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  Topic Review (Newest First)
10-11-2007 01:21 AM
Sailormann If you've accepted a deposit, then you have entered into an agreement of sale, even if there is no written documentation. There is no real legal or ethical reason not to show the boat to other potential buyers, as long as you do not enter into a subsequent agreement with them to sell them the same boat.

Accepting a deposit from one of them could possibly be construed as a fraudulent act, if the person who gave you that deposit turned around at some point and decided to take action against you, claiming that you failed to make them aware that the boat was already conditionally sold. Probably unlikely, but there are some real unusual folk out there.

Not a bad idea to show it and line up some backup buyers, in case the deal goes south, but if they want to give you money, it would be much better to have it put into escrow with documents clearly outlining that it is accpeted as an indication of the buyer's intention to make an offer to purchase, and does not consitute a sales deposit.

The safest thing to do would be show the boat to as many other people who want to see it, explain the situation to them, get their phone numbers and call them if the current buyer backs out.
10-10-2007 07:26 PM
xort I inquired about a pretty good deal on a boat listing this summer.

The broker said he had an offer pending survey. A back up offer in place with a deposit in had for that second offer plus a third offer in case the first two backed out. He then asked me if I wanted to be 4th on the list.
The boat sold at full price after survey to the first buyer.
I would love to have that sort of pressure to hold over the head of a buyer with some minor issues in the survey..."hey, turn it down, I have others in line waiting for you to back out"!!!

You are looking out for you, period. Line em up.
10-10-2007 04:45 PM
sailingfool You should show your boat until you have a final deal.

You can anticipate that the buyer will come back with something after the survey. The something may be immaterial and you may be happy to concede and resolve the contingency. Or the something may be unreasonable and there is nothing as powerful being able to reference another interested party to help encourage current buyer to cut the baloney and get to his bottom line.
10-10-2007 04:08 PM
camaraderie Ditto is SO easy for a buyer to walk away or not be able to get financing and there is NO compensation to the seller. The seller loses valuable time in selling season. There is no ethical conflict as long as the prospective 2nd buyer is told there is already a deal on the boat.
10-10-2007 04:01 PM
teshannon You can show it and I see nothing wrong with that. You need to keep one thing in mind however - If the first buyer accepts the boat as is after the survey you must sell it to him even if you have a better offer. Probably the cleanest approach is to show it but not accept offers until the first deal goes bust.
10-10-2007 03:23 PM
Bardo Where I come from (MD), its common practice to continue to list and even show the house until it closes. Don't know why it would be different on a boat. I probably wouldn't let them sail it, for all the obvious reasons.
10-10-2007 03:15 PM


I learn something new everyday. From my real estate transactions, I always thought that once a tentative deal was made (offer/deposit accepted), the ability to show a house was heavily frowned upon. I know all sorts of things can happen (buyer can't get financing, buyer can't sell exisiting property, etc.) but that usually is stipulated in the offer and the realtor and seller know this. I am surprised that even after an offer is accepted, a realtor still shows a property, even if the disclosure statement about it already having an accepted offer made.

I hope that I didn't imply that I think that the Seller, in this case the OP, should take his boat off the market. My only point was that he shouldn't actively show it. If someone is interested, the seller should take their info and say that an offer and deposit for the boat has been accepted, but if the deal falls through, he'll recontact them.

EDITED: I saw both posts TB and Kwaltersmi and change my tune a little. If showing a piece of property after an offer/deposit has been accepted to other interested buyers is the norm for the real estate industry, I guess it is okay. I personally wouldn't do it.

10-10-2007 03:09 PM
TrueBlue Home and boat sales contracts have many similarities. During the process of purchasing my last home, we signed a P&S, but the broker still showed it to several others before the actual closing. The seller had six back-up offers - most at a higher offer than our accepted offer.
10-10-2007 02:54 PM
kwaltersmi DrB - Most of your example assume he's going to sell the boat to a new buyer out from under the first buyer. His question was whether or not he could SHOW the boat to another person, not whether he could accept a higher/better offer from another person.

The seller needs to protect his best interest and have back-up offers/buyers ready in case the original deal falls apart. I sell real estate for a living and this sort of thing happens all the time. As long as the seller/broker is upfront about the pending sale and accepts the risk of something getting broken during a showing, there is no reason the boat (or house) can't be shown during the pending period.
10-10-2007 02:24 PM
Diasagree with others

If you have accepted a deposit and the offer, then you really shouldn't be showing the boat to other potential buyers until the person with the deposit either backs away from the deal or some goes amiss during the sea trial. If someone calls about the boat, you should tell them that you have taken a deposit on the boat from a buyer, take their name and number, and ask them if the deal falls through can you recontact them.

It's like buying a house, the seller accepts your offer and you put down a deposit until the home inspection. You stop looking because you have found the house, so you may have passed on other houses that meet your criteria. However, the seller shows it after they have accepted your offer and the person looking at the house says "I want it and will pay X dollars more than what your current offer is". If you were the seller, do you take the new offer? If so, you breach the contract and the buyer can sue. Another example, you see an add for a item in the paper that is a high dollar amount (car, TV, trip, etc.) and of limited quantity, but you can't get there before the sale or store closes. You call in and put a deposit on it until you can get in and fully inspect and pay for. You arrive only to find that the item was sold to a walk in customer. On the good side, you do get your deposit back.

Although Boat Purchase agreements are not as stringent as the buyer can basically walk at anytime without penalty, the principle is still the same. Ethically, I think it is wrong.

One more thing to consider. What if you show the boat to a another potential buyer, after accepting the deposit, and he/she breaks something on it while looking? Now the boat is different to the original buyer and they have every right to walk away. Then you've lost your buyer AND you have to fix the thing the "looker" broke.

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