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Old 04-16-2017, 10:41 AM   #1
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Verbal Offer Accepted

I am dealing with the Owner with no broker. We have had great communication during the last 3 months concerning the purchase of this boat. Now offer made by me and accepted verbally by him with a gentlemen verbal word agreement. Since I will be paying cash for the boat after successful survey, what paperwork, record search or contract should I have with him before the final acceptance? Is there a Offer and acceptance standard form to put all of the details of the offer in to not have any misunderstandings? Boat is being sold in Florida and brought back to Louisiana. No deposit is required. I pay Surveyor and haul. Survey fails or has serious issues I lose nothing but the cost for survey and can walk away. If some things that are supposed to work but don't, we will negotiate reduction of price or the repair costs. Price is below 40K

Advice always welcomed
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Old 04-16-2017, 10:48 AM   #2
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One advice, list everything that is included in the sell, so from any electronic to any appliance, life jacket or anything that should remain in the boat and be yours. Not to e paranoid but just to avoid coming to get the boat keys and realized everything has been removed.

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Old 04-16-2017, 11:17 AM   #3
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You can find offer/acceptance forms or make up your own if you don't like the standard format. I've seen many "gentleman's agreements" go sideways because you get into the "Well I thought you said...." kind of a deal.


If things are in writing there can be little misunderstanding about what's included, who pays for what, etc. I definitely would put in language that addresses issues that arise during the survey. Again, who pays for what, what allows you to back out if the survey shows the boat has major issues, etc.


When I have had my last two boats surveyed I used issues discovered in the survey to open further negotiations about price. Essentially the sellers agreed to lower the price by the amount of the repair costs (surveyor should provide estimates) and I got the work done where I wanted. This language was all in the written contract on the transaction.
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Old 04-16-2017, 01:32 PM   #4
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I purchased my boat directly from the owner no broker involved. As with you and your seller we communicated well, I paid all expenses. We wrote a contract that stipulated each persons responsibilities and listed all items that went with the boat. i.e. dingy & motor. Standard contracts are pretty easy to find online. I don't know about title research on a boat. I didn't worry about that, the seller had owned the boat for decades. I'm sure there are marine title companys that will do the research for you if you want pay the fee.

The only thing that made both of us nervous was the "no man's land" between the time of payment and the time the boat was registered and titled under my name. I think that is a major service brokers provide. Being the escrow agent for funds transfer, handling the paper work and I'd guess even having an insurance policy to cover the brief uncertainty of ownership.

My boat is registered in Washington State, it is not documented, things may work differently for you. We were lucky and found a locale with insurance agent, bank and licensing office all close together. In one building actually.

We made appointments in advance and it all went very well. I had my ducks in a row, funds in the right account and insurance ready to go. He met me with keys, title and registration in hand. We first went to the bank to transfer funds. As the banker confirmed transfer he signed the title over to me. Next stop insurance to be sure I carried coverage and the seller was off the hook. Last stop licensing office to file the transfer, apply for a new title and pay fees and taxes.

You're moving the boat from one state to another so you won't be able to do that final step.

As in all aspects of business and life it comes down to trust. If the other guy wants to screw you the contract is only a place for the lawyers to start arguing from. I trusted my seller.
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Old 04-16-2017, 01:47 PM   #5
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Have you asked if he had the title in hand? You at least want to agree that he is transferring the boat WITH full title to you I would think
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Old 04-16-2017, 01:48 PM   #6
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You really have no agreement until you put it in writing and that even assumes you are both 100% honest. Just too many unspecified things.

Here is a boatus page on the minimum elements the sales contract or offer should include.

Sales Contracts - Boat Buyer's Guide - BoatUS

and here is a sample agreement:

http://my.boatus.com/consumer/Forms/...-Agreement.pdf

Here is a standard Florida Yacht Brokers Association form:

http://www.yachtsalesflorida.com/con...e_%20Agree.pdf

I would modify that one to meet my needs.

Key elements that you don't have on a verbal agreement is how long the offer is valid, what the contingencies are, representations as to debt (for instance many have been burned by finding out there are dock obligations due before they can remove the boat or mechanic's bills), exactly what is and isn't included (there have been wars among yacht purchasers and sellers over art work, but more often by other boaters over dinghies, toys, televisions, etc). Also form of closing. Is a title company being used? Are you doing a title check? (Yes, Florida does have boat titles). Is the sale completely as is or is seller making any representations. Then there is also all the paperwork to comply with laws and registrations and taxes in both states. Anything you don't prepare or receive at the time of sale, may become difficult or impossible later. Then relatively simple things such as how long can you keep the boat in it's current slip and who pays what for that.
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Old 04-16-2017, 03:33 PM   #7
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I bought w/o broker as well. Look up ASAP marine documentation. They are located in south Florida. I dealt with Alison, she was great, even after purchase support when I needed a death certificate.

They handle all of the contract crap, transfer of title, temporary traveling papers which you will need etc. I think it was a couple hundred dollars, and she came to the boat for all of the signatures etc.
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Old 04-16-2017, 03:39 PM   #8
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I bought w/o broker as well. Look up ASAP marine documentation. They are located in south Florida. I dealt with Alison, she was great, even after purchase support when I needed a death certificate.

