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Old 03-06-2010, 20:09   #16
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Hello folks,
Been looking a long time in SEA (South East Asia) for a suitable cruiser. Found one (1973 Cal 2-46) and wired the 10% with signed contract etc.... Then broker tells me the seller won't fix or negotiate down on anything found during survey, haul out, and sea trial?????? I don't know what how to respond to this. Can anyone help with this odd situation??? From my understanding, the survey, haul out, and sea trial is meant to identify any difficiancies. And if there are any, then the seller will fix or negotiate down on the price what repairs may be needed. I really can't imagine a 37 year old yacht not needing something????? Than you for any advice...............
Dingoman,
I would advise the broker that you do not wish to purchase this boat and that the 10% that you provided should be immediately credited to an account of your choosing or transferred to you by secure means.
Here is extract from this broker's own published undertaking regarding the refund of a deposit:-

"Once you have identified a listing that interests you, our brokers will compile the necessary documents in order to make an official offer, and this offer is secured by payment of a 10% deposit. Once accepted by the seller, then the inspection process begins. The deposit is fully refundable in the event that you decide not to purchase the vessel."

By the way that boat is way over priced.
If you wish, send me a PM and I will give you a list of brokers in the region.
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Old 03-06-2010, 21:45   #17
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As a seller of houses and boats, and numerous other things - cars even for example - I can say that I often dug in and said, effectively: "OK, but at that price it is sold as is, where is, and i don't care what any home inspector, or car mechanic, or boat surveyor might say. I will not sell for less than this price. So, you as buyer may take it as is, or leave it."

I'm sitting in a house right now where this happened just the other way round. I said to the seller that I expected a downward adjustment to the price due to the results of the home inspection. He said very simply, and clearly, "Nope. Take it or leave it." My reply was equally simple, "Sold."
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Old 03-06-2010, 22:27   #18
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That is just one of the reasons that a buyer of a boat (particularly a sailboat)
should make his offer to purchase the boat "subject to a satisfactory valuation and condition survey" the surveyor to be chosen by the buyer and representing the buyer's interests. And dependent upon the findings of the survey alter the terms of the offer to cover deficiencies and faults. The Standing rigging may require total replacement. The Hull may require major work to repair osmotic and de-lamination damage. A 37 year old engine and transmission may be obsolete in terms of replacing vital parts. Not forgetting marine electronics and sails etc etc ...........
The seller's brokers interests lie in obtaining as high a commission as is possible.
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Old 03-06-2010, 23:07   #19
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wired the 10% with signed contract etc.... Then broker tells me the seller won't fix or negotiate down on anything found during survey, haul out, and sea trial??????
I think you are being ripped off.
Get the 10% back and go look for another boat.

NOT because the seller won't discount after survey, but because the statement only came after you paid the 10%.

By the way: 2 things I hate that has arisen in the USA boat markets: paying 10% up front of an offer. Discounting on survey.
The way I like it is offer and acceptance before deposit.

Survey is a make or break of the contract only. If I agree to sell my boat for $10,000 then thats the agreed price, unless the surveyor pulls the boat out and says look its been on the rocks and has no keel. But I refuse to have someone keep chipping away at the price saying some worn out item deducts $50 to a total of $5,000. of course stuff is worn on a used boat ... otherwise it would be a new boat.

Or maybe in some countires people put an extra $10,000 on their boat price so twats can knock it down in survey by $10,000?

None of these stupid brokers methods happen when buying a house so why should it with boats?

It was very annoying in the USA when we were trying to buy a boat there. I'm glad we went to the Caribbean to do it. I'm glad it was a Moorings Brokerage boat.


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Old 03-06-2010, 23:18   #20
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It's Thailand - don't part with any cash until you are sitting in the cockpit holding the registration papers which are in your name.

Forget the contract - you won't be able to enforce it.

The good news is that your broker is one of the most reputable in the region - I don't think you'll have any problem getting your deposit back.
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Old 04-06-2010, 03:14   #21
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I am confident this broker is reputable. The broker has put you on notice that the price is fixed. That is the seller's right. It's his boat.

