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  Topic Review (Newest First)
09-02-2007 11:40 PM
cardiacpaul "It gives you a relative idea of the varying values between boats, i.e., $34,000 may seem like a steal for a 1982 Hunter, but NADA will show that it's average, while $34,000 for a 1982 C&C is a decent catch (given that the boats are in reasonable shape). "

my point, that I'm not making very well is that any "buyers guide" is almost worthless even as a guideline. You sell 12 Lexus 300's across the country, average the sales price and come up with a general value.

Boats are not cars.
I'm sorry to say and sad to report it just doesn't work that way due to all over the variables that exist.

Just as an example, In New England and up and down the Eastern seaboard, Freedoms are quite pricey. In the South, you can't give one away. They are almost non-existant on the west coast. In coastal Europe, They are considered to be gold plated. How does that work into your number cruncher? It doesn't... thats how. That certainly impacts the value guide. No, it skews the hell out of it. Take that and all of the variable equipment issues, hull issues, general care and use issues, I wouldn't give a plugged nickel (they're worth more in canada) for any of the guides.
09-02-2007 04:49 PM
Originally Posted by cardiacpaul View Post
I don't want to burst your bubble, but NADA sucks. They get their data from sales managers at brokerages houses. The brokers DO NOT put in true selling prices.
I don't dispute that, Cardiac, but it does two things during research. It gives you a relative idea of the varying values between boats, i.e., $34,000 may seem like a steal for a 1982 Hunter, but NADA will show that it's average, while $34,000 for a 1982 C&C is a decent catch (given that the boats are in reasonable shape). It serves as a general metric, not necessarily as a good price guide. Secondly, it provides a bit of framework for comparison shopping. And it doesn't have to be NADA, the same is generally true about many of the price guides out there.

The other option is to rely on everyones' opinions. As you can see by the responses on this forum, the comments are all over the spectrum. As the old saying goes, "opinions are like a certain human orifice..."

NADA is just another tool in the research kit bag.

09-01-2007 09:50 AM
teshannon I agree with Cam, you absolutely do not want to invest in a survey without an agreed upon price IN WRITTING with the seller. Walk away, there are plenty of other good boats out there.
09-01-2007 09:43 AM
wind_magic I agree with the others, be able to walk away. Have other options in your mind, because someone is going to want all that money you are offering. And I'd offer less than that 30% discount on their asking price too so you have room to negotiate up to what you really want to pay. Don't be afraid to "offend them". If anything you're just telling them the honest truth and that's all you can do, lead them to water so to speak.

Edit, oh, and if the broker is being a jerk, try to find out who the seller is. Use the number on the side of the boat if it has a coast guard number on it. I'd only ever do this if the broker was being a complete jerk though. That is advice someone gave me for a boat I had a passing interest in that was "controlled" by a broker that was a real piece of work.
09-01-2007 09:34 AM
camaraderie I agree with CP.
I would NOT proceed with any survey until I had a contract price that I believed was a fair price based on the OBSERVED condition of the boat. The deficiencies pointed out by the survey should serve to further reduce the price of the boat and to insure that the ACTUAL condition is what is paid for.
If you and the owner cannot agree on a price before survey thn either your bid is unrealistic OR his valuation is. If you believe your research is solid and you can't agree...Walk away...there are other boats and more reasonable owners.
09-01-2007 09:08 AM
cardiacpaul "Armed with all this data, I presented it to the broker while setting the stage to make my initial offer. It would be 30% below asking, and I actually felt that was reasonable. The broker balked and said that the seller would not go below 15 or so percent, ever. I said what if the survey comes in 25-30% below asking, that I was very reluctant to proceed with a 500$ survey, only to have the seller not honor the surveyor estimate of value if it comes in significantly below asking."

The seller may have given the broker a "drop-dead" price, or the seller may be an unreasonable cuss that doesn't want to sell the boat anyway. There are a myriad of reasons, who can say. On a 100k boat sale the broker will make 10k. On a 70k boat he'll make 7k.
7k in my pocket today is a heck of a lot better than a lick and a promise of 10k.
09-01-2007 02:44 AM
sailingdog pbpme-

Most boats sell for far below their asking price. You've got to remember that an asking price is just that... and often it is padded above what the seller really thinks the boat is worth, knowing that the buyer will want a lower price.... to give it some wiggle room.

IMHO, if you buy any used boat at the asking price, it is pretty much a guarantee that you're overpaying to some degree.

As for your offer... if the broker didn't even present your offer to the buyer, it is more likely that he is trying to maximize his commission, rather than the buyer being unwilling to discuss it. If the broker is ethical, and many aren't, he will present the offer to the buyer stating that it is contingent on survey. Usually, the owner will come back with a counter-offer, which is higher than your initial offer, but lower than the asking price. IMHO, you shouldn't be offering what you expect to pay for the boat, but something somewhat lower than that... since you need room to wiggle as well.

It also depends on what make and model the boat is, how long it has been listed for, what time of year it is... and things like that.

For instance, if the boat has been listed for a long time... it is generally an indicator that the boat is in bad shape, overpriced or that the owner really isn't interested in selling it.

If it is a relatively common boat... then the buyer has a lot more leverage, since there are more of them on the market... you can always wallk away.

You might also want to point out that if they don't sell, they'll rack up another few thousand in winter storage fees, if the boat is stored in a marina. If you buy the boat, they will save those fees... same thing about winterizing costs. Anything that is going to cost them money is another reason for them to accept your offer... or at least consider it.

