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Old 20-01-2022, 15:30   #1
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Are there any Florida Brokers Available For A Question?

Hey gang,

I have a question. I got sidetracked from buying a boat 6 months ago due to the pandemic and having to move. I'm back on track to buy I think and I've found a boat in Florida and I live in Canada...

It's a private sale and seems a bit too good to be true. I suspect it is. Nevertheless, I have never bought a boat let alone as a Canadian trying to buy in the States.

Does anybody have any experience or able to guide me to a responsible and experienced broker? I would want him/her to be present with an offer, help with transferring title and the usual stuff. If an offer is accepted, I'd want him/her there for the survey on my behalf then ideally help coordinate getting it on the hard at a marina (of course I would be compensating for this).

Any guidance would be greatly appreciate it.

Cheers and I hope you all are keeping healthy.

Jordan
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Old 29-01-2022, 16:09   #2
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Re: Are there any Florida Brokers Available For A Question?

If the boat is USCG documented, ask the seller for a copy (picture) of a certificate of documentation. With the number you can request an abstract of title from the USCG national documentation. I think the cost is 25$ USD.
If the guy you are talking to is not the actual owner or he has a mortgage on the boat , you will have the information in the document you will get.

Good luck


Link, in case the one above does not work.


https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Our-Organiz...tation-Center/
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Old 29-01-2022, 16:56   #3
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Re: Are there any Florida Brokers Available For A Question?

As a former yacht broker I can confirm scargo's advise. That should give you 99% certainty of the actual owner of the boat and any potential liens against the title.

If you're still interested in a broker, one question. You say this is a private sale so you are buying directly from an individual and no broker involved?

If that is the case then if you get a broker involved you would have to pay him or her the commission that would normally be paid by the seller. This would add 10% to the cost unless you can negotiate a deal with the broker for setting up the deal in advance.
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Old 30-01-2022, 05:40   #4
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Re: Are there any Florida Brokers Available For A Question?

I've read recently in another forum that private sellers in Florida must collect FL sales tax immediately upon sale... whereas brokerage sales don't come with that stipulation. Latter would give you time to move the boat out of Florida and then pay sales tax somewhere else (if applicable).

Not sure how/if that would play if the seller is private and the only broker in the picture is a buyer's broker.

If sales tax is a significant issue (the FL cap is $18K), perhaps the seller is allowed (and might agree to) to move the boat out of Florida to complete the transaction. I dunno if that would actually help.

Brokers in Florida are licensed, and may or may not agree to split commissions with an out-of-state buyer's broker.


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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
If that is the case then if you get a broker involved you would have to pay him or her the commission that would normally be paid by the seller. This would add 10% to the cost unless you can negotiate a deal with the broker for setting up the deal in advance.
I would expect a licensed FL broker who will act as a buyer's broker would also agree to only a 5% commission... since that's pretty much what he/she would get if the seller had his own broker involved. If that buyer's broker is a one-man show, doesn't need to split with his "agency", perhaps the fee could be even lower. In either of these cases, the buyer's broker is only doing minimal work, hasn't incurred boat-specific marketing costs often associated with the "sales" part of the the deal.


Just thoughts, not recommendations...

-Chris
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Old 30-01-2022, 06:02   #5
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Re: Are there any Florida Brokers Available For A Question?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLin View Post
Hey gang,

I have a question. I got sidetracked from buying a boat 6 months ago due to the pandemic and having to move. I'm back on track to buy I think and I've found a boat in Florida and I live in Canada...

It's a private sale and seems a bit too good to be true. I suspect it is. Nevertheless, I have never bought a boat let alone as a Canadian trying to buy in the States.

Does anybody have any experience or able to guide me to a responsible and experienced broker? I would want him/her to be present with an offer, help with transferring title and the usual stuff. If an offer is accepted, I'd want him/her there for the survey on my behalf then ideally help coordinate getting it on the hard at a marina (of course I would be compensating for this).

Any guidance would be greatly appreciate it.

Cheers and I hope you all are keeping healthy.

