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Old 17-11-2012, 15:48   #1
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% Off Asking Price

My wife and i are new to sailing but interested in buying a yacht for maybe two to three years, taking into consideration the depressed market, resale factors and associated risks is it feasible to expect to reduce the asking price for example 35%. Is there any rule of thumb to what percentage you should be taking off the asking price on your first offer. We dont want to seem rude to sellers and dont want to waste our own time running around viewing boats. We have the cash to make offers but want to make it as safe financially for ourselves, im sorry to say im expecting things to get worse before they get better, in other words im not expecting a sale in three or maybe four years to be any easier than today and dont want to be stuck with a boat. Im sure im probably asking the same question as many others but any input would be appreciated. Thanks a million or is that 666'666.00.

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Old 17-11-2012, 15:58   #2
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Re: % Off Asking Price

Rather than taking a certain percentage of when you make an offer, do some research on the type boat you are looking at and make an educated decision. Some people price high thinking it gives them some wiggle room, some price realistically and some will price low. I know if you made an offer of 35% of the asking price on my boat I wouldn't take the time to counter.

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Old 17-11-2012, 16:18   #3
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Re: % Off Asking Price

There is no rule of thumb here. You have to do your homework, find out what the boat's current maket value is. That is sometimes hard to determine. For example, a boat in great shape, that has been in fresh water all its life, of the same age and model of another that has been neglected and in salt water all its life could have a fraction of the value. So you have to look at it to make an offer. You might be able to get a few hints before traveling, by saying something like; "Your boat looks like it might be what I am looking for but it is priced higher than I could pay for it, would the owners entertane lower offers if it is as good as you say it is after I take a look"
I made a rediculously low offer on the boat I know own, and didn't expect to get a counter, but was very surprised when my offer was accepted. I was thrilled, but I would not expect that to happen very often. It dosen't cost anything to offer, and when I was selling my boat, I never got offended by a low offer, it simply ment they were interested and we now had a starting point.
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Old 17-11-2012, 16:28   #4
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I am sure there are many threads in the forum on the same topic.

Boats sell for the price the buyer is willing to pay and the seller is willing to take. It also really depends on the supply and demand and the condition of the boat, and the mood of the seller.

My suggestion is to narrow your selection down to a specific few models you are interested and watch the market. Find a broker you are comfortable with, they have a lot of good market insight. For example the broker should be able to find out what the boats you are interested in have a actually sold for.

A few years ago we sold our Hunter 410. On any given day there are at least 20 hunter 410s for sale at that time. Ours was one of the nicest equipped and best maintained on the market (owners bias here). We already had our new boat and weren't interested in maintaining 2 boats. We priced it fairly at the low end of the asking range, in my opinion many boats were asking entirely too much.

We sold the boat for the asking price, the buyer was delighted as we were. The same day we got the offer for asking price we also got an offer for considerable less with a bunch of time delays and contingencies in the deal.

On the buy side don't be afraid to make an offer the worst anyone can say is no. But you need to be comfortable with what the value of the boat is, and what you can afford. If you are not willing to walk away from a deal you can't negotiate.

On the buy side we made an offer for a boat 20% below asking price. We didn't pick a percentage it just happen to be our assessment of the value and what we are willing to pay. The seller did not agree with our assessment, a year later he sold the boat for less than we offered him to another buyer.

Our current boat we had an opportunity to buy from broker who took the boat on trade. Since the boat was owned by a business instead of one of us passionate sailing fools, it was much easier for us to negotiate a very fair price for the boat. The broker like us was very aware of the market conditions. Note we had our own broker as buyers who helped us make a convincing argument.

People sell boats for a lot of reason. I feel many are not really for sale and are priced too high. Others may be a widow selling her husbands boat, a divorce, a bank repo, a trade in, it's good to know why the boat is for sale.

Prior to purchasing our current boat I watched the used market for these boats for 4 to 5 years. So every boat that was for sale I actually knew how long it had been for sale and what price reductions had been made, and when a new boat came on the market,

Good luck and happy hunting!
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Old 17-11-2012, 16:42   #5
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Re: % Off Asking Price

If you want a formula, it might be better to use an initial offering price of 10% under what you think the boats fair market value is or better the value to you. That gives you some give and take with the seller if they choose to counter. If the asking price is nowhere near this number, you can still lob the offer to the lister and see if you can get a negotiation going. Once you narrow your boat choices down it is easy to get in touch with current owners and ask them what real prices ought to be.
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Old 17-11-2012, 16:55   #6
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Re: % Off Asking Price

I agree with others that there's no rule-of-thumb about what percentage to offer off the asking price. For starters, I think most sellers assume that they won't be offered their asking price but I'm sure there are some whose asking price is the lowest they'll accept. I don't think it's rude or inappropriate to ask the seller or broker if there's negotiating room on the price.

