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The Buying Process

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Our team of experts has the local knowledge, skills and experience to help you through what could otherwise be a stressful buying process. From finding boats that meet your needs and price negotiations to legal paperwork and escrow services, we hope to help you meet your goals with ease. Contact us today to get started.


Buyer's Broker Information

Once you and the seller have a signed Purchase Agreement there is much to be done, however we do the majority of these tasks on your behalf. Most of what needs to be done is a product of many people working together to get in your vessel. We act as the liaison between you and the seller, their agent, the closing company, the surveyor, and boat yard/marina. We will guide you from contract to closing to make sure you are abiding by the terms of the contract. It’s a tough job at times when much of the outcome depends on other people, but our guarantee to you is that you and your investment are protected. That is why we try to work with like-minded professionals who have the same sense of urgency when it comes to our clients. As a buyer, you also need to have the sense of urgency so that your deadlines are met and you are protected. We will be there each step of the way.
So you will not be placed in an uncomfortable position when you purchase a vessel, an understanding of the escrow money deposit is of the utmost importance. At the time a written offer on a vessel is accepted, you will be required by the seller make a wire transfer of 10% of purchase price and this secures the contract. We cannot accept cash, money order, credit card or ACH. The deposit applies in full toward the purchase price at closing. Your escrow deposit is protected as long as you remain in compliance with your contract. This is why we make sure your surveys and inspections are done in a timely fashion. Once the acceptance of vessel form is signed (after survey, and by agreed-upon acceptance date) the deposit is no longer refundable.
When purchasing a vessel, it is highly suggested it be inspected. In the yachting world, we call this a survey. The survey is your first lesson on your new boat. It’s usually a fun day, full of adventure, but be prepared for anything. For your convenience, we have included a list of competent surveyors in NE Florida We encourage you to talk to a few surveyors to make sure you find someone that you can connect with and happy to work with. We can organize the dates for the survey and sea trial, making sure to accommodate your schedule. If airline tickets are needed, do not purchase them until the surveyor, the vessel owner and the brokers all have an acceptable date and time. This is a coordinated effort. Once you’re satisfied with the survey and sea trial you will be presented with an “Acceptance of Vessel” form for your signature. This is the start of the closing process! To protect your vessel, you should have insurance in place and a binder from the insurance company for your records prior to closing. Most insurance companies will want to see a copy of the survey. Make sure you check out our “Survey Day Survival Guide.”
Due to the increased amount of wire fraud, DO NOT wire funds to account other than what is in this packet. We will never email you a new account number or set of wiring instructions. Please call and confirm with YOUR BROKER, the complete wiring account number and instructions over the phone.

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At this point you will be contacted by Yacht Closer Closing Services. They will order an abstract (lien search), prepare bill of sale and discuss with you the difference between a Coast Guard documentation or a state title. It is highly recommended to have your vessel documented. We will send you a buyer closing statement, which gives you the balance needed to be wired prior to closing. Those funds are held until closing day (usually one week after acceptance). On closing day, the closing service will coordinate the legal documents that you are required to keep onboard, as well as the bill of sale and any other documentation. Coordination of the keys will be handled by your broker and you’ll be able to set sail!



Besides the purchase price, there are other associated costs. A survey is usually $18.00 - $25.00 per ft. When an engine survey occurs, it will be done at the same time. Expect somewhere between $250 - $350 per engine. When you choose to haul the boat to inspect the bottom, the cost is generally $10.00 - $14.00 per ft. Generally, you will receive your surveyor report within 2 - 4 days. Each surveyor is independent and will give you all of those specific details.

If you are a Florida resident or if you plan to leave the boat in Florida, you will be responsible for paying a 6% sales tax (on the first $300,000 of purchase price) plus possible local option taxes on the first $5,000, $75 maximum. If you are a non- Florida resident and will be moving the vessel out of state and paying taxes elsewhere, the vessel must leave Florida within 10 days of purchase or immediately be placed in the care, custody, and control of a registered repair facility for repairs, additions, or alterations. The boat must leave Florida within 20 days after completion of the repairs.

Closing documentation services are required to have your boat documented or titled. This will include a title/abstract search, bills of sale and having your boat re-documented with the Coast Guard or state titled. There are several documentation services that can handle these tasks. Typical cost is between $150 - $675 depending on whether your boat will be titled or documented.

Sunshine Cruising Yachts charges a $250 administration fee to cover the costs associated with coordinating and processing the closing paperwork.

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