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A few ? on winding up selling the Denali I won

'Tis I again, Czarina and gentlemen. I’m going to the dealer who has the car this week to do whatever paperwork. My buying dealer will pick up from there the next day to transport to his own premises. Please recall that I have no prior car-buying, -owning or -selling experience (but I’ve learned enough from y’all that I’ll be better prepared the next time I win a car). I will not permit the buyer to pick up before I have his letter outlining our agreement, which includes payment upon signing title over to him. This is NYS.

a) The bill of sale is between me and the buyer? What info is on a bill of sale?

b) The buyer will use dealer plates to take the car to his place. This is to my advantage? (I’ll take the temp plates home with me.) Should this be in the letter?

c) Should I take home one of the two remote door-openers and the remote starter (it’s a separate gadget?) and hand them to the buyer upon receipt of payment?

d) Should the letter state that no one will test-drive or otherwise drive the car (apart from transporting) before the buyer gets title from me?

e) I’ll take complete pics of the car, inside and out, at the holding dealer’s. Should I also write down the mileage and do it again when I go to the buyer later on with the title papers (and remotes)? Wouldn’t this further support my position with IRS about the difference between the sticker price on form 1099 and what I actually get – that I didn’t take and use the care for myself?

f) For those familiar with NY DMV, do they offer an option that will speed up getting title to me? I called and got a silly non-answer. How long does it ordinarily take from the time the dealer processes the papers?

According to the NYS DMV, they don’t have their own form for a bill of sale ( They do indicate what info must be on the bill of sale, and it includes the year and make of the vehicle, the vehicle identification number (VIN), the date of the sale, the purchase price of the vehicle, and the names and signatures of the buyer and the seller. Just by googling around, a number of folks have templates online…including, apparently. Here’s the one they put up:

It seems to me, you have made, and are still making, this transaction as difficult and complex as possible…

He gives you the money…You give him the car, the signed title, and all the gadgets and gizmos, keys… That’s it…Shake hands. Say good-by. End of story…

a) Bill of sale should have the details for both the buyer and seller (name, address, phone number, if you like, but that’s not required), and the vehicle details. Include the VIN, mileage, year, make and model. There should also be a statement that reads “sold as-is” on there somewhere. Since it won’t have tags, don’t worry about those. In countries where the tags go with the vehicle, it’s important, but I don’t think that matters in the US.

b) I would have him use his dealer plates. That way, it’s definitely his vehicle, and you can’t be called on for any red lights run, stop signs missed or whatever. However, with the (a), it won’t really matter too much.

c) You shouldn’t give him a thing until you get payment. Including the vehicle.

d) See C.

e) Pics might be a good idea, but see a. I don’t think the IRS is going to care one way or the other. You’re getting a vehicle valued at X, and they’re gonna want their cut of X. Doesn’t matter too much what you sell it for. In their eyes, it’s just a used car sale, although NY may have a special clause for that, I don’t know.

f) Title transfers can take a long time. It’s a Government process and can vary wildly from state to state. Last time I transferred a title (from me to me, in another state) it took a couple months.

Most of these will be answered with the bill of sale (a, above), and the transfer of the cash and keys/remotes. You get the dough, he gets the vehicle. He may even ask you to transfer the title to a dealership name, himself, or wherever. That doesn’t really matter too much at this point. Just transfer it to wherever he wants. Once he pays you, and you both sign the bill of sale, give him everything. It’s his vehicle at that point. You don’t get to keep parts of it. If you’re not getting payment immediately, then he shouldn’t get the vehicle immediately, either.

These are all just my opinions, and I’m sure someone will disagree on various parts.


Great. I do want to be done with the filthy albatross in the simplest way, but I’m paid well for my gifts of difficulty and complexity. [I used to think my screen name was a little joke.] Not really, but you may have guessed that I can rattle easily. If I’d won a house or battleship, I’d truly be apoplectic.

