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post #1 of 27 Old 09-30-2019 Thread Starter
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Low balling

Quick question. (ha)

How much can one (generally) expect to reduce an asking price?
Given all things are "normal" and it is priced in a range of similar boats...

i.e
£50000 ask, offer £42000
£75000 ask, offer £55000
£100000 ask, 0ffer £60000

or impossible to give an idea?
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post #2 of 27 Old 09-30-2019
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Re: Low balling

That question is far too general. There are so many factors that would need to be considered. How strong is the market in the area? How motivated is the seller? What is the condition of the boat? How does the boat compare to other boats on the market? How much have other boats of that age and model sold for in the past?

If you are going to go in with a lowball offer, you'd better have some kind of rationale for why you think that boat is worth so much less than what the seller is asking. If you don't, he is likely to tell you to pound sand!

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post #3 of 27 Old 09-30-2019
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Re: Low balling

Yes, varies by each seller/boat.

Some sellers list at a fair price, if all the other factors are right, the boat will soon be gone if you don't move and pay the asking price quickly.

Others are totally unrealistic, the other factors working against a quick sale, might end up going for a small fraction of the asking price **if** the seller is motivated to actually sell within a short timeframe, say under a year - many are not.
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post #4 of 27 Old 09-30-2019
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Re: Low balling

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary McKeown View Post
or impossible to give an idea?
Impossible to give an idea!

FWIW: The two rules that I had when boat shopping in 2009 were: 1 - if I didn't offer a fair offer, someone else would. 2 - if I did not believe that a fair offer was at least 80% of asking price that the seller and I were too far apart, and I would simply walk away.

When I was boat shopping, one seller of a boat in New Jersey called me a "tire kicker" after I looked at his Pearson 33. It had a very wet bilge, keel bolts that were toast, a Yanmar diesel that was running so rough that the motor mounts were broken, ancient electronics, Mickey-Mouse electrical and a slew of other issues. The seller was, at that time, asking $45K. I felt that the boat was worth $35K MAX given the amount of work needed to make it safe. After his "tire-kicker" email I offered him $33K and the guy took offense, thus proving rule #2. The boat went under agreement and then the deal fell through at least three times that I knew of. Happily, for both of us, he eventually found a sucker with enough cash.


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post #5 of 27 Old 09-30-2019
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Re: Low balling

I'm guessing that if the boat has been on the market for a while, the seller has rejected other offers, and may be closer to being convinced to at least make a counter-offer. If you can get any info about why the boat is being sold, or favorable comparison boats, that may help.

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post #6 of 27 Old 09-30-2019
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Re: Low balling

Yes, background information on the seller, not just financial but personal context around the boat, attitude of wife / kids etc, is very helpful
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post #7 of 27 Old 09-30-2019
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Re: Low balling

There is no math. You have to be happy with your offer and so does the seller. Thatís the only way a deal is made.

If I feel something is worth substantially less than asking price, I will say so and ask if the seller wants an offer anyway. If they donít, stay friendly and offer them to reach back anytime. Never draw a line in the sand, unless you mean it. Always remain open to a counter, as you always have the ability to decline it.
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post #8 of 27 Old 09-30-2019
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Re: Low balling

It is sometimes worthwhile strategy to make a final offer, with an expiration date, and walk away.

But only if you mean it, no bluffing.

As soon as you're not willing to actually walk away, you've lost your power.
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post #9 of 27 Old 09-30-2019
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Re: Low balling

If I feel something is priced fairly, you can offer a slightly discounted price, and hope for the best. If you are going to offer way less, you may be insulting and the person would not want to deal with you unless they are desperate to get out from under the boat. If the boat has been on the market for a while, there is an increased pressure on accepting a lower offer.

If a boat is priced right it will sell and if you wait too long or offer too low, it will be end up someone else's boat.

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post #10 of 27 Old 09-30-2019
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Re: Low balling

Like others stated, it is too broad a question. There is no "normal" discount to expect. A couple of examples from our recent selling and purchasing a boat:

1. We just sold a boat. We spent effort to understand what our boat was worth on the market. It wasn't what we thought it was worth, because we had just put a ton of money into it updating electronics, new rigging, new sails, etc, but the reality is that other boats like ours were selling in a narrow price range. We could be toward the top end of that narrow range, and let all the new stuff speak for itself, but there would be no realistic timeframe of selling it outside that range - we would be waiting for a long time for that "special person". There was no way we would recoup the money of all the recent upgrades. We decided to sell without a broker, so we had a bit of room for negotiation compared to those selling with a broker and the 10% penalty for doing so. We were surprised at the number of low-ballers contacting us offering 1/3-1/2 of the listed price - "cash" (this was always stressed, and for some reason they thought it was a very valuable and shrewd thing to say) - without even seeing the boat. We didn't respond to a single one of these. We could never figure out the "cash" thing, because we weren't offering financing on the boat, and would receive cash no matter how the buyer obtained it. In the end, we came down 6% on the asking price. We did better than we would have with a broker, and the buyer got a decent deal.

2. We looked at a boat we were interested in. The boat was listed at a price representative of a bristol example of the model with new equipment, rigging, sails, and outfit. The boat was in terrible shape. We spent a lot of time figuring out what was needed to bring it back to sailing/cruising shape. By that, I mean fixing things like the big crack in the hull and the broken off daggerboard, and replacing the genoa that wasn't there - and not fancy particular stuff like we didn't like the upholstery color, etc. The realistic price for this boat was 60-70% of the asking price. We offered 67% of the asking price, and the owner blew his top. The broker himself, who understood this boat and had been trying to reason with the owner was great to work with. However, the head of the brokerage firm got involved and said some nasty stuff about us. We gladly walked. We were the only ones to make an offer on that boat for another 18 months. Eventually, the owner put ~$25k into it fixing the obvious structural issues, and ended up selling it for 70% of his original asking price. He ended up getting less than what we offered.

3. We looked at a sistership to the above that was in great shape, but normally aged with original sails, rigging, and other stuff needing routine replacement. The listed price was hopeful, but not outrageous, and the boat was honestly presented. Here, it was simply a case of the seller's attachment clouding the price a bit. It was a private sale with no broker, so the sellers did not go through that market realization. We offered 78% of the asking price, and negotiated for quite a bit to 86% of the asking price. We didn't get a great deal, and the seller's didn't get a windfall - it was a fair price all-around. If we had stuck to our guns, we might have gotten it for a bit less over a few month's time, and if they had stuck to their guns, they might have sold it to someone else for a bit more over a few month's time.

The thing is - no boats are "deals". They aren't investments, and you aren't going to flip them for profit. If you find one you like, do your evaluation and pay what you think is fair for it. If the seller doesn't sell, then look some more. If the boat doesn't turn you on, then go looking. If it does, then buy it.

But don't waste anyone's time lowballing or expecting a "normal" discount. If the boat is overpriced, then go into the negotiation with the details on why, and present them as matter of fact. The seller already knows what is wrong with his boat.

Mark

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