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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok,, I go and find a nice 35' sailboat.. I say "I will offer you xxxx for your boat subject to survey" .. and owner says "YES,, YES".

I write up a purchase and sales agreement.. basically copy of the one
brokers use but take out the broker parts..

I give the owner a down payment .. of xxxx

The following week my surveyor does his thing.. and he says
"nice boat, pretty good condition but you will need to fix..
and add and fix and add . "

The fix and add comes out to $3,000. I call the owner..
"yo, here is what the surveyor told me ".

"I want an adjustment of $3000 toward the sale price"

Owner: "Go stuff it and thanks for telling me what she needs
done" ..

Now I am out $500 ..

How can I assure myself that the owner will be willing to make
adjustment on price?
 

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ASA and PSIA Instructor
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You can't, unless you added wording to that effect to the P&S and could get a seller to sign it...which ain't likely.

$3000 of repairs is not much of a reason not to buy a boat that you otherwise found attractive...in the world of 35' boats that amount might be called chump-change.

Given the current state of the boat market, it's surprising a seller wouldn't negotiate some regarding survey findings, unless he disagrees with the surveyor's finding, or believes that the boat is already priced to allow for minor surprises of $3000 magnitude.

It is a give-and-take negotiation though, you can't expect that a seller will simply agree to whatever a surveyor estimates...I would think splitting the estimate may be more common...assuming both parties want to get to YES.
 

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The survey is your option and your cost. The owner, in most cases is selling the boat as is, and is under no obligation to do squat. If the owner really wants to sell then they can negotiate with you if they choose. You can walk away at anytime as well because the survey says you need to do x amount of work and you don't think it's worth it. In any case, your out the cost of the survey.

However the quick answer to your question is put in the sales agreement that final price will be adjusted based on survey results.

If I was the seller, I would never sign that document though.
 

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Hello,

You can't. And, IMHO, you should not expect any.

Of course it depends on the price you are paying for the boat, and the type of problem you find. From my own persona experience, when I bought a boat (two actually) I bargained hard ahead of time and told the broker that I would NOT use the survey to reduce the price. I planned on using the survey to know if the boat was as I expected or not. The first time the survey didn't find anything I didn't know about already. The second time time the survey revealed some simple things like bow lights out, and a few other minor things. I had the owner correct those things, and the deal went down fine.

When I sold my boat I disclosed everything I knew wrong with the boat. When I had an offer I told the prospective buyer that his offer was the lowest price I would accept, so forget about any reduction after the survey. The surveyor did report expired flares and a few other things. I told the buyer that it was up to him to obtain new flares, etc.

Good luck,
Barry
 

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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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Up front, I usually include a clause in the purchase agreement obligating the owner to repairs discovered during survey that are necessary to bring the boat up to recognized standards and structural integrity up to some percentage of the purchase price. Some owners balk and in most of those cases I have then rewritten the clause to split the cost of correction. I never have had any problem with that.

Jeff
 

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The fix and add comes out to $3,000. I call the owner..
"yo, here is what the surveyor told me ".

"I want an adjustment of $3000 toward the sale price"

Owner: "Go stuff it and thanks for telling me what she needs
done" ..
Wow. Sounds like the seller really only wanted to know what he needed to do to fix the boat up... Not sure why, but I might not have told him what needed doing at first, but certainly tried (if I still wanted the boat) to talk him down a bit.

Otherwise I might have just said 'Tell you what, I'll give you your price if you fix XXX to my satisfaction". Probably wouldn't have helped, but if it were a house, I'd have walked away if he basically refused to negotiate.

I try to approach things with the intent of being as honest as possible with people. I EXPECT others to be honest with me, but figure they won't be - so I watch for signs of dishonesty. Asking certain pointed questions about things is usually a good way of ferreting out when someone is being cagey about things.

But - I haven't had to pay for a survey yet. When I find the boat I think I want - and have already done my OWN survey and am pretty sure that there won't be any surprises THEN I will pay for one.
 

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As a seller I would always disclose everything I knew of before-hand. I would NEVER agree on the front end to fix anything a surveyor might write up. It's up to the buyer to request it and the seller to accept or decline.

Old boats ALL have defects. Actually, I can simplify that and just say that ALL boats have defects. If a surveyor doesn't find anything wrong, I would suspect the surveyor of incompetence!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
In my survey adjustment posting .. the boat and purchase are
hypothetical.. not real... I was asking the question as a "What if"
question..

It kinda reaffirms my belief that a survey is a waste of time
in the buying process.. good for the buyer as a knowledge
base, about all.
 

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In my survey adjustment posting .. the boat and purchase are
hypothetical.. not real...
I was asking the question as a "What if"
question..

