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Old 02-07-2013
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Re: Looking for some perspective

I hope you're able to get the boat on the terms you wanted. If the seller breaches the purchase and sale agreement with you, you either sue on the contract or let the seller's bad karma come back to get him another day. I sympathize with your frustration.

Here's a little different perspective, with which may or may not agree: As the seller's agent, the broker likely has a legal duty to present any and all offers to his principal. From the seller's perspective, I would rather know there are other ready, willing, and able buyers out there if for some reason the current contract does not close. My offer on my boat gave me the ability to walk away from the boat for any defect from the survey that I deemed significant. I'd be eating my survey cost, the cost of the short haul, and perhaps the cost of breaking winterization, but could otherwise walk away from the deal and receive my escrow deposit back (less the short haul expense). The broker probably had four or five signed offers waiting on my thumbs up or down during survey and sea trial. Another boat I looked at the seller kept the listing up but let me know when I expressed interest that it was already under contract and awaiting survey. We still had some exchange of information about the boat and terms and I asked him to let me know if the deal fell through. That deal did fall through, but I had already closed on my current boat. In this market, buyers can come and go pretty quickly I suspect, so sellers would rather keep as many on the hook as possible. I don't think that's unethical unless they are dishonest about the boat already being under contract.
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