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Hello, this is regarding an old post (2010) made referencing 10 things to consider when buying a boat. The quote from the post is below.

Negotiating: Not sure how applicable this will be to others since there are so many variables involved, but here's the breakdown relative to the last published listed price.

Initial pre-survey offer - 74% of asking
Negotiated price pre-survey - 78% of asking
Adjusted price post survey (sold cost) - 67% of asking


It is common to make/have a pre-survey offer and acceptance from the buyer but I don't understand why.
1. Could you or would it ever be acceptable to make an offer after the survey? ...hey I like your boat, let me get a survey and I'll make an offer...?
2. Is the pre-survey offer made on what you see? In this instance I know nothing about sailing or sailboats and my pre-survey offer would be based only on feeling.
3. In the quote above the accepted post survey offer has no bearing on the pre-survey offer, so again why make one?


thanks for your help
I understand I know nothing
 

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Old soul
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It is customary to make an offer contingent on a satisfactory survey and sea trial. You could certainly try and do it as you outline, but the seller would have to agree.

The initial offer is based on what you think the boat is worth. It is contingent on full disclosure of any known defects or problems. The amount is determined by the potential buyer based on what they think the boat is worth. A survey and sea trial are there to identify any undisclosed or unknown issues. If the survey doesn't find any surprises, the sale goes through as is. If there are surprises, this opens the door to renegotiation.

The big advantage to the buyer of this approach is that it removes the boat from the market during this period. Without a signed sales agreement, the seller would have to keep the boat on the market even while you are arranging a survey or other examinations. If the boat is hard to sell, this might work out. But it might also be sold to someone else before you can finish your examinations.

You say you know nothing about sailing or sailboats. That's not the seller's problem, that's yours. You need to learn enough, or hire someone who can advise you. It's like buying any major item; it's up to the buyer to be informed.
 

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The seller does typically have to go through some effort to accommodate a survey, but may agree. There is an argument, for the seller, that once you've invested in a survey, you could be less willing to walk away. It's the buyers that might be ill advised to spend money on one, when there is no contract that prevents the seller from doing whatever they like. Theoretically, they could raise the price, when you're done.

Alternatively, you may want to find a surveyor to do a pre-survey. It's a short visual exercise, just to get an opinion on whether it's worth going into contract and then pulling back all the covers. They could identify anything obvious that you may not be qualified to notice.
 

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Definitely the survey comes after an accepted offer and a deposit paid on the purchase. Cannot expect the seller to allow their boat to be hauled and inspected for hours without a firm comittment from the buyer. Much like buying a house, the offer can have subjects attached to it that give the buyer a way out of the deal. Usually a survey, mechanical inspection, and sea trials.

It is understood that the offer you make is the price you intend to pay. If the survey turns up a previously unknown or undisclosed problem it is acceptable to renegotiate based on the estimated cost to correct the problem.

If the survey is unsatisfactory and you cannot negotiate a new price then the buyer is entitled to their deposit back, but they are on the hook for the cost of the survey, lift charges etc.

Sent from my SM-G981W using Tapatalk
 

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Maybe not necessary to clarify, but let's insure the opening poster understands that all expenses related to the survey are paid by the buyer.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If the survey turns up a previously unknown or undisclosed problem it is acceptable to renegotiate based on the estimated cost to correct the problem.
Maybe not necessary to clarify, but let's insure the opening poster understands that all expenses related to the survey are paid by the buyer.

Okay, understanding now.
 

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If working through a broker you are going to have to have an accepted offer, normally 10% refundable deposit, survey, renegotiate if needed, then close if all is agreed.

The broker will advise the owner not to do a survey, haul out, or any other action that requires money to be paid to a vendor. Other than just to show the seriousness of the buyer the deposit is also in place to cover any expenses occurred that should be paid for by the potential buyer. If the potential buyer decides not to buy the boat and stiffs the haul out facility the deposit is suppose to be used to satisfy the debt.

Either way in practice the results should be the same. No potential buyer would pay the expense of a haul out/survey if they weren't serious. And why would a potential buyer want to have the expense without knowing that the seller is also committed and everyone is playing in the same ball park.

In this case common practice works because the common practice works. No need to be changed.

Good luck with your purchase.

Foster
 

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Hey,

The survey costs you, the buyer, money. Sometimes a lot of money. If the boat is in the water you are responsible for the cost of a short haul. You pay for the surveyor. Why would you pay that money (frequently over $1000) and THEN find out that the boat owner won't accept your offer?

Typically you reach an agreement on the price and THEN get the survey. Also, the typical sales contact states that the buyer can back out of the deal at any time and for any reason. So you are protected there. The usual deal is you agree on a price, pay a 10% deposit, arrange for survey and sea trial, and may negotiate after the survey. If the survey discovers any issues, the owner can correct them, give the buyer a credit, or state that's the way it is, take it or leave it.

Barry
 

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Other than just to show the seriousness of the buyer the deposit is also in place to cover any expenses occurred that should be paid for by the potential buyer. If the potential buyer decides not to buy the boat and stiffs the haul out facility the deposit is suppose to be used to satisfy the debt.
I hadn't thought of that, but it's a very good and accurate point. The marina would put a lien on the boat to be paid and the seller would have no contract, let alone earnest deposit, to satisfy it.

