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Two of the most common questions we get are: 

 

  • Why should I use a broker?

 

  • What is the process?

 

Why Use a Broker?

 

  • A professional broker, with experience in the industry, takes you through the buying or selling process personally.  For a seller, the broker generates a market analysis, markets the boat, and fields calls from prospective buyers.  We qualify the buyers and present genuine bonified offers in writing, with deposits in escrow.  You don’t have to deal with calls or showings from unqualified buyers, wasting your time.  We take those calls, and filter them out before they ever get to you.  Our job is to get you the best market value for your boat 

  • In the state of Florida, Brokers are licensed and regulated by the same department that regulates Realtors.

 

  • For a buyer, a broker can search multiple sources to find the boat that fits your needs, from function to budget.  We preview boats so that we can provide a buyer with as much information as possible before investing the time to travel to see the boat in person.  And we do the market research to understand the real market value of a boat so that we can best assist in the negotiation process.

 

  • Once there is a contract in place, we handle the paperwork to ensure that the seller receives good funds at closing, boat loans are paid off, and all of the paperwork is processed.  The buyer has the confidence that their funds are secure in escrow until closing, title has been verified, and passes at closing unencumbered.

 

What is the Process?:

 

  • Typical Timeframe

  • The typical time from offer to delivery is 3-weeks.  This allows for inspections, surveys, title searches, addressing observed deficiencies, etc. This can be shorter or longer.

  • If you are financing the vessel, it can conceivably add another couple weeks to the process.  It can be quicker, but be prepared for the unexpected delays.  The process is designed to protect the parties.

  • The process of purchasing a boat, particularly as the price increases, if far more similar to purchasing a home than purchasing a car.  From offer to delivery, there are a number of steps necessary to insure that all of the parties are protected, and both funds and title transfer properly at the closing.​​​

  • Offers

 

  • We only present offers to our seller in writing.  We do not present verbal offers.  This presents an offer that tells the seller we have a genuine buyer, and represents the buyer with an offer to be taken seriously by a seller, giving the best opportunity to present a winning offer.

  • We generate a contingent Purchase Offer, subject to the buyer’s inspection, survey and sea-trial. 

  • In order to generate an offer, we need a photo of a driver’s license or other government issued identification.  This allows us to insure that we are dealing with a genuine buyer, since this process is most often done remotely via electronic documents.

  • The offer is sent to the Buyer for electronic signature via DocuSign.  This electronic system is secure validated.

  • Once signed by the Buyer, the offer is presented to the seller for his consideration.  Note that in some instances, a deposit will need to be in place BEFORE the offer is presented to the seller; but, typically, the deposit will need to be in escrow within 48 hours of the acceptance OR before any counter-offers are considered.  A deposit in escrow strengthens the offer for the buyer, and dramatically increases the likelihood of acceptance of the offer by the seller, and in the case of ultra-high profile boats, a deposit that accompanies the offer insures the credibility of the offer.

    • There are some instances when the deposit must accompany the offer, as well as providing proof of funds along with the offer.  This usually is reserved for offers on ultra-high-profile boats, or when specifically requested by sellers as a condition of receiving offers.  Your broker will advise if such a condition exists.

  • The Seller may accept, reject or counter-offer, and that will be communicated through the broker.

  • Once accepted, any revisions will be ratified in the agreement, and the boat is then considered under contract when combined with the requisite deposit placed into escrow.

  • A Purchase Offer is not ratified until it has been signed by all parties AND the deposit has been placed into escrow.

 

  • Due Diligence – Survey – Sea-Trail

 

  • Once the boat is under contract, the boat is eligible for survey and sea-trial by the buyer.  It is during this period that the buyer may also be given access to maintenance records, etc. as may be available on the vessel, to be used in conjunction with a survey of the vessel.  Survey and sea-trial are typically NOT permitted until there is a ratified (contingent) contract in place.

 

  • It is always our recommendation that a boat be surveyed by a certified marine surveyor, and in fact this may even be required by your finance company or insurance carrier.  The surveyor works for the buyer, and although we have a list of local surveyors that our clients have used, the choice for a surveyor lies with the buyer.  You should inspect structurally and mechanically.  The cost for a survey rests solely with the buyer.

 

  • This it often at this time that the sea-trial is performed, with the surveyor aboard, to add the sea-trial as part of the surveyor report to the buyer on the overall condition of the vessel.

 

  • Acceptance of the Vessel

 

  • The date of acceptance is identified in the agreement, and is the date by which the buyer must accept the vessel, extend the agreement to allow additional time for due diligence, re-negotiate for deficiencies discovered during the due diligence, or reject the vessel.  Up until this date, the buyer’s deposit is protected in escrow, subject to the contingencies.  If the buyer does not accept the vessel, or offer a conditional acceptance, the vessel is considered rejected, and the buyer’s deposit will be refunded as outlined in the agreement.

 

  • Closing Process

 

  • We do a USCG Abstract of Title on Documented vessels to confirm no liens are recorded

  • We confirm payoffs on any mortgages on the vessel

  • We generate all of the documents for both the buyer and the seller to complete the transfer including

    • Closing Statements

    • Bills of Sale

    • Power of Attorney for Title and Registrations

    • Tax Documents (as applicable)

  • Gather Original Title Documents as applicable

  • On a FL registered vessel, we collect and remit the state sales tax, and complete the vessel registration/title process.

  • All documents are sent to both the buyer and the seller for execution, and notarization as applicable.  All original documents are returned to the broker for review to ensure that all are completed properly, notarized as applicable, and are complete.

  • If the vessel is being financed by the buyer, copies of the bill of sale and closing statement are provided to the buyer’s lender to facilitate funding of loan proceeds.

  • If there is a deficit balance in the proceeds due to the seller in order to pay off their mortgage, the seller must deposit the necessary funds into escrow.

  • The final funds payable by the buyer directly are to be deposited into the escrow account for the balance due.

  • Once all of the documents are in order, and ALL funds are in place for the balance due (including loan payoffs), the transaction can be closed.

  • Sale proceeds transferred to the seller from escrow

  • Loan payoff transferred to the mortgage holder

  • Document copies disbursed to buyer and the seller

  • No vessels are released to a buyer until all documents are completed and verified AND all funds have been disbursed and confirmed by the seller and his finance company (if applicable)

 

  • Registration/Documentation

 

  • After closing, the necessary documents for the title and registration of the vessel are submitted to the appropriate agency in FL (for FL registrations/titles).  For USCG Documented vessels, the necessary documents are forward to our Documentation service for processing. 

 

  • Title and registration documents are forwarded to the seller (or his finance company) directly from the filing agency.