At the risk of being accused of being a 'bottom-feeder', I have no problem with offering substantially less than the asking price and if the seller is offended, then they can choose to ignore me and my offer. I still have the option of going back to them with a higher offer. On the other hand, until someone makes an offer, no negotiations can take place. At one point, I was selling an Islander 30 with a bad blister problem. I was asking US$13,000 for it but when someone offered US$5,000, I was glad to take it just to get rid of the boat.

Prior to the purchase our current boat, I made detailed lists of all the things I wanted to be fixed or replaced, many of which were absurd or far too picky. Then I made a full-price offer and presented the the sellers with the list and deductions I demanded be made from the asking price. It represented well over a 30% reduction and they accepted. Just another strategy.

Good luck with your purchase. Fair winds and calm seas.
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Old 17-11-2012, 17:49   #7
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Re: % Off Asking Price

On most seriously priced large cruising boats in good condition you should offer 20% under list price and settle on 10%, IME. Obviously there are no rules here though....
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Old 17-11-2012, 18:01   #8
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Re: % Off Asking Price

On most seriously priced large cruising boats in good condition you should offer 20% under list price and settle on 10%, IME. Obviously there are no rules here though....
The key word there is "seriously." A lot of boats are not priced seriously--or realistically. The biggest problem with pricing is that many sellers think that if they put $50,000 into the boat over the course of the last few years that the price should reflect that amount. In reality, most of the electronics installed are now out of date, well on the way to wearing out, and/or not what you want. Same thing with sails, paint jobs, and lots of other equipment. Whenever I have purchased a used boat the first thing to be done is to remove all the crap the previous owner left behind that I don't want or is no good. It is usually a big pile. It really depends on so many factors. I have paid close to the asking price, and I have paid 50% of the original asking price. On the other hand, some boats don't sell because they are dirty, or they need some easy repairs, and sometimes the asking price reflects the owner's realization that his boat isn't moving. My bottom line is paying what the boat is worth to me.
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Old 17-11-2012, 18:36   #9
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Re: % Off Asking Price

Thanks guys some great points made mostly common sense and bartering skills, we are planning a trip down the coast of California in January where we are hoping to view a few boats so your advise is invaluable. ive been looking at Robert Perry designs even getting him involved i hear you can enquire about a consultation. We are also planning to visit the boat show in Seattle on the way back to Victoria where we may get to meet some of the sellers.
Again thanks for the help.
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Old 17-11-2012, 19:43   #10
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Re: % Off Asking Price

Everyone loves a bargain, but be careful to not insult the seller by telling him or her that the boat is only worth $X...

Also the price you want to pay for the boat is the price you think it is worth. Don't try to thieve it by exploiting someone else's misfortune. In many cases there is every chance the seller knows more about boats than you do. Often, if you ask for a direct response, such as "In your opinion what needs to be done to the boat to make it perfect', you will get to the bare bones and both the seller and the buyer may experience an epiphany which will evolve to lower the price without pain.
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Old 17-11-2012, 20:26   #11
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35% would piss off a seller and put you behind any other good faith bid.
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Old 17-11-2012, 22:11   #12
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Re: % Off Asking Price

If your time table is 3 years, why even worry about it? So much is changing right now. Manufacturing is coming back. Real Estate is on the rise again and the Dow is making gains. Its moving out of a depressed market, slowly to a more stable economy. What is now a buyers market may very well be a balanced or even sellers market in 3 years.
I know you mentioned that you felt the market will get worst but that reminds me of some friends of mine who complained about housing being too expensive in the early 2000's and would not buy. Now those houses are 60% of those prices and they still won't buy. If you truly have "cash" now. If the seller is bigger than you, I would not try 35%. You may end up with a nose job.
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"
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Old 18-11-2012, 05:09   #13
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Re: % Off Asking Price

IMHO every case is different and each market is specific. When I offered less than asking the ex-owner gave me a strange look and said 'if you do not like my price, I sell my boat to somebody else'. But I understand you are in the USA where bargaining is a custom.

I would look at the boat and offer a price that I consider fair.

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Old 18-11-2012, 05:54   #14
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Yep, this is a well-covered topic in a lot of threads. Every deal is different, individual. It's like asking "how much should I offer on a house?" We offered about 45% of asking and the seller told us to buzz off. A month later he came back and took it. It all depends...

I do have to laugh at the response that mentioned removing tons of previous-owner crap. For our 32 we could have filled a railroad hopper car. Mountains of stuff, controllers for equipment that was long gone, hatch screens that fit none of the ports, toilet rebuild kits that didn't go to any of the heads. Five little propane cannisters, all half full. Women's underwear, still in the package. I could go on...
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Old 18-11-2012, 06:48   #15
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Re: % Off Asking Price

Are you looking to buy a boat, ................ or are you just looking to get a "deal"?

You make your offer based on what the boat is worth to YOU!

stop blowing smoke up my rear, blow it at the sails instead
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