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I live a couple of states away from a good offer on my car. I've already seen What is the best way to accept payment when selling a used car?, but the distance makes our meeting at a bank to transact not practical.

Any thoughts on my offering a promissory note to deliver car, title, and keys in exchange for a cleared personal check ($10k) + money order ($50) to cover any potential bounced check? I'd be fine with waiting for the check to clear and am just looking for a means to accept better offers outside the immediate area.

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Because someone has to physically take the car from one place to the other, mhoran_psprep's comment is spot on - the question you linked to is still relevant, even with the distance involved. Whoever picks up the car should pay for it through a "safe" method (cash, cashier's check if the bank verifies it with the issuing bank, a money order if verified with the USPS) that you then immediately deposit at your bank before you give them the keys. The bank can verify that the payment method is legitimate, at which point you don't need to worry about it being reversed days or weeks later.

If they express concern about providing you the money in advance of getting the car, their agent (since someone has to drive the car away) can hand it to you. If they don't have anyone they trust to hand you that much money who can meet you in person, and they aren't willing to provide it in advance, then they shouldn't be looking to buy a car out-of-state.

  • My understanding is that when a cashier's check is deposited, the funds are made available on a provisional basis while a more extensive check is performed, and the deposit can be reversed if the check is determined to be fraudulent. – Acccumulation Dec 31 '17 at 19:16
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    A cashier's check can be verified on the spot by the bank, if fraud is a concern. See this answer. – Bobson Jan 1 '18 at 15:37
  • That answer says that if the issuing bank has been contacted and verifies that the cashier's check is valid, then it cannot be reversed. If you are relying on that, then you should include that in your answer. One should make sure to ask the bank whether the funds are being provided provisionally or whether the transaction is final. – Acccumulation Jan 1 '18 at 17:09
  • @Acccumulation - Good point. I've added an aside about that to the answer. – Bobson Jan 2 '18 at 1:11
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    " If they don't have anyone they trust to hand you that much money who can meet you in person, and they aren't willing to provide it in advance, then they shouldn't be looking to buy a car out-of-state." Exactly - this would indicate the person is either too naive to transact with, or more likely, they are a scammer. – Grade 'Eh' Bacon Jan 2 '18 at 16:00

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