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Old 26-02-2015, 20:16   #1
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Broker charging for a sea trial??

Today I was about to make an offer on a 32 foot sailboat ($40K range) when the seller's broker told me there would be a $125 charge for a sea trial after the offer was accepted.. What the ??? I will pay for my own surveyor but I will NEVER pay for a sea trial, so needless to say, the broker lost out on any possible commission.

Anyone else ever run into this?
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Old 26-02-2015, 20:20   #2
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

I paid for a sea trial - $300 for about 1.5 hours. But that was because I wasn't going to make an offer until I'd actually sailed on the boat. If I had made an offer it would have been credited towards the sale.


To expect to pay after an offer is accepted, that's pretty weird. Was it going to be a PITA to take the boat for a sail?
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Old 26-02-2015, 20:38   #3
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

The boat was sitting in the water ready to go. I can see paying for a lift if it was sitting on the hard or something like that.

Paying for a sea trial before you make any offer sounds reasonable if you are just checking out the boat.

The more I deal with brokers, the more I think they really do not want to actually sell boats..
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Old 26-02-2015, 20:47   #4
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

Oh, they want to sell them. They just don't want to work very hard to do it though. It doesn't look cool on the docks if you have to hustle.
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Old 26-02-2015, 20:47   #5
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

That is robbery- I'd walk away and never contact that dealer again. I can understand being bilked for a sea trial if you're buying a newish 58' cat, but they should know better if somebody is looking at a $40000 boat.
Lazy salesman wants money for nothing.
No offence intended Palarran, it's just it's easier for some to part with $125 than others.
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Old 26-02-2015, 21:07   #6
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

Funny thing, this. We charged a "tire kicker's" fee when we sold our S & S 30', way back in 1983. It was refundable if they made an offer on the boat. It was all up front. We didn't want to give away sea trial sails to strangers--they had to show serious interest--but as I say, we would only have kept it if they hadn't offered to purchase the boat.

Ours was a private sale, so no broker was involved.

Ann
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Old 26-02-2015, 21:14   #7
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

$125 isn't really a lot, its more about principle. It would be like me putting a car for sale up on craigslist, then charging every prospective buyer $20 for a test drive. They would tell me to get bent.. lol!

Seems like a good, honest, hard working broker that knows how to use modern technology like computers and email, and has a least some resemblance of courtesy could make a fortune in this environment while putting the lazy, old school, bottom feeders out of business.
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Old 26-02-2015, 21:29   #8
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

I find the whole 'process' for buying a boat through a broker as really %$&*^$ up.

When I was looking I made three two hour trips to another city (Hobart) to look at a boat. I was told right up front that the process is, make and offer then you can go on a sea trial. No cost to it. But, I wasn't prepared to be locked into making 'an offer' until I was convinced I wanted that boat, and I wasn't going to be convinced I wanted that boat until I did a sea trial.

As I argued about that, I then had trouble even looking at the boat. The first time I asked to see it, they told me they could only spare 10 minutes. So I had a quick look over and made arrangements to come back in a fortnight when I was then had a discussion about making an offer. At 15 minutes he's pushing me that he has to go, so I said, 'well I'm really interested in this boat but I want to have a good look over it first. He told me I should have warned them about that. I said I assumed you would have known when I made the appointment two week earlier. So I made a time to come and see in the following week with me emphasising I was some decent time to really go over the boat.

When I turned up the following week, he was fine, until I pulled out some Allen Keys to pull up a couple of the floor panels and whoa, hold the horses, what are you doing. I explained I just want to check the state of the bilges which I couldn't see. He said, 'you don't do that sort of thing until after you made an offer'. I said I don't know if I want to make an offer until I've had a good look at the boat, I've travelled three times, two hours each trip to see this boat, clearly I'm interested in the boat. But he picked up a fuss and said he's not got time for me to go over every inch, make and offer and then I can rebook. So, no looking in the bilges.

Before I left I was reaching up under the kitchenette, I could feel a heap of fat rust, I have it a yank and a stringer came away in my hand. I said, well, I don't think I'm interested any more. He didn't even say anything.
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Old 26-02-2015, 21:38   #9
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

Until an offer is made, there is no contract, no discussion of liability if someone should, say, come aboard and pull apart a stringer.

To the OP, did you discuss if the sea trial charge would be put towards the cost if you follow through with the deal?

Piney, that must be why we liked our broker so much: He sold up his software firm to become a broker. On the other hand, the broker in our marina is useless, albeit probably ten years younger.
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Old 26-02-2015, 21:43   #10
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Funny thing, this. We charged a "tire kicker's" fee when we sold our S & S 30', way back in 1983. It was refundable if they made an offer on the boat. It was all up front. We didn't want to give away sea trial sails to strangers--they had to show serious interest--but as I say, we would only have kept it if they hadn't offered to purchase the boat.