Jordan
I can ask some people. How much would you be willing to pay for this service?
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Old 30-01-2022, 06:31   #6
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Re: Are there any Florida Brokers Available For A Question?

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Old 30-01-2022, 06:58   #7
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Re: Are there any Florida Brokers Available For A Question?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLin View Post
Hey gang,

I have a question. I got sidetracked from buying a boat 6 months ago due to the pandemic and having to move. I'm back on track to buy I think and I've found a boat in Florida and I live in Canada...

It's a private sale and seems a bit too good to be true. I suspect it is. Nevertheless, I have never bought a boat let alone as a Canadian trying to buy in the States.

Does anybody have any experience or able to guide me to a responsible and experienced broker? I would want him/her to be present with an offer, help with transferring title and the usual stuff. If an offer is accepted, I'd want him/her there for the survey on my behalf then ideally help coordinate getting it on the hard at a marina (of course I would be compensating for this).

Any guidance would be greatly appreciate it.

Cheers and I hope you all are keeping healthy.

Jordan
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Old 30-01-2022, 07:01   #8
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Re: Are there any Florida Brokers Available For A Question?

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Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
I've read recently in another forum that private sellers in Florida must collect FL sales tax immediately upon sale... whereas brokerage sales don't come with that stipulation. Latter would give you time to move the boat out of Florida and then pay sales tax somewhere else (if applicable).
I believe that post was incorrect. A private seller is not liable to collect and pay the sales tax in Florida. The buyer is liable for the sales tax which is paid when the boat is registered.

There are a few exemptions. In this case if the buyer removes the boat from Florida within a deadline then uses and registers the boat in another state then the buyer is exempt from paying FL tax.

Here's a link to the basic regulations. https://floridarevenue.com/Forms_lib...t/gt800005.pdf
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Old 30-01-2022, 08:14   #9
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Re: Are there any Florida Brokers Available For A Question?

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Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
I've read recently in another forum that private sellers in Florida must collect FL sales tax immediately upon sale...
This is absolutely not true. For private sales, the buyer pays the sales tax when they register the boat and transfer the title.
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Old 30-01-2022, 09:11   #10
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Re: Are there any Florida Brokers Available For A Question?

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
I believe that post was incorrect. A private seller is not liable to collect and pay the sales tax in Florida. The buyer is liable for the sales tax which is paid when the boat is registered.

There are a few exemptions. In this case if the buyer removes the boat from Florida within a deadline then uses and registers the boat in another state then the buyer is exempt from paying FL tax.

Here's a link to the basic regulations. https://floridarevenue.com/Forms_lib...t/gt800005.pdf


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Old 30-01-2022, 09:40   #11
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Re: Are there any Florida Brokers Available For A Question?

If it is a private sale, I see no reason to engage a buyer's brokerage.

Don't over complicate a simple transaction by interjecting third parties that offer no substantial assistance and which will add cost.

A marine survey should be performed and a sea trial.

Will you be present for the survey and sea trial?

If not, then you need to find someone you will trust to make the seaworthiness and condition assessment on your behalf, as you will be making a purchase sight unseen, except perhaps by a virtual tour. A buyer's broker will not make a professional opinion in this regard as that is outside the scope of their profession and their business license and responsibilities to clients.

As previously astutely recommended, if the vessel is USCG documented then definitely obtain an Abstract of Title:
https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Portals/9/D...d1E8DcIQ%3d%3d

Recommend that you use the standard Bill of Sale documentation for the vessel AND a separate Bill of Sale for the dinghy and its outboard motor if a dinghy is included in the sale transaction.

Bill of Sale document. https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Portals/9/D...alwn_IAA%3d%3d

BE CERTAIN TO INCLUDE A DETAILED LIST OF ALL OF THE APPURTENANCES IN EACH OF THE BILL OF SALE DOCUMENTS. There are a lot of items to be included in the sales transactions, a boat is equipped with a long list of goods.

Transfer of title is simple with a Bill of Sale and simple administrative form filings with the USCG if the vessel is documented or upon registration with the State it is registered [and / or titled with if the State of registration is also a Titling state]. Transfer of title will typically be by executing signature by the prior owner on the vessel's title document. Simply review the procedure and forms that are applicable to the State with which the vessel is registered and / or titled.

