Post survey adjustments should be reserved for either undisclosed or unexpected squawks.
I agree. The problem for the buyer is that all too often there are a LOT of undisclosed squawks.
I have to say that the sellers who have chimed in on this thread do not strike me as "average." That doesn't surprise me. The very fact that they participate in a forum like this indicates that they put more time, thought, and just more of "themselves" into their interest in boats and boating than the majority of boat owners.
So, the folks on this forum--I suspect--are more likely to be honest about the condition of their boat when they sell it. Beyond that they're more likely to take care of it and have a boat in better than average condition to sell.
As a buyer, though, who has studied websites, talked to brokers and sellers, and who has put in time, effort, and money to go and look at boats, I have to say that most sellers are not quite that honest.
Too often the pictures turn out to be years old, from before the boat began suffering from neglect. Too often the "9 out of 10" turns out to be more like a 3 or 4 at best. Too often the boat that's on the hard, but promised to be in "sail away condition," is actually not even safe for a sea-trial, let alone sailing away anywhere!
I've had my butt saved by a surveyor on more than one occasion, who caught something that I missed--something that the seller HAD to know about, had not disclosed, and that would have cost THOUSANDS to fix!
I would have to estimate that somewhere around 3/4ths of the boats I have looked at, there has been some sort of significant deception on the part of the seller and/or broker. Is it any wonder that buyers are suspicious, and attempt to negotiate for every little thing that they can? I would happily deal in an open and honest fashion with every seller that I meet--if only I could. When 3/4ths of them are trying to take advantage of the buyer, though, can you blame the buyer for coming to the table with the expectation that he is going to have to try to do everything possible to take advantage back?
I know I sound very cynical. I wish it wasn't so. I have absolutely treasured the few boat purchases I have made where the seller turned out to be honest with me (same for the few car and home purchases that were likewise). I hope for it every time. I embrace it when I find it. But experience forces me to proceed cautiously and with a fair degree of suspicion until the seller's honesty has been confirmed.
You honest sellers out there shouldn't blame us cautious and suspicious buyers for that. Instead, blame all of the other DIS-honest sellers out there who force us to be that way!