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-   -   Looking for some perspective (http://www.sailnet.com/forums/boat-review-purchase-forum/96457-looking-some-perspective.html)

njadventure 02-07-2013 06:44 PM

Looking for some perspective
 
So, I lost my T33 to Sandy and have been looking for a replacement. I found a boat down in Annapolis very close to where the T33 was purchased. I had run into the broker at the Boat Show a few times over the years and gave him a call letting him know that I was back in the market. He offered to act as the buying agent if I found a boat of interest. He's a great guy and went above and beyond what commission he would be making. If you're looking, contact me back channel and I'd be happy to get you in touch with him.

Long story short, I made an offer on a boat that was listed by a different broker. I went through the usually back and forth negotiations on the price through my broker. The final offer sent by text message was accepted. This was on Friday 2/1. The selling broker had my signed YBA Purchase and Sale Agreement from the initial offer made on 1/30 and a 10% escrow deposit.

On Saturday 2/2, the YachtWorld listing was updated to "Sale Pending".

Over the last week, I've been going back and forth on the inventory included and when the acceptance and closing dates would be. On Wednesday 2/6, I received the signed Agreement although the buyer did pencil in some changes. I did not acknowledge the changes.

Tonight, I've been informed that the selling broker presented another offer to the owner of the boat at a higher price.

Trying to put emotions aside (obviously I'm pissed off):hothead. What are my options if any? I'm not going to get into bidding war. At the very least, I feel this is highly unethical behavior on the part of the selling broker. Thoughts?

jimgo 02-07-2013 07:05 PM

Re: Looking for some perspective
 
Has the seller actually reniged on the your contract? If not, it's not a big deal. If he's trying to get more money from you, you basically have a couple options. You could agree to increase your price. You could agree to accept the changes and not increase the price. You could do both. Or you can walk away. Or you can threaten to/actually sue him for specific performance of the contract. The cost of the suit might be more than the incremental increase in your price, though. But it probably would be very satisfying!

njadventure 02-07-2013 07:33 PM

Re: Looking for some perspective
 
I'm assuming the higher offer is going to be accepted based on how the negotiations went. My final offer was only a couple of thousand less than the asking price. We all have to live with ourselves and if the owner can sleep at night after breaking the contract, so be it.

What I think needs to be disclosed is the suspect actions of the selling broker. It's my opinion he purposely continued to look for additional buyers not in the best interest of his client, but he wanted to capture both sides of the commission. I only hope his peers take notice and are wary of his practices in future dealings. Again, just my opinion.

RunningRabbit 02-07-2013 08:12 PM

Re: Looking for some perspective
 
I hope you're able to get the boat on the terms you wanted. If the seller breaches the purchase and sale agreement with you, you either sue on the contract or let the seller's bad karma come back to get him another day. I sympathize with your frustration.

Here's a little different perspective, with which may or may not agree: As the seller's agent, the broker likely has a legal duty to present any and all offers to his principal. From the seller's perspective, I would rather know there are other ready, willing, and able buyers out there if for some reason the current contract does not close. My offer on my boat gave me the ability to walk away from the boat for any defect from the survey that I deemed significant. I'd be eating my survey cost, the cost of the short haul, and perhaps the cost of breaking winterization, but could otherwise walk away from the deal and receive my escrow deposit back (less the short haul expense). The broker probably had four or five signed offers waiting on my thumbs up or down during survey and sea trial. Another boat I looked at the seller kept the listing up but let me know when I expressed interest that it was already under contract and awaiting survey. We still had some exchange of information about the boat and terms and I asked him to let me know if the deal fell through. That deal did fall through, but I had already closed on my current boat. In this market, buyers can come and go pretty quickly I suspect, so sellers would rather keep as many on the hook as possible. I don't think that's unethical unless they are dishonest about the boat already being under contract.

jimgo 02-07-2013 10:08 PM

Re: Looking for some perspective
 
I agree with RR, the seller's agent really does want to make sure the seller is fully informed. I also think that, if you have a signed contract, you should yell and stomp your feet, and even threaten to sue if the buyer tries to back out. The suit will cost them money, too, and it will likely be more than the difference between your offer and theirs.

Besides, the seller's agent may be bluffing.

rugosa 02-07-2013 11:40 PM

Re: Looking for some perspective
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by njadventure (Post 987298)
Over the last week, I've been going back and forth on the inventory included and when the acceptance and closing dates would be. On Wednesday 2/6, I received the signed Agreement although the buyer did pencil in some changes. I did not acknowledge the changes.

The way I'm reading this is there was an offer conveyed but still in negotiatons over closing date and changes . . . on 2/6 you received signed Agreement from the buyer (you are the buyer, do you mean from the seller?) with changes (counter offer?) which you did not acknowledge (accept?). Sounds like you did not have a binding accepted conditional offer. Most negotiations have irrevocable dates at which time the offer becomes null and void. Did that time pass? If so, the seller would be at liberty to negotiate and accept another offer.:confused: Can a SN lawyer step in to clarify?

Suijin 02-25-2013 10:45 AM

Re: Looking for some perspective
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by njadventure (Post 987298)

Tonight, I've been informed that the selling broker presented another offer to the owner of the boat at a higher price.

...What are my options if any? I'm not going to get into bidding war. At the very least, I feel this is highly unethical behavior on the part of the selling broker. Thoughts?

The broker may well in fact be legally required to submit all offers to the seller, depending on their contract. If the boat was on Yachtworld and someone saw it and called the broker, they would be obligated to preset any offer that materialized. It's easy to villify the broker and assume they are motivated by a higher commission, but few brokers are going to undermine their reputation in what is a small industry by being flagrantly unethical.

As mentioned you can stomp your feet and threaten to sue to give the seller pause, but I don't think that is how you want to start off. You want to have a good relationship with the previous owner of any given boat...it's just plain prudent.

Stumble 02-25-2013 01:06 PM

Re: Looking for some perspective
 
From the story what I see (IAAL) is that there were a series of offers made by either side, but as of yet no acceptance of those offers, just a series of counter-offers. So as far as I can tell there is no contract, and I am not sure what you could sue based on.

The fact that the broker put a 'sale pending' label on the boat without a signed purchase contract to me indicates a broker that is actually going above and beyond what is required. Likely based on the fact that he believed the deal was going to happen, and didn't want to stir the pot with competing offers.

You may be miffed at this last minute offer, and I would be too. But I can't see anything that looks unethical or against the law to me. As others mentioned, most brokers are legally required to bring any offer to the seller, at any stage in the negotiations.

NaviGsr 02-25-2013 01:31 PM

Re: Looking for some perspective
 
I'm sorry you had an awful experience like this. What strikes me as odd is that you seem surprised that another offer was brought to the owner.

Your buyer's broker should have been all over the selling broker during negotiation and made certain the contract was locked in and signed and any survey or trial got done within the outlined dates. If he told you it was a done deal while the seller's broker went ahead with another offer he was either out of the loop, not communicating, or not giving you the whole story.

NaviGsr 02-25-2013 01:35 PM

Re: Looking for some perspective
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Stumble (Post 994788)
As others mentioned, most brokers are legally required to bring any offer to the seller, at any stage in the negotiations.

If a boat is under contract with a deposit a broker should never take another offer from a different buyer. They are supposed to tell the buyer the boat is under contract and may inform him of the final contract date in case the sale does not go through.


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