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Old 03-28-2011
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Need help formulating an offer

Hi,

First time boat buyer, slightly seasoned (1.5 years) liveaboard. I have an understanding of the whole offer, survey, adjust offer process, I think.

I am considering purchasing a used sailboat which is in very good condition. Asking price is $55,500 and not one of these boats has gone for more than $35k in the last 10 years (only 7 or 8 have been sold in the whole world according to SOLDBOATS.com in these last years). Fairly rare to find small catamaran with very good living quarters. $35k is what I want to pay, although I could pay $45k and it would smart a bit. So considering their asking price is high and I don't want them to be offended, is $35k a good place to start or should I start lower? I think that anything lower will be offensive to them and start out the bidding improperly. Thoughts?

Thanks!
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Old 03-28-2011
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Never fall in love with real estate or boats until after you own it. If the seller becomes offended, move on to the next opportunity. I promise you it will come along. If you think your offer is right, give it with the explanation of your research and the olive branch that you have no intention to offend. See what happens.

That said, condition, equipment and inclusions can have dramatic impacts on value, so it isn't impossible to find one worth more than the few that sold before it.
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Old 03-28-2011
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Prices

Hello,

A few random thoughts / ideas:
  • Does this boat have gear that would significantly raise the value compared to other boats? Things like a new set of sails, or a new engine, or a new paint job, etc.
  • How many boats like there are out there? If it's a rare breed, and especially if it's older, it's hard to draw meaningful comparisons from 'soldboats' or other placed like that
  • Lastly, you are negotiating a business transaction. You should not be afraid to hurt someone's feelings. You are not trying to make friends, just to buy the boat for the best possible price. Offer what you feel is a fair price. If that bothers them, they can tell you to piss off. Then you get to decide if you like the boat enough to significantly raise your price, or you can walk away.
Good luck
Barry]
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Old 03-28-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryL View Post
Hello,

A few random thoughts / ideas:
  • Does this boat have gear that would significantly raise the value compared to other boats? Things like a new set of sails, or a new engine, or a new paint job, etc.
  • How many boats like there are out there? If it's a rare breed, and especially if it's older, it's hard to draw meaningful comparisons from 'soldboats' or other placed like that
  • Lastly, you are negotiating a business transaction. You should not be afraid to hurt someone's feelings. You are not trying to make friends, just to buy the boat for the best possible price. Offer what you feel is a fair price. If that bothers them, they can tell you to piss off. Then you get to decide if you like the boat enough to significantly raise your price, or you can walk away.
Good luck
Barry]
+1.
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thanks

I'm not so much worried about hurting their feelings as much as getting off on the wrong foot, thereby making it less possible to get what I want, which is this boat at $35k. I've been told they are very emotionally invested in the boat, which they lived on for several/many years. They have already bought a bigger boat and don't need the money.

I think this is my starting off point, but frankly, I don't want to go all that much higher.
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Old 03-28-2011
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Keep in mind that emotional and sentimental value only has value in the owner's mind and has no real value in a buyer's boat.
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Old 03-28-2011
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I understand how you feel about not wanting to offend them. Like me, you sound like someone who spends a little time standing in the other guy's shoes when you're dealing with them. That can be good and that can be bad, too. Bad when the other guy won't try YOUR shoes.

I like to look at it this way. If I pay, let's say, $5,000.00 too much for a boat, that's not just any old 5k, that's 5k of my precious, discretionary income....after taxes, food, housing, insurance....everything. How long does it REALLY take me to replace that 5k, vs. the small discomfort of negotiating a proper deal for myself.

What the seller needs to know about you is this:
You are a thrifty guy who wants to pay as little as possible for a boat. The first thing that comes to his mind when he hears your name is that you are someone who's not easily parted from his money. Tiiiight. You are a guy who will whine about deficiencies in the boat. It doesn't matter what the guy thinks of you. If he loves his boat too much, or if he gets offended if you offer too little, then this is simply a boat you shouldn't buy.

If you think the boat's truly worth 35k, offer 28.5k...or less. If someone takes my first offer on anything, it usually means I goofed.

I recently sold my dad's house in Florida. Got lowballed. Didn't take offense. Eventually made a deal with the guy that was consistent with appraisals I had done. I can't tell you how many times he complained about a crack in the drywall ceiling. Every time he opened his mouth it was to mention some deficiency in the house. I knew what his game was, but why get mad at someone who wants to give you money?

Hang tough.
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Old 03-28-2011
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Well, I think it can be argued the boat is worth $35k and that is the offer I just made!

We'll see what they say. Thanks for all your responses.
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two hours From Asking for input to making an offer, damn why ask if your not going to take the statements and ponder there insight for a day at least.? and if it worth 35K thats a seller mind set, why not go 5K lower and see if you can make a better deal then you hopped for. anyway done is done good luck.
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Looking forward to hearing how you made out. I like a decision maker in a deal. You stand a good chance of getting this done. Good luck.
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