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US out of state purchase\refundable deposit advice? Escrow?


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Well,I realize now I should have asked some of these questions a couple of days ago before I looked at a 02 while traveling out of state - and verbally agreed to buy it. The owner is selling the car along with some parts as a package deal, 3 additional engines and some other parts - seats, etc. The car represents the major part of the value, but engine and other the parts do have some value. The seller needs to get a duplicate title from the state where he used to live as he can't find the title (he's moved twice and had help packing).

 

I agreed to send a refundable deposit while we work out all the details (my brother and I are probably going to rent a box truck and haul everything back ourselves).

 

I trust the guy, and don't have any misgivings, but I'd hate to have the deal fall apart for some reason, and even more, if that happened, have trouble getting my deposit back. Any advice on how to handle this from those out there with more experience with this than me? I don't want to insult the guy with a lot of legalese if possible, but I don't know how to do that and protect myself. I don't know enough how escrow services work to know if that would be appropriate, how expensive they are, or if they'd even do it for the money involved. The dollar amounts I'm talking about while probably not huge to some other people, are big enough for me that I'd rather not end up holding the short end of the stick.

 

Thanks for your help

 

Barrett

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An auto escrow service is a good idea. The service fees may be minimal and would be piece of mind. Now a few questions, was this a spur of the moment sale or something the seller had posted for a while? Reason I ask is because most of the time when a selling is planning to sell off property, they usually have the pink in hand ready to go. Of course paperwork gets lost as years pass but then again most are prepared. Hopefully it works out for ya and you post your treasure with us. Good luck. 

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You should be able to set up an escrow account with your bank.  In the days (years!) before Pay Pal, zelle etc this was a common way to do this kind of a cash transaction, whether for a car or real property.  The bank holds the buyer's money and the seller's ownership documents, so that when the deal is consumated, the seller gets the buyer's money and the buyer gets the seller's proof of ownership. 

 

Talk to your bank's trust department; they should be able to tell you how they can set it up.  If your bank can't, ask the seller to check with his/her bank.

 

mike

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1 hour ago, Jae said:

An auto escrow service is a good idea. The service fees may be minimal and would be piece of mind. Now a few questions, was this a spur of the moment sale or something the seller had posted for a while? Reason I ask is because most of the time when a selling is planning to sell off property, they usually have the pink in hand ready to go. Of course paperwork gets lost as years pass but then again most are prepared. Hopefully it works out for ya and you post your treasure with us. Good luck. 

This was very much me essentially knocking on his door asking him if he'd be interested in selling, so the fact he wasn't ready with title in hand isn't a red flag to me. 

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36 minutes ago, BarrettN said:

so the fact he wasn't ready with title in hand isn't a red flag to me. 

Hope you are right, good luck.

Obtaining a duplicate out of state title could take months. As far as escrow goes, without a title the seller has no proof of ownership to put up. Patience is called for.

Sorry, gloomy Gus here but not without reason.

Edited by tech71
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