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How To Buy A Rialta
You can try and look in the classified ads of your local newspaper, but the
chances of finding a Rialta there are very slim. You can check around with neighbors
and even friends of neighbors. You can check the Yahoo Rialta message boards but
your best means of locating one is to use
RVOnline.com. They both
allow several pictures to be included with the ad so you can get a good idea of
what the vehicle looks like. You can even limit your searches to a specific state
if desired. Use caution because there are a lot of fake advertisements out there!
Once you find a vehicle of interest, it is best to phone or email the owner
and ask some more specific questions. If you are still interested, then arrange
for a trip to inspect the vehicle. Make sure you take the vehicle for a test drive
and if the "Check Engine" light is on, you'd be wise to not express any further
interest until the owner gets the problem fixed. Use the "New
Vehicle Checklist" as a guide for inspecting all the systems of the motorhome.
If you decide that you want to purchase the vehicle, here comes the most important
part that will protect you financially and save you from a lot of potential grief.
First, be prepared to give the seller a deposit of not more than $500. At this
point, this deposit should be all cash as it eliminates any waiting period for
checks to clear which causes the seller to get uncomfortable while he holds the
vehicle. An alternative method is to complete the entire deal in one trip by using
a wire transfer as detailed in the paragraph below. This may take up to one extra
day but eliminates the need for a second trip.
Some questions have arisen about whether a deposit should be "refundable" just
in case the buyer changes his mind. In my opinion, the deposit should be "non-refundable"
because during the time period in which the seller is holding the vehicle waiting
for the buyer to show up with full payment, he most likely will get other inquiries
about the vehicle. I suggest informing those people that there is a sale pending
but get there names and phone numbers just in case the deal falls through.
If you placed a deposit and need to make arrangements for coming up with the
final payment, you will probably be making a second trip back in not more than
one week's time. If you are driving back, then its a good idea to bring a second
person so that the two of you can drive both vehicles back.
How the final installment is made is entirely up to the buyer and the seller.
The best and most secure method for both parties is to use cash. Even if you have
to take a somewhat extended trip to get the vehicle, traveling with $30,000 cash
is not out of the question. The seller appreciates getting cash because he gets
the funds immediately in his hands and can release the vehicle once that is accomplished.
You advantage as the buyer is that once you hand the cash to the seller, you get
to drive the vehicle away immediately.
If the two of you agree to use a check for final payment which could be either
a personal check or a cashier's check, then please note that either instrument
take 3-5 business days to clear. You should be aware that even a cashier's check
is not really a secure instrument as they are commonly counterfeited and the seller
may or should insist upon waiting for any type of check to fully clear the issuing
bank. Until that time and not until the money is posted to the seller's account,
do not plan on getting the vehicle released so that you can be driving the vehicle
Somewhat of a trade-off between cash and using a check is the function of using
a wire transfer. This is actually a digital transfer of funds from one bank account
to another bank account and since it is paperless, there is little or no risk of counterfeit
or fraud. However, only in the movies does it happen instantaneously and in the
real world can take up to 1-2 days for the funds to be posted to the seller's
account. Once posted to the seller's account, the transaction is irreversible
and the seller can then release the vehicle without fear of anything going bad.
If you are making your second trip back to pick up the vehicle, it might be a
good idea to initiate the wire transfer the day before you leave. But starting
the wire transfer a day ahead of time is not really a comfortable thing for the
buyer to do because he hasn't seen the vehicle in several days so the buyer may
wish to wait until he actually sees the vehicle again. It is possible for a wire
transfer that is initiated early in the morning to post later that afternoon so
the deal can be completed all in one day. Just don't try doing it on a Friday
because it may be not until Monday when the funds get posted. Some banks such
as Wells Fargo have a poor attitude of while showing a wire transfer received
and noted as "pending", they won't post the funds to the recipient's account until
the bookkeeping is processed later the next night which means the funds are not
posted until the next day. Legally, the funds can be reversed by the issuer
at any time until the funds are posted. Why Wells Fargo and a few others insist on putting
this off until the next day is beyond me but for a period of 12-18 hours or more,
they are holding all the funds and not paying anybody interest. Its an interesting
concept and apparently they are getting away with it.
If the buyer is getting the purchase financed through either a bank or loan
company, then those arrangements will take a few days to get finalized. The bank
or finance company will most likely issue a bank draft for the final payment but
once again, from the seller's viewpoint, he will need to deposit that draft into
his account and wait for the funds to be released. You may wish to request your
lender to issue a wire transfer instead of a draft which will speed up the process
of getting the funds cleared. See "Forms of Payment" below.
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How To Sell A Rialta
You may consider using the local newspaper for a classified ad but the chances
of finding a local buyer for a Rialta are slim but not impossible. If you live
in a large metropolitan area, then your chances increase all depending upon the
circulation and the tendency of the people to use the classified for vehicle purchases.