Ours was a private sale, so no broker was involved.

Ann
What Ann didn't mention is that this sea trial lasted all day. Sailed a good 30 miles around SF Bay, flew every sail in the locker (two kites, 150 through storm jib) reefed and unreefed the main, anchored so they could see the ground tackle, etc. We charged 100 bucks, which applied to the purchase if it went through (it did, at our asking price). At that time it would have cost a lot more than the hundred to charter an equivalent yacht for the day.

I thought it was fair, and so did the buyers.

Jim
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Old 26-02-2015, 22:11   #11
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

I think in the case where the boat was sea trialed for a full day a small fee was reasonable if it was made apparent to the buyer before hand.


I am not as experienced as some when buying boats. I have purchased 3. The first I did not sea trial. I sold it without a sea trial as well.


The second- a G30 I showed up on the dock at the same time as two other prospective buyers. The owner said "who wants to go for a sail. One candidate left, the second made an offer but said he didn't have time for a sail. I said, sweet, lets go for a sail. 10 minutes later, we left the headland, the seller cracked a beer and asked me if I wanted one- my answer was yes. We sailed for a couple of hours over a couple of beers. I made an offer (which I learned was $2000 less than candidates number 2) and I got the boat. He was rid of an expense, as he had already purchased a Hunter 38, and I was happy, because I had a boat all my own.


My next experience, the seller actually offered to let me take the boat out on my own! Which I declined. I bought the boat. In both cases I had looked at dozens of boats, I bought the ones where I developed a sense of trust with the owner (actually kind of like the all day sail situation).


Rustic Charms case is ridiculous (on the sellers part) she drove for 2 hours twice and he wouldn't take her for a boat ride to prove his boat was worth buying? No wonder she gave a "thorough" inspection. In my opinion that was just rude of him.
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Old 26-02-2015, 23:42   #12
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

There are two sides to this coin.

I modified a purchase agreement I found on the net. Basically spells out the whole process. A serious buyer will look through the boat and decide to make an offer. They put down a down-payment before sea trial and survey. If the boat is purchased fine.

If the survey shows up anything that needs negotiating then there is a negotiation. If the negotiation breaks down - based on survey items the deposit is refunded.

If the seller just doesn't like the boat the deposit is kept up to a max amount. It may sound harsh but I am not a used car dealership, my time has value and there are no shortage of people who would like to "test drive" a lot of boats.

A fee not included if an offer is made and accepted sounds a bit crazy.
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Old 27-02-2015, 00:06   #13
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

Make your offer contingent of a sea trial at the sellers expense. I would never expect to pay to inspect or sea trial a boat I have an accepted offer on.

I wouldn't take anybody out for a joy ride either, make offer with deposit, accept offer, sea trial, survey/haulout, done.
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Old 27-02-2015, 00:55   #14
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
There are two sides to this coin.

I modified a purchase agreement I found on the net. Basically spells out the whole process. A serious buyer will look through the boat and decide to make an offer. They put down a down-payment before sea trial and survey. If the boat is purchased fine.

If the survey shows up anything that needs negotiating then there is a negotiation. If the negotiation breaks down - based on survey items the deposit is refunded.

If the seller just doesn't like the boat the deposit is kept up to a max amount. It may sound harsh but I am not a used car dealership, my time has value and there are no shortage of people who would like to "test drive" a lot of boats.

A fee not included if an offer is made and accepted sounds a bit crazy.
This sounds very fair.
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Old 27-02-2015, 02:32   #15
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

A lot of difference in opinion here.

I don't actually see anything wrong with charging something for a sea trial, which is credited against the purchase price -- the owner or broker want small compensation for the time for this in case the deal doesn't go through. Probably had some problems with joy riders taking sea trials just for fun, then disappearing.

When I was trying to buy an Oyster, six years ago, I had a contract signed on one and had paid a substantial deposit (IIRC 50,000 pounds or $80,000). The boat was on the hard. I had paid for an expensive, two-day survey. The boat was on the hard, so in order to sea trial the boat, I had to pay to have the boat launched, un-winterized, and then lifted and re-winterized afterwards. It was expensive -- couple grand, I think.

The deal did not go through, and within hours after I confirmed I would not be going through with the deal, someone else bought the boat for the full asking price.

I had paid to have the boat lifted, blocked up, and re-winterized -- none of which was done. I didn't think that was right, but didn't make a big deal about it -- I was already busy buying the boat which I own now. This was, by the way, with the Oyster company itself in Ipswich.
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