Buying and selling horses can be stressful, but when you're the one selling the horse, you can protect yourself by drafting a contract or a bill of sale. By specifying all of the terms of the sale in writing, you always have something to refer to concerning what you can and can't do with the horse, and who has responsibility for the horse. Also you can use the bill of sale to iron out what each party in the transaction is comfortable with.
- Skill level:
Include all information about the buyer and seller, including full legal names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses (as well as emergency contact information). Specify who is the seller and who is the buyer.
Provide a full description of the horse, from colouring and all identifying marks to registration numbers and insurance information.
Describe what is being done with the transaction (how the horse is being sold) and how you as the buyer are representing the horse (such as dressage horse trained to Third Level or horse that ties and clips).
Lay out what the buyer will be responsible for and what the seller will be responsible for. One example is expecting the buyer to pay board if the horse is to stay on your farm on a payment plan, or who will pay the fees to transfer registration papers.
Be aware that the buyer may want a pre-purchase exam, or vetting, performed by a veterinarian; write down the terms regarding the pre-purchase exam, such as needing a deposit to hold the horse until the exam has been performed and how the deposit is to be returned if the horse doesn't pass the exam.
Specify how payment is to be made and when the buyer will have entire responsibility of the horse, called "risk of loss" (such as paying medical bills). For example, state whether the buyer will have risk of loss as soon as the horse leaves the seller's property or not until all payments have been made. If the horse is on a payment plan or going on trial, stipulate the exact dates the periods begin and end.
Describe which registration papers and records you are going to transfer to the new owner's name and when the buyer should expect the paperwork.
Stipulate that the bill of sale (and any attached pages) is the entire document. Also be sure to note that if any parts of the bill of sale are found not to be allowable in the document, the entire document itself is not to be voided.
Allow the buyer to read the bill of sale and make changes to what he or she does not agree with. All changes must be initialled by both you and the buyer.
Be sure to get the bill of sale dated when the buyer signs it.
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