The broker is doing you a favor.

If you expect a discount after survey, which is what you appear to want, the broker is letting you know before the survey that it isn't possible. He is being an honest broker.

You now have to decide if you are willing to go the next step and get a survey and sea trial. The broker hasn't told you that you can't have your money back now, or after sea trial. Your risk at present is cost of sea trial.

I don't see the drama.

It would be nice if you had a trusted party in Phuket wo could take a look at the boat. And advise you whether it was worth the next step. I was in Phuket a couple of weeks ago and could have looked for you.

BTW - Boats will be slightly higher here in my experience because the market is smaller and there isn't as much supply. Most boats change hands with no listings.
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Old 04-06-2010, 04:52   #22
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Rule of thumb....

Having done several similar scenarios, it is always a 'pending survey' sale. If you find the engine is shot, the deck is not connected correctly etc. you opt out. You only lose the survey cost. Much better than getting a lemon.
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:28   #23
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Sorry if the following is long winded, but I needed to think this out a bit and learn from it.

I disagree with Mark. I don't think anyone's being ripped off....yet.

1) It appears the 10% is in escrow. Lets not forget one of the purposes of escrow is "good faith" in the event if a buyer decides to play games and say "toodles...I was just kidding", the seller would not have lost opportunity that might have benefitted the seller by the boat being off-market during that time (possibly 1 month), or in losing more serious buyers that the seller had to let go. A piece of paper is one thing, but 10% escrow adds weight to the legality.

2) When "Pending Survey" is usually written into the contract the "offer" is what is to be discussed. Doesn't mean that the offer needs to be "accepted" Two entirely different terms. In fact, the seller can just say. "Look, I don't care what is in the survey or what is found. This is my bottom price. You can adjust your offer all you want based on the survey but I won't accept it" which appears to have happened in some way - either being misunderstood after the fact or intentional. The survey is there to help the buyer further make a decision on the value of the boat and what needs to be fixed so the "offer" can be adjusted or the buyer can walk away from the deal with their escrow intact which they have some entitlement. It is not there in finality and in force to make the seller hand over the boat to you no matter what. It is there as a protection to what you do own at this point - the original "offer" and the "escrow"...not the boat which you do not own or will own until the final papers are signed. The "contract" is only there to lay out the terms of "next steps" in moving toward closure and not the final document handing over the boat.

Think about it. Ideally, we would all take our surveyors out when we go out to look at boats for the very first time. Ideally we would not have to pay them more than minimum wage when they do it. The surveyor would spend all day on that boat checking it out and then we would make an offer and the seller would either accept or reject it right there on the spot. Keys would be handed over. No 10% escrow. No time allowing the seller to think about the offer. Now, how feasible is that to either the buyer or the seller, especially if there were multiple buyers with their surveyors driving all over town looking? How much time is wasted by the broker on one boat having surveyors there all day 24/7?

Think about this. A seller needs to sell his boat to pay for some important health bills. A seller has two interested parties. You and another bloke. The other bloke is a fanatical lover of the design. Doesn't care about the condition. He will take the boat "as is". However, the seller ethically feels since you saw the boat first you should at least have first dibs of an offer. A seller agrees to your offer and a survey with conditions expecting some small items to bubble from that effort as being negotiable. The survey shows something major that will either require fixing (which the seller cannot afford) or a drastic reduction of price. The seller needs the money from this sale for his health bills and this adjusted offer is unacceptable economically. He has another opportunity in line who would be happy to purchase the boat regardless of condition which will benefit both parties.

The seller has every right to get the most money for "His" possessions that benefits himself. You cannot force the seller to hand over the boat because legally you do "not" own the boat at this point - any of the boat...nothing. Until the final bill of sale you have no rights to the boat regardless of what you think you will find or will find. The only thing you legitimately own is the original "offer" which is basically meaningless outside of your own or the sellers "perceived" value in it and the "escrow" which is your money in hold as good faith against opportunity during closure.

