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Strategy for making a conditional offer

2538 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  campbdon
I have seen very nice boat for sale that I am thinking of putting forward an offer for.
I have seen the boat and am impressed with it compared to others I've looked at. The one and only owner seems genuine, has genuine reason for selling, and appears to have taken great care of her.
The asking price is $12500 (CAD), which I think is fair but I want to negotiate it lower, naturally. So I intend to put forward an offer conditional on survey (on land) and sea trial (at launch).

Would I make my conditional "offer" without specifying the amount, and then negotiate him down after survey/road test, or better to make the offer upfront (say $11500) also conditional on those things? Then should I provide some deposit (what would be fair?) to try and ensure someone else doesn't come along and buy her out from me ? If I provide deposit then I shall require everything in writing of course.

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I think if you are making an offer it will need to have a monetary amount. Otherwise how does the seller know whether he likes your offer? Think about it from his perspective.

You don't necessarily need a deposit. I wouldn't pay a deposit on a boat unless I had some way of enforcing a refund should I decide to bail on the purchase following an unsatisfactory survey or sea trial. If you're going through a broker it's probably safer.

One option to "hold" the boat for you is to put the money in escrow, but probably that will be considered overkill for such a low-priced boat.
By the sound of things there is no broker involved. An offer is only an offer if there is a) a monetary figure, subject to survey and sea trial, and b) a refundable/non- refundable deposit, unless the owner tells you that a deposit is not required. The "subject to survey and sea trial" condition gives you some leeway to negotiate your final payout downward if there are issues uncovered which you did not know when you made your conditional offer. The deposit is the seller's assurance that you are serious. Put everything in writing, and good luck- I hope this is "the one."
Ordinarily you would make a written offer stating that you'll pay a certain price based on satisfactory seatrial and survey. The vendor may require a deposit, and then again may just take your offer on faith if you don't seem like an idiot.

Once you have had your survey and sea trial, you'll negotiate a final price based on the actual condition of the boat.

Don't, whatever you do, buy a boat without having it surveyed.

Good Luck !

As others have mentioned, you need to submit an offer, and have it accepted, before the deal can go any further.

TYPICALLY, your office is contingent on the results of a survey. That does not mean you have the right to renegotiate the price. It means that you can decided to buy or reject the boat.

In reality, SOMETIMES, after the survey, the price will be adjusted. In other situations the owner will correct certain items.

I have bought 3 boats and sold 2. I have never changed the price of the boat because of the survey (2 boats bought after surveys, 1 sold after survey). I did require the owners to make changes after the survey, but that was for minor things (some burned out light bulbs, run some rigging lines correctly, replace a belt on the engine, etc.).

So don't expect the price to change as a result of the survey. Offer what you feel is a fair price for the boat assuming you know the condition. If, after the survey, the boat is not as you thought it was, you probably don't want the boat anyway.

Good luck,
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You need to have a number attached to the offer... Barry said it best:

Offer what you feel is a fair price for the boat assuming you know the condition. If, after the survey, the boat is not as you thought it was, you probably don't want the boat anyway.
A refundable 10% good faith deposit is usually required...
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Thanks for the words of wisdom!. I shall heed this advice and go forth. It will likely be either a Cal27 or Kirby8 (27')
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