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  #11  
Old 06-19-2013
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Re: Initial Offer Question

When I purchased my W27 this year, I made it clear to the seller that I was going to make only one offer. My highest. That was it. They could then decide how my offer compared to the other offers in hand.

Based on our conversations, I knew that several others had inspected the boat and made extremely low offers. 25% of asking.

I offered 70% of asking price, and felt like I got quite a deal when they accepted.
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  #12  
Old 06-19-2013
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Another one here that paid asking price.
As said before, you offer what the boat is worth to you. Fair value!
In my case the seller set his price, it was at my budget, and so the only thing that remained was to see if the value was there.
I belief it was and therefore made the deal.
In the end it paid big dividends as I got free use of the sellers dock for more than 6 months from the purchase to work on the boat.

I know I wouldn't have got that if I tried to haggle unreasonably.

What's your integrity worth to you?
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  #13  
Old 06-19-2013
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Re: Initial Offer Question

First boat offered 70% of asking price, we settled at about 80% with some additional repairs done at owners expense.

Sold first boat at about 70% of my asking price but I took some gear with me.

Second boat offered 70% of asking price. Rejected, could not come to an agreement.
Revisited three months later and gave the broker the exact same offer, he called me back within three minutes to say we had a deal.

It's business. Never personal.
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  #14  
Old 06-19-2013
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Re: Initial Offer Question

I'd agree with most posts so far. I will point out that it is still a crappy market for selling a used luxury item like a boat though. In my opinion a seller ought to be happy getting 70% of their asking price in this market.

I think that davidpm makes a good point in that it can help you a lot if you have some idea of the seller's motivation. In my case our PO had already bought a bigger boat and was motivated to sell his old gal as he was paying 2 yard bills concurrently. From an asking price around $7K my minions negotiated a final price of $4K.

Hopefully the higher asking price of this Sabre 34' reflects that it is in better condition and not the idea that the owner feels that their precious baby is worth more than what a Sabre 34' is really worth.

If many recent upgrades and new stuff (sails, running/standing rigging, engine, radar, fridge etc.) then that could also explain the higher asking price.

Good luck Julie.
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  #15  
Old 06-19-2013
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Re: Initial Offer Question

The Sabre in Waukegan is a nice looking boat but seventy percent of 50 grand is still 35 grand. Wow. It ain't the top asking price for the 12 available in the US right now but it's right up there.
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  #16  
Old 06-20-2013
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Re: Initial Offer Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalebD View Post
I'd agree with most posts so far. I will point out that it is still a crappy market for selling a used luxury item like a boat though. In my opinion a seller ought to be happy getting 70% of their asking price in this market.
If the seller understands the market then their price is already lowered to be 70% of what the asking price might be in a stronger market.

I also find it hard to get involved in price comparisons across the US. Based on Sailnet and Yacht World the boat market is clearly different in the Chesapeake than in Puget Sound.

It sounds like this one might be price high, but that doesn't mean that all are. I bought my Pearson for about 10-15% under the asking price and feel like I got a good deal.
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  #17  
Old 06-20-2013
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Re: Initial Offer Question

I agree with the posters who say there is no single answer. The best negotiation advice I could give you is to figure out what is important to you and also to the seller. Sometimes what they need doesn't cost you as much as it benefits the seller.

I suggest you start by deciding what the boat is worth to you. If you have been following sales sites like Yachtworld you know what people are asking, but may not know what boats sold for. If you work with a broker, he can probably access a database called "sold boats" that shows that information. It can be a real eye opener if there are a lot of the same model of boat out there, but may not help much if the boat you are looking at is less common.

Once you know what the boat is worth to you, find out all you can about what the boat is worth to the seller, and why he or she is selling. Find out how long the boat has been on the market, and if possible, find out if it has been reduced in price before you looked at it. All of these things might influence how the seller will respond to an offer. If the boat is newly on the market, and if there are no obvious indicators that the seller is in financial trouble, then the seller is less likely to respond favorably to a low offer. If the boat has been on the market for a long time, and the price has been reduced several times, the seller may be more receptive.

