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Old 09-28-2022, 06:56 PM   #1
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Purchase from a private owner?

We are interested in purchasing a motor home from a private owner! Looking for info on how others handled the transaction. How did you make the down payment to hold it until date of the actual sale? Any other tips or guidance would be appreciated!

Thanks!
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Old 09-28-2022, 07:05 PM   #2
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We are interested in purchasing a motor home from a private owner! Looking for info on how others handled the transaction. How did you make the down payment to hold it until date of the actual sale? Any other tips or guidance would be appreciated!

Thanks!
I drove 100 miles to look at it, I liked it, I gave the guy 2K in cash to hold it for 3 days. Drove back 3 days later with my Dept of Motor Vehicles temporary tag and my insurance card and we went to the bank with the seller (we both banked at Wells Fargo) went to a teller and had the balance transferred into the sellers account, then the bank notarized the bill of sale and the title. easy peasy. When a private seller hears you are prepared and have the cash ready to buy and don't need to fool around getting approved for a loan it's a big plus for them, they don't have to deal with the extra time, the risk of a scam or a loan falling thru and as a result we were able to negotiate a decent lower final price.
Not so with many dealers when they make money on financing and don't really want your cash offer and will not want to give you a discount for cash.
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Old 09-28-2022, 07:16 PM   #3
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I drove 100 miles to look at it, I liked it, I gave the guy 2K in cash to hold it for 3 days. Drove back 3 days later with my Dept of Motor Vehicles temporary tag and my insurance card and we went to the bank with the seller (we both banked at Wells Fargo) went to a teller and had the balance transferred into the sellers account, then the bank notarized the bill of sale and the title. easy peasy. When a private seller hears you are prepared and have the cash ready to buy and don't need to fool around getting approved for a loan it's a big plus for them, they don't have to deal with the extra time, the risk of a scam or a loan falling thru and as a result we were able to negotiate a decent lower final price.
Not so with many dealers when they make money on financing and don't really want your cash offer and will not want to give you a discount for cash.
Thanks! Some more info is that the motor home is 1,500 miles away and we will only have the opportunity to see it via a video chat. Risky I know but it is what it is. If the motor home does not meet the advertised expectations could we recover a down payment somehow?
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Old 09-28-2022, 07:30 PM   #4
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I'd see if I could negotiate a deposit pending an inspection and test drive instead of a down payment. This would be something in the hundreds of dollars range that would be transferred into the down payment if all is OK or refunded if the MH is clearly not as advertised. If you just don't like it, it would be non-refundable.
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Old 09-28-2022, 07:32 PM   #5
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As Bob says, also a very good idea to hire an RV inspector from the area.
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Old 09-28-2022, 07:39 PM   #6
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Run your own car fax on it.. if you have emissions testing in your state.. keep back 50% until it passes .. other than that.. just like buying a house.. if over 20,000 two inspection.. one for chassis and 2nd for coach.. negotiate price 1st subject to re-negotiate if problems come up in inspection.. now for yourself.. keep back 20% for you own modifications and repairs and maintenance..
Good luck and keep us posted
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Old 09-28-2022, 07:43 PM   #7
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Personally I wouldn't buy a used motorhome that I couldn't go over myself, especially a used one. It's slowly becoming a buyers market again, especially if you are a cash buyer. Unless it is a rare motorhome or just an outstanding buy. I would keep looking for something closer.

That's probably not what you want to hear but motorhomes are a big expense and can get real expensive to fix if you can't do the work yourself.

Good luck.
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Old 09-28-2022, 07:44 PM   #8
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If you post the model and year maybe some owners of similar rigs will contribute information on any peculiarities to be aware of.
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Old 09-28-2022, 07:53 PM   #9
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Personally I wouldn't buy a used motorhome that I couldn't go over myself, especially a used one. It's slowly becoming a buyers market again, especially if you are a cash buyer. Unless it is a rare motorhome or just an outstanding buy. I would keep looking for something closer.

That's probably not what you want to hear but motorhomes are a big expense and can get real expensive to fix if you can't do the work yourself.

Good luck.
Plus 2, I would not give a deposit to a private party until I could look at it, too easy for there to be issues and them not wanting to return the deposit. An RV shop I would give a deposit dependent on my inspection.
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Old 09-28-2022, 08:21 PM   #10
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We are interested in purchasing a motor home from a private owner! Looking for info on how others handled the transaction. How did you make the down payment to hold it until date of the actual sale? Any other tips or guidance would be appreciated!

Thanks!

On a bank in escrow, both parties are protected. Always have a used RV inspected and the sale is dependent upon the results. Inspect both the chassis and the RV. Completing the sale at a bank is the safest approach.
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Old 09-29-2022, 06:47 AM   #11
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In addition to the above suggestions, check the current title and see if there is a lien on it ( like a bank loan) If there is, that complicates the transaction.
Unfortunately there are so many scammers around that you must be very vigilant about making sure everything is on the up and up.
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Old 09-29-2022, 07:25 AM   #12
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How long has it been listed? If its been a couple months, you have to wonder why it hasn't sold. Price too high? Not what the pictures portray? Does your schedule allow for a 2 day road trip to check it out? Or a quick flight for a hands on look? If you liked what you saw, negotiate a price and a refundable deposit subject to a successful inspection. You could have an inspection arranged ahead of time to be done if you were happy with what you find. Worst case is you are out the cost of the trip. Best case you end up with what you want.

I just sold our coach to a private party. He was only 90 miles away. I would have welcomed an independent inspection, but when he saw my service records since new with the most recent less than a month old, he didn't want one. They gave me a $2,000 check for deposit and came back a week later with a cashiers check.
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Old 09-29-2022, 10:12 AM   #13
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Are you absolutely sure this is a legitimate sale? If the price is too good to be true, I'd be wary. How did you find out about the MH? There are a lot of scams on FB Marketplace and Craigslist these days.

Personally, I'd prefer to buy locally and can't see negotiating long-distance to buy a MH.
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Old 09-29-2022, 10:35 AM   #14
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As in any transaction there's some element of risk. Without an independent third party it is a higher risk. But risk does not equal loss.


Plenty of buyers have had big problems at dealerships. I would not buy from Facebook or Cragslist without serious safeguards and inspections.


Year or so ago I sold a Class C to an out of state buyer. We had ads running in RVTrader where they found us. We had lots of pictures posted and a detailed description. They were we had already prepared a detailed video walk through of every detail of the rig that we provided to them. Then we did a Facetime walk through for a Q&A session. They sent us a $500.00 deposit that we agreed to hold until they could get here. We had a loan on it and they were also getting a bank. Since our lender (USAA) held the physical title the two banks worked out the payment process between two states and once the funds were credited to our lender they released the title to their bank and sent us the remaining balance.



I had done some online background checking on the buyer and they appeared to good folks. I assume they did the same for us.



We were the third owners, but we had all of our service records and list of mods done while we owned it. The entire transaction went smooth and the new buyers sent us pictures of their first trip.
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