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Old 12-08-2010, 08:51   #1
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Buyer's Broker or BoatUS ?

I live in Virginia, and am ready to make an offer on a boat in Florida, from a private seller who is living in Alaska. Survey being done next week.

The problem is that I'm a financial moron. Never owned a house, paid cash for everything, so I never learned how these things work. I would like to find a broker or the like to do the paperwork but I don't want to pay 10% just to have a guy fill out the paperwork. Is this standard fee for a buyers broker?

Also, I saw on boatUs website that they provide a service that does exactly what I need but didn't see a price.

What is the best way to make the process hassle free, inexpensive and secure? What are my options for getting someone to handle the transaction?
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Old 12-08-2010, 09:07   #2
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You don't pay the 10% fee, the seller does. Granted, the seller might balk at giving a broker the fee and reject your offer as too low, but it is a buyer
s market right now.

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Old 12-08-2010, 09:13   #3
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I'd be surprised if a broker local to the boat would not be happy to help you complete the paperwork for a good deal less than 10%.........would be completely unreasonable not to.

Think about how long it might take them, ask them what they charge for man time at an hourly rate, and you've got an idea of what to offer.

As has been said it is a buyers market - and brokers are suffering just as much as vendors are in this climate - so I am sure they'd appreciate someone like you rocking up with some money for a little office work.

Good luck
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Old 12-08-2010, 09:35   #4
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Can a broker from Virginia do the work from here, or would I need a Florida broker?
I've searched the forums but can't find much about the actual process of buying a boat. Registration, escrow, titles etc.

Can anyone point me to a thread or tutorial where I can learn about the paperwork part of buying a boat?
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Old 12-08-2010, 09:51   #5
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And the answer IS ......

Quote:
Originally Posted by virginia boy View Post
Can a broker from Virginia do the work from here, or would I need a Florida broker?
I've searched the forums but can't find much about the actual process of buying a boat. Registration, escrow, titles etc.

Can anyone point me to a thread or tutorial where I can learn about the paperwork part of buying a boat?
You'll probably need a local (Florida) broker who is familiar with the state's requirements, although any broker should be able to assist you with CG documentation. As for knowledge threads ... check the pages in this forum, there's a wealth of knowledge here.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:56   #6
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Quote:
Also, I saw on boatUs website that they provide a service that does exactly what I need but didn't see a price.
If you click the "Contact us" button on their website, you'll find this:

Settlement Service: 703-236-7097

Worth the dime, or quarter, whatever, to ask, I should think.
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:02   #7
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Here is a link to FWC and Florida Boating Regs.

Are you going to keep the boat in Florida?

Regardless, basically you want to write an offer contract that states the purchase amount and any conditions that will let you out of the contract or let you re-negotiate the price. Those conditions are typically survey and sea trial at a minimum. You also want to put a time frame on the offer that is long enough for you to get the survey and sea trial done, but short enough to compel the seller to action. There is also normally a bunch of other legal stuff designed to protect all parties from giving their money to scam artists.

The "tricky" part comes next, most brokers/sellers will want a 10% deposit that gets held in an escrow account (notice how the 10% nicely matches up w/the brokers fee). Brokers have these accounts at the ready. Note that in your discussions with the seller, you might not have to provide a deposit.

This probably comes under the heading of bad advice since it is just an overview - I ain't no lawyer and all the other disclaimers apply.

Fair Winds,
Mike
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:02   #8
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My understanding is BoatUS is a flat rate depending on what you need done as part of teh process (e.g. documentation etc).

IMO you should get someone to help. As well as the paperwork and legalities, they will help in escrow and doing a lien check on the boat.
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:50   #9
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WOW! You guys were very helpful, thanks.
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Old 12-08-2010, 12:43   #10
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Google "Titling Services of Florida, Inc." They handled registration and documentation for me very efficiently.
Tell Malissa that Mike from Mandolin said "HI".
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Old 12-08-2010, 13:09   #11
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I'll add one thing - if you do this yourself, never, ever give deposit money directly to a private seller. Escrow it elsewhere.
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