Buying at a distance
This is just to relate our recent experience in obtaining our (wonderful) Bambi from a private party which we found here in the classifieds. I knew right away I had to have this one because of its' floorplan, but it was 3300 miles away! The seller wanted me to send a check and then volunteered to drive it out.
Instead, I drew up a contract to protect both of us, and the seller modified it until we were both content. The terms of the contract provided that I put the money into an escrow account (escrow.com ....charges @ 10% for a fee.) We provided signatures via "fax."
The contract also stipulated that "Bambi" pass an inspection, and I located an RV dealership for this. (The closest Airstream dealer was not in the least interested in doing this!.) It did not occur to me to look in the forum for an inspector, but I think that is possibly a better alternative. Anyway, the dealer was extremely helpful! Even though it was their busiest time of year, the service department took pity on me, looked it over and repaired a couple of small plumbing leaks. They told me it was in excellent shape,... although no one (not the seller either ) ever mentioned there was one v. slight longish dent on the side, or that the inside was stained with oxidation, or that the holding tank pan was damaged! (We all have our own definition of excellence! )
The head of the service department also agreed to act as my "agent" at no extra charge) and agreed to store the trailer "free" for up to one week while the shipper arranged for pick-up. (Isn't that nice?)
Upon passing inspection I asked the seller put the "title" into overnight mail, and when I received it, I released the escrow monies to her bank account.
I found the shipper from Uship.com and was v. pleased with their service.
I'd be happy to e-mail a copy of the contract we drew up if you need a sample to modify to your needs. I'm new at this...I think...there is probably a way for you to contact me through the forum?