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Old 28-09-2019, 19:42   #1
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Closing agent fees?

Hi cruisers, I need advice!

I'm in the process of buying a sailboat, and have just ran into an unfortunate situation: my seller is working with a broker, who has suggested using his "Closing Agent" aka documentation company.
The boat went thru inspection and sea trial with flying colors, I've made an offer and paid 10% Earnest money, only to discover that the documentation company is attempting to charge me over 3% in closing fees.
That does not include sales or use tax, there is no insurance or mortgage involved, no USCG documentation needed, and my state title application (WA) is free if done by mail.

How do you guys deal with this kind of BS?
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Old 28-09-2019, 20:24   #2
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Re: Closing agent fees?

Wow that's steep. We ended up using a "documentation agent" to do all paperwork including USCG documentation. It was about 0.5% of the total, including a notary's fee.
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Old 28-09-2019, 20:53   #3
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Re: Closing agent fees?

Is it shown in your sale agreement? If so, pay it. If not, tell them to suck it up.
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Old 28-09-2019, 21:29   #4
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Re: Closing agent fees?

Quote:
Is it shown in your sale agreement? If so, pay it. If not, tell them to suck it up.
That was the first thing I went to check after receiving a settlement statement.
My sale agreement doesn't specify the amount of closing fees.

However, it says "upon the close of sale, The Purchaser authorizes the Closing Agent to deduct any outstanding expenses incurred to the Purchaser's account from the Earnest Monies and apply to the purchase of the Vessel".
Which can be understood as me authorizing them to charge me any amount, except they couldn't have incurred any expenses on my behalf, because I haven't given them a power of attorney yet.

I'm planning to negotiate those fees and use leverage over broker and the seller if needed.
Probably easier to pay, but then they win, and keep doing it to others.
No can do
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Old 28-09-2019, 22:55   #5
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Re: Closing agent fees?

Pacific Maritime Title in Seattle usually charges fixed fees. Call them to handle the transfer.
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Old 30-09-2019, 15:17   #6
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Re: Closing agent fees?

Fact-checking agent's latest claim, hoping somebody here has experience / knowledge of the process:

The boat is Canadian and is registered with Canadian Register of Vessels.
Does Washington state require Proof of Deletion from Canadian Register in order to be registered here?

The agent is trying to charge me extra $250 for it.
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