Finding Your Vessel
At this point, you are working with a member of the POP Yachts sales team to find the perfect vessel for you and your family.
Working with the broker that has the largest inventory of any boat broker in the U.S. gives you many choices. For example, we have more secondhand Sea Rays for sale than any dealer or broker in the world (191 at the time of this writing). If we don't have the boat for you, it probably doesn't exist on the market.
We have also amassed a database of hundreds of thousands of boats for sale around the U.S. Your salesperson can perform an exhaustive search, which can sometimes take a few days, to let you know what is available.
If the boat you want isn't close, don't worry. Transportation is not as expensive as it used to be. Depending on the length of the vessel and whether she is an oversize load, this usually runs between $2.50-$3/mile, insured.
If you have found the perfect vessel through another dealer or private seller on a website, it would be prudent to let your salesperson know. Similar to real estate sales, sellers pay the commission on a sale, so it won't cost you anything extra to have us on your side. We bring a lot to the table in these transactions, including an escrow account to ensure money is delivered only after Bill of Sale is signed and delivered, proper negotiating based on our knowledge of the market, USCG documentation and other closing paperwork and tax forms. Plus, you will have someone representing your interests.
As a licensed dealer and broker in Florida, we are forced to operate under a strict set of legal guidelines and ethical standards, and it's good to have us on your side during a transaction.
Making an Offer
As a broker, we represent thousands of individual private sellers. While most vessel prices are somewhat negotiable, we cannot guarantee that any offer (other than full price) will be accepted. In general, in today's global market, boats tend to sell at about 93% of their advertised price. There's no way to tell what offer will work for a particular seller unless you try it.
We represent you, but we also represent the seller (through a separate individual agent) and therefore have a policy against submitting verbal offers to sellers. We only present offers in writing, backed by a 10% deposit. It is only fair to the seller, who may have to talk it over with his wife, or her husband, with their family and perhaps with partners in the vessel or a bank, that the offer be a real offer.
Your sales representative can prepare a written offer (Purchase & Sale Agreement, or P & S document). The document we use is endorsed by the Florida Yacht Brokers' Association for consistency.
You submit an offer to purchase rather than purchasing outright to give you time to schedule a survey, mechanical inspection, engine compression check and/or trial run. During the window specified in the P & S agreement (typically two weeks), the seller is prohibited from selling this vessel to another party. Without this contract to purchase, the seller could sell the boat to someone else immediately after your successful survey, and you would have paid for a survey and not had the opportunity to purchase!
This is a very standard practice, and you would not be able to purchase a used vessel from anywhere else without signing a P & S agreement in advance.
Once the P & S agreement is signed by the seller at an agreed upon price, (which could be your initial offer or somewhere in the middle of your offer and the advertised price), you are required to submit your 10% deposit to our escrow account (see wiring instructions document) within 2 banking (business) days. If not submitted within 2 banking days, the agreement is voided. This deposit can be sent in advance, as many buyers do, and held to use as a deposit once the agreement is signed, or for the deposit on another vessel.
At this point, you are free to schedule the survey, inspection and/or trial run.
Survey & Trial Run
Almost all offers contain certain standard conditions (contingencies) that we will include by default. The most common, and included by default, is your right to survey, inspect and/or participate in a trial run.
We absolutely recommend you conduct a survey and inspection on any vessel you are looking to purchase. You should know exactly what you are buying and we want you to be happy with your purchase.
To maintain our independence and ensure you receive an unbiased report, we cannot select a surveyor for you. We can provide you a list of the three closest accredited surveyors to the vessel or a link to a list of all accredited surveyors in the state. You must select your surveyor on your own, with no feedback or influence from us. Once you have selected a surveyor, simply tell us his/her name and we will coordinate the survey and inspection.
Surveys typically run $16/linear foot of the vessel. For example, a survey on a 27' vessel will cost approximately $432. Costs vary depending on the vessel location, distance from selected surveyor, type of vessel and services desired. Some surveyors will also conduct an analysis on the engine(s), including a compression check. Most will not, but will refer you to a marina or other surveyor for that work, if requested.
