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Old 28-04-2009, 17:58   #1
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buyer's rights & Surveyor

I recently had a boat surveyed in California that I did not attend. When I made my offer, which was below his asking price, the seller mentioned that my surveyor, whom I had paid, said his asking price was fair.
I feel like my surveyor has compromised my ability to negotiate. Has the surveyor violated any buyer’s rights? I paid him! what the heck was he doing giving the seller information?
Any Thoughts on what I can do?
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Old 28-04-2009, 18:28   #2
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No! Your surveyor does not have the authority to make his value estimate match your expectations. He is considered professionally obligated to say what he can base his professional judgment on. Were that not the case then no insurance company would value anything they wrote. He is not your ability to negotiate. Would you expect him to lie so you might gain an advantage?

Should the survey results be other than expected it is the idea that YOU might reconsider. It is not an assured weapon you can use to beat a seller into your point of view. Yes, there are often legitimate things in a survey report that should give a buyer caution. But unless everyone believes the surveyor is impartial he will no longer be able to earn a living.

You have the right to hire the surveyor of your choice and you don't get to dictate the report.
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Old 28-04-2009, 18:33   #3
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I am not sure I could buy a boat that I didn't attend the survey for. Most of the important items are not in the report. These are all the little things that don't effect the judgement of the surveyor but they would tell you and not write up.
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Old 28-04-2009, 18:35   #4
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All true but the surveyor is hired by the buyer. Why is he even discussing the transaction with the seller.
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Old 28-04-2009, 18:36   #5
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I think i was not being clear. I am not in any way chalanging the surveys legitimacy or the findings. My problem is with the surveyor disclosing his fair value to the seller. Do I not own his opinion, I paid him to be there and asses the boat for me not to advise the seller. This seems wrong to me. does this make sense?
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Old 28-04-2009, 18:46   #6
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Doesn't seem wrong to me. He isn't paid to be your advocate, only to give his professional opinion.

If you want an advocate, hire a lawyer.
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Old 28-04-2009, 18:49   #7
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What if your realtor told the seller the house was worth more than you were offering?

The sales price is a function of what the seller and buyer agree to.

A surveyor has no place in that relation.

He reports to who hired him.
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Old 28-04-2009, 18:50   #8
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Quote:
All true but the surveyor is hired by the buyer. Why is he even discussing the transaction with the seller.
People ask and people talk. What was said between people that no one was present for is really only speculation. So what if the seller said something that the surveyor said? What if the seller lied? It's not a reason that you can avoid paying the surveyor. There is no reason a surveyor can not say what they professionally think is true. The seller may not get a report but you couldn't expect to hide the results and then say the report said something that was not true.

If it was in the report then no one can say it was otherwise unless they choose to face fraud charges. To claim a surveyor said something that was not true is fraud. If the report said something in your favor as a buyer you just know you would reveal it and show the report. Should the surveyor say it was a wreck and worthless would you renegotiate? I would walk away. If the buyer has a contracted price then the surveyor can say anything he wants and the buyer can accept, reject, or renegotiate. The buyer has a contract. You can't renegotiate because you think you can take advantage of a seller by claiming the report said what it did not. You signed a contract to purchase. You have the right to walk away. The seller can not or be in breach of contract!

The buyer holds all the cards. You just don't get to re shuffle the deck and blame the surveyor.

Having been on both sides of the deal over the years, sometimes the surveyor helps you and sometimes they just close the deal. All the rest you walk away from.
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Old 28-04-2009, 19:20   #9
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Having been on both sides of the deal over the years, sometimes the surveyor helps you and sometimes they just close the deal. All the rest you walk away from.
I respect that but I disagree.

The surveyor should not be discussing the value of the boat to the seller unless the seller is hiring the surveyor.
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Old 28-04-2009, 19:28   #10
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Bmiller and Therapy have it right. SAMS Code of Ethics requires the surveyor to "respect the confidential nature of marine surveying" . this prohibits the surveyor from discussing ANY issue with anyone other than his client unless specifically permitted to by that client. If this was a SAMS surveyor you should file a complaint with SAMS at www.marinesurvey.org
SAMS takes these issues very seriously and will take action.

If you did not hire a SAMS surveyor perhaps you will next time.
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Old 28-04-2009, 19:52   #11
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Thank you all for your responses. I definitely did hire a SAMS surveyor. I am not in contract and am not trying to back out of any deal, or pull any fast ones. I just feel like the surveyor may have done me a great disservice my discussing his professional opinion of the boats value with the seller, when I was the one who was paying for that opinion.
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Old 28-04-2009, 19:55   #12
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fullkeel2 please take my suggestion seriously and lodge a complaint with SAMS.
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Old 28-04-2009, 20:08   #13
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Fullkeel, your first post was quite understandable. You are correct, the surveyors job is to survey the boats condition. Here's a couple of line from SAMS website.

1) Respect the confidential nature of marine surveying

2) ONCE YOU RETAIN THE SURVEYOR, HE OR SHE WORKS ONLY FOR YOU AND REPORTS TO NO ONE ELSE. THE SURVEYOR IS THERE TO PROTECT YOUR INTERESTS!
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Old 28-04-2009, 20:11   #14
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fullkeel2 please take my suggestion seriously and lodge a complaint with SAMS.
But caution, He only has hearsay (as far as I can tell) about what the suveyor said to the seller.

This needs to be clarified.
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Old 28-04-2009, 20:20   #15
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But caution, He only has hearsay (as far as I can tell) about what the suveyor said to the seller.

This needs to be clarified.

Agreed.
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