Legal Question in Consumer Law in Florida

I sold my boat last night and executed a Purchase Agreement "as-is." The buyer made deposit and transfer date was last night. The understanding is that he is to pick it up on Monday. He calls this morning and want to come and do a compression test (not a certified mechanic) and might want out of the deal. Do I have to let him out and give his deposit back?

Asked on 8/15/13, 7:19 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Angelo Marino Angelo Marino Jr. PA

Look at your agreeement. If no waiting period, then there is a deal.

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Answered on 8/15/13, 7:29 am
Byron Petersen Byron G. Petersen P.A.

The provisions in the sales agreement are critical. Even with the term "as-is", other language in the contract may water this caveat down or render it unenforceable.

The answer also depends on whether what you call a "deposit" might be considered an unenforceable "penalty" vs. enforceable "liquidated damages" with some rational nexus ("connection") to the actual damages you will incur if the sale does not go through.

And knowing the law does not really address your question because the crucial question is whether this issue is worth your time and effort to resolve.

You would be within your rights to demand another "deposit" to address, as necessary, damage to the engine caused by the cylinder compression test. You may also insist that a "real" boat mechanic run the test. Very importantly you must each sign a document to the effect that permitting the test will not be considered a wavier of your rights under the "as-is" clause. Byron Petersen

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Answered on 8/15/13, 10:37 am

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