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bmcald 09-03-2002 04:14 AM

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,

gerryn926 09-03-2002 05:09 AM

Buyer-seller etiquette?
It doesn''t sound like you made any mistakes. The timing issue sounds like it is all on his shoulders, as for the questions, if a seller gets upset when you are asking questions, then don''t bother with that vessel. This whole thing sounds fishy, and fishy isn''t good. It smells bad I would walk away.

As for the other boat, do your due diligence, if it seems like a good deal then go for it. What kind of boat is this?


bmcald 09-03-2002 05:31 AM

Buyer-seller etiquette?
It''s a Stone Horse, made by Edey & Duff from a Sam Crocker design. 150 were made. Great reputation as a coastal cruiser designed for single handing. Only two of 150 no longer exist, both destroyed in storms--Hurricane Bob and the "Perfect Storm." Full keel, double headsail, raised deck. Wonderful boats and I''ve been trying to get one for a couple years now.

gerryn926 09-03-2002 05:49 AM

Buyer-seller etiquette?
That is a nice looking boat, yachtworld only has 4 or 5 listed for sale. Good luck I would be carefull of that seller.


Sailormon6 09-03-2002 11:15 AM

Buyer-seller etiquette?
I wouldn''t do business with either of those guys. They both sound like connivers, and, with all the things that can go wrong in a boat transaction, I wouldn''t deal with anyone I couldn''t trust. Your written agreement with seller #1 should have specified the maximum amount of time that you had to sell your boat and close the deal on his boat, before the seller was entitled to cancel the agreement and keep your deposit. If the agreement specified a time limit, and if the seller cancelled the agreement before that time expired, then he owes you your deposit.

bmcald 09-03-2002 03:47 PM

Buyer-seller etiquette?
Thanks--he will send back the binder, for what its worth...

halyardz 09-04-2002 01:43 AM

Buyer-seller etiquette?
Before I bought my older Tartan I checked out another was so clean you could eat out of the bilge. I listened to the owner say how "set" the price was (even though it was handled by a broker) and the owner''s wife sit an chime how this boat was his "baby." I quickly ran away from that deal. A willing seller is key, negotiation is generally the rule, and early fickle behavior often signals more trouble ahead, IMHO.

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