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Old 09-03-2002
bmcald bmcald is offline
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Buyer-seller etiquette?

One week after first seeing the boat of my dreams and placing a $100 binder on it, and mutual signing of a statement that the binder commits the seller to sell the boat pending sale of my own boat and a survey, the buyer told me he''d changed his mind.

He also said I''d let it drag on too long, and that a seller doesn''t treat a buyer that way. And that he was upset because I''d asked about things the boat''s former owner had told me.

I cna understand a change of heart about selling a boat. But the other two? What''s too long? The survey and purchase would have been completed within another week, making a total of 2 weeks time since the binder was given.

It could have happened faster if the seller had been available for me to see the boat the first weekend after I''d called in response to his ad. But he wasn''t available to show the boat until the next weekend. And the survey might have happened sooner if he had been available during the week instead of only the weekend.

Now for the weird part. The former owner of the boat I wanted to buy wants to buy my boat, which I''m selling in order to buy the new boat. He''d responded to my ad. When he learned I was trying to buy his former boat, he told me a few things about the boat, which I then asked the seller about. One of the things he told me was that the keel fell off when the current owner hauled it after purchasing it. The former owner says he spent $1000 having it properly fiberglassed, even tho it was post sale. The current owner says the keel didn''t fall off, what fell off was a poor patch job on a grounding scar.

Shouldn''t I have listened to the former owner and asked the seller about what I was told?

Finally, one more piece of weirdness. The seller who changed his mind about selling referred me to someone with another boat of the same kind. This boat was being advertised, but I hadn''t seen the advertisements.

The seller of this other boat told me that he had seen the ads for the other boat and called the owner to ask that he send any interested parties his way. He agreed, and was to receive a 10% commission if anyone he sent bought the boat.

This other boat was $3000 more costly, but was also newer and had a more powerful engine, so the extra costs are reasonable.

But it seemed outrageous that I should put a binder on a boat, then hear than it isn''t for sale after all, and get referred to another, more expensive boat, which is partly more expensive because the first seller, the one who changed his mind, is getting a 10% commission! It felt like a bait and switch deal.

Is this simply a crazy, wacky situation? Have I made some grievous etiquette mistakes as a buyer? Is something sinister going on, or is it all coincidence and happenstance?

Going seriously crazy,
Bruce
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