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      07-15-2014, 08:36 PM   #1
backtoreality15
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Selling car without title in hand?

I live in California and just got off the call with a buyer who will be taking my car. The car's leinholder is still BMW Financial Services.

I understand this is the process:

1. Complete Bill of Sale with the buyer for our own records
2. Send buyer's certified cashier's check overnight to BMW FS (1 day)
3. Once they process payment they will mail me the Title (2-5 days)
4. Sign Title over to the buyer (1 day)

The issue here is that there is a good amount of time/lag from the buyer producing cash to him getting the Title signed over to him. About a week I'd say. My concern is that he will have some concern of signing a check without car keys.

When am I suppose to actually hand the car over to the buyer? When am I suppose to complete the Notice of Release of Liability ?

Thanks!
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      07-15-2014, 09:07 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backtoreality15 View Post
I live in California and just got off the call with a buyer who will be taking my car. The car's leinholder is still BMW Financial Services.

I understand this is the process:

1. Complete Bill of Sale with the buyer for our own records
2. Send buyer's certified cashier's check overnight to BMW FS (1 day)
3. Once they process payment they will mail me the Title (2-5 days)
4. Sign Title over to the buyer (1 day)

The issue here is that there is a good amount of time/lag from the buyer producing cash to him getting the Title signed over to him. About a week I'd say. My concern is that he will have some concern of signing a check without car keys.

When am I suppose to actually hand the car over to the buyer? When am I suppose to complete the Notice of Release of Liability ?

Thanks!
You aren't required to do anything if you find a buyer who is willing to wait for the whole process.

Anytime I have done this in the past, as long as I am confident the funds are valid, I give the buyer the car and keys as well as let them drive with my tags until all is said and done. The car is still insured and the buyer can't do much without a title. I also make them sign a statement saying any and all violations are their responsibility and make a copy of their license. Once the title comes in I swap title for my plates. By then you know funds are valid.

I have also had this courtesy done for me on numerous occasions when buying cars.

Worst case scenario they give you a bad check and disappear. That's what insurance is for.

But you aren't required to do anything if you find a buyer who is okay paying off your loan yet not having control of vehicle. The timelines you listed are at best case business days. It is generally good to plan for two weeks from start to finish.

I personally would never buy a car if I had to pay for it in advance until the seller sorts their stuff out in one to two weeks without taking control of the car. Why would I trust a seller to be true to their word if the seller doesn't trust me to take the car in good faith?

Last edited by five3three; 07-15-2014 at 09:16 PM..
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      07-16-2014, 10:14 AM   #3
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i recently did this.

i went to the bank with the buyer and had them give me a certified check for the total amount.

while at the bank, we both signed and made copies of a bill of sale.

additionally, while at the bank, we sealed the check in an envelope and dropped it in the box for bmw.

that way we both knew it was paid in full and both had a receipt for the transaction.

i also canceled my insurance that day and made sure they got their own.

it took bmw longer than 5 days to get the title so there were some txt msgs with the buyer to ensure them everything was still okay. after i received the title i signed it, sent it to them and never hard from them again.

as long as you're both covered then it's no issue.

as far as the dmv goes, as long as you notify them with X days of the date of sale then i don't think it matters.
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      07-17-2014, 05:00 PM   #4
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I recently did this too for a lease vehicle, took a little a different approach, wanted to share. I am in Ca, it might not be applicable to every where.

I found a buyer, explained to him the situation, I need to buy and resell to him etc. He was ok with it, he wasn't comfortable paying and getting the car without the title. I offered him he can pay a 'down payment' to make sure he is intending to buy the car. He agreed, I paid off with my own money, received the title, went to AAA together, did two title transfers and he paid me in full.
I haven't heard from him since
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      07-17-2014, 09:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F30_E85 View Post
I recently did this too for a lease vehicle, took a little a different approach, wanted to share. I am in Ca, it might not be applicable to every where.

I found a buyer, explained to him the situation, I need to buy and resell to him etc. He was ok with it, he wasn't comfortable paying and getting the car without the title. I offered him he can pay a 'down payment' to make sure he is intending to buy the car. He agreed, I paid off with my own money, received the title, went to AAA together, did two title transfers and he paid me in full.
I haven't heard from him since

Yep, lots of ways this can be done. Down payment as you did isn't a bad idea if you have the means to cover the remaining cost of the car. What is hard though is to find someone who will pay off your loan entirely (if you owe a significant amount) and simply wait a week or two while you still have control of everything (such as continuing to drive the car and potentially damage it) since it isn't really the buyer's fault that you have a lien on the vehicle you're selling. To me, that's why a seller needs to be a bit accommodating since you're already inconveniencing the buyer by not having a title in hand. If you're selling a rare vehicle that a buyer can't get elsewhere, that's a different story. But if it's a mainstream car such as a BMW, a buyer will most likely go elsewhere if there isn't a bit of give and take involved in the deal.
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      07-18-2014, 06:10 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone! Just took care of the transaction.

I confirmed the (paid in full) cashier's check on the phone with their credit union, gave them the car along with both sets of keys, filled out a bill of sale and did the liability release online. I'm set; just need to meet up with them to give them the title once BMW FS sends it to me.
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      07-19-2014, 08:42 AM   #7
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He was ok with it, he wasn't comfortable paying and getting the car without the title.
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