Electronic stock certificates can be sold immediately through a broker but paper certificates have to be mailed in. The method of selling stock certificates can have an effect on how they are sold. The types of stock certificates determines how they are sold.
There are two main kinds of stock certificates an investor can have in a company. Electronic certificates are generally easier to manage, considering they are usually handled and traded by brokerage firms. Allowing a brokerage firm to sell the stock certificates ensures the owner can set the sale price. The only problem is that using a brokerage firm might cause a slight delay in payment since they tend to pay on a schedule, as stated by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
Paper certificates can be difficult to work with, since more brokers are shying away from them, according to USA Today. They are easily lost and not so easy to transfer into cash. This means it may take a while to find a broker who will accept them unless the investor has an established account already. This involves finding a broker, mailing it in and waiting for them to sell it to turn it into cash. This could take weeks or months, depending on the type of stock certificate it is. If a paper certificate gets lost, there can also be an additional fee to replace it.