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Old 04-09-2014, 08:17   #1
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The Process

Okay. Here's where we are.

Going to Florida west coast in two weeks to kick the keels on 10-15 boats that have made the finals. Hope to have one of these make me tingly in my nether regions. Assuming that this happens, what happens next? Here are my questions:

1. What is typically (excluding "Owner has developed debilitating bunions and must sell.") the difference between the listed price and a reasonable offer? I will be paying cash (40-60K for a 34-36 coastal cruiser, oldest is an '86 if that helps).

2. Once the offer is accepted, how do I go about finding a good surveyor? And how quickly can a survey be done? For example, if I make and get an accepted offer on Tuesday, is it reasonable to expect a survey by Saturday? (I'd like to get this done in a single trip, or am I both naive and insane?)

3. What costs are involved in the sale on my end beyond the purchase price? I intend to keep the boat and live aboard on Florida west coast so the 6-ish% sales tax is understood. Who else is going to extract a pound of flesh before I leave the dock?

4. How long does this process usually take between offer and sailing away. My house is sold and I'm down to a sea bag, a bucket of tools and my electronic gadgetry - currently living in my attorney's basement. The quicker I'm aboard, the better. Like to avoid the first 20" of snow.

That's it. Thanks for the advice. Please be gentle.
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:19   #2
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Re: The Process

There are two professional organizations, the National Association of Marine Surveyors (NAMS) and the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS)

Accredited surveyors in Florida:

SAMS ➥ Membership Roster for Florida

NAMS ➥ Find a Marine Surveyor | NAMSGlobal
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:30   #3
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Re: The Process

I don't have the answers for you now, but am glad you asked the questions. Good luck.
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:31   #4
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Re: The Process

Assuming you are registering in Fl here is the site on registration.

Official Website Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

In regards to the process I think it depends on how rigorous you want to be. You can get lawyers involved and escrow funds and all that stuff if you feel you need the protection.

If the seller has a broker, the broker will likely guide you through all the steps. Some may recommend getting a buyers broker. I probably wouldn't.

If no brokers involved I'd try to put some sort of agreement together.

Attached is what we did - A home grown purchase agreement that I found on the web and modified for my purpose - Yes the armchair lawyers of CF have told me about its shortcomings - LOL...

No guarantees about legal validity - YMMV.

The final step is a bill of sale. In the USA I would be a bit worried about liens and encumbrances on the boat. I don't know how to get at that. If it's coast guard documented I think liens are recorded. Don't know about FL state registered boats. Maybe a Floridian will chime in.
Attached Files
File Type: doc Purchase agreement sample.doc (32.0 KB, 31 views)
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:35   #5
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Re: The Process

Quote:
Originally Posted by JTSmith View Post
1. What is typically (excluding "Owner has developed debilitating bunions and must sell.") the difference between the listed price and a reasonable offer?
Impossible to say. There is no "typical." The value of the boat depends mostly on its condition. Some owners way over-price their boats. Some price pretty reasonably. Some, very few, even under-price their boats. If you are working with a broker he can give you some idea of recent sales, but remember that he is being paid by the seller, so a grain of salt is appropriate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JTSmith View Post
2. Once the offer is accepted, how do I go about finding a good surveyor?
Do a search here and you will find several threads where people asked for surveyor recommendations. The links that Gord provided are good, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JTSmith View Post
3. What costs are involved in the sale on my end beyond the purchase price?
The boat will either have to be USCG documented, or Florida titled. There will be some expense with that. In addition it will have to be registered with the State of Florida and that might be a couple of hundred dollars.

Here is a link with information on those issues:
Official Website Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

Quote:
Originally Posted by JTSmith View Post
4. How long does this process usually take between offer and sailing away.
Varies greatly. If the surveyor you choose is available immediately, and the seller moves quickly, it can happen within a matter of days. If not...

That said, I would most certainly NOT choose a surveyor based mainly on him being available quickly. I would want the best survey I could get, and if it takes a couple of weeks, so be it.