I'm not sure if the surveyor themselves would be able to attach their services to the boat, if not paid. I wonder if @boatpoker would know. In any event, if the OP wanted to try the pre-survey approach, I'm sure it could either be pre-paid or an agreement written, where the surveyor would waive that right. Doubt you'd get a marina to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hey,

The survey costs you, the buyer, money. Sometimes a lot of money. If the boat is in the water you are responsible for the cost of a short haul. You pay for the surveyor. Why would you pay that money (frequently over $1000) and THEN find out that the boat owner won't accept your offer?
An that is something I didn't consider also.
 

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If you really don't know anything much about sailboats, it's worth doing some reading/research before you make any offers on boats. A lot of them (most that I looked at) could be ruled out before even considering an offer or a survey based on condition, and if you know what to look for you can spot lots of potential problems pretty easiiy. This book is a good place to start: Inspecting the Aging Sailboat (The International Marine Sailboat Library): Casey, Don: 9780071445450: Amazon.com: Books
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If you really don't know anything much about sailboats, it's worth doing some reading/research before you make any offers on boats. A lot of them (most that I looked at) could be ruled out before even considering an offer or a survey based on condition, and if you know what to look for you can spot lots of potential problems pretty easiiy. This book is a good place to start: Inspecting the Aging Sailboat (The International Marine Sailboat Library): Casey, Don: 9780071445450: Amazon.com: Books
Excellent reading suggestion
I think my knowledge statement should have been "I know less than some..." and therefore my offer would be based on that knowledge or lack of.
 

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Excellent reading suggestion
I think my knowledge statement should have been "I know less than some..." and therefore my offer would be based on that knowledge or lack of.
You should instead buy Don Casey's Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual. It includes the book that danvon suggested plus 5 more from the author - all in one book. I recently bought a boat, and this book has been very helpful!
 

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We are in the market for another sailboat. What recourse does a buyer have if a survey discovers an expensive fault and the buyer will not re-negotiate the price to cover the repair? The buyer is into the boat a thousand maybe two. Is there no way to recover the monies? It would be hard to prove the seller knew about the fault and failed to disclose.
 

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We are in the market for another sailboat. What recourse does a buyer have if a survey discovers an expensive fault and the buyer will not re-negotiate the price to cover the repair? The buyer is into the boat a thousand maybe two. Is there no way to recover the monies? It would be hard to prove the seller knew about the fault and failed to disclose.
Practically speaking, no.

The reason you survey a prospective boat is to catch these kinds of things. If it was a surprise finding (either unknown or undisclosed), then either renegotiate, or take your deposit and walk away. Since it's a negotiation, there's no way to force a seller to come to your terms. That's just reality.

If you walk away you'll be out the cost of the survey, plus all associated monies spent to look at the boat. But it will likely be cheaper than getting a boat that has a serious or expensive problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
We are in the market for another sailboat. What recourse does a buyer have if a survey discovers an expensive fault and the buyer will not re-negotiate the price to cover the repair? The buyer is into the boat a thousand maybe two. Is there no way to recover the monies? It would be hard to prove the seller knew about the fault and failed to disclose.
This will be interesting but I believe as a prospective buyer that cost is on us.
 

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Maybe the way to limit exposure to unknown faults is to do a series of surveys, rigging, mechnical (diesel engine) then the full hull/structure survey. I'm thinking about the Catalina/Westerbeake engine problem where the owner may not know the engine is slowly degrading. A compression check ($400 or so) would discover it. A series of surveys would have to be in the contract, and it would tie up the boat for several days. I'm just not too thrilled about risking a thousand or two. I site the Catalina/Westerbeake as an example but I'm sure there are others such as leaky tanks, debonded grids, saturated hull/deck cores, smiles, too much tension in the backstay affecting the transom. With the internet it is pretty easy to research common problems associated with particular brands.
 

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I hadn't thought of that, but it's a very good and accurate point. The marina would put a lien on the boat to be paid and the seller would have no contract, let alone earnest deposit, to satisfy it.

I'm not sure if the surveyor themselves would be able to attach their services to the boat, if not paid. I wonder if @boatpoker would know. In any event, if the OP wanted to try the pre-survey approach, I'm sure it could either be pre-paid or an agreement written, where the surveyor would waive that right. Doubt you'd get a marina to do it.
Every deal I have witnessed, the marina won't lift a boat til' they have been paid and you can bet your a** the broker isn't paying it from the deposit he holds in escrow
 

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I'm not sure if the surveyor themselves would be able to attach their services to the boat, if not paid. I wonder if @boatpoker would know. In any event, if the OP wanted to try the pre-survey approach, I'm sure it could either be pre-paid or an agreement written, where the surveyor would waive that right. Doubt you'd get a marina to do it.
Technically I can file a lien, I can also have the vessel arrested but there are issues with both of these although I did once have a bailiff chain a boat to a dock. It is much simpler just to go the small claims route. Curiously everyone I've taken to small claims over the years were lawyers with two exceptions and they were both reasonably well know politicians ... so pretty much the same thing.

I love taking lawyers to small claims court because they don't seem to realize how much the lower echelon of small claims judges hate them. ... always fun to watch their faces as they realize where things are going. Now many will tell you that wining in small claims is no gaurantee of actually collecting and that I suppose is possible however I once had a bailiff seize a brand new $30k Harley Davidison and sell it at auction to settle my $1k claim.

Small claims court can be very entertaining
 
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