It may take up to 2 days after survey for you to receive your written report from your surveyor.
In order to maintain our distance, this report is delivered from the surveyor directly to you (usually by email, as a PDF). It typically includes photos of important areas on the vessel that are discussed. A good surveyor will point out every area that needs any amount of attention. If this is a used boat, you should expect some wear on seats, covers, trailer tires, etc. and it likely won't be perfect. On the survey, keep an eye out for critical items that affect the vessel's condition. Not to worry though, your surveyor will point these out to you, typically using a color-coded or priority-based system for all issues.
After reviewing your survey, you need to make a choice. You may reject the vessel because of the survey findings (or for any reason, or no reason) and your deposit will be wired back to your bank, or you may choose to accept the vessel and move forward to funding and purchase.
Acceptance of Vessel
If you choose to accept the vessel after survey and inspection, we will provide you with a document called an Acceptance of Vessel. It is a 1-page document and will be attached to your previously signed P & S agreement. You should sign it and return it to our Closing Department. Once we receive a signed Acceptance of Vessel document (also called an AOV), we will prepare the final paperwork and inform you of the final amount due to purchase the vessel (the purchase price minus the 10% deposit), including our closing fee of $299 (U.S.) and $499 (International). The closing fee covers all of our wire fees, all title work and trips to the DMV (as required), FedEx costs for originals and closing paperwork.
Remember, you have the right NOT to sign the AOV document. If not signed by the required date in the contract, the vessel is rejected and your deposit will be refunded upon your request. If you need more time, we can quickly put an addendum together signed by yourself and the seller that extends the date for acceptance or closing.
Bill of Sale
Our Closing Department will prepare the Bill of Sale detailing your details and the seller's details, the vessel information and purchase price. The Bill of Sale needs to be signed by both yourself and the seller to be consummated.
If at any point, you elect not to proceed to purchase from this point, after signing the Acceptance of Vessel document, your 10% deposit would be forfeited to the seller.
Our Closing Department will also prepare a Financial Statement for the transaction for both yourself and the seller. This document explains all funds that have so far been received, and the remaining balance required to complete the purchase. You must sign your Financial Statement and the seller must sign his/hers.
The Buyer's Financial Statement clearly shows the final balance due to complete the purchase. You should wire the balance of the funds to our secure escrow account in the same manner as the deposit was wired.
Once the Closing Department is in receipt of all documents and your final funds have cleared (it usually takes less than one business hour for a wire to transfer), we can close the sale and disperse the funds to the seller (and/or the seller's bank if a payoff is necessary to receive the Title).
We will ensure the Title (or other documents) are assign to you, the new owner of the vessel, and send you copies of all documents for your records.
Sales tax is due on all boat sales within the State of Florida, if the vessel is located in Florida and staying in Florida.
If sales tax is due to be collected, POP Yachts will calculate this tax and it will be included on your Buyer's Financial Statement as part of the final payment due. We will send to the State of Florida on your behalf. As a licensed boat dealer in Florida, we are required to comply with state tax laws.
Once the purchase is completed, we will provide you with a Buyer's Tax Statement. To register the vessel in your name, most states will require you to bring the Tax Paid statement, signed Bill of Sale, and signed over Title. All of these documents will be sent to you in your final closing packet which we FedEx to your address after closing is completed.
Out of State Sales and International Sales
During the closing process, we will provide you with a completed Florida Tax Affidavit for you to sign. This confirms you will be moving the vessel out of Florida after purchase. With this document signed by you, we are not required to collect Florida Sales Tax. POP Yachts is required to file this paperwork with the State of Florida within 5 days of the closing. For this document to be filed, you will be asked for your Social Security number and driver's license.
If you are outside of the U.S., you must send a copy of the identification page in your passport, which will be used to file this document with the State of Florida.
You have now purchased your boat!
Our Closing Department is already working on everything you need after the sale.
At this point, you have completed the closing process from start to finish. We are the largest broker in the U.S. for a very good reason: We take pride in our work and we always take care of the parties we represent.