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Old 03-11-2020, 09:28   #1
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Sequence of Purchase

My wife and I are trying to purchase a used Beneteau listed from a broker in Annapolis. We had looked at a number of boats previously through a couple of buyers' brokers, but they lost interest in us so I looked at this Beneteau without a buyers' broker. The seller's offer was to include delivery to our marina in Virginia, and it turns out the owner plans on delivering the boat himself, but the exact date is TBD. We wired a 10% deposit,had the survey done and cleared up outstanding defects, and are hoping to close soon. We're hesitant to wire the balance without having the title and proof the lien has been released. I know in a house closing an attorney handles escrow and all of the distribution of paperwork, but I know boats are handled differently. But with only a seller's broker acting as his agent can they really have any fiduciary responsibility to a buyer? Thanks in advance
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Old 03-11-2020, 09:45   #2
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Re: Sequence of Purchase

Do you not have a contract? Second question - regardless of the contract, why would you even consider paying in full for a boat which hasnít been delivered?
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Old 03-11-2020, 09:52   #3
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Re: Sequence of Purchase

I just purchased a boat without a buyers broker. The only broker involved was the selling broker. He still has an obligation for the transaction to be handled properly. You should have a contract and all moneys should go through the broker/escrow. A title search should be completed before closing. It should be a relatively safe transaction with a reputable broker.

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Old 03-11-2020, 09:56   #4
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Re: Sequence of Purchase

There is a purchase agreement which states that final payment is to be at closing. The closing section in the agreement also states that the boat is to be delivered at the Delivery Location, so I would assume that final payment would be made when the boat is delivered along with all title, lien release docs, etc. But is some other arrangement is customary I'd like to know from the much more experienced on the forum.
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:04   #5
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Re: Sequence of Purchase

Had the same experience with buying broker, told me to find a boat myself and call him when I'm ready.
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:04   #6
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Re: Sequence of Purchase

The details can be whatever is agreed on. These details need to start with a conversation and the agreed details written into the contract.

This is one of those situations where you "little voice" needs to be listened to. If your questions are because this is a new experience and you are trying to do your due diligence all is good. If you are feeling uncomfortable with the seller and/or broker then get someone on your side (a broker) you feel comfortable with. I was lucky and felt very comfortable that the selling broker truly had the position on facilitating a good deal between the seller and myself. The 3 of us had a good repour and the whole process was pleasant and without any gotchas. thankfully.

Good luck and I hope your experience is a positive one.

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Old 03-11-2020, 10:17   #7
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Re: Sequence of Purchase

Did you sign a contract with one or more buyers brokers?

Have you officially released those brokers from the contract?

If yes to the contract and not to the release, I would closely review those contracts and the time periods and terms. Your old buyers broker may still contractually have a claim for his commission even if he's not involved in the new purchase.

I had a friend whose listing broker ghosted on him. (Closed his office and cancelled his phone number). He ended up selling the boat (FSBO) about 10 months later. The listing broker came out of nowhere with a lawsuit demanding his 10% commission. Broker won his commission in a court settlement.

If a review of the contract appears to give the buyers broker some leverage, then I would do the following:

1) Attempt to cancel any existing P&S.

2) Send a certified letter cancelling your relationship with each buyers broker.

3) Re-submit a new P&S with a date later than your broker cancellation date.

JMHO
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:31   #8
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Re: Sequence of Purchase

No, I never signed a contract with a Buyer's Broker, nor did I ever orally indicate that I would use any broker as a buyer's agent. So I think I'm off the hook vis-a-vis your points, but thanks for raising them.
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:31   #9
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Re: Sequence of Purchase

My God. Dont write the check until the boat is your control. Brokers are liers. Sellers do to.
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:39   #10
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Re: Sequence of Purchase

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Originally Posted by porschetrek View Post
No, I never signed a contract with a Buyer's Broker, nor did I ever orally indicate that I would use any broker as a buyer's agent. So I think I'm off the hook vis-a-vis your points, but thanks for raising them.
The broker issue is irrelevant and only a distraction. I donít have the time to enumerate all the pitfalls to which you are liable in the absence of a contract.

At a minimum, donít hand over any money until the boat is delivered to you in the condition expected, verification of lien release received and the title signed.
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:48   #11
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Re: Sequence of Purchase

My personal opinion, and Iím not a lawyer, is that I see two questions:
1. When does the contract say that the final payment is due? If it says "at closing" then I wouldnít close until I had the boat in my hands.
2. What constitutes "delivery?" Is the PO moving HIS boat to deliver it to you, or is he just a volunteer offering to move YOUR boat?
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:58   #12
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Re: Sequence of Purchase

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Originally Posted by Bycrick View Post
My personal opinion, and I’m not a lawyer, is that I see two questions:
1. When does the contract say that the final payment is due? If it says "at closing" then I wouldn’t close until I had the boat in my hands.
2. What constitutes "delivery?" Is the PO moving HIS boat to deliver it to you, or is he just a volunteer offering to move YOUR boat?
I think this is the crux of the matter, I've always taken possession of the boat at closing. Sounds like it's their intention for the owner to deliver YOUR boat after closing.
At closing I've received either a signed "pink slip" for state registered boat or bill of sale and current documentation. Registration or document transfer, sales or use tax are all on you unless you pay a documentation service to handle it.
Only broker I've used is a friend and I've not hesitated to provide him with a check prior to closing which he puts into an escrow account. The 10% deposit check he just waves at the seller with the purchase offer to show intent. Then he either deposits in escrow or gives back at my direction.
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Old 03-11-2020, 11:12   #13
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Re: Sequence of Purchase

When I bought my boat, I not only had to worry about the purchase, but also the delivery, because I wanted to avoid sales tax. So the "sale" had to be done "offshore. "

PO hired a documented, blessed, real professional captain. They took the boat the required distance offshore. I hired a licensed captain to take me out to the boat. I singed the papers, the PO signed the papers, I gave him a check, we took lots of pictures to document all this, THEN the PO hired the fellow that brought me out to take him ashore.

If I were you, I’d make very sure that you dot every I and cross every T.
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Old 03-11-2020, 13:13   #14
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Re: Sequence of Purchase

The PO has a loan on the boat which needs to be satisfied prior to me getting a clean title. Anyone had to deal with this and how long did it take to get a lien release letter from the bank?
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Old 03-11-2020, 14:08   #15
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Re: Sequence of Purchase

Ah, more complications. The bank won’t give a release until they’ve been paid. If he’s counting on your money to pay the loan, then what? For example, you give him the money. He signs the bill of sale and other papers. You take "your" new boat home. He goes to the casino and blows the money. You now have a new boat, complete with a mortgage.

I think you need more help on this than you’re likely to get from an Internet forum.
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