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  #1  
Old 01-04-2011
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Owner vs broker as salesman

I thought that I should share this anecdote to illustrate the challenges of buying a boat with owner and broker competition.

I saw a listing on Latitude 38 for a Cal 39. I contact the owner and asked to see the boat. The owner was on vacation, and he told me that I would need to wait at least one week to see the boat. I then notice that the boat is also listed on Yachtworld and write to ask the owner if it would be to his benefit if I were to wait for his return. He says, yes, and I wait since I contacted him first.

When he returns from vacation he says that he has accepted an offer on the boat from someone shown the boat by the broker, but he invites me to see the boat anyway and make a backup offer.

I declined the offer.
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Old 01-04-2011
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I am not sure if I missed something here If I were the seller I would do the same thing and to have a backup buyer. Hey, buyer is hard to come by these days.
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Old 01-04-2011
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Broker/ owner

He was within his rights to do that. Just suck it up.
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Old 01-04-2011
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Not to hijack, but if you want to read about my experience with an FSBO vessel, look here.
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Old 01-05-2011
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just wondering if it actually sold.... i looked a car FSBO, called the guy and he said oh, i just had someone make me an offer.... i had to wonder if he was trying to get me to put in a bid closer to his offer.... dunno if he ever sold it.
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Old 01-05-2011
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I like brokers. They get stuff done or they don't get paid.
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Old 01-05-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuickMick View Post
just wondering if it actually sold.... i looked a car FSBO, called the guy and he said oh, i just had someone make me an offer.... i had to wonder if he was trying to get me to put in a bid closer to his offer.... dunno if he ever sold it.
Dunno if you're asking me or the OP.. However, the boat that I referred to did sell - to a sailnet member. You can read about that here. Although the poster that bought the boat, lawrence816, never posted here again. I hope that the boat didn't eat him.
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Old 01-06-2011
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FSBO...If people have such a distain for FSBO, why do they keep going to owners who are trying to sell their boats themselves?

As to the price and condition: each buyer has his own eyes and can inspect. If you don't like the price, move on and find what you do like somewhere else.

Of course, I'm a FSBO. Sold the boat too. And the buyer got a good deal. He's happy, and I am too, except I let it go at a little less than I wanted for it. Just a little, not the deep, deep discounts. The boat I sold, a 2001 Catalina 22, was in excellent condition. It was obvious, and the buyer, an experienced sailer downsizing for local conditions, knows it and is happy with his purchase.

I went to two brokers initially. The first one immediately put a price on the boat 30% below it's value. If I'd trusted him, he would have sold the boat quickly. And everyone would say, see that's why you should use a broker. The second broker was more of a straight shooter and said that he thought he could sell it at my asking price since it was a nice boat. I decided to go it alone since without having to pay a broker's fee, I had more room to discount the boat in negotiations with potential buyers.....i.e. a benefit to the buyer from the evil FSBO. The boat was clean, but over the summer and fall, I washed it three times, had the bottom professionally painted, spent a fair amount of money advertising it on multiple websites, photographed it and posted pictures on line.

I am on the east coast and got inquiries from Washington state, Oklahoma, Texas, New York, Florida and lots of places in between. I spent time answering inquiries and lots of questions, and showed the boat a number of times. For my effort, I got lots of scam opportunities (I want the boat, but the check is already written for more than sales price, and you can refund the difference). Offers went as low as 25% of the value of the boat (The guy with that offer got furious when I wouldn't cut my price ---- who insulted whom?). One guy wanted the boat and the check was alread made and I had verified it, when the deal fell through the night before closing. Some coworker jerk that worked with his wife, convinced her that the Catalina 22 was unsafe, nevermind they have made about 16,000 of them. Another guy came to look at it, he arrived angry, he and his wife looked at the boat and walked away fussing that he was going to have to replace everything. Actually, only the battery needed replacing and that was disclosed up front. Otherwise the boat was ready to launch and go sailing. There is lots of comment on these posts about a demonstration sail. Often, that means I want you to take me and my family or friends sailing while I tell you about all the reasons why I won't buy the boat, unless you give me a "give away" price. My buyer didn't ask for such a demonstration sail (and I've personally bought five sailboats over the years and have yet to have a demonstration sail). In fairness, many buyers wouldn't know how to judge the sailing ability of the boat anyway, either through not have much knowledge, or since in the demonstration sail you see only one set of conditions...i.e. not so responsive in low winds when it's really great in higher wind or vice versa.

As to NADA pricing. Forget it....it is unreasonbly low. And, as I read it, there are only two categories: average and junk. BUC was closer. If you want to see what the right price is for a boat, you can establish a nominal price by surveying what other boats of that model are listed for on the many boat listing web sites, adjust for age, location, and equipment. That gives you a nominal pricing and then adjust the boat that you are looking at up or down for condition.

Last edited by NCC320; 01-06-2011 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 01-06-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPC View Post
I thought that I should share this anecdote to illustrate the challenges of buying a boat with owner and broker competition.

I saw a listing on Latitude 38 for a Cal 39. I contact the owner and asked to see the boat. The owner was on vacation, and he told me that I would need to wait at least one week to see the boat. I then notice that the boat is also listed on Yachtworld and write to ask the owner if it would be to his benefit if I were to wait for his return. He says, yes, and I wait since I contacted him first.

When he returns from vacation he says that he has accepted an offer on the boat from someone shown the boat by the broker, but he invites me to see the boat anyway and make a backup offer.

I declined the offer.
It sounds like the owner had a buyer on the hook and he led you on as his "backup" in case the other buyer fell through. Lame.

He should have simply directed you to his broker for a showing.
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Old 01-07-2011
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There are lots of reasons for why a sale might fall through. I wouldn't make a back-up offer but I would give my contact info in case the original fell apart.

I did this on my current boat, the sell fell through and a month later the owners broker called to say they would accept quite a bit less than the offer I was planning to make in the first place.

I have nothing against buying or selling FSBO but a good broker earns every penny of their fee. The bigger the boat and the more complicated the sale the more value there is in using a broker.
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