Good luck!

Edit: Hmm. Looks like Ex-Calif and I were posting at the same time.
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:52   #6
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Re: The Process

whatever you do .. don't ask a broker about making offers. i have seen many listings for 30 year old boats with the same asking price that they were purchased for 20 years ago. it is possible to make an offer from another city and then show up for the survey but you can imagine the risks in that scenario. many surveyors are in the business to facilitate the sale of boats otherwise they would not have a job.
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:55   #7
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Re: The Process

Quote:
Originally Posted by JTSmith View Post
Okay. Here's where we are.

Going to Florida west coast in two weeks to kick the keels on 10-15 boats that have made the finals. Hope to have one of these make me tingly in my nether regions. Assuming that this happens, what happens next? Here are my questions:

1. What is typically (excluding "Owner has developed debilitating bunions and must sell.") the difference between the listed price and a reasonable offer? I will be paying cash (40-60K for a 34-36 coastal cruiser, oldest is an '86 if that helps).
The problem with this question on a forum, is most of the people here are boat owners. Its very hard for them to give you a "typical" as it subconsciously devalues their own boat.

In the very short future (2 months or so) I will be in your same situation. Based on my short list, I have settled on offering %15 less than asking if any of them warrant an offer. Of course this could change, if a boat comes on the market and seems to be priced right. Right now, boats in the class (38-40ft Cat) I'm looking at appear to be priced %15 over value.
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Old 04-09-2014, 10:18   #8
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Re: The Process

In a nutshell... you might get the boat for as low as 60% of asking price. But it depends on the boat, the situation etc.
You need to know the market well. Do research on other boats of the same size and make you are going to look at. Sometimes you can tell on-line... the old listing will be asking $40K and the latest one a year later will be $32k. etc
Also, look for ones that are sold and what the last price was. (then figure they got at least 15% off that)

It always helps to be able to tell a broker.. "I just missed this blahblah 36 last week, it was loaded, refitted and sold for $XX" That gives the Broker a way to talk to the owner about why you are offering 60%... or whatever you are offering.

Another way to get a low ball offer moving is to say " I wont be nickel and diming for price adjustment as a result of survey, I will probably either reject or accept the boat" You can still offer to buy with an adjustment for one major thing like a torn mainsail etc.

I have done what you are suggesting, traveled to Annapolis, looked at, negotiated and found a surveyor in one week. So it's possible, but you want the time to use the best surveyor.
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Old 04-09-2014, 10:28   #9
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Re: The Process

Surveyor advice.

The broker or seller may recommend one or more surveyors. Write their names down, then get someone else. Too often brokers have favored surveyors because they dont hinder the sale by finding expensive problems.

When I bought my boat I dod just that and the broker was extremely pissed off that it wasnt his recommended surveyor. On the test sail the broker made a veiled threat to my surveyor about finding big problems. I got pissed off and told the broker to mind his own f****n business unless he wanted to swim back to shore.
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Old 04-09-2014, 10:30   #10
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Re: The Process

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post

Another way to get a low ball offer moving is to say " I wont be nickel and diming for price adjustment as a result of survey, I will probably either reject or accept the boat" You can still offer to buy with an adjustment for one major thing like a torn mainsail etc.

I offered 75% of the asking price for my boat, and he took it with the caveat of as is / where is. He had been down that nickel and dime road before, and to be truthful, that was my plan too, to nickel and dime based on survey.