All along I’ve been uneasy about handing over the car and waiting for title in order to be paid. As soon as I read your replies here, I called a friend who will let me use his garage until I have title to transfer. This simplifies everything for me and both dealers should find it the same. I’ll calmly and cheerfully give you an update or two hereafter.

Carolyn, all this and a researcher, too. You weren’t kidding when you said you sometimes mother the flock.

Chase, if you transfer title to yourself, do you also sit in the movies and hold your hand? When you get fresh, do you slap your face?

Caddyman, yeah, I know.

Maudlinly, Laurie

Don’t store it. Just let him pay you, do the bill of sale, and hand it all over. He’s a dealer, and he knows the title will take time.

If you move from state to state (I have more than once), then you have to transfer from one state to another, which is essentially issuing you a new title, in a new state.

I see. I didn’t understand that you meant for me to be done now with all but transfer of title. It makes sense to me, but so far I’d talked only with a sales manager who told me they won’t pay until I transfer title (as did other dealers who made offers) and that the owner now will give me a letter outlining our agreement. Tomorrow’s talk with the owner will be the first direct communication. I’ll see what’s on his mind, as he sent an email today asking to talk to clarify our terms, and present what you’re suggesting. I believe he is serious about wanting the car, so let’s see if he’s immovably opposed to paying now…

It’s a LOT easier getting milk out of a cow THAT HAS A LOT OF MILK!!!

Some cows PRETEND they have milk, but all they are looking for is a free meal…

Take the sure thing and be DONE with it…

My gosh, you are making this so complicated. Are you a lawyer or what? You sign some papers, you shouldn’t release the car for pick up until you have money in your hand. Simple as that.

You don’t need to drive the car, store the car, take any keys or key fobs, take temp plates; all that stuff will go from the selling dealer to the buying dealer.

All you need to do is be sure you have your money in hand from the buying dealer before the car leaves the selling dealers lot.

Come to think of it, a battleship would be easy to dispose of. Anything sold illegally brings cash within minutes.

I am making this more complicated than it needs to be and that’s because the process is new to me. There are also significant aspects beyond my control. Mainly, most dealers who made offers, including the high bidder, said up front that they will not pay until I transfer title. The discussion didn’t get that specific with the couple of other bidders. The only one who would pay up front is the dealer facilitating for GMC because he’s already been paid off by the company.

I spoke yesterday with the high bidder ($40M) and it turns out that the car is for personal use – he says his wife will drive for about a year and then he’d put it on his used-car lot. He wants immediate driving use; if I don’t want them driving before I get and transfer title, he’s not interested. He suggested putting the money in escrow. I’m waiting now for answers from a lawyer to my questions on escrow and how sure a thing it is: Whether it guarantees me the cash under any and all circumstances and whether his dealer’s insurance gives me solid protection while he’s driving with dealer plates. If the lawyer says I’d be vulnerable, I turn the dealer down and most likely ask the facilitating dealer if he still wants it at $37. Otherwise I’d again have to wait for payment from an in-between bidder. Pleeeze “allow” me to explore the escrow/immediate car-use avenue. I’ve never been on either side of an escrow account. Not knowing about it is why I sought a lawyer’s input.

You think I’m making things complicated, complex and difficult? Be grateful you’re not the friends who deal with me in person or on the phone on a daily basis. And then there are the situations through which I’m calm, relaxed and completely unflappable.

When you sign over the title, you have fulfilled your obligation and you should be paid for the car then. The NY DMV office takes the old title and mails the new title to the new owner of record address. If the buying dealer is in another state, the process is the same.

You sign over the title and get your money, period. The new owner takes the signed over old title to the DMV office and gets the car registered, gets plates, pays sales tax, and turns in the signed over title to the DMV office to obtain a new title.

Since you are selling to a dealer, he may use a “dealer” plate on the car and hold the title until he sells the car in a year. That is his business and as a dealer he should know all about the process with DMV in his home state.