If it is a relatively new boat, less than four or five years old... you might also point out that the book value of the boat will often be much lower next year than it is this year—since the boat is now x+1 years old. Of course., this doesn't work on a boat that is more than four or five years old, since most of the depreciation has already been accounted for.
09-01-2007 02:08 AM
A most informative thread

I'm actively looking for a new boat and have found one I think I want to buy. Its an older 36 footer in the 60-80K range in fairly decent shape. I was in a real quandry about how to price the boat since the asking price and the BUC Values was way, way off, like 30k difference.

While looking for a good surveyor I was very honest that I was clueless about how to price the boat and this is one of my chief concerns. I'm probably like most boat shoppers, use YW to determnine a rough estimate of value. I found this method very unrewarding, since NADA and BUC seems to value used boats 25-30 percent lower than asking prices. hmmmm???

The broker and the surveyor could not be singing a more different tune. The broker lists a myriad of reasons why boats sell for thousands more than BUC (cough cough). The surveyor tells me BUC's description of average BUC condition is probably better than 50-60 % of the boats they see. Maybe 1 in 100 can pass as bristol, which BUC says adds 20% to BUC values. WOW, now I'm really confused.

This surveyor was really helpful. While on the phone discussing what I wanted to do, the surveyor logged into and pulled up all listed sold boats for the past 4 years, nationwide, within 2 years of the vintage boat I was looking for. This really was an eye opener. Throwing out the obvious low value and the 1 ultra high value and averaging, it was interesting, the averages per year were within 5% of BUC, go figure?.

Armed with all this data, I presented it to the broker while setting the stage to make my initial offer. It would be 30% below asking, and I actually felt that was reasonable. The broker balked and said that the seller would not go below 15 or so percent, ever. I said what if the survey comes in 25-30% below asking, that I was very reluctant to proceed with a 500$ survey, only to have the seller not honor the surveyor estimate of value if it comes in significantly below asking.

Has anyone encountered this situation? I informed the broker, I really did not care what offer price we arrived at, since I would make it contingent on the survey since I'm very confident the survey will probably be within 2-3K of my offer price. Maybe even lower. I will not buy for more than survey estimate. I checked around and the surveyor is highly regarded and considered fair. Does anyone have any advice on what I should expect next?
08-31-2007 11:59 PM
Originally Posted by MARRSY View Post
I'm looking at boats in the 50 to 80 grand range and wondering what an appropriate starting price would be. I know it depends on the sellers motivation/situation but as a new buyer I originally expected to pay close to asking price but as I’ve been doing more and more research I see lot of people say they offered half and go from there. Just wondering what others here have done in the past when haggling over price. Probably a dumb question but any insight would be great. Thanks.
I'll throw my 0.02$us in on this one.

When buying real estate, boats, or anything, I ignore asking price completely. Asking price is just a figment of the seller's imagination and has absolutely nothing to do with me. I'm not looking to make new friends or enter into a "relationship", I'm looking to buy something. I already have friends.

Then I make sure I'm the best buyer I can be. Pay in cash, have all the time in the world to make a deal, have options so I don't fall in love with any particular property, NEVER "narrow down my choices", try to remain flexible until the end, stay level headed and cool, be honest and straight forward, be nice and smile a lot, etc.

Then I try to find the best seller. Desperate, "just wants out", has a great property, has dreams they can't get to because they are stuck in their current situation, have had their property on the market a long time, and at best are rude or abrasive and thus very bad sellers that buyers walk away from, etc.

Then I make my offer. Any property has an intrinsic value, a real worth, and I like to base my offer on that. Mostly though it's about what I want to pay, and not just the "what can I stretch" amount, but the "what am I completely at ease and comfortable with" amount. If the property is over-priced I also like to make an offer that is low enough to get past all of the "it's too low, we need to negotiate, tell him to offer more" price, and get down really deep into the "oh my god, how could he offer so little, he must know how desperate and full of sh#t we are" price. That cuts down on non-sense, because they either say no quickly, or they don't say no quickly in which case you know you can close the deal just by coming up a little in price. In the end, they either take the offer or they don't, it really has nothing to do with you. If you have options it really doesn't matter one way or the other, you just smile at them as you walk out of the room with what they were starting to fondly think of as "their money".

Cash is a great instrument, you can buy any boat with it, everybody loves your cash, it's never the wrong make or model, it doesn't need to be surveyed, it doesn't get blisters, it's just a fantastic thing to have on your side of the negotiation.

Boats are NOT good instruments, you have to find exactly the person who wants it, it has problems (they all do), it's costing you money while it sits there unsold, unless it's a work boat is just a toy and a luxury item, etc, and it's not such a great thing to have on your side of the deal.

Bad things to do include ...

- Getting your heart set on one property. You know who you are, "narrowing down" your choices to that "one perfect boat", window shopping for things that will go on the boat before you even own it, flying all around the country looking for that one boat you've been dreaming about for the past 10 years, spending money on things to go in the boat before you even close the deal, etc.
- Paying with anything other than cash.
- Being rude to the seller, or a jerk in general.
- Being in a hurry to close the deal.
- Making friends with the seller before you close the deal.
- Losing control of the deal and allowing a broker to run the show.
- Etc ...
08-31-2007 10:36 PM
cardiacpaul that was my fathers answer for almost eveything...
"Dad, what are we gunna git at de store?"

"a frogbobber"

thanks for all of your info pops.
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