You are Canadian, recommend that you flag the vessel as to having Canadian nationality. You as a person and the vessel being foreign flagged will be subject to immigration and custom's clearance procedures. Recommend that you obtain up to a one year cruising license from the US Customs and Border Patrol to ease the clearance for voyaging of the vessel from US ports. Of course, cruising licenses expire or need to be surrendered and then you have to follow the procedure of exiting the USA and return from a foreign port after 15 days to apply for up to yet another year of allowance to wander about the USA waters. Immigration and custom's being separate issues from your sale transaction. Do not muddle the subjects together.

The private sale will be subject to the typical buyer's privilege taxation, called a Use taxation in Florida which will be due upon registration and paid by the buyer. There is no Sales tax with a private sale transaction. Registration is again a separate and distinct matter from your sale transaction. Each matter is resolved in its due course with its appropriate procedure and process.
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Old 30-01-2022, 12:01   #12
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Re: Are there any Florida Brokers Available For A Question?

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
I believe that post was incorrect. A private seller is not liable to collect and pay the sales tax in Florida. The buyer is liable for the sales tax which is paid when the boat is registered.
Quote:
Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
This is absolutely not true. For private sales, the buyer pays the sales tax when they register the boat and transfer the title.
I would have thought that too... except the poster who said that in another forum posted supporting info too. See here:

https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/...xes-61545.html

-Chris
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Old 30-01-2022, 12:18   #13
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Re: Are there any Florida Brokers Available For A Question?

Definitely the taxes are not collected by the seller. That’s completely off base. I have bought more than one boat in Florida.

What happens is you have the transaction, then you have a certain number of days to vacate Florida before the taxes you owe kick in. It’s as simple as that.

Your home state is where you pay those taxes. Or rather where you keep where you keep the boat, you pay.

You may decide to keep the boat in Florida. And then they would have their hooks in you for taxes.
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Old 30-01-2022, 12:21   #14
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Re: Are there any Florida Brokers Available For A Question?

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Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
I would have thought that too... except the poster who said that in another forum posted supporting info too. See here:

https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/...xes-61545.html

-Chris
Reading the thread I see other posts also refuted the claim. Also unless I misread it, the OP stated it was the purchases and not the seller that was required to pay the sales tax.

When, as a Florida resident, I purchased and documented my boat in another state I contacted the Florida dept of revenue a couple of times and spoke with one of the senior staff in Tallahassee. Unless the rules have changed, regardless of how you buy a boat you have 30 days to remove it from the state and register in another state. Also, if you pay sales tax in another state FL will credit you with that tax against the FL tax if it is determined you do owe FL tax.

HOWEVER, the latest document from FL Dept of Revenue states:

"All boats sold, delivered, used, or stored in Florida are subject to Florida’s sales and use tax, plus any applicable discretionary sales surtax, unless exempt. Florida boat dealers and brokers are required to collect tax from the purchaser at the time of sale or delivery

When a boat is sold by someone other than a registered boat dealer, or a boat is brought into Florida for use in Florida, Florida use tax is due. The “use” part of Florida’s sales and use tax provides uniform taxation of items. Florida’s 6% use tax, plus any applicable discretionary sales surtax, is due on a boat used or stored in Florida when:

• The boat is purchased from a person who is not a registered boat dealer and the sale or delivery of the boat occurs in Florida;


So perhaps the rules have changed.
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Old 30-01-2022, 12:27   #15
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Re: Are there any Florida Brokers Available For A Question?

From what I understand if one is purchasing from the boat owner directly and not through a dealer and the sale takes place in Florida, then you the buyer are legally bound to pay the Florida sales tax. You have no option or number of days to remove the vessel to avoid Florida taxes, that’s only available through a dealer.
Here’s a quote from the Florida department of revenue

All sales of boats between individuals are fully taxable if the sale and/or delivery occurs in Florida.
Or the department of revenue webpage.

https://www.floridasalestax.com/docu...Purchasers.pdf
Seems pretty clear to me when reading it. How many abide by that law?.........
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