Some people have tried using the "consignment" method under which your
vehicle is placed on a dealer's lot for sale and they get either a percentage
of the sales or a pre-arrangement amount. Unless you are in a position where
you can not devote any time whatsoever to selling the vehicle, you should
avoid this arrangement. The dealer has no real incentive to maximize the sales
and has no exposure to any loss whatsoever. You may also find yourself paying
for a bunch of fees such as cleanup, advertising, daily lot rental or space
rental, salesman fee, administrative, or title and legal fees.
A common meeting ground for both the buyer and seller is either
RVOnline.com. They both
allow several pictures to be included with the ad so you can show off the good
points of your vehicle. They take care of all the resizing of any the photos and
other technical stuff. You get to add a paragraph or so describing your vehicle
so those sites are really the most informative and descriptive.
Other things you as the seller need to do include making sure the vehicle is
clean from top to bottom, inside and out, and that the "Check Engine Light" is not illuminated.
Empty all holding tanks and deodorize them. Put about 3-4 gallons of fresh water
in the tank just enough to demonstrate the faucets and toilet work. Make sure
your insurance is in full effect and as soon as you sell the vehicle you can then
cancel the coverage.
One pitfall about placing any ad in either a newspaper or via an on-line
source is that you will most assuredly get a call from a dealer asking to buy
your vehicle. They tend to wave a check in front of your eyes promising you
immediate cash but don't be fooled by this tactic. Dealers buy at wholesale
and sell at retail. They will only give you a wholesale price and hopefully
you're trying to get the highest price you can so avoid this pitfall unless
you are so desperate that you need the money right away.
Even if you accept a deposit or promise from somebody wanting to buy the
vehicle, do not cancel any ads until the final sales transaction has occurred. During the
time in which you are holding the vehicle with a deposit, any new inquiries should
be told that a sale is pending but try to get their names and phone numbers or
email addresses in case the sale falls through. You can actually create a "waiting
list" if you wish and inform the inquirer that they would be in "first position"
should the sale fall through.
Whenever discussing the sales price with a potential buyer, you need to be
very specific about any deposit requirements and exactly what form of payment you
will accept. See "Forms of Payment" below. When you accept a
deposit to hold the money, let the buy know exactly how long you will hold the
vehicle and if the deposit is refundable. Once the buyer presents you with full
and final payment, there are several things you need to do. First is the paperwork:
every state is different as to how you sign over the title to the vehicle. Some
states require you to fill out a separate form which merely informs them of the
new owners name and address and also releases you from any liability for future
parking tickets, etc. Some states may also require a written "Bill of Sale" which is merely
a piece of paper with the names of the buyer and seller, the vehicle description,
the V.I.N of the vehicle, and in some instances the selling price (which helps
determine sales tax to be paid by the buyer).
The next question is if you have a clear title without any liens such as a
balance still owned to a finance company or bank. If you have a lien, call up
the lien holder and inform them that you are in the process of selling the vehicle
and what steps need to be taken to remove the lien. Of course, they will want
their "pay-off amount" of the loan but you need to find out procedurally what
needs to be done so that you don't end up making a potential buyer wait needlessly
for extra days of delay. Here is a typical
California vehicle title ("pink
slip") showing blacked-out signature boxes for the buyer and seller. It also shows
a previous lien by a lender but the lien was signed off, in this case over 5 years
ago. Please note that the form of these titles vary greatly from state to state
and change over the years.
When it comes down to the actual day of transfer, here is where a lot of people
get a quick lesson about cashier's checks. Let's assume your checking account
is with the same bank which has an outstanding loan on your Rialta. You and the
new buyer may both walk into your bank, deposit the cashier's check, and you think
you can then write a check (or transfer funds) to pay off the balance of your
loan so that you can hand the buyer the title to the vehicle. However, you will
get a rude awakening when your beloved bank informs you that it will take 3-5
days for the cashier's check to clear and until that time, you can not touch any
of the funds. In other words, they will continue to hold the vehicle title for
another 3-5 days and your new buyer may not be happy with the wait. Its partly
his problem for bring a cashier's check in the first place and not handling the
transaction with either cash or via a wire transfer.
Even if you already hold a clear title to the vehicle, it is in what form the
final payment is actually presented to you that determines when you physically
give the keys and title to the new owner. If the new owner presents you with a
personal check, bank draft, money order, certified check, or even a cashier's
check, you should not hand over the keys just yet. The premise is simple: when
you get the money in your hands (or account) is when he gets the keys in his hand.
