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Old 28-01-2019, 09:57   #1
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No room for negotiation?

I have gone 'full retard' and started making offers on Catamarans. I have made 3 different offers on Cats each with a broker listing price of above 450k USD. My offers have all been within 92-95% of list price.

So far ever offer has been met with a "they won't take less than the list price". No counter, just a flat 'nope'.
I have purchased a few things before in my life that cost a pretty penny, and without exception, there was always the list price, and then some room for negotiation, offers, counter offers etc.

Is this just a market-driven phenomenon that is unique to Catamarans, or sailboats in general? Perhaps it's the maternal Portuguese blood in me but I just can't seem to pay the asking price for something without a good haggle!

I have decided to lick my wounds, lay low until mid-February and remount an attack.

Any advice? Am I being too stubborn, foolish, naive?

I know I will get the "buy directly from the owner" advice, but that scenario is full of emotional sellers entanglements I don't want to deal with. Been there done that, no thank you.
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Old 28-01-2019, 10:03   #2
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Re: No room for negotiation?

Seems weird. I'm not up on the Cat market now though, but have to believe there are a lot on the market...?
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Old 28-01-2019, 10:13   #3
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Re: No room for negotiation?

You might want to sit it out a bit and see if one of the three decides that it's time...

i suggest this because

last april i made an offer on a sailboat that was refused. the owner wanted full price, not minus 10% or even 5%. he wanted every cent of his asking price.

i said, too bad; i understand: she's a beauty of a boat (very politely)

last october, he contacted me asking if i could still be interested...

and the boat is still on the market today



good luck!








Quote:
Originally Posted by DockDoc View Post
I have gone 'full retard' and started making offers on Catamarans. I have made 3 different offers on Cats each with a broker listing price of above 450k USD. My offers have all been within 92-95% of list price.

So far ever offer has been met with a "they won't take less than the list price". No counter, just a flat 'nope'.
I have purchased a few things before in my life that cost a pretty penny, and without exception, there was always the list price, and then some room for negotiation, offers, counter offers etc.

Is this just a market-driven phenomenon that is unique to Catamarans, or sailboats in general? Perhaps it's the maternal Portuguese blood in me but I just can't seem to pay the asking price for something without a good haggle!

I have decided to lick my wounds, lay low until mid-February and remount an attack.

Any advice? Am I being too stubborn, foolish, naive?

I know I will get the "buy directly from the owner" advice, but that scenario is full of emotional sellers entanglements I don't want to deal with. Been there done that, no thank you.
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Old 28-01-2019, 10:28   #4
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Re: No room for negotiation?

Yep, one key is how long has it been listed. Owners and brokers start out with high hopes. It almost always takes time for them to understand what the real prices are. Myself included.
I had a Hans Christian listed in Fl for 1.5 years. It was priced the same as others around the country but had a ton of real cruising gear and upgrades with it. Listed at $135k and I finally had to sell at $90k. I could have sold it in the first 6 months for that.
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Old 28-01-2019, 10:35   #5
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Re: No room for negotiation?

Some price there boat at a great price initially and others price with some negotiation room. If they were great deals then pay list price.
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Old 28-01-2019, 10:45   #6
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Re: No room for negotiation?

Everything that I am reading, and hearing, goes as follows:


- Find the boat
- Ask an expert for a survey
- After the survey ask what the boat is worth
- Once you know what the boat is worth, ask what they think the seller may take
- Once you have that number, offer 65% of it.


All boat owners want boats to sell high, all boat buyers want boats to sell low.

But seriously, if everyone offers low it will drag the price of the average used boat down and make sailing more affordable for the masses. The same will happen in the other direction.

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Old 28-01-2019, 10:52   #7
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Re: No room for negotiation?

Only two things matter. The price a buyer is willing to pay and the price a seller is willing to accept. And of those two, it’s all about the seller. Could be that folks Owning $1/2M boats have enough disposable income that they’re in no hurry to sell, but not sooo much that they’re willing to let it go at a bigger loss just to be done with it. They want a good price for their boat and can wait for that buyer.

I like buying from folks who have loads of cash and just want things gone with minimal hassle (cash buyer).
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Old 28-01-2019, 10:52   #8
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Re: No room for negotiation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Yep, one key is how long has it been listed. Owners and brokers start out with high hopes. It almost always takes time for them to understand what the real prices are. Myself included.
I had a Hans Christian listed in Fl for 1.5 years. It was priced the same as others around the country but had a ton of real cruising gear and upgrades with it. Listed at $135k and I finally had to sell at $90k. I could have sold it in the first 6 months for that.
This is quite typical for boats, buildings, property.

I have seen listing brokers compete for a listing by proscribing a high price and the seller contracting with the broker that proposes the higher price. Then the sale item sits on the market for a lengthier than needed to occur time period and is eventually sold at a realistic price point, or has depreciated in value and incurred expenses during the for sale period.

Rarely have I seen boats sold for more than their original asking price. Not many bid up events for boats.

Sellers generally have an inflated perspective of the value of what they are selling. Sellers all too often like to hear a value proposed that is more than what is realistic. That is the oldest and easiest scam a listing broker can take. I was once on a jury involving just such non-professional practices issue with a real estate transaction, we apportioned that the broker and agents were 80% liable for the value loss [declining market situation] of the long listed property and that the owner of the property was contributory at 20% of the value loss. All parties being stupid and unrealistic.

If you are a buyer investigate how long the item has been on the market, if it has been on the market for a lengthy time then it is priced too high. The seller eventually wakes up to reality.

As a buyer there is nothing wrong with offering less than the list price, especially when just shaving a small percentage, but then if you desire the item being sold, a five or ten percent value differential should not be a deciding factor unless you are buying for strictly investment purposes. And we know that boats are not good investments.
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Old 28-01-2019, 11:29   #9
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Re: No room for negotiation?

Keep waiting. There is no shortage of boats. Anything from 5-30% below asking price is normal.
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Old 28-01-2019, 11:50   #10
