You usually need the title certificate when selling a car. However, if you financed the car, and waiting for the title in the mail from the lender, you just need to reach out to them to hasten the process. Perhaps you requested a replacement title but have yet to receive it in the mail. There are many reasons you might not yet have a title but it’s still possible to proceed with the sale if you can convince the buyer. So, today, we will talk about how to sell a car while waiting for the title. You will need to do some extra work to get a new title. These simple tips will depend on your situation and the buyer.
How to Sell a Car While Waiting for the Title
1. Be Upfront with the Buyer
If you are waiting for the title from the DMV or a lienholder with whom you have just completed your repayment, let the buyer know right away that you don’t have all the paperwork for a proper sale. If there is a loan on the car, you have to pay it off before the lender can release the title. However, you might be able to transfer the title through the lender if the buyer agrees to pay off your loan or continue the payments.
If you have to give the buyer a timeline, make sure it is a realistic one of when you expect to receive it. For example, if you have recently paid off your car loan and are awaiting the title from the lender. Share this information with the buyer so they understand the delay is due to administrative processes, not because of any legal issues with the car.
2. Convince the Buyer to Wait a Little Longer
You can try to convince the buyer to buy your car without the title. Yes, it’s possible to sell a car without a title. It might be difficult for the buyer to title the car to register it in their name depending on the circumstances. Some companies like Carvana have allegedly sold cars to customers without selling them the title. Usually, this was a case of the old owner supposedly telling them the car is paid off, and the title is on the way. So, this can be a tough one, especially if the title does not arrive in your mail at the end of the day.
3. Prepare a Bill of Sale While Waiting
If the buyer’s decision makes it easy for you to sell a car while waiting for the title, go ahead and prepare some of the paperwork like the bill of sale. It should include the make, model, year, VIN, the agreed-upon price, and the names and signatures of both parties. Sometimes, the buyer may even be able to register the car with a bill of sale, but with other paperwork to back up their ownership claim.
4. Use an Escrow Service for Payment
Since you are trying to sell a car while waiting for the title, you should consider an escrow service to handle the money. Here, the buyer’s payment is held securely until the title is transferred. This will really help whether you’re selling to someone out of state or in state.
5. Provide a Temporary Permit
If possible, obtain a temporary permit for the buyer. This permit allows the new owner to use the car legally while waiting for the title transfer. For example, let’s say you’re selling your old truck to a friend. While the title is still in process, your friend can use this temporary permit to drive the truck without any legal issues.
6. Complete the Title Transfer
Once you receive the title, complete the transfer process immediately. Make sure to fill out the necessary paperwork and submit it to the relevant authorities. For instance, after selling your car, you finally receive the title from the bank. You should then promptly sign it over to the buyer, ensuring all legal obligations are fulfilled and the sale is concluded properly. Make sure to fill out and sign over the title to avoid title jumping.
After selling the car, keep all documents related to its ownership. You can’t be sure if the new owner will transfer the title, and you don’t want to be responsible for anything that happens with the car later. Also, if there are any future questions about who owns the car, like if someone claims it was abandoned, you’ll have proof of the sale.
So, with these 6 tips, you should be able to sell a car while waiting for the title in the mail. If it’s a duplicate title by the DMV or an original being sent by the lender, wait for it. You could always go to the DMV and see if you can have them print off a duplicate and hand it to you right there.