I disagree with the poster who said make one offer at top dollar and tell the seller it's a take it or leave it offer. The problem is, you may mean it, but sellers almost never believe it, and it makes a harder negotiation if you start at the top and refuse to budge. That is true whether you are trying to buy a car, a boat, a house, or anything else.

Besides, if you start at your top dollar, you don't know if the seller would have sold for less. If you want to pay the lowest price you can, your goal is to make the lowest initial offer that the seller will respond to with a counter-offer. That's where understanding the seller's motivation comes into play.

Two other recommendations: One is to make your offer subject to survey. It costs money to have a proper survey done, but it can save money in the long run if you find problems that need to be fixed. If there are problems, you can re-negotiate the price with the seller to cover the repairs (if he or she agrees) or walk away if the repairs make the deal not a good one after all. The second recommendation is to be careful working with a broker. They can be a source of valuable information and good advice, but if the broker is being paid by the seller (or out of the selling price) then the broker may have a duty to the seller to try to get you to pay the highest price possible. You can ask the broker who is paying him or her, and most reputable brokers will be up front about this part of their business. It may just mean you can't rely on the broker for advice about the price.

Good Luck.
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  #18  
Old 06-20-2013
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Re: Initial Offer Question

Another angle on this. It is not uncommon for some owners to list there boat for what they paid, plus the cost of the improvements they've made. Even if they absolutely know that the improvements are not worth their cost, they figure nothing ventured nothing gained. If they get their money back, they will buy bigger. If they don't they keep what they have.

In those cases, if you offer a standard 15 or 20 percent less, you are grossly overpaying.

No standard answer.
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  #19  
Old 06-20-2013
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Re: Initial Offer Question

Do your home work Offer 10% less than you will be prepared to pay, this gives you some wriggle room. GOOD boats priced right don't last and you can well lose a good boat. I have seen stupid offers made on good boats and the original prospective comes back a Month later expecting to put in a decent offer only to be told "Sorry under contract". Sellers are starting to realize that asking too much for their boat actually poisons it. as every couple of months they have to drop the price to what they should have originally listed it for. The buyers that have been watching this over priced vessel have either bought the better priced boat or waiting for this one to hit rock bottom. Pay a reasonable price that makes you and the seller happy, there have been some great friendships made that cover oceans.
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  #20  
Old 06-20-2013
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Re: Initial Offer Question

You should offer the fair market value of a comparable boat.

A common issue is buyer fixation. The buyer decides one boat or one model is THE BOAT and he or she loses all objectivity. The seller then controls the transaction because the buyer will do pay or do anything to buy that particular boat or one of the limited supply of that particular model.

Why are you really buying a sailboat? What do you envision it will it do for you?

Whatever your reasons, there are likely plenty of comparable boats that would satisfy your purposes (that are not Sabre 34s). Offer what you believe you would have to pay to satisfy your boating needs.

Deciding on a Sabre complicates the process, because you will be paying for something beyond any real practical value for many sailors, for some element of owner satisfaction. Sabres are well-made, quality boats which display considerable craftsmanship, particularly in the interior. Racers describe these kinds of boats derogatorily as "furniture boats". Ultimately, this build quality and craftsmanship have little or nothing to do with getting from point A to point B, seaworthiness, cruising ability, sailing enjoyment, or sailing ability. To use a car analogy, you will be buying a Mercedes or a BMW, not a Toyota or a Honda, or even a Lexus or an Infiniti.

If you want a good value or a practical boat, there are any number of less expensive boats that will function just as well as a Sabre 34.

I don't begrudge anyone who wants to pay extra for the satisfaction of greater quality. If it satisfies your emotional needs, more power to you. Just understand why you are buying a particular type of boat and the costs that you pay for to satisfy that need.

I agree with making your offer more attractive by showing your ability to close the sale. Offer to provide the bank statement showing liquid funds in your account, or your loan pre-approval if you will be financing the purchase. Expect information from the seller about what you are purchasing.

Last edited by jameswilson29; 06-20-2013 at 08:05 AM.
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