Horses are very expensive to buy, and many people actually buy them. If you, too, are interested in buying a horse and consider yourself a horse-friendly person, you will need a horse sale contract. You will find that some horse sellers already have fixed terms and conditions when they are selling horses while there are others who use horse bill of sale template that they customize. So, if you are interested in buying a horse, always check the terms and conditions with the seller. It will allow you to ascertain whether you agree with them.
A horse bill of sale is proof that the sale of the horse and transfer of ownership has taken pl place between the seller and the buyer. It is this document that shows that the ownership of the horse has officially taken place. Once you sign the horse sale contract, it is legally binding. You cannot wriggle out of it in case you have a change of mind.
Who Takes the Horse Sale Contract – People Involved
The horse sale contract is signed by the seller of the horse, who is the legal owner of the equine, and the buyer of the horse, who will be the future legal owner once the contract is signed.
The seller or buyer can be an individual or an organization, such as horse dealers, auction, and business.
Purpose of the Horse Sale Contract – Why Do You Need It?
The purpose of a horse sale contract is to provide written proof that the seller is the legal owner of the horse and has the right to it. The contract helps to protect the buyer, as you may not be able to ascertain if there is a problem with the equine. The contract will disclose any past or present issue with the horse. It also reveals that the transaction took place between the seller and the buyer, and as a result, the transfer of ownership has taken place. The bill of sale for horse provides specific details of the horse, like breed, gender, the color of the mane, vaccination history, age, and other specifications.
The agreement is designed to handle the high-value transaction so that the buyer of the horse gets legal protection. The horse purchase agreement can be used to buy any equine, be it for recreational purposes, sport horses, broodmares, stallions, and racehorse. The deal is also apt for international sales of horses.
As a buyer, you cannot test everything with a single viewing. During the sale process, the equine might behave alright, but after the sale, if you find anything wrong that the seller did not reveal, the sale contract will protect you and your investment. That is the main purpose of the agreement.
Contents of the Horse Sale Contract – Inclusions
You can use a sample horse bill of sale PDF when creating your own horse sale contract. That will help you decide what the agreement should include. As a buyer, you need to protect yourself, and hence, ensure that the contract has all the required and relevant information so that you do not encounter any legal issues at a later date.
Some of the things that should be included in a horse sale contract are:
- Date and time of sale
- The name and address of the owner, who can be an individual or a business
- The place where the signing of the contract will take place
- The name and address of the buyer
- Description of the horse, include the date of birth, the color of the coat and mane, any special markings or tattoos, breed, sex, height, weight, width and registration number
- Details of the sire (horse’s father) along with the registration number
- Details of the dam (horse’s mother) and her registration number
- The vaccination history of the horse
- The name of the horse, if any
- Medical history of the horse
- The sale price of the horse and how the payment will take place – in full or installments
- When will the registration papers of the horse transfer from the current owner to the buyer
- The mode of payment
- Terms and conditions for buying and selling
- Warranties, if any. Sometimes, horses are sold as-is, and at other times, the seller provides guarantees
- Details of the witnesses who were present during the contract signing
How to Draft the Horse Sale Contract?
When drafting a horse sale contract, you need to keep the following things in mind:
- Parties Involved: Make sure you include the names, addresses, phone numbers, and Social Security numbers of the buyer and seller. Check the horse registration paper, and the seller should the same person mentioned in the paper.
- Identify the Horse: The horse sale agreement should include the name, age, color, breed, markings, horse registration number, and any other identification markings.
- Date of the Sale: Ensure that the agreement has the date of sale as it could have an impact on warranties that the seller is offering. It will also come handy when computing capital gains and depreciation.
- Terms of Sale: The contract should not just mention the sale price of the horse and the terms of the sale. In case the buyer is paying in installments, the payment schedule should be mentioned along with the interest rate, if any. Details of where the payment will be made and who will retain the horse registration papers and the horse until the full payment is made. The horse sale contract should clearly spell what would be the consequences should the buyer fail to pay the full amount for the horse.
- Risk of Loss: The risk of injury or death of the horse passes to the buyer when they sign the contract, or they take ownership of the horse. The contract should clearly state when this will happen.
Before buying a horse, you should create a realistic budget not just to pay for the horse, but also for its examination by the vet. So, before you sign the horse sale contract, make sure you speak directly with the owner of the horse. This should be done before the horse goes for vetting and ask for a complete medical and vaccination history of the horse. Then begin negotiating the price of the horse with the owner but stay within your budget.
Benefits & Drawbacks of the Horse Sale Contract
Some of the benefits of a horse sale contract are:
- It protects the buyer’s interest
- Ensures the buyer can avail the warranty and guarantee offered by the seller, though most horse sales are as is
- Ensures that the seller is the legal owner of the horse or has the right to sell the horse
- Demonstrates that the transaction took place and the buyer is the rightful owner after the sale
- Prevents lawsuits
- Ensures that the horse is medically fit and will not endanger the owner or its new handlers and trainers
- Does not let the seller lose their reputation
Some of the drawbacks that the buyer and seller may face due to poorly written horse sale contract are:
- If something is not mentioned in the contract and the seller did not disclose deliberately, the buyer can sue
- The buyer may not understand the as is the sale and accuse the owner of misrepresenting the horse
- The seller may not have the legal right to sell the horse as they may not be the actual owner
- The contract once signed is binding if there is no provision to withdraw from it
What Happens in Case of Violation?
The horse sale contract should specify which state law will apply to the sale of the horse and where the parties can bring a claim. That way, both the buyer and seller will know where to file a lawsuit if they feel that the other party has violated the contract.
If the seller does not disclose all facts and figures pertaining to the horse and its health, the seller will be in breach of the contract. Should this happen and the buyer finds out, they can immediately file a lawsuit in the state where the sale took place.
It is mandatory that the seller divulges all details related to the horse to the buyer. If the seller is not providing any explicit warranties, then the same should be stated in the horse sale agreement. If not, the buyer could take the seller to court for breach of contract(1). Hence, it is in the interest of the buyer and seller to ensure that all details are clearly stated in the agreement. That is why you should use a sample horse bill of sale to ensure all details are clearly stated, and no party can deny them at a later stage, resulting in a violation.
There is no doubt that buying a horse is a high-value transaction, and the buyer should protect their interests when buying an equine(2). This can be done with the help of a horse sale contract. It is advisable to use a printable horse bill of sale form so that you know the right questions to ask when buying a horse.
As a buyer, the agreement is your safety net and ensures you do not get duped or misled by the seller or owner of the horse. It details everything about the horse, including its age, medical and vaccination history, lineage, and more. So, you have all the information that you need to make an informed buying decision. Of course, make sure you budget for a proper vet examination so that you can rest assured that you have made the right investment.