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Old 10-11-2011
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need advise on making an offer

Trying to purchase a 2001 Catalina 31 located in northern Maryland. Boat is in fantastic shape, 1 owner and has all the gear I wanted, oh, the family loves the boat as well.

I am going back to the marina to see the broker on Friday. They are asking $69,500. I have seen a few others that are in the $63,000 range, but I have not inspected those boats. I am trying to determine what I should offer. I do not want to piss off the owner (we really want this boat) but would like to get the cheapest price possible obviously.

I have been doing some reseach and people seem to recommend 80% of the asking price. Is this typical? I was thinking about offering $56,000.

Thoughts?

Thanks,
Matt
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Old 10-11-2011
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Be objective

I sincerely doubt a 10 year old boat is really in "fantastic" condition.

You post evidences that you have lost your objectivity and are making your purchase decision based on pure emotion.

Step back for a minute, take your time, and inspect other comparable boats before making an offer. We are now in the longest economic downturn since the Great Depression - there are all kinds of bargains out there.

If you do make an offer, make it contingent upon a satisfactory sea trial and a satisfactory marine survey. Insist that the seller make written representations about the condition of the vessel and his title before signing or spending any of your hard-earned money.

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Old 10-11-2011
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Matt,

Unless it was in another post, you don't mention having a survey done. Wait until the survey is completed and then make the offer based on that. One way to use the survey is to negotiate the price.

When we found a boat that we wanted we gave a 10% deposit (of the asking price) to the broker. Fully refundable if the sea trial and survey didn't pan out but that "held" the boat for us. Once we negotiated down to the final price that deposit was put towards the purchase.

Forget about pissing off the current owner. Don't let your heart piss off your bank account.
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Old 10-11-2011
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Offer what the boat is worth, not what will make the current owner happy. The last thing you should be considering in formulating an offer is "pissing off the owner". You should be considering your budget, the boat's condition, the current market and the alternative boats available. The worst that can happen is they decline the offer. Best case: they accept. Probably case: they counter-offer.

Catalina made lots of 310's, so don't think you can't find another if this one doesn't work out.
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Old 10-11-2011
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buying boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
Matt,

Unless it was in another post, you don't mention having a survey done. Wait until the survey is completed and then make the offer based on that. One way to use the survey is to negotiate the price.

When we found a boat that we wanted we gave a 10% deposit (of the asking price) to the broker. Fully refundable if the sea trial and survey didn't pan out but that "held" the boat for us. Once we negotiated down to the final price that deposit was put towards the purchase.

Forget about pissing off the current owner. Don't let your heart piss off your bank account.
Hello,

I believe the usual process is to agree on a price first and THEN do the survey. After the survey, the price may be adjusted based on the results. Why would you want to pay money for a survey (usually over $500) and then have the owner reject your price?

Personally, I WOULD worry about irritating the owner. Yes, there are many boats available on the market. But, ask anyone who has been looking, there are very FEW boats available in good condition for a good price.

Now, if you haven't looked at at least 2 or 3 or 4 other boats you have more work to do, but if you have then offer 10% under the asking price and work from there. Believe me, over the years you'll appreciate a good boat a lot more than trying to squeeze a few $ out of the deal, only to loose the boat.

Barry
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Old 10-11-2011
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I would not worry about pissing off the owner.

You are a serious buyer and they don't come along every day. Offer what YOU feel comfortable paying for the boat. (I'm talking within reason here.)

If you low ball, and they agree, don't expect them to make many concessions after the survey unless something big or safety related comes up.

If they negotiate your offer to the upper end of what you feel is a fair price then you can be a little more aggressive with minor issues that the survey brings up.

If the deal falls through, another will come along.

A fair sale price gauge; When neither party is happy with the deal.

The sailboat and housing market are very similar right now. There is a good inventory, and actual selling prices are on the low end. Everyone wants to get in on one of the great deals out there. First they have to sell what they own, but, they don't want to "give it away". Vicious circle leaving lots of unsold inventory...but is it really for sale if it's priced at what the owner feels is fair and not priced near the actual selling price?
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If you haven't looked at comparable boats, do so first so that you know the price range you can reasonably offer. When dealing through a broker, you usually make an offer and submit a refundable deposit of 10% of the offer to show good faith. The price is then either accepted or negotiated pending the results of a survey which includes a sea trial, which could renegotiate the final price. Agree with Barry, for a boat that is in very good/excellent condition, 10% less than asking price is usually what the boat owner will accept.
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Old 10-11-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryL View Post
Hello,

I believe the usual process is to agree on a price first and THEN do the survey.
Barry
Our first offer was the asking price. The boat wasn't an unreasonable price to begin with.
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Old 10-11-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
Our first offer was the asking price. The boat wasn't an unreasonable price to begin with.
That is not what you described above.

Not many buyers are going to simply agree to asking price, nor are many sellers going to expect that. If you're happy with the deal great, but not the norm.
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I gotta say, there are alot of great deals out there. An uncle of mine, who has been buying/selling boats since way before I was born, told me not to be afraid to lowball, especially in this recessionary climate. But do it politely. Almost apologetically. "I'm sorry to lowball you, and I understand if you're not interested, but I have saved up x and just can't go much over that." Worked for me...

It is a buyers market today. If you are the only serious potential buyer, you will probably find out shortly because you will be getting plenty of follow up calls from the owner/broker. At least that was my own experience. Being too enthusiastic about the boat is like showing your hand IMHO. If you let the seller stew a few days that may help.

A boat that is unsold and sitting in a marina is negative cashflow, and after an owner realizes this there is lots of incentive to sell.

And yes, there are, and always will be, lots of poorly maintained "bargains" out there, that are more work/investment than they are worth. But I have seen plenty of well maintained boats out there as well in my recent boat search. Of course, I was looking at a smaller range (22'-27' loa), and this advice may be worth what you paid for it as the boats get bigger I just don't know...
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