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Old 30-06-2014, 14:48   #1
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Our First Offer... was this normal?

Hi forum!

My name is Miranda, and my husband and I are looking at buying our first sailboat! We have taken a two-year sabbatical and we plan to sail. He is experienced, and I'm excited to learn. This is my first post to the community, although I have done plenty of research in these forums, and I appreciate the expertise. Thanks in advance!

We were in South Florida this past week, looking at sailboats to purchase. After four full days of looking, we found something that we loved! We made a formal offer, and waited to see if the owner would accept. He counter-offered something higher. We held our ground (our offer was almost the exact listing price).

The broker emailed us back to say, and I quote "The (owner) is prepared to accept your terms below as long as you can confirm this formally today by way of an executed contract (signed) or at the latest tomorrow morning (if you do not have access to a printer or scanner where you are now) and send a 10% deposit to our escrow account on Monday." We said "yes, of course." We sent in the contract right away, and moved the 10% into our checking accounts- ready to be wired. This was on a Saturday afternoon.

Here's the newbie question that I have:

Isn't this a "verbal" (or email, rather) acceptance of our offer? My husband and I got excited, thinking that we'd gotten the boat. On Sunday, we were emailed and told that the owner received a second offer on Sunday night (two days after our offer), and he would be accepting this one instead, as it was higher.

Should we be prepared for this? Boat owners who tell us that they'll be accepting our offer by email, then go back on their word. I realize that nothing is legal until contracts are signed and I totally understand that money talks, but I also thought verbal contracts would be respected.

Any thoughts?
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Old 30-06-2014, 14:55   #2
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Re: Our First Offer... was this normal?

Until the offer is signed and accepted by both parties and the terms of the contract, in this case a deposit among other things, you don't have a deal. Too bad you were a bit cheap on your offer. Quite often a seller will come back to the initial offeror and agree to accept a matching offer from them but there is no requirememt to do so. Verbal contracts aren't worth the paper they are printed on.
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Old 30-06-2014, 14:58   #3
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Re: Our First Offer... was this normal?

Unfortunately I believe it really comes down to having a signed contract.
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Old 30-06-2014, 15:01   #4
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pirate Re: Our First Offer... was this normal?

Yes.. tell the owner "Cei la vie.." and wish him a speedy settlement you've found an alternative..
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Old 30-06-2014, 15:03   #5
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Re: Our First Offer... was this normal?

You offered the listing price and the seller came back with a counter offer higher than the listing price?

While I think it is bad form (and missed opportunity) on the part of the seller to not give you an opportunity to counter another offer, I don't think anything he did was in breach of any contract, since it didn't sound like you had a contract yet.

There will always be another boat for you. I'm curious to know what kind of boat this was that would go higher than listing price in a bid war - that is unusual!

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Old 30-06-2014, 15:55   #6
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Re: Our First Offer... was this normal?

When we bought our boat, the deposit was connected to a pre-sale contract. We agreed to buy the boat *contingent* upon an acceptable survey *and* an acceptable sea-trial.

We could decide not to buy he boat if anything on the survey or sea-trial was unacceptable to us and receive the full amount of the deposit back from the broker.
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Old 30-06-2014, 16:07   #7
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Re: Our First Offer... was this normal?

It is disappointing to not have someone keep their word, but you are probably better off just moving on. If the seller has those sorts of ethics, you are better off not having to deal with him or her. There are lots of awesome boats out there. You will find one that will be suitable. Don't hold out for perfect.
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Old 30-06-2014, 16:14   #8
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Re: Our First Offer... was this normal?

Just clarifying, was your contract you were given pending survey seatrial?
I would be curious if the broker showed the boat the following day even after your offer had been verbaly accepted. I would walk, plenty of boats out there and plenty of seedy brokers as well.
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Old 30-06-2014, 16:17   #9
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Re: Our First Offer... was this normal?

Sounds like the seller has some issues with ethics...and that would bring into question everything about the vessel as well. There are many boats available on the market and it is a safe bet you will find others that you will "fall in love with" as well!
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Old 30-06-2014, 16:28   #10
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Re: Our First Offer... was this normal?

The broker..emailed you a PDF copy of a contract..which you signed and returned via fax on Saturday?

Then Sunday evening the broker called to tell you that the owner accepted a higher offer? Any idea how long the boat was on the market?

