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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast > Chesapeake Bay
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  #1  
Old 04-21-2012
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Question Question on offers and surveyors...

Hello folks,

I posted this in the Catalina boat review section, but there isn't much traffic in that area of sailnet. I thought I'd ask you folks since the boats I'm looking at are in the Bay area / Potomac River.

I'm looking at buying a C-27 and have found several from $15,000 to $16,900, and 1985 to 1988. In this market, what would a normal offer be? I was thinking of asking around $2,000 below asking price. Does this sound about right? This all depends on how the survey goes.

Also, what's a normal price for a sailboat survey. I'm going to call around and compare prices, but if anyone knows a good surveyor please PM me.

Thanks!
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Old 04-21-2012
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Re: Question on offers and surveyors...

That may be a fairly average discount to offering, but I've found there is no average boat. Some will tell you to try to steal it with a low ball offer and a fist full of cash. Could work or it could turn the seller off, who won't sell to you at any price.

The right offer, IMHO, is just below whatever the fair price should be. It has to be slightly below, so the seller feels right when they get you up a bit. They will, unfortunately, assume your first offer is not your best offer.

Sellers also don't mark up their asking price by average amounts either. Some need the money and want to be the first boat sold and priced it fairly.

You have to figure out what the boat is actually worth. In your price range, there can be major value changers, such as: condition, electronics, sail inventory, dinghy, etc.

Good luck. Thousands have done it before you. You'll get there.
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Old 04-21-2012
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Re: Question on offers and surveyors...

Minnewaska is spot on.

If you are using a broker, ask him to provide data on recent sales of that model from Soldboat data. While the data is somewhat suspect, it comes closer to what boats actually sold for vs. asking prices you see advertised. You should also ask you surveyor for his opinion about how the boat compares to the fleet condition-wise and his estimate of its value. Surveyors can be thought of as apprasiers in way since they do evaluate boat values for insurance surveys. Like most things I expect some will have a better idea of the market than others and no one could be expected to know the market for every boat out there.

You also have to consider the condition of the boat. The guy with the 1% boat (nicer than 99% of the market) is likely not going to want to be very flexible, but sadly for him, the market will dictate how much he can recoup for his efforts in keeping his boat in pristine condition. He may only be able to get pennies on the dollar for upgrades and improvements. Something to think about before opting for the fixer upper.

I'm not familar with the exact area you're talking about but I've used Donald McCann of Tranquil Waters Marine Services who is not too far away down in Whitestone, VA.

Good Luck
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Old 04-21-2012
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Re: Question on offers and surveyors...

For surveys $20-25/ft seems to be the going rate on the Chesapeake.
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Old 04-21-2012
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Re: Question on offers and surveyors...

Everyone, thank you so much for your comments. I've learned a great deal of knowledge from this site. I'm hoping one day to be able to contribute. I've looked at a bunch of C-27's and might have found that 1% boat. The current owner has meticulous logs spanning many years and the major fixes (like the Catalina smile) have been addressed. I offered the owner a little over $2000 less than listed. I'm using a broker and will find out if the owner accepts it or not.

Wish me luck!!

Last edited by BayWindRider; 04-21-2012 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 04-22-2012
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Re: Question on offers and surveyors...

All I can tell you, if your mind is made up on the C27, look at all available in your area and go from there.
2 years ago we were in the market for a C34 and looked at just about all that were available in the Chesapeake bay and picked the one that offered the most for the price given.
I will make one suggestion...the C27 is a good boat, but look at the C30 as well. For not much more money, the extra room of the 30 is really nice.
Where are you? I'm on the lower Potomac on Yeocomico River.
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Old 04-22-2012
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Re: Question on offers and surveyors...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BayWindRider View Post
.....
I'm looking at buying a C-27 and have found several from $15,000 to $16,900, and 1985 to 1988. In this market, what would a normal offer be? I was thinking of asking around $2,000 below asking price. Does this sound about right? ...
In any case, the normal offer should be a little below what you think the boat is actually worth...%'s off, $2,000 less, etc. are simply stabs -in-the-dark blind shots, if you dont have a well-formed opinion of what a boat is worth.

The asking price may represent an owner's attempt to fairly price the boat for a quick sale...or an owners fond hope to dump a pile of problems on an un-wise buyer.

So work on figuring out what any boat is worth and dont look for a simple formula that simply makes it easy to waste your money.

Values for a same year/same make models vary widely based on equipment and condition, my experience is that usually the most expensive boat, if reflecting significant upgrades is the best value for the money, and the cheapest, the worst value.
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Old 04-22-2012
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Re: Question on offers and surveyors...

I wholeheartedly agree that there is no 'average' boat, and that each case is going to be unique.

I'm really not a fan of the whole ping-pong method of negotiation. I try to present my best offer right up front with an 'accept/reject' for the owner.

I'm sure I'm unique here, but I have never been able to wrap my head around why people and/or businesses get weird with talking about prices of things more expensive than washing machines. If I want to know how much Subway is flogging sanwiches for, I'm not going to have any problem getting an answer. A flat screen tv? Usually the same thing. Washer/dryer? Same. But suddenly, we take it to the next bracket. A Breitling watch? The retailer hides the tags under the watch or turns the label so you can't see it, no pricing information is available through the manufacturer, and that trend continues up the pricing tree through cars, boats, and houses so you're left to play ping pong negotiation. I've never understood it, and it's a game I personnaly hate to play.

I've bought 4 and sold 3 boats using my best offer, and I've walked away feeling good with each deal, and I think the other folks did too. I certainly haven't tried ripping anyone off anyway.

I know that wasn't your question, so to that end: Given the price range, and assuming the fabled 'average' boat, I would feel comfortable walking away from the transaction with $2,000-3,000 under list.

Looking forward to hearing how it turns out!
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Last edited by creedence623; 04-22-2012 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 04-23-2012
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Re: Question on offers and surveyors...

Yeah, I kept a notebook to compare the different C27’s in the area and their associated equipment / upgrades on them. I even wrote down things that I saw that wasn’t on the listing. The C27 I put an offer on had been upgraded and all the major fixes had been completed (Refit engine / Fuel Tank cleaned, Catalina “smile” already repaired). You can tell the owner was very meticulous with his maintenance logs that dated back many years. He really took the time and described pretty much everything he’s done since he owned the boat along with how-to diagrams. It was pretty impressive. I’ve been looking for a boat that would require less $$$ to get her in the water. I guess we’ll see if she’s the one…

I asked 3k below the asking price and ended up accepting his counter-offer of 2k below. That was my no-higher-than price so I accepted it. I need to take some time off during the survey so I can be there when it happens. The broker helped me find a surveyor who doesn’t mind talking to buyers and will actually go up the mast (funny that some don’t). If the survey and sea trial go well I’ll be sailing my C27 in Deale or Shadyside, MD.
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Old 04-23-2012
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Re: Question on offers and surveyors...

Congrats. I hope your survey goes well. Sounds like you prepared well.
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