser this question.

I have seen numerous posts on these forums concerning pre-purchase inspections and pick-up/delivery options. I assume this is a common occurrence to purchase from an out of state seller.
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Old 08-16-2017, 05:26 PM   #12
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I've been through this with a NC titled RV located in FL purchased by my sister in WI through me in FL. What a mess! I could not get FL to issue a temporary tag so I could deliver it. I could not get NC to issue a temporary tag since the owner's tag was expired. My sister could not get WI to issue a temporary tag because the RV was in FL. The owner wouldn't leave the expired NC tag on the vehicle, so I had to illegally drive the vehicle 50 miles through Tampa/St. Pete without any tag to store it for weeks until my sister could get its permanent WI tag. So be careful about the process of getting a temporary tag.

Second. We did a bank-to-bank transaction. The seller had a lien and my sister was getting a loan. Have the banks work out the details with each other and have the buyer's bank wire transfer the money. This was the easy part. It got a little complicated when the wire transfer was complete and the seller refused to give me the RV. He said to come back in a few days to pick it up. I replied "I'm not leaving here without the RV!" I talked him into contacting his bank and verifying that the money was there. He then changed his tone and we went to get the vehicle out of its storage lot.

Another time I bought a travel trailer in TX. The seller had a lien and I was paying cash. We went to the seller's bank and I paid off the loan and then deposited the balance into the seller's account. The bank at first said they'd mail the title, but then they gave it to me at the bank after talking one-on-one with the seller without my presence. The seller was elderly and I believe the bank was looking out for her. She left her non-expired plate on the trailer so I could drive it home to FL. Very easy.

A third experience was selling my father's RV. A group of people (father, mother, son and friend) kept coming over to buy it. They said they had cash and showed me a brown paper bag (not the cash). We agreed on a discounted price. I said let's go to my bank and you can deposit the cash into the bank and I will give you the RV. They refused to go to the bank and left. For several nights they kept coming back after the bank was closed to try to buy the RV. I finally told them to leave and never come back. My dad was upset because I threw a buyer out (my dad was elderly too). But something was not right with that cash as they refused to bring it to the bank. A few days later, we sold the RV for full price to a buyer that happily deposited the cash in the bank. There was no loan on the RV. Do not touch any cash! Have them deposit it in your bank and then give them the title. Do not take a cashier's check, there are many fake ones and are no safer than a personal check. One more thought on taking the cash while the bank was closed. Even if it was real money, the buyer could have a buddy come back and rob you of the cash. I know this sounds paranoid, but I live in Florida and things like this happen. Our banker said do not take the cash!

When I sold my travel trailer (Casita). It was paid off and the buyer had the same bank as me and was paying cash. We went to the bank and had an interbank transfer between our accounts. I handed the buyer the signed title and bill of sale. We went to the DMV together and got his new tag issued. I wasn't needed at the DMV, but went there in case we didn't sign the bill of sale or title correctly. Afterward we went to lunch together. Piece of cake!

There are my experiences, some easy some difficult. I think every sale is different. Good luck with your sale.
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Old 08-16-2017, 06:12 PM   #13
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Here is what I did recently with a remote buyer for my airstream. Transaction was > $50k.

1. I color scanned the title and watermarked it as "copy" and sent to the buyer via email to prove that I had title in hand and that I owned the trailer.

2. Along with the digital watermarked copy of the title I emailed a signed and dated sales agreement (1 pager - you can get an example sales agreement form from your DMV)

3. The next day, the buyer sent (fedex,overnight) two (2) copies of the the counter-signed sales agreement and enclosed full payment via certified check (I offered for him to provide either $5k deposit or full payment, but I would not release the trailer and sign over the title on a split payment until the second payment cleared, which may take 1+ days after he arrived in Denver for final inspection / delivery)

4. Once the full payment cleared through my bank (took 1 day) I offered to overnight the signed title (transfer of ownership) or gave the option to collect the title in person on delivery of the trailer.

5. Buyer opted to collect the title upon delivery, which happened a few days later. When he arrived to collect the trailer, I provided the signed title and his copy of the fully executed sales agreement, which are both required for registration.

I provided the option for personal check or certified check, full or split payment, but clearly indicated that transfer of title and release of the trailer would not occur until my bank cleared the funds.

In the end I'm an honest person and it was obvious the buyer was too - which made things super easy. Really nice family from Durango who will enjoy many years of 'streaming ahead. Happy buyer and happy seller.
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Old 08-17-2017, 08:09 AM   #14
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All this advice and experiences are gold. Thx to all. Will post back my experience when I ultimately sell . . .
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Old 08-17-2017, 09:19 AM   #15
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I just completed the sale of my MH and I had the same concerns.

I think the safest form of payment is a wire transfer. But I didn't have that option. The buyer financed the purchase, and so the bank/credit union issued a cashier's check to me. The buyer picked up the check at his bank and handed it to me. I felt okay about that since the buyer's account was not involved. Unless the bank goes under, I think I'm okay. Plus, I spent enough time with the buyer to feel comfortable that he was on the up and up.

We're both in the same state, so we went together to the Tax Collector's office, where he got a new title applied for, I signed the title over there, the Tax Collector's office kept the title, now owned by his bank. he gave me the payment, and then he applied for a registration and plates. I think if we were in different states, he'd have received a temporary paper tag to drive home, then get the unit inspected there.

The buyer had already secured insurance and the Tax Collector wanted that before issuing plates and registration.

We had a complicated "Purchase Agreement" required by his bank to secure the loan, but it just spelled out our options and penalties if the deal fell through. So I downloaded a simple "bill of sale" for a vehicle, it had the VIN number and both our addresses. It also spelled out that this unit was sold "as is" even though I had spent a bundle to get all concerns fixed or tested, I didn't want to be the "warranty". It was in fantastic shape, but it's still a used vehicle.
We each signed and got a copy.

I gave the buyer my file of receipts from work done, I'm sure it wasn't totally complete, but he got an idea of how well I took care of it.

It went off without a hitch, I think because we were prepared with all the paperwork, and more required at the Tax Collector's office.

I will say it was odd to watch someone else driving away in "my" RV.
Now, time for that AS!
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