Curious about this, since I'm getting close to making a trip to see one far from home. If it wasn't a local buyer, how did you structure the deal so that you were assured to get paid, and they were assured to get the car, and didn't have to wait around for the money to move after inspecting the car and agreeing to purchase? Any advice you can give without impacting confidentiality would be appreciated.
It depends on a lot of factors. Are you financing the car or paying cash? If financing what are the requirements of your lending institution? My car has a lien so the lien holder specifies the requirements along with the state DMV requirements. In my case, my buyer is from another state, he is financing the car so his lender is sending the pay off to the lender and the balance to me in overnight cashier's checks. My lender will send an electronic request to our DMV to have the title sent to his lender. I am providing the buyer with a bill of sale, federal mileage statement and a power of attorney to sign on my behalf. He is flying in to pick up the car and drive it back to his home. When his lender receives the title from CA, he will be able to sign it off and have the vehicle put in his name with his lender as the lien holder and he will be able to register the vehicle in his state, and pay whatever fees and taxes are required by his state.
A certain amount of trust is required in any transaction. I provided him with all of the documentation on the vehicle and my personal information so that he knows I am real, I am the registered owner and with my lien holder information. I am picking him up at the airport and taking him to my home to pick up the car. He will have to use my tags and registration until he receives the new title. If you are paying cash and the seller holds clear title, then once you wire funds to his account and they are received he can sign over the title to you and turn over the keys. Then you can take the title and register it in your state and they will take the title and exchange it for a title issued by your state.