On edit, unless your a real expert, I would definitely get a buyers broker, price is the same, the two brokers spit the commission and if you get a decent broker they will know about boats that you don't and will arrange to see the boats, I didn't get many return calls when I was looking by myself, selling brokers just didn't seem to bother, but they do respond to other brokers
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Old 04-09-2014, 10:30   #11
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Re: The Process

Here's a real world example of how it goes:
When I returned from the Caribe in the Hans Christian 38 shown in my Avatar, I listed the boat with a broker. At that time all the 38's for sale were listed at about $135k and had been for years. This boat was loaded with cruising gear, had the teak decks removed and deck repainted etc. No issues.
a year and a half later I settled on a sale at $90k. or 2/3 of what the common asking price was. DO NOT BE AFRAID to offer low to start with. It's pretty easy to tell from the first counter offer how flexible the seller is. Some are out there dreaming and will never sell at what they want. Some finally realize that the broker's suggested price is haywire, that they are spending $500 a month on moorage, storage, maintenance and insurance. Those are "ready"
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:41   #12
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Re: The Process

For a surveyor recommendation: ask the broker who is best. Then ask him who he hates most. Ditch the 'best' and go with the one he hates most

Remember the broker is the agent of the owner. Not you. All he wants from you is your money.
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Old 04-09-2014, 14:03   #13
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Re: The Process

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The problem with this question on a forum, is most of the people here are boat owners. Its very hard for them to give you a "typical" as it subconsciously devalues their own boat.
I don't currently own a boat, so I have no such subconscious bias. I have, however, bought and sold several boats in the past. I can tell you, plain and simple, that the reason people aren't telling him what is "typical" is because there is NO SUCH THING as "typical."

Condition and asking prices vary dramatically. Seller expectations vary dramatically. Some boats are wildly over-priced. Some, not so much.

I have seen boats offered for sale that are realistically worth less than half what the seller is asking. Yes, really. Less than half. In some cases WAY less than half! And then there are boats that are priced very reasonably, and should sell for right about the asking price. If, in the former case, you offer 15% off of the asking price, you will get well and truly SCREWED! If, in the latter case, you offer 15% off of the asking price you may end up with a very nice deal.

But the main point is that you have to be able to tell the difference. Just going in with the idea that you'll offer some arbitrary percentage off of the asking price is--no offense intended--not a very smart way to buy a boat in today's market. Instead you have to look at a lot of boats, do a lot of research, and figure out for yourself what a boat's value is to you. There is no simple, "offer x%" sort of formula that will work.
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Old 04-09-2014, 15:48   #14
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Re: The Process

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Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
Surveyor advice.

The broker or seller may recommend one or more surveyors. Write their names down, then get someone else. Too often brokers have favored surveyors because they dont hinder the sale by finding expensive problems.
I used to be a broker and I can guarantee that this is a fact. Many of the brokers in Ft Lauderdale would recommend the buyer use a very well known, high end surveying company. Buyer thinks great, the broker is really looking our for me. However, unless the boat was sinking at the dock or had major, obvious problems it was certain to pass survey. Again, obvious problems would be noted but less obvious things that might not show up for a while were seldom "found".
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Old 04-09-2014, 17:08   #15
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Re: The Process

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I don't currently own a boat, so I have no such subconscious bias. I have, however, bought and sold several boats in the past. I can tell you, plain and simple, that the reason people aren't telling him what is "typical" is because there is NO SUCH THING as "typical."

Condition and asking prices vary dramatically. Seller expectations vary dramatically. Some boats are wildly over-priced. Some, not so much.

I have seen boats offered for sale that are realistically worth less than half what the seller is asking. Yes, really. Less than half. In some cases WAY less than half! And then there are boats that are priced very reasonably, and should sell for right about the asking price. If, in the former case, you offer 15% off of the asking price, you will get well and truly SCREWED! If, in the latter case, you offer 15% off of the asking price you may end up with a very nice deal.

But the main point is that you have to be able to tell the difference. Just going in with the idea that you'll offer some arbitrary percentage off of the asking price is--no offense intended--not a very smart way to buy a boat in today's market. Instead you have to look at a lot of boats, do a lot of research, and figure out for yourself what a boat's value is to you. There is no simple, "offer x%" sort of formula that will work.
Yeah.. bottom line is this is very true. You need to know the market and the market for that particular boat, how long it's been for sale etc. Let's face it, you aren't gonna get a Pacific Seacraft, or a Ta Shing boat for half it's market value. But some lesser known model, or older one, or out of date design (re: unpopular), maybe.
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