They handle all of the contract crap, transfer of title, temporary traveling papers which you will need etc. I think it was a couple hundred dollars, and she came to the boat for all of the signatures etc.
I also recommend using such a service, including for a title check.
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Old 04-17-2017, 07:22 AM   #9
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Welcome to boating in Louisiana,,,, where are you going to keep her docked.
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Old 04-17-2017, 12:49 PM   #10
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Your choice, of course, but personally I wouldn't spend a penny on survey, sea trial, title search, or anything else until I had a contract IN WRITING!
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Old 04-17-2017, 12:55 PM   #11
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We will be on the Tickfaw River off of Lake Maurepass.
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Old 04-17-2017, 01:15 PM   #12
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After I bought my boat, I showed up one morning when it was hauled out to find the PO offloading several things off of the boat which is now mine! Not valuables but in amongst some LJ's and such was my personal rain gear! He insisted it belonged to his dad because it had some blue paint on it. I firmly requested he relinquish that back to the boat. He was proud of leaving me a portable radio tape player that didn't work though.
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Old 04-17-2017, 03:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
Your choice, of course, but personally I wouldn't spend a penny on survey, sea trial, title search, or anything else until I had a contract IN WRITING!
The old saying is "a verbal contract is worth the paper it's written on." Now, most of the time the problem with verbal is not dishonesty on the part of anyone. It's simply a failure to have a true meeting of the minds. You have an agreement to buy a boat but you may have very different understandings of contingencies, timing, and what is and isn't included.

I saw a near war break out on a $2 million boat over a $15,000 dinghy. I saw recently two parties walk away from a $2.2 million sale because they had agreed in advance that unless something serious it was sold as is and the buyer wanted a $50k reduction based on the survey. Reality is it wasn't the $50k, but both parties had developed cold feet and were just looking for a way out.
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Old 04-17-2017, 05:35 PM   #14
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if you are going to try to re-use an existing contract that's in PDF format, check out http://www.dochub.com, you can edit pdf's all willy nilly, its pretty sweet. I've, I mean a friend of mine has used it on a few brokerless real estate transactions because the GA association of realtors has their blank forms locked up pretty tight. Once I.. er my friend found the form number they just googled with "type : pdf" and eventually found something that could be marked up.

EDIT: And be sure to delete any language related to brokers.. it will just confuse things in the case of a dispute.
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Old 04-18-2017, 07:00 PM   #15
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There is an old saying" An Englishman`s word is his bond, but get it in writing".
And a variation " An oral contract is not worth the paper it`s written on".
You are best to reduce the agreement to writing. Unless you are confident, get some help, the title company route sounds sensible. An exhaustive inventory is essential.
That said, a transaction usually succeeds because of the intentions of the parties, but still, do it in writing.
Most sales throw up a wrinkle. Last boat, the owner was going broke, getting divorced, moving to Thailand with his Thai girlfriend,( the boat had to be 'matrimonial property") the financier emerged as the sale progressed, I bought under their control, finalising in their office which was safer than dealing with the owner. Current boat was a deceased estate seller, wealthy family, but I needed to sight Probate, get an Executors Receipt, have the right docs signed by the right people to register the transaction. You need to be able to recognize a wrinkle if there is one.
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Old 04-18-2017, 07:16 PM   #16
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We bought our boat from South Dakota with the boat and owner in Masachusetts, all on a handshake. Everything went perfectly, but the seller was an exceptional, fantastic guy who loved the boat, and he even helped us with a ton of local advice and marina assistance after the sale. We got lucky. Doesn't always happen that way.
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:10 PM   #17
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I'm OK with a handshake on things I can walk away from or with amounts I can afford to lose. Everything else, let's just write down our agreement. Doesn't have to be 10 pages of legal boilerplate.

Was a little surprised on last boat purchase when boat yard informed me that winter storage fees were in arrears. PO assured me they were paid. Would have cost me more in legal fees and aggravation to go after him.
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Old 04-26-2017, 11:55 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou_tribal View Post
One advice, list everything that is included in the sell, so from any electronic to any appliance, life jacket or anything that should remain in the boat and be yours. Not to e paranoid but just to avoid coming to get the boat keys and realized everything has been removed.

L.
Per The advice on this thread I have put a lot of things in writing and will be surveying 5-2.
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Old 04-26-2017, 11:57 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by BruceK View Post
There is an old saying" An Englishman`s word is his bond, but get it in writing".
And a variation " An oral contract is not worth the paper it`s written on".
You are best to reduce the agreement to writing. Unless you are confident, get some help, the title company route sounds sensible. An exhaustive inventory is essential.
That said, a transaction usually succeeds because of the intentions of the parties, but still, do it in writing.
Most sales throw up a wrinkle. Last boat, the owner was going broke, getting divorced, moving to Thailand with his Thai girlfriend,( the boat had to be 'matrimonial property") the financier emerged as the sale progressed, I bought under their control, finalising in their office which was safer than dealing with the owner. Current boat was a deceased estate seller, wealthy family, but I needed to sight Probate, get an Executors Receipt, have the right docs signed by the right people to register the transaction. You need to be able to recognize a wrinkle if there is one.
That sound like something I will look into...Thanks
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Old 04-26-2017, 11:59 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by SoWhat View Post
I'm OK with a handshake on things I can walk away from or with amounts I can afford to lose. Everything else, let's just write down our agreement. Doesn't have to be 10 pages of legal boilerplate.

Was a little surprised on last boat purchase when boat yard informed me that winter storage fees were in arrears. PO assured me they were paid. Would have cost me more in legal fees and aggravation to go after him.
Luckily no marina or boatyard involved here.. PO has his own dock

Thanks
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