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Old 03-06-2010, 13:00   #1
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Deposit Given, then Broker Says . . .

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...............
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Old 03-06-2010, 13:07   #2
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Get your money back and run away. It's negotiation or should be.........m
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Old 03-06-2010, 13:10   #3
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Too many people nickel and dime sellers for minor or frivolous things in a survey and this seller apparently doesn't want to play that game.

All the seller is telling you is to not expect to renegotiate the agreed-upon price if/when the survey results point to issues. The survey is only an info source from which you can decide to take-it-or- leave-it.
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Old 03-06-2010, 13:23   #4
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The last two posts show the opposite end of each point of view. Having recently been through this, all I can say is that I would not nickel and dime the seller, but if a major issue does show itself after survey, that should be negotiated. Such things as worn out rigging (standing) failing engine etc should be on the table.
If they are not, I would get my money and walk...
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Old 03-06-2010, 13:32   #5
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Sure, I was not intending on "nickel and diming" but as you just mention if the rigging, or engine, or such, needs a lot of attention then it should be negotiable. I was wondering even if I should spend the money to survey, haul out, and sea trial? Can I even get my deposit back if I don't do those steps?????
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Old 03-06-2010, 13:32   #6
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The survey is not a mandatory tool for negotiation by both parties. The survey is to help the "buyer" decide go/no go and to provide a list of items that the buyer should be aware of upon purchase. There is no obligation on the sellers part.

That said, in some and perhaps most buying situations there is some continual negotiations performed after a survey, but either party can still walk away from the deal if they think they are justified or not justified.

In this case it sounds like they have already reached that point by your accepted offer and they are not willing to negotiate further....but there is one problem with that...

All the stipulations in the acceptance of your offer should have been in the contract you signed. That means escrow terms, number of days to complete survey, and most importantly the terms whether they needed to adjust price based on what was found in survey etc. It was YOUR responsibility to make sure the contract held those before you signed the contract.

So, now the question remains...did they know survey repairs etc were missing from the contract before you signed it and that you were unaware...or did they assume you knew this and are now surprised that you didn't?

But I do hope at this point you can walk away from the deal after teh survey and get your money back. I hope your contract had at least that. I would go through with the survey if you really want this boat and make your go/no go decision on this. You may still indeed have a good boat for your needs.


Your situation is not unusual if a price point has been reached in the buyers mind
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Old 03-06-2010, 15:23   #7
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Thanks for your responses! I hope everything is on the up and up as this is one of the reputable dealers in SEA as far as I know. The contract is very clear in mentioning that if there is any repairs etc... needed then the seller is responsible to fix or adjust price. Also as you mentioned the contract does stipulate the time period for the survey, escrow, etc... to be completed. Hopefully this is just a perfect vessel and as some mentioned it is just the owner that feels certain that there are no major issues, and he has hit his rock botom price.........................got my fingers crossed for sure
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Old 03-06-2010, 15:37   #8
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]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...............
I'd imagine that a 37 year old boat might need some work. But just to (not) cheer you up - quite normal in this part of the world for the Vendor to be able to say no discount / no fixing things (albeit many buyers do have the same idea as you - no idea where it comes from )..........that's why I never pay 10% deposit - even though agreements normally have no penalty for non-completion (apart from for buyer paying out for survey / haulout on a boat he doesn't own)...........but we are where we are................well, you are............

The way I see it is you have 2 things to deal with:-

- firstly the legal side. What does the contract actually say?..........but leaving that aside if the vendor breaches the contract what can you legally do about it. and where in the world will the court case be?. and how much will it cost?............and does the Vendor have any assets? (boat can easily move to another jurisdiction. return to step 1 ). I would be careful about breaching any deposit forfit clauses due to time delay (including from arguing over the contract / price) - because then the Vendor would probably be legally allowed to keep your 10% For some would be tempting to do so anyway..............

- secondly the practical side. Possession being 9/10ths of the law etc. Most places in that part of the world nowadays have all the laws we have. just different rules From my brief Google I see a 1973 Cal for sale in Phuket, Thailand. Mmmmmm. The only advice I can give is to be careful if you reach the stage of going over looking for your 10% back.

Anything else I could say would be coloured from the experiances with (and marriage into) the, cough, more freemarket end of the Thai business community - and not directly useful, as well as mostly unbeleivable and possibly unneccesarily disturbing, but in any event any practical help I could offer on the risk management front died with da Missus a few years back.

The way I see it you have 3 choices:-

a) risk kissing the deposit goodbye by pulling out of the deal now.
b) risk kissing the 100% goodbye.
c) risk buying a boat at an overvalued price.

On option c) you only have to overpay by 10% to have defacto kissed your deposit goodbye. Option b) is a possibility (what would / could you do if after sending over the 90% and find the boat and brokers office were gone?).........so, in your shoes I would go for option a) and consider it a result if I got anything back.............possibly not the answer you were looking for, but as I said I am perhaps a bit more risk averse than others in that part of the world. even though I know my "funny" stories are not typical. nor called funny in this part of the world.

"Caveat Emptor" - Latin for: "Welcome to Thailand"
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Old 03-06-2010, 16:01   #9
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Discuss with broker...

I'd suggest discussing this with the broker, who (I assume), holds your deposit.

As the seller has said they won't abide by the contract I feel you may be within your rights to ask that the deposit be returned and the sale terminated.

I have never heard even a whisper of a problem with buying used boats in Thailand.
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Old 03-06-2010, 16:07   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dingoman View Post
Sure, I was not intending on "nickel and diming" but as you just mention if the rigging, or engine, or such, needs a lot of attention then it should be negotiable. I was wondering even if I should spend the money to survey, haul out, and sea trial? Can I even get my deposit back if I don't do those steps?????
You will find these answers ONLY in the contract, not here.

Take a step back and consider the concept of personal responsibility here. By that I mean I would expect any buyer, regardless of hiring a surveyor, to do your due diligence. If you fail to do that without good reason, you bear some responsibility.

Why can't you at least do a cursory inspection of the rigging, engine, other major components? Presuming you are already a boater, much of the potential issues are second nature and easy to spot. A corollary to this suggestion is to never put blind faith in a surveyor - always do your own verification and inspection.
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Old 03-06-2010, 16:13   #11
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Originally Posted by dingoman View Post
...The contract is very clear in mentioning that if there is any repairs etc... needed then the seller is responsible to fix or adjust price...
Well, now i am really confused because if they signed that kind of term it seems to me there is some legality in your favour here, and for them to say "no" is pushing for a law suit.

Oh noticed Thailand...I thought this boat was here and you were in Thailand at the moment. Then it might be a contract isn't worth anything. The legality of the environment makes it very difficult to assess. Or it could be played against you.

How do others read this?
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Old 03-06-2010, 17:05   #12
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Since the question got asked I would assume it presents an uncomfortable position or the buyer here. So ............
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Old 03-06-2010, 17:31   #13
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One thing you haven't mentioned --
Has the seller actually signed the contract on his end?
If not, you don't have a contract, you have a piece of paper with your signature on it.
Even if he signed it, he may have struck out all references to price renegotiation/making repairs, etc.
Have you received a copy with his signature?
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Old 03-06-2010, 17:39   #14
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Hi this is a RED FLAG .better do your homework,marry in haste, repent at leisure.
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Old 03-06-2010, 19:28   #15
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Good point Mike.
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