Think about other hypotheticals and how reasonable those are:
- You make an offer pending survey and lower it and force the owner to hand over the boat. How reasonable is that? How do we know the survey wasn't rigged against the seller and you are ripping him off?
- You make an original offer without a contract. The seller accepts that offer. 2 weeks go by and on the close you say "Oh by the way I changed my mind and I think it's only worth $0. byebye." How fair is that to the seller who lost opportunity and benefit?
- You make an offer to the seller without a contract and give him $100. The seller accepts that offer. 2 weeks go by and the seller says "Oh by the way I changed my mind and I think it's really worth $1000 and you now owe me another $900." How fair is that to the buyer?

So, you need some specific plan to layout steps toward closure for both parties, and you need some way of protecting the items owned by both parties during this period. The sales contract does that.

3) Thats in a perfect world. What is difficult about this deal you describe is that a) the legal system in Thailand and the selling contracts etc could be non-enforceable or useless. b) the intent of the seller after the fact may or may not have been good business or ethical but we cannot really be sure. We might conclude it is useless either way. The fact remains you have a boat that you might want to buy and some terms have been laid out toward closure.

Again, if you love this boat. If you think that the survey is worth the time for your own sake, I would go through with it. You can make another offer and say "Look, I don't care if you are fixed. I have rights too based on the contract you signed. I'm making you another offer and I walk away with my money if you don't like it."
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:42   #24
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PS: Off-topic a bit. Regardless of any perceived bristol condition of a boat, I have learned based on my own experiences and watching my friends that you should always get the following performed as a good investment even if the boat is gifted for <b>FREE</b>:

- Engine / Mechanical Survey
- Rigging Survey
- Pre-purchase Condition and Value Survey
- Sea Trial


For example, even if a boat had a new engine installed and I had been there watching them install it, I would not blink getting an engine survey. I would do it all. It sets a baseline record of ownership moving forward so that you can manage your boat maintenance effectively, and also provide documents of value should you ever decide to sell in the future.
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Old 04-06-2010, 10:46   #25
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Dingoman has plenty of good advice already on this thread. However, what is to be learned from his dilemma?
So far as I am concerned, as a cash buyer for a fifty foot ketch, I won’t even consider signing a contract until I find out verbally if my offer is acceptable. If the broker won’t simply ask the owner, “look, I’ve got a verbal offer of ………will you accept it if I get it in a formal contract? Some brokers refuse to do this simple thing—whereupon I say, “Thank you and goodbye.”
Even in this cash buyer’s market some brokers insist on sticking to their outdated protocols of contract plus deposit, which is the very reason for Dingoman’s problem.
If he had insisted on the broker first finding out if his offer was acceptable, the owner would probably have come back with, “Yes, but no further negotiation, even after survey,” and Dingoman would have been able to make a decision to go forward or not, without fear of loosing his deposit.
I have also taken this one stage further with two enlightened brokers, who might be said to be true ‘facilitators.’ Have them ask the seller what his lowest price is—with no further negotiation? If this is acceptable to me, I will sign a contract/deposit, and we can proceed, subject only to survey—but even then, no further negotiation—I either accept the boat or not. If I don’t like his bottom line price, (and they all have ‘em), I don’t try to negotiate, and nothing is lost and no time wasted by either side.
In fact, the reason I still don’t have a boat is because I didn’t like the bottom line prices. But there are a few boats out there which I might well have bought, and still not sold, simply because the broker’s wouldn’t budge from their long standing old-fashioned methods.
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Old 04-06-2010, 10:57   #26
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I agree with JollyR somewhat. I talked to a broker over the week on another boat I am interested and he gave me a sense of what lowest bid might be and room for negotiations on it. I think brokers are more willing for that if:

