Tips for Taking Payments on a Sale Horse


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When you have a horse for sale, you may encounter buyers who want to buy your horse, but who can’t afford the entire purchase price all at once. In some cases, it may make sense to take payments on a sale horse. These tips can help you to decide whether to take payments, and how to set up the arrangement.

Understand the Risks

Selling a horse with a payment plan is not without its risks. The buyer may default on the payments, meaning that you reclaim the horse. While you generally get to keep all money the buyer has paid to you until that point, you may suddenly find yourself with an extra horse that you hadn’t anticipated owning. You’ll also have to market the horse again in order to find another buyer.

There are other ways that payment plans can go wrong. If a horse is allowed to leave your property, the buyer could stop paying and may disappear with your horse. You could also face issues if the horse is injured while in the buyer’s care, which is why it’s suggested that you require the buyer to carry insurance on the horse.

Set Ground Rules

Establishing ground rules is essential if a payment plan will work. The below rules are fairly standard when it comes to taking payments on a sale horse. The buyer is required to put down a deposit of a certain amount, and to make pre-determined payments on pre-determined dates. The horse must be boarded on your property or at your boarding stables until paid in full. Registration papers will not be transferred until the horse is paid in full. If the buyer defaults on payments, the horse returns to your ownership and the buyer sacrifices any payments they’ve made so far.

Always Have a Contract

Always draw up a solid contract spelling out the terms of the payment plan. It’s advisable to consult with an attorney to make sure that the contract is solid. Both you and the buyer should sign the contract, and you should both receive a copy for your records.

Consider Important Factors

As you draw up your contract, you will want to include sections that address each of the following factors: Will the buyer be required to carry insurance on the horse? (If they don’t, and the horse dies, you may never see the rest of your money.) What happens if a payment is late? Is there a late fee? How overdue must a payment be before it is declared that the seller has defaulted on the payments? Will the buyer be allowed to take the horse off-property to shows while making payments? Can the buyer bring in their own trainer to work with the horse while making payments?

There are times when taking payments on a horse may mean that you’re able to sell him more quickly. However, the decision of whether or not to accept payments is ultimately up to you.

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