I live in the Far East, but I'm currently looking at purchasing a cruising yacht in France. Do I negotiate a price before doing a survey and sea trials or vice-versa? Also, who should pay for the survey and haul-outthe buyer or the seller?
Sue and Larry respond:
We came close to buying a sailboat in California (we were in the Florida Keys at the time), and let us tell you the process we went through. The time to negotiate the price is before you spend any time or money travelling to see the boat. I know this sounds strange, but it's in your best interest to negotiate a price up front, subject to personal inspection, sea trial and survey. This way, if the boat's a dog, you can walk away and only be out your travel expenses. If the boat looks OK, you already know what your agreed-upon price is, so you can then continue with the sea-trial and survey. This method requires having done some research as to the value of similar boats, and getting as much info about the boat in advance, and as many photos, etc. as you can.
Generally, you will not be able to sea trial or survey a boat until you have a signed offer to buy the boat. The survey and haul out are the responsibility of the buyer. You can always re-negotiate the price after the personal inspection or survey, and in fact it is very common.
We look forward to seeing you some day at anchor
Sue & Larry