For example, if one lives in Brooklyn but will be spending Pesach in LA, should the chometz be sold to a non jew who lives in Brooklyn, since selling it to someone who resides in LA would look more like a 'haramah', a trick, and not a valid mechirah since it wouldn't be practical or make economic sense for him to fly to Brooklyn just to get the small amount of chomezt that was sold.

edit - maybe I should have gave an example with NY and Toronto where there is no time zone difference.

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    Not only that but it is easier to arrange when in the same time zone. However, this is a matter of practicality rather than halacha. – sabbahillel Mar 13 '18 at 2:30
  • Re edit: your example was good enough. You stressed that you are looking to know if it's better to sell in the place that you're at for pesach, or at the place you live at. My side note was just that: a side note. Btw if this is a practical question for you, and you're wondering where to sell, you should still ask your Rabbi. – aBochur Mar 15 '18 at 5:33

The chametz sale must be done in a way that the non-Jew now fully owns the chametz.

So to see if it's a valid sale, we must look at the situation. If he happens to visit Brooklyn from LA does he have the right to go in and get the chometz? If yes, then the sale was a good one, and there's no reason to sell it to someone in Brooklyn.

Especially nowadays, where travel and shipping is very simple, it wouldn't be hard for him to get ahold of his belongings.

On a side note, if you travel from LA to NY, (opposite of your case) and you're selling your chametz through a Rabbi, you should definitely sell it to a Rabbi in NY as selling it through a Rabbi in LA, would mean that it's sold after the prohibition starts for you, and you will be oiver for having chametz in your possession.

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While technically the sale is valid wherever the buyer and the chometz may be, there are some rabbanim (such as Rav Mordechai Shuchatowitz of Baltimore) who try very much to make sure that they are in the same region. This is because the whole sale is almost a virtual sale or legal fiction. So, in order to make the sale more tangible, these rabbanim will make sure that the goy actually could, if he wanted to, get to the chometz that he bought.

(Rav Shuchatowitz also puts on the contract where a key to the house with the chometz could be obtained. He has the appointment of agency, the contract that lets him sell the chometz, written in plain English, and specifies on it exactly who he will sell the chometz to and where he lives. You actually feel like your selling something.)

All this is to drive home to the seller that there is a serious transaction going on here. Most rabbanim don't insist on this, and the sale works without any of this of the seller actually wants to sell his chometz.

(When would he not? If he doesn't keep mitzvos, but he wants to have a kasherus certificate on his store, restaurant, factory, etc.)

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In my humble opinion, Yes, if you sell away the ownership completely to a non jew. this page may help. http://www.chabad.org/937303

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