1) They have been brokers for a long time so they have no immediacy.
2) They have a lot of high end inventory that gets them larger commissions so trying to nickel and dime small commissions is basically a waste of time so they are willing to move faster or be more fair to both parties.
3) They are somewhat specialized. For example, they are used to handling classical long keeled heavier cruising kind of older boats and know the kinds of sailors that sell and buy and have a large following thread in the community. They have a long and great reputation for being a conduit to both parties interest and attract both equally.
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Old 04-06-2010, 11:16   #27
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Hi, y'all - the "log spammer" here :{))

Lots of good info preceding, but a couple of things come to mind:

First, it appears you've not yet seen the boat, perhaps due to distance and/or other issues. From a guy who researched over 3000 boats (yes, you read that right), selected 300 to look at (many not as I discarded the "type"), and actually went aboard 200 on the way to our purchase, I'd have to know the type intimately, feel that a particular boat's description and writeup and as much as I could find out beforehand was especially appealing before I'd do a sight-unseen offer.

However, if I did (that was the case in our home; I'd not seen the boat until after it had had some yard time, and Lydia not at all), I'd make it subject to, first, inspection (my personal visit), and, if acceptable on the surface, then on survey.

That we're aboard today says both were acceptable in the end for us.

However, if you CAN'T be there, relying on a surveyor to, essentially, make your decision for you, is someplace I'd not go, unless it were a virtual steal. Even the best surveyors miss stuff, and, as you go forward, inevitably, you uncover stuff that would have been unseen until you got into one or another project. And, of course, while even new boats have problems, any older boat will always need something fixed, usually sooner rather than later.

Now, with all that said, I heard about, from brokers during our search, those who send off deposits solely to tie up a boat. If they can't buy it for what they think they'd pay (before inspection and survey), they don't bother going to the boat.

We had the good fortune to be able to look at all of our boats in a fairly concentrated area. Half a world, or, in the case of the US, for example, our having to go to Texas from GA, or worse, to the west coast, away, puts an entirely different light on it.

However, all that said, if you're getting the whim-whams, it appears your broker's contract allows you to back out at any time without negative repercussions. Having a deposit just keeps the game honest :{))

Hope you get what you want, in the end. Boat shopping can be either exhausting or exhilarating, depending on your mindset. In Lydia's case, even though I was doing all the driving and boarding, it's a case of "Lord give me patience, but I want it right now!!" competing with my "I'm not doing ANYTHING until I know a great deal about, and have personally stuck my nose and/or camera into every nook and cranny on any boat on which I'd consider an offer."

Good luck, and as they say in the Ham world, 73s...

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Old 04-06-2010, 11:32   #28
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Hello everyone, and thanks so much for the wonderful support and advice. I have decided to ask for my deposit back and start over again. This time I will be in Thailand and as others have suggested be there before any money is exchanged. I am hopeful as others have mentioned that because the broker is one of the most reputable in the region, there should be no hassels, but we will see and I will let you know how things go! Again this is a wonderful forum, and all of you make it so great!!!!!!! Thanks, Dingoman
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Old 04-06-2010, 23:31   #29
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dingoman - don't know how much time you have or what you are looking for in a boat. Aside from Phuket I would expand my search to Langkawi and Penang in Malaysia and there are a few boats tucked away in Singapore and Sebana cove, Malaysia. Even a few in the Philippines and Indonesia.

If you are interested in another (additional) broker I can send you contact info by PM.

Most of the boats I know of regionally are listed on boats.com

And just a comment @ saltmonkey. I agree with all your post except perhaps the first come first served part. If I am selling and not under written contract (only verbal) any one who comes in with a higher offer will get the boat.

- Buyer A puts a deposit and purchase contract in contingent on survey. He finishes survey and asks for 10% off. Buyer 2 is waiting in the wings, maybe or maybe not willing to pay asking price. I certainly give buyer 1 a chance to offer full price but I have no obligation to sell the boat for less than the purchase contract regardless of survey.
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Old 15-06-2010, 16:00   #30
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Hey Everyone! Just wanted to say the reputable broker did refund deposit and happily that saga is over! I appreciated so much all the great advice given and will for sure use most of that as I go forwards!!! Thanks again so much!!!!!!!! Dingoman
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