Well, I've found my coach! I'm most interested in an 1992 Newell Coach which is listed for sale by the owner. Yes, I've visited him personally and have made a pre-purchase inspection.
How is it best to pay/complete purchase ? I mean I can pay either by cash, wire transfer, check or half-by-half. Let's say, I'll pay half by cash and half by cashiers check. What I need to do after the cash changed hands ? Shall I sign a kind of contact or something else ? I am seeking guidance in an area that is not my expertise since it's very rare I buy an item this large from a private party.
The seller may require you to pay by a particular method if s/he doesn't know you personally. There are numerous reports of scams going on and the seller may not accept a bank cashier's check or personal check. Or they may require that the check clear before they release the vehicle.
Wire transfer is convenient, but there's no way for you to get your money back if this isn't a real seller.
If you're meeting in person, the owner will sign the title document, releasing their ownership and hand it to you if/when they're comfortable with the form of payment.
There's a tradeoff between comfort level and convenience for both parties. Handing over the payment in cash and, at the same time, receiving the signed title document might be best for both, but it's inconvenient (and maybe risky) to carry around a lot of cash.
After you receive the title document, you'll need to visit a DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) office to formally register the vehicle in your name. At that time you'll also pay sales tax.
Larry and Sean are right on, in terms of your due diligence. In today's world, very few (maybe even fools) would take a cashiers check or even cash(counterfeit potential for the seller and potential loss of a large sum of cash to you in the event of theft etc). Most all knowledgeable sellers, will require a wire transfer. This must be done with free cash available in your bank or brokerage account before 2PM Eastern time, to be delivered same business day. I have even asked to speak with the Seller's banker or broker, to verify the account number and client. As Sean has cautioned, I would inspect the title(it will be available to you after you have asked Larry's question) and confirm the VIN number on the title to the vehicle. Even titles can be counterfeit, so there are no guarantees for sure. Although, I hope that you will get an indication of trust in your dealings. At the very least, I would have a purchase and sale agreement, with all the relevant terms expressly outlined. Making sure both parties sign, and thus, you at least would have the comfort of that. I have not purchased anything of this magnitude without first ordering a CARFAX report on the internet. This is easy to do with the VIN and go to CARFAX® - Official Site - Vehicle History Reports on Used Cars for Sale. This report will help you determine if a lien is present, the latest State of Title registration, any accidents reported, etc. I have never done a carfax report on a Newell, so I hope it works with this kind of a custom Coach, but before you pay, the carfax will let you know if the vehicle has been found. In the best case scenario, the seller will accompany you to the DMV, to secure your license plates and be present when you pay the sales tax. If all of this checks out, you are probably dealing with a very trustworthy individual and you have done a lot to protect yourself.
I am surprised the seller would consider cash over $10,000. If deposited in a bank, the bank must report it to the IRS and the IRS will contact the depositor to determine if it is drug laundered money. Why bother?
2001 Newell #579
tow a 2011 Honda Odyssey
1935 Mercedes 500K replica
We bought from a private owner and paid cash. (We didn't let the owner know we had cash until we concluded the deal and felt comfortable.)
Things we made sure of:
1. The RV was parked at the owners house. (It was a nice house). We met his wife and son and used the 'facilities' in his home. If the RV is parked on the side of the road or in an empty lot, RUN no matter what the explanation is.
2. Almost all private owner deals are on an "as-is" basis - no warranty - so a detailed inspection is a must. We went over the newell completely - turned on all the appliances/lights/water. Inspected all the cabinets, drawers, windows, roof, everything. We inspected the engine, Looked for exterior rust, interior leaks, Kicked the tires. and Test drove.
3. Question the owner about details of the RV - things an owner should know - to make sure it isn't a third-party deal. Found out the GWVR, etc before we went to see it.
3. Made sure the title was valid. (If you know by looking, fine. Otherwise, the bank or DMV can tell you).
4. Get the VIN number before you go and check to see if it has been in an accident.
When the title is signed over to you, make sure the signature matches the name on the title EXACTLY.
You can get a great deal from a private owner. Just use common sense and you will be fine.
1976 Newell Classic (Sold)
Home Base: Riverside, CA
If anyone needs my contact info private message me and I will send it to you.