All forms of checks are merely promises to pay and not really the cash funds,
and this includes cashier's checks. When you take any paper form of this payment,
your bank will gladly deposit it for you to your account but then they will also
tell you that the funds will be held for 3-5 days until the check is cleared by
the issuing institution. This makes sure the check doesn't come back marked as
counterfeit or fraudulent. If it does, you will find a big reversing transaction
on your account wiping out the entire amount of the deposit. And if you already
gave the keys to the new owner, you may be out of luck, especially if you had
an outstanding lien that you'll have to continue to pay for even though you may
no longer have the vehicle. There is no way around this waiting period for paper
checks. No bank will risk losing $30,000 or more regardless of how long you've
had an account, how well you know the manager, or how much money you already have
in the account.
An alternative method of accepting payment without the lengthy waiting period
is via a wire transfer. You can instruct your buyer that this is the only method
of payment that you will accept. You simply give him your bank's wire transfer
account number, the name and address of bank along with your account number and
the funds actually transfer in a matter of hours, depending upon the practices
of both banks involved. Funds are usually transferred in the same day but even
this method is not without problems. Many things can go wrong which can hold up
the posting of funds to your account and this can end up taking 1-2 days for domestic
transfers and 2-3 days for International transfers in a worst case scenario. Most
banks will charge you a nominal incoming wire transfer fee of about $10 but it is well
worth the cost.
ONLY WHEN THE FUNDS ARE IN YOUR POSSESSION IS WHEN YOU SHOULD RELEASE THE
TITLE AND THE KEYS TO THE VEHICLE TO THE BUYER.
Most states require some sort of "Bill of Sale" when selling a motor vehicle.
This can nothing more than a simple piece of paper that is handwritten and gives
a brief summary of the transaction including the date of sale or transfer, the
names and address of the buyer and seller, the chassis V.I.N, the odometer mileage,
and the purchase price. In some states where the license plates stay with the
vehicle and not the owner, the Bill of Sale should reflect the current license
plate number on the vehicle. The purchase price being reported on the Bill of
Sale may be used in some states to levy a sales tax on the new owner when he applies
for a new title and plates. Many people have made out two sets of Bills of Sale;
one reflecting the true purchase price and another one reporting a much lower
sales price so the new buyer can reap a substantial savings when reregistering
the vehicle. Let your conscious be your guide. You can OPEN this sample
Bill of Sale (Microsoft
Word Doc) as a guide in preparing your own.
Finally, let me add this. I know there are a lot of people who are going to
say that they've sold vehicles and went right down to the bank with the buyer
where the cashier's check was "verified" and deposited, shook hands with the buyer,
handed him the keys, and that they've never had a problem. Well, folks,
you've been living a charmed life because sooner or later something bad is going
to happen with such a trusting transaction. The whole purpose of this web page
is to inform and protect both the buyer and seller so that each get to enjoy their
new asset. Whether you choose to heed any of this advice is up to you.
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How To Handle The Financial Transaction
So just how does somebody carry around $30,000 or more in cash in order to
buy a Rialta? The answer is simple and there are at least three alternative ways
to accomplish this.
- The first is the least preferred method and it involves the buyer wanting
to drive the vehicle off after seeing it for the first time. Unless he has actual
cash, you should not let this happen under any circumstances. Accept whatever
check he writes but then point him towards a local hotel/motel where he'll have
to wait 3-5 days until the check clears.
- The second method and probably the most commonly used is where the buyer
sees the vehicle for the first time, agrees to purchase it (perhaps with a deposit),
then returns home to make the final financial arrangements and for his return
trip. He can send a cashier's check or even a personal check in the mail that
would need to be deposited at least three days in advance of his return trip.
Once the funds have cleared on the check, he shows up at your front door ready
to drive it off. The buyers don't like this method because from their viewpoint,
they are paying in advance, sometimes up to 7-10 days by the time the post office
delivers the mail. The sellers love this method because they are fully protected
in that the vehicle is not released until the funds are posted.
- A third method involves the use of a wire transfer under which you can verify
the posting of funds to your account usually on the same day. Despite what you
see in the movies, wire transfers do not happen instantaneously. Allow up to
24-48 to verify the actual posting of funds to the seller's account. The buyer
is only putting the money up a day or two in advance and the seller is totally
protected. Once funds are posted to his account, the transaction is irreversible.
- The fourth method is the only truly protected method for both parties and
involves the payment of cash in which the transfer of ownership can happen instantaneously.
Both parties are fully protected.
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Forms of Payment
Personal and Cashier's Checks: both of these are merely paper promises
to pay. Both require 3-5 days to clear, including the cashier's check. Both can
be fraudulent or counterfeit. Nearly all parties will refuse to take a "personal
check" but for some strange reason they tend to think a "Cashier's Check" is secure.
Check with your local banker and you will find out that cashier's checks still
take 3 days or more to clear, just the same as personal checks. What that means
is after you deposit a cashier's check, the bank places a hold on the funds until
the check is verified by the issuing bank and funds are actually transferred.
It is at this point that many people find out three days later that the cashier's
check they accepted turned out to be counterfeit and the buyer is long gone with
the Rialta. If you deposit a personal or cashier's check of a sizable amount into
your account, your bank will place a hold on the funds until it clears the issuing
bank. Likewise, you should place a hold on your Rialta until the funds clear.
These "paper checks" come in many forms and are called by many names, such
as personal check, bank draft, certified check, cashier's check, money order,
traveler's checks, and negotiable order of withdrawal. But they are all basically
the same thing, a signed piece of paper which is promise to pay. All of them are
subject to the same pitfalls: stolen, fraudulent signature, and counterfeit. All
require several days to clear to allow the issuing institution to verify the validity
of the check. All deposits made using such checks can be reversed even after funds
have been made available to your account.
Wire Transfer: according to the bankers this is the preferred method
of transferring a sizable amount such as that resulting from the sale of a Rialta
or any other motorhome. However, it may still take 24-48 hours for a wire transfer
to be verified, all depending upon either bank involved in the transaction as
either bank can be guilty of slowing down the process. While the buyer may issue
instructions to his bank to initiate the wire transfer early in the morning, they
may not get around to it until later in the afternoon, even though they are quick
to show the money as deducted from his account. Even if the issuing bank is quick
to act on the transfer, the recipient bank may be slow to credit the account or
even allow the recipient to access the funds until they go through their administrative
bookkeeping process of "posting" the transaction late the next night.
In most cases of transfers done within the US, any transfer initiated early
in the morning is usually received within an hour or two or no later than that
afternoon. Whether or not they will immediately release the funds to the seller's
account is a matter of policy that differs widely between banks, none of which
will answer the question of exactly where the money is at during those few hours
of limbo until officially posted to the sellers account (HINT - do you know what
"float" means?). In some cases, this wire transfer may not complete in one day
due to any number of reasons so you should not rely on obtaining a same day transfer.
Just make sure you don't absolutely need to rely on a wire transfer on Friday
otherwise it may take until Monday to iron out any problems.
There is one exception to the potential for any delay in the posting of a
wire transfer and that occurs when both the sender and the recipient use the
same bank. In that case, it truly is a matter of just an account transfer and
most banks should be able to handle that within a matter of minutes or an hour
or two at the worst.
The buyer will need the name and branch address of the bank, along with the
seller's 10-digit account number (not the entire account number that appears on
the bottom of your printed checks). DO NOT GIVE OUT YOUR ENTIRE ROUTING AND ACCOUNT
NUMBER otherwise, you may find your entire account cleaned out. Check with your
local banker and they typically have a special "incoming wire routing number"
that you give to the buyer. Check with them about any special advice as to how
you should complete the wire transfer. If the buyer is getting his purchase financed,
then his lending company can complete a wire transfer to the seller's bank account.
They do it all the time. How do you think real estate transactions are handled?
Certainly not with checks!
Cash: no ID needed. Cash is King! All other forms of payment take time.
There is nothing wrong with demanding cash only for payment. Granted, some buyers
are put off by the idea of traveling around with $30,000 in cash but the benefits
of accomplishing the transaction make this a very desirable method to be used.
Some buyers may like to use cash because it eliminates a paper trail and tends
to mask the true purchase price of the vehicle to the vehicle licensing authorities.
There is one small problem with a cash transaction from the buyer's point of view:
they would need to give their bank several days notice in order to have that amount
of cash on hand. The cash withdrawal also triggers all sorts of flags with government
agencies from IRS to drug interdiction task forces. Sellers love a cash transaction
because they can stuff their mattress with the funds or enjoy standing at the
cashier's window and counting out $30,000 to deposit. Alternatively, they can
keep the cash handy for their own emergency needs which eliminates any knowledge
of the transaction by governmental agencies especially tax authorities. By Federal
Law, your bank reports any transaction involving $10,000 or more directly to the
I recently asked my small branch bank in my local town (population abut
40,000) about withdrawing $30,000 cash without any prior arrangements and I
was informed that it probably could happen on most days. But they still
recommended putting in a request a few days ahead of time to make sure that
they would have the additional cash on hand. It also helps eliminate any
suspicion of you being forced into a spontaneous coerced withdrawal.
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A Suggested Payment Requirement
Since its your Rialta you are free to do whatever you want, but
here is a suggested means of requesting payment. These are not unreasonable for
either the buyer or seller and actually protect both parties. These suggestions
will work whether or not you have an outstanding loan on the vehicle. If the potential
buyer wants to do something different, then beware of the potential pitfalls.
Its your money.
19XX Rialta: blah blah blah
Vehicle may be inspected and driven by appointment; call
101-555-1111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Car-Fax report available upon request.
$500 non-refundable deposit will hold the vehicle for 10
Balance within 10 days via cash or wire transfer. No checks
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