Just Curious....How much of a spread are we talking about between your offer and the asking price or counter offer? I just want to know what ethics are selling for these days?

It's likely that boat hasn't been sold..yet..it still has to go through a survey and typically a sea trial which can often generate another round of negotiations. But, even if it comes back on the market, I'd wouldn't want to deal with this broker or seller again.

At best, you made the 1st offer.and submitted a contract, .they could have called you and informed you that there was another higher offer and given you the opportunity to meet it. ( If there was in fact another offer)

It's only Monday...I'll bet you get another phone call.
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Old 30-06-2014, 16:32   #11
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Re: Our First Offer... was this normal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Errantries View Post
Hi forum!

My name is Miranda, and my husband and I are looking at buying our first sailboat! We have taken a two-year sabbatical and we plan to sail. He is experienced, and I'm excited to learn. This is my first post to the community, although I have done plenty of research in these forums, and I appreciate the expertise. Thanks in advance!

We were in South Florida this past week, looking at sailboats to purchase. After four full days of looking, we found something that we loved! We made a formal offer, and waited to see if the owner would accept. He counter-offered something higher. We held our ground (our offer was almost the exact listing price).

The broker emailed us back to say, and I quote "The (owner) is prepared to accept your terms below as long as you can confirm this formally today by way of an executed contract (signed) or at the latest tomorrow morning (if you do not have access to a printer or scanner where you are now) and send a 10% deposit to our escrow account on Monday." We said "yes, of course." We sent in the contract right away, and moved the 10% into our checking accounts- ready to be wired. This was on a Saturday afternoon.

Here's the newbie question that I have:

Isn't this a "verbal" (or email, rather) acceptance of our offer? My husband and I got excited, thinking that we'd gotten the boat. On Sunday, we were emailed and told that the owner received a second offer on Sunday night (two days after our offer), and he would be accepting this one instead, as it was higher.

Should we be prepared for this? Boat owners who tell us that they'll be accepting our offer by email, then go back on their word. I realize that nothing is legal until contracts are signed and I totally understand that money talks, but I also thought verbal contracts would be respected.

Any thoughts?
I know it feels bad right now but a seller that cheats you like that and a broker who doesn't help you (although they are the seller's broker) definitely would not be above hiding something very wrong with the vessel.

You are lucky to be able to walk away without having to deal with those folks.

You'll find another in better condition with an honest seller for less money. Just keep looking. Consider yourself lucky to still be looking instead of being in a repair yard shelling out more money.

kindest regards,
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Old 30-06-2014, 16:32   #12
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Re: Our First Offer... was this normal?

I don't think this has anything to do with ethics. It's a business deal and until its a signed contract, business is going to rule and that means if a higher price comes in, your going to go with the higher price. Only thing that might fall under ethics would be the seller not giving them a chance to match the offer.

I think it would be rare for an owner to pass on a higher offer.

I think the best way to approach in the future would be the same way buying a house is done - present a written offer - if they accept, the seller signs and that locks it in and you have X days to make a deposit or something like that. This way when your offer had been accepted, the seller would have signed and you would have been locked in.
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Old 30-06-2014, 16:38   #13
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Re: Our First Offer... was this normal?

I replied to your other post. You're lucky not to have had it go through.
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Old 30-06-2014, 16:41   #14
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Re: Our First Offer... was this normal?

Could be the owner or broker is trying to squeeze a few more dollars out of you
Tell the broker that you are disappointed and that if the boat should come back on the market your offer stands But less 5% disappointment fee.
That way if it's just a tactic you beat him
Also get another broker
Just doesn't seem legit that they would walk awY from a commission
Without a fight.
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Old 30-06-2014, 17:59   #15
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Re: Our First Offer... was this normal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Time2Go View Post
Could be the owner or broker is trying to squeeze a few more dollars out of you
Tell the broker that you are disappointed and that if the boat should come back on the market your offer stands But less 5% disappointment fee.
That way if it's just a tactic you beat him
Also get another broker
Just doesn't seem legit that they would walk awY from a commission
Without a fight.
If you offered anything close to the list price you offered way too much. Retract your offer and look for another boat. There is ALWAYS another boat.

I smell a rat with this broker and this seller. I suspect you were being played.
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