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Old 21-07-2015, 10:12   #16
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Re: How much will European seller agree to lower price?

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Originally Posted by hoppy View Post
You are in the mistaken belief that everyone is desperate to sell. Sure you can come in with a low value and if it's a motivated seller, maybe you'll get lucky. But if the seller has set his advertised and willing to sell for prices based on your points A to D, and there is no desperate need, to sell, then you need to make a reasonable offer.

In a buyers market you can find bargains, just don't fool yourself to believe that all boats can be had for a bargain price.


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I'm having a slow day today and this thread is near and dear to my heart. I have learned so much in my process of selling all our stuff. The fact is.. What is a "Resonable offer" to the seller and buyer may be completely different things.

What you are describing is a seller willing to wait for the market to change. This is the kind of seller that says "Ok, I will sell my boat if I can get X dollars for it". Usually these are the guys who still sail the boat and maintain it (i.e. still love it). These are also the guys with lots of emotions tied to the boat and get offended at a low offer. You will never find a deal from this seller, but you MAY get a solid boat if you are willing to pay for it.

On the other hand is the guy that is done with the boat. He may not NEED to sell it, but is motivated for some reason (i.e. moved, divorce, ect). These are the guys who can get into trouble quickly by trying for "top dollar". The boat sits at the dock costing money and falling into disrepair. This is where the deals exist. A percentage of these sellers understand the whole "market" concept and will sometimes accept the lower offer. Otherwise he waits the market out and hopes a buyer comes along before the boat is a floating POS.

The other thing to consider is the fact that markets are often artificially inflated by a few factors. One, many sellers aren't honest with the price they actually sold for. Two, brokers will over value boats (or cars, or houses) to get the client. Three, many people mistake LIST price for SOLD price.

In any event.. I crazy to get angry at an offer, any offer!
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Old 21-07-2015, 10:24   #17
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Re: How much will European seller agree to lower price?

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Originally Posted by hoppy View Post
You are in the mistaken belief that everyone is desperate to sell. Sure you can come in with a low value and if it's a motivated seller, maybe you'll get lucky. But if the seller has set his advertised and willing to sell for prices based on your points A to D, and there is no desperate need, to sell, then you need to make a reasonable offer.

In a buyers market you can find bargains, just don't fool yourself to believe that all boats can be had for a bargain price.


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True not every seller is desperate to sell. But in most markets, particularly a soft market, the buyer has the advantage.

The seller must sell that particular boat. Untill they do, they pay for the care and feeding of said boat or it rots and the value goes down.

The buyer can buy any boat on the market. If the seller doesn't accept thier price, they can move on to the next boat or it costs nothing to wait for the seller to come to their senses.

The only exception is the rare red hot market where people are bidding against each other. Of course, the smart thing to do there is wait it out as most red hot markets are short lived before burning out.
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Old 21-07-2015, 10:32   #18
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Re: How much will European seller agree to lower price?

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Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
I'm having a slow day today and this thread is near and dear to my heart. I have learned so much in my process of selling all our stuff. The fact is.. What is a "Resonable offer" to the seller and buyer may be completely different things.

What you are describing is a seller willing to wait for the market to change. This is the kind of seller that says "Ok, I will sell my boat if I can get X dollars for it". Usually these are the guys who still sail the boat and maintain it (i.e. still love it). These are also the guys with lots of emotions tied to the boat and get offended at a low offer. You will never find a deal from this seller, but you MAY get a solid boat if you are willing to pay for it.

On the other hand is the guy that is done with the boat. He may not NEED to sell it, but is motivated for some reason (i.e. moved, divorce, ect). These are the guys who can get into trouble quickly by trying for "top dollar". The boat sits at the dock costing money and falling into disrepair. This is where the deals exist. A percentage of these sellers understand the whole "market" concept and will sometimes accept the lower offer. Otherwise he waits the market out and hopes a buyer comes along before the boat is a floating POS.

The other thing to consider is the fact that markets are often artificially inflated by a few factors. One, many sellers aren't honest with the price they actually sold for. Two, brokers will over value boats (or cars, or houses) to get the client. Three, many people mistake LIST price for SOLD price.

In any event.. I crazy to get angry at an offer, any offer!
In my case there were probably 50 Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 40's listed in yachtworld at the time. The price spread was probably about €50k. In addition I was also looking at the SO37 as well. Then I tried to compare them all to try to get the feel for which were just wishful thinking prices V's well priced equipped/upgraded boats.

Having a large number of boats on the market at varying prices plus the "lesser model" to also look at also helped me take an statistical analysis approach to pricing. Obviously if there are few boats on the market, there's more guess work involved
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Old 21-07-2015, 10:41   #19
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Re: How much will European seller agree to lower price?

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In my case there were probably 50 Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 40's listed in yachtworld at the time. The price spread was probably about €50k. In addition I was also looking at the SO37 as well. Then I tried to compare them all to try to get the feel for which were just wishful thinking prices V's well priced equipped/upgraded boats.