The buying dealer can send the check to the selling dealer. The selling dealer turns over the check to you when you sign over the title. Then you should be done with the entire process. No escrow, or whatever. If it isn’t simple - walk away from the deal. Title, and register the vehicle yourself and then put it up for sale to a private party.

I Tend To Agree With Uncle Turbo. This Isn’t Rocket Science.

1 You get your money.
2 They get the car and signed title.
3 Done, finished, history.
4 Cue the Fat Lady.

My state encourages this process (both parties) taking place at the Secretary Of State DMV office, primarily as a protection for the buyer. The state gets the title and they should give the dealer a copy of the title transfer papers and a registration. The dealer should know all this. What’s the deal with them ?


The only thing I would add to the short list version is a Bill of Sale.
One every car I sell, I provide a Bill of Sale in addition to the seller (me) completing the required information on the title transfer. The BOS lists the car being sold (year, make, model, VIN), selling price, selling conditions (as-is…), names of buyer & seller and DATE & TIME of transfer. Both parties sign two copies.

Stating the date and time of transfer will negate any need for insurance on your part once they take possession. It’s now their car and their problem. This helps if they get parking, speeding, accidents, use as get away car :wink: or other infractions/mishaps after they take possession but before they register the new title.

Back in the day, it wasn’t unusual for there to be two or more title transfers without any interaction on the part of the DMV. The title had 5 transfer sections. Heck, I even accepted a third party check once but times have changed…

You were wise to seek a lawyer’s advice.
Did he discuss tax obligations with you? Both federal and NY?

I may be wrong, but I believe for federal you’ll be taxed based on the MSRP as “unearned income”. I’m sure the state of NY will want a piece of the pie too.

There are states where people know the names of the Secretaries of State?

Uncle Turbo, I’m with you up to your last paragraph. You likely know something I don’t, but escrow seems an easy enough process. If the underlying terms are fool-proof, something the other dealer certainly can’t accomplish, and the buyer willing (he should be if he’s serious about wanting the car), peace of mind will be well worth the legal fees. I’ve had little enough of that.

Bill of Sale, yes. It’s an NY requirement and I’ll need a copy for the IRS. A CPA and someone at the IRS 800# have said that, with proper documentation of actual income from the sale, the lower figure will be accepted over the MSRP.

Please clarify the most frequent advice – don’t hand over the car without getting payment – I’ve gotten. Is the unspecified idea to sell privately rather than to a dealer, the least likely to pay up front? Given a choice between private sale for more money (?) and hemlock, I’ll take hemlock. I’ll kiss a rattlesnake before I’d face a private sale. I’ll face a firing squad…

Your situation is unique, and I think I (we’ve) given you the best insight we have based on our experience. Good luck, if you need more help with this perhaps you should seek out the services of a local attorney.


I am deeply appreciative of all the insight and information and hope I didn’t sound otherwise. It was frustrating and bewildering to think for several weeks that I was being advised to strong-arm a dealer into up-front payment. What? Is that really what they mean? Only while posting this morning did private sale come to mind, and I wanted to verify.

Here’s the good part. The planets smiled on me a few hours ago via a call from the dealership that has the car. They’ve offered to match the $40 – a customer wants only the tricoat white diamond, almost impossible to get.

I am happy and thrilled, As you’ve all said, it will be so simple now: Hop off to the dealership, sign a few papers, skip back home with a fistful of documents and a check. Coffee’s on them.

It sounds like a beautiful car, hopefully all parties will come away happy when the deal is done.

That does sound like good news.
I knew that sooner or later life would become very easy for you.


This morning (Wednesday) I went to the dealership,signed a stack of papers and came home with a check and feeling about 4,880 pounds lighter and almost as many years younger.

Thank you all for the information, your experience, perspectives, patience and even the occasional bit of impatience. You think I don’t recognize the rolling of eyes when I hear it? Because of your tutelage, I’ll fare much better the next time.