It kinda reaffirms my belief that a survey is a waste of time
in the buying process.. good for the buyer as a knowledge
base, about all.
...Speaking of wasted time...

It can certainly help a buyer renegotiate. It can also help someone walk away from buying a disaster.

It doesn't obligate a seller to anything.
 

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Administrator
Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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In my survey adjustment posting .. the boat and purchase are
hypothetical.. not real... I was asking the question as a "What if"
question..

It kinda reaffirms my belief that a survey is a waste of time
in the buying process.. good for the buyer as a knowledge
base, about all.
Boy, do you have that wrong!!!!!! Unless you are capable of surveying the boat yourself to a professional level, (oh wait that would also be a survey) first and foremost what the buyer is learning from a survey is whether there are hidden conditions that would be so severe as to preclude buying the boat. Remember the talented amatuers at Texas A&M who failed to discover the kind of defect that any decent surveyor should have seen and it cost a very good man his life.

But also in most cases, if, or should I say when defects are found, then most reasonable sellers will adjust the price accordingly. In almost every boat that I have ever bought, the owners have adjusted the price of the boat by either the amount of the defects discovered, or by 50% of the amount of the defects discovered, and in almost every case the adjustment has exceeded the amount that I paid for the surveyor who detected the problem.

Beyond all of that, if you intend to finance the boat or insure the boat, the loan company and insurance company will typically require a survey. Might as well pay the couple extra dollars and get one that is detailed enough that you can get a price adjustment should problems be present.

Then, of course, most purchase ageements are set up where there is a deposit held by the Seller subject to survey. If you don't go through with the survey and then use the survey to show cause why you are bowing out of the deal, very few owners or brokers will return your deposit since you have defaulted on the agreement rather than found fault with the boat.

I guess that you could make your offer "As is, Where is" in which case you roll the dice, and buy the boat without survey. Sounds like a stupid idea to me unless you really know the boat and seller exceptionally well and you were buying the boat dirt cheap.

Which comes back to your hypothetical, you are not obligated to show the survey to the Seller so you would not expect to have a Owner say: "Go stuff it and thanks for telling me what she needs done" ..

Jeff
 

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In my survey adjustment posting .. the boat and purchase are
hypothetical.. not real... I was asking the question as a "What if"
question..

It kinda reaffirms my belief that a survey is a waste of time
in the buying process.. good for the buyer as a knowledge
base, about all.
Don't believe what all those other guys say. You got it right!!! Save yourself $500 and then spend $3000 to bring the boat up to standards. Ya, you show them.:D
 

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Tartan 27' owner
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Jasper,
If you are willing to fore go a survey you are also likely to be willing to sail without insurance. Conventional wisdom has it that you should have insurance coverage on your boat. Usually you can't get insurance without a recent survey. Like it or not, that is the way it works.
Of course you can do without a survey and insurance but I would not recommend it.
 

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One hour ago, the sellers of the boat we are buying agreed to drop the price of the boat due to issues that were found at survey. Paid for the survey and haul 5 times over. I wouldn't even think of buying a boat with out a good surveyor, one who sails himself.

michael
 

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I'll say it one more

I'll say it one more time....

Surveys are FREE !!!!!

I've owned over 20 surveyable boats in my life, on EVERY transaction a professional survey paid for its self.

I have many, many friends who also buy boats and I've yet to know of one who wasted money on a survey.

The best thing you can do is learn to be a knowledgeable buyer so you DON'T call in a surveyor on a POS boat.

The thread below will give you a very, very good head start on becoming a knowledgeable buyer. If you do your homework there is no excuse for bringing a surveyor in and finding large deal breaking surprises..

Boat Inspection Trip Tips (LINK)
 

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Telstar 28
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Maine Sail beat me to it. :)
 

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Jeff H makes good points, but the first thing is to learn as much as you can about the survey process there are several good book in most local libraries. Then plan to spend 4or 5 hours your self going over the boat and making a list of things you see as problems, these are used in negotiation. In the sales agreement have contingencies relating to passage of a survey to your, empahsis your satisfaction, including return of the deposit. If you are not satified you can call the deal off and get your money back. It is a buyers market. Also, if you do your homework and it is a smaller, older boat a surveyor may not have the economic value as with a larger boat. But your comfort with your knowledge is key. Remember your best negotiating tool is your two feet.
 

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It kinda reaffirms my belief that a survey is a waste of time
in the buying process.. good for the buyer as a knowledge
base, about all.
You are sounding a bit like an accident statistic waiting to be broadcast on the news. You might not want to venture too far from shore...

Good Luck ! :)
 
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