Having a large number of boats on the market at varying prices plus the "lesser model" to also look at also helped me take an statistical analysis approach to pricing. Obviously if there are few boats on the market, there's more guess work involved
You just proved our point.

No one is saying EVERY boat can be had for 30-50% off the list price. The whole point is as a buyer, you can put offers in on many boats until you find an owner that will deal. With 40 boats on your list, odds are at least a few will be willing to bargain.
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Old 21-07-2015, 10:53   #20
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Re: How much will European seller agree to lower price?

Not all sales are bargains and not all bargains are sales.

The marketplace is what happens at one instance in time with the boat you've found and a seller who is willing and able to compromise with you.

Boats aren't any different than any other "deal."
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Old 21-07-2015, 11:01   #21
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Re: How much will European seller agree to lower price?

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Originally Posted by Sea Frog View Post
Getting to more active stage of choosing my "temporaty boat" now, I am closely looking at the european market (mainly because we would like to spend a couple years in the Meds before moving West). Now, I "know" that sellers on US market are sometimes willing to negotiate and to go even 50% lower than the original asking price (with 30% is being a realistic average), but I was told that European owners hardly move at all. They would keep the price for years, maybe slowly lowering it, but they supposedly reject any "realistic lowball" offers

How true is that? Judging by your experience, how much is it possible to persuade the seller to lower the price? I am mostly interested in mass-production boats, like some models of Bene (I know, I know

Thank you for any input!
We found that good boats in the US would typically sell for 10 - 15% below asking. We followed 12 boats that were in great condition and well equipped. None of the 12 sold for less than 15% off the listing price. This is a small sample size and not statistically representative but it's all the data I have.

If a boat didnt look well looked after and didnt have a clean engine room we mostly didnt bother looking any further.

We bought in late 2013. We looked at more than 125 boats in that time.

We ended up buying a Liberty 458 in excellent condition and fully equipped for cruising. It was our preferred boat. We had it under contract within two days of listing.

Sure there are exceptions but a good boat has a value that both parties must agree on for a sale to go through.

If you expect a killer deal you may be waiting a long time.

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Old 21-07-2015, 11:08   #22
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Re: How much will European seller agree to lower price?

Can you please tell us how you know none of those boats sold for less than %15 off? Is this data published somewhere? If so, I would love to know where!

You cannot trust what the broker says!
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Old 21-07-2015, 11:09   #23
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Re: How much will European seller agree to lower price?

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The problem with answering you is you have to define "excellent shape" and "market value".

The last 2 boats we bought fit that description but because you use to nebulous terms, we could argue for weeks and never come to agreement if we got it below market value.

Buying and selling cruising boats is not like buying F150's where there are 10's of thousands sold every year and you can really dial in the market value. It is much more subjective but there is also a lot of variability.

We passed on a couple of boats that were more expensive and in worse shape and the owners weren't budging. We got a nicer boat for less and it was about 30% less than the original asking price (which was less than these other boats), so we feel we got a good deal.
Excellent shape is just that, well above average condition for the year/model. Gelcoat or paint is like new,windows/hatches little to no crazing. Standing rigging recently replaced, running rigging like new. Mast in excellent condition. All instruments are recent and in good working order. No blisters on bottom. No accident history. Interior like new, cushions recently replaced. Engine either recently replaced or low time in excellent condition. Radios recent, wiring recently replaced on boats over 20 years old. Sails like new and on and on....thats what I mean by excellent condition.
Market value would be based on recent sales on the same model and year of boat.
I know your next thought is wow how many boats out there would ever fit your description and the answer is not that many but those are the type of boats I would be shopping for and you can never steal them but you have to do a lot of shopping and forget about making **** offers on them. Make offers for sure based on your due diligence but if you find a boat like this and it is what you want pay a fair price for it knowing that you are so far ahead of the game owning this compared to a fixer upper that its not worth discussing. Trying to fix up a boat, even one thats OK is a very expensive operation. I will put a caveat on my thoughts...if you are not going to be cruising full time and you don't plan on crossing oceans then your OK in buying a fixer upper and putting the least $$$$ towards its upkeep.
Sounds like you have made a good buy on your boat and you are happy and in the end that's all that counts, enjoy!
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Old 21-07-2015, 22:45   #24
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Re: How much will European seller agree to lower price?

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Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
The selling price is what the market is willing to pay. If the market for your boat is one guy and he is willing to give you %50, then that is the market value at that moment. You always have the option of rejecting the offer and waiting the market out (i.e. someone willing to pay more comes along).

Why anyone would get mad at someone for making an offer is beyond me. No one gets angry when someone asks too much for thier boat (you would be punching %80 of the owners on Yachtworld), why the hell would you get angry when someone offers what they are willing to pay? I've even heard people say "I will burn it before I sell it for that". I just shake my head and think of all the rotting boats tied to docks.
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Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
I'm having a slow day today and this thread is near and dear to my heart. I have learned so much in my process of selling all our stuff. The fact is.. What is a "Resonable offer" to the seller and buyer may be completely different things.

