How to sell shares of common stock
Selling shares of common stock isn't necessarily a complicated affair. There are a couple choices, and there definitely are things to know if you've never owned stock or invested in it before. All stocks must be bought or sold through brokerage houses.
Selling stock inherited from great-aunt Tilley is not difficult. The transfer of title is usually handled by the estate's attorney and is already in a brokerage account ready to be sold or reinvested when the new stockholder receives it.
Selling a stock certificate as a gift shouldn't be difficult either. The certificate should be in the name of the receiver of the gift, and already be registered with the company's transfer agent in that name. Selling it is just a matter of bringing it into a bank or brokerage house as mentioned in the next paragraphs.
A bank where the stockholder has an account would be a convenient choice for someone who doesn't have a brokerage account and doesn't plan on investing in the future. Most banks have employees who are qualified to buy and sell securities, and some banks have a department devoted exclusively to customers' investing. All that the customer has to do is present the stock certificate to the bank's investment officer and ask him to place a trade to sell at the current market price. After the stock's ownership is confirmed, it can be deposited into an account ready to be sold. It usually takes three days for the transaction to clear and have the money available for the seller of the stock to withdraw or reinvest.
Another way to sell shares of common stock would be to open an account at a brokerage house. This is similar to what is done at a bank, and, whether the broker is full service, discount, or deep discount, they all must go through the same process. The necessary paperwork will have to be filled out to open the account, and the certificate should be presented at an office, or sent via the mail to the individuals that handle these matters at that brokerage house. The broker will then confirm the ownership with the company's transfer agent, and then deposit it into the account to be sold.