Survey Adjustment .. NOT,, or Won't.. question - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 24 Old 01-16-2009 Thread Starter
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Survey Adjustment .. NOT,, or Won't.. question

Ok,, I go and find a nice 35' sailboat.. I say "I will offer you xxxx for your boat subject to survey" .. and owner says "YES,, YES".

I write up a purchase and sales agreement.. basically copy of the one
brokers use but take out the broker parts..

I give the owner a down payment .. of xxxx

The following week my surveyor does his thing.. and he says
"nice boat, pretty good condition but you will need to fix..
and add and fix and add . "

The fix and add comes out to $3,000. I call the owner..
"yo, here is what the surveyor told me ".

"I want an adjustment of $3000 toward the sale price"

Owner: "Go stuff it and thanks for telling me what she needs
done" ..

Now I am out $500 ..

How can I assure myself that the owner will be willing to make
adjustment on price?
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post #2 of 24 Old 01-16-2009
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You can't, unless you added wording to that effect to the P&S and could get a seller to sign it...which ain't likely.

$3000 of repairs is not much of a reason not to buy a boat that you otherwise found attractive...in the world of 35' boats that amount might be called chump-change.

Given the current state of the boat market, it's surprising a seller wouldn't negotiate some regarding survey findings, unless he disagrees with the surveyor's finding, or believes that the boat is already priced to allow for minor surprises of $3000 magnitude.

It is a give-and-take negotiation though, you can't expect that a seller will simply agree to whatever a surveyor estimates...I would think splitting the estimate may be more common...assuming both parties want to get to YES.

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post #3 of 24 Old 01-16-2009
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The survey is your option and your cost. The owner, in most cases is selling the boat as is, and is under no obligation to do squat. If the owner really wants to sell then they can negotiate with you if they choose. You can walk away at anytime as well because the survey says you need to do x amount of work and you don't think it's worth it. In any case, your out the cost of the survey.

However the quick answer to your question is put in the sales agreement that final price will be adjusted based on survey results.

If I was the seller, I would never sign that document though.

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post #4 of 24 Old 01-16-2009
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Hello,

You can't. And, IMHO, you should not expect any.

Of course it depends on the price you are paying for the boat, and the type of problem you find. From my own persona experience, when I bought a boat (two actually) I bargained hard ahead of time and told the broker that I would NOT use the survey to reduce the price. I planned on using the survey to know if the boat was as I expected or not. The first time the survey didn't find anything I didn't know about already. The second time time the survey revealed some simple things like bow lights out, and a few other minor things. I had the owner correct those things, and the deal went down fine.

When I sold my boat I disclosed everything I knew wrong with the boat. When I had an offer I told the prospective buyer that his offer was the lowest price I would accept, so forget about any reduction after the survey. The surveyor did report expired flares and a few other things. I told the buyer that it was up to him to obtain new flares, etc.

Good luck,
Barry

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Mt. Sinai, NY

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post #5 of 24 Old 01-16-2009
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Is what the surveyor revealed really a surprise??

If not, it shouldn't have any bearing on "the deal."
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post #6 of 24 Old 01-16-2009
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In this market...any seller who says "no" to legitimately discovered and substantial survey items that he did not know of is an idiot. You can't protect yourself from idiots.

No longer posting. Reach me by PM!
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post #7 of 24 Old 01-16-2009
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Up front, I usually include a clause in the purchase agreement obligating the owner to repairs discovered during survey that are necessary to bring the boat up to recognized standards and structural integrity up to some percentage of the purchase price. Some owners balk and in most of those cases I have then rewritten the clause to split the cost of correction. I never have had any problem with that.

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post #8 of 24 Old 01-16-2009
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Quote:
The fix and add comes out to $3,000. I call the owner..
"yo, here is what the surveyor told me ".

"I want an adjustment of $3000 toward the sale price"

Owner: "Go stuff it and thanks for telling me what she needs
done" ..
Wow. Sounds like the seller really only wanted to know what he needed to do to fix the boat up... Not sure why, but I might not have told him what needed doing at first, but certainly tried (if I still wanted the boat) to talk him down a bit.

Otherwise I might have just said 'Tell you what, I'll give you your price if you fix XXX to my satisfaction". Probably wouldn't have helped, but if it were a house, I'd have walked away if he basically refused to negotiate.

I try to approach things with the intent of being as honest as possible with people. I EXPECT others to be honest with me, but figure they won't be - so I watch for signs of dishonesty. Asking certain pointed questions about things is usually a good way of ferreting out when someone is being cagey about things.

But - I haven't had to pay for a survey yet. When I find the boat I think I want - and have already done my OWN survey and am pretty sure that there won't be any surprises THEN I will pay for one.

Rick Donaldson, NØNJY

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post #9 of 24 Old 01-16-2009
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As a seller I would always disclose everything I knew of before-hand. I would NEVER agree on the front end to fix anything a surveyor might write up. It's up to the buyer to request it and the seller to accept or decline.

Old boats ALL have defects. Actually, I can simplify that and just say that ALL boats have defects. If a surveyor doesn't find anything wrong, I would suspect the surveyor of incompetence!

-Jason

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post #10 of 24 Old 01-16-2009 Thread Starter
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In my survey adjustment posting .. the boat and purchase are
hypothetical.. not real... I was asking the question as a "What if"
question..

It kinda reaffirms my belief that a survey is a waste of time
in the buying process.. good for the buyer as a knowledge
base, about all.
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