What you are describing is a seller willing to wait for the market to change. This is the kind of seller that says "Ok, I will sell my boat if I can get X dollars for it". Usually these are the guys who still sail the boat and maintain it (i.e. still love it). These are also the guys with lots of emotions tied to the boat and get offended at a low offer. You will never find a deal from this seller, but you MAY get a solid boat if you are willing to pay for it.

On the other hand is the guy that is done with the boat. He may not NEED to sell it, but is motivated for some reason (i.e. moved, divorce, ect). These are the guys who can get into trouble quickly by trying for "top dollar". The boat sits at the dock costing money and falling into disrepair. This is where the deals exist. A percentage of these sellers understand the whole "market" concept and will sometimes accept the lower offer. Otherwise he waits the market out and hopes a buyer comes along before the boat is a floating POS.

The other thing to consider is the fact that markets are often artificially inflated by a few factors. One, many sellers aren't honest with the price they actually sold for. Two, brokers will over value boats (or cars, or houses) to get the client. Three, many people mistake LIST price for SOLD price.

In any event.. I crazy to get angry at an offer, any offer!
Please know that my comments are more tongue and cheek than reality. Reasonable offer is one thing but 50% is both absurd and rude. To most owners, a boat is an emotional thing. For some,they have wrapped up years of blood, sweat and hordes of cash in their boat. Then someone looking for something for nothing comes along and thinks they are going to slink the vessel out from under him.
I was selling a Rawson 30 one time...needed work but sailable. I offered it for 1/2 the going rate. Still the bottom feeders offered me 1/2 of that. I'm convinced some of them had their friends call and offer me less without seeing it.
Generally when a person really wants to sell a boat, they price accordingly. If I see a boat over-priced, I just pass on it, or watch it for a few months and see if it had any traffic.
Lastly, I will say that it pays to hire a broker to sell your boat. It weeds out the low-ballers and tire-kickers. Sadly many on this forum...the ones with the the avatars and boat type reading..."still looking" or "in the market". Year after year never intend to buy at all.
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Old 21-07-2015, 23:43   #25
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Re: How much will European seller agree to lower price?

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Originally Posted by leftbrainstuff View Post
We found that good boats in the US would typically sell for 10 - 15% below asking. We followed 12 boats that were in great condition and well equipped. None of the 12 sold for less than 15% off the listing price. This is a small sample size and not statistically representative but it's all the data I have.

If a boat didnt look well looked after and didnt have a clean engine room we mostly didnt bother looking any further.

We bought in late 2013. We looked at more than 125 boats in that time.

We ended up buying a Liberty 458 in excellent condition and fully equipped for cruising. It was our preferred boat. We had it under contract within two days of listing

Sure there are exceptions but a good boat has a value that both parties must agree on for a sale to go through.

If you expect a killer deal you may be waiting a long time.

Sent from my SM-N900T using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app

Those 458's were cool boats, really roomy and well laid out for cruising but I have never seen a good one that sold cheap. Unlike an ex charter boat with beds and heads your boat is a true live a board. When you buy a high production boat it never seems to retain its value compared to a boat like your 458. Good choice!
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Old 22-07-2015, 11:54   #26
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Re: How much will European seller agree to lower price?

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Excellent shape is just that, well above average condition for the year/model. Gelcoat or paint is like new,windows/hatches little to no crazing. Standing rigging recently replaced, running rigging like new. Mast in excellent condition. All instruments are recent and in good working order. No blisters on bottom. No accident history. Interior like new, cushions recently replaced. Engine either recently replaced or low time in excellent condition. Radios recent, wiring recently replaced on boats over 20 years old. Sails like new and on and on....thats what I mean by excellent condition.
Market value would be based on recent sales on the same model and year of boat.
I know your next thought is wow how many boats out there would ever fit your description and the answer is not that many but those are the type of boats I would be shopping for and you can never steal them but you have to do a lot of shopping and forget about making **** offers on them. Make offers for sure based on your due diligence but if you find a boat like this and it is what you want pay a fair price for it knowing that you are so far ahead of the game owning this compared to a fixer upper that its not worth discussing. Trying to fix up a boat, even one thats OK is a very expensive operation. I will put a caveat on my thoughts...if you are not going to be cruising full time and you don't plan on crossing oceans then your OK in buying a fixer upper and putting the least $$$$ towards its upkeep.
Sounds like you have made a good buy on your boat and you are happy and in the end that's all that counts, enjoy!
You are dodging the question (as I hinted you might)

Yes a boat in perfect condition will go for more than one in rough condition. That wasn't the question.

I've come across recent refits that meet your definition where there is a death or divorce and the wife/kids just want it gone because they don't have a use for it and it's costing them. They weren't models I was interested in but just talking to them on the dock (not a showing), they were already down 20%. I'm pretty sure I could have got them lower but no point when I wasn't interested.

Of course condition isn't really relevant to this discussion, it's relative to typical price for a boat in similar condition that matters.
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