Join Date: Feb 2002
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Buying from a private party, not a broker
I''ve bought boats with and without brokers, and from my personal experience, going with a broker is a lot easier and didn''t cost anything. First, they handle all the paperwork and as Jeff noted, take care of holding the deposit in escrow. Second, when you go through a broker, you never meet the seller, which is a good thing most of the time. With them handling the back-and-forth negotiations, I feel more comfortable drawing a hard line and being a bit of a pain over small details. Most brokers are professionals at the game and know exactly how it''s played, and do it well.
I''d also add a step after your "Step 7" such as "Make needed changes and repairs." The reality is there are most likely a handful of things to deal with on any newly purchased boat (both new and used). Save a few grand (at least) in your bank account after the down payment to cover the cost of an untold number of things you or the surveyor didn''t notice, or to alter the things you''ll want done to make it YOUR boat. One good step is to have a certified mechanic go over the engine, and to replace ALL the items that wear down over time (pump impellers, batteries, shaft bearings) so you''re starting from fresh (unless you know of recent upgrades or replacements).
Jeff has a very good point on the documentation. Most lending firms will want you to use their service, but check this cost out EARLY in the process. I had one bank that had no closing fees, only to find out later that I HAD to use their documentation service. At that point we were heading into closing and backing out would have lost me the boat, so I shelled out the $450 ''documentation fee'' (the broker would of charged me only $75 if I could have gone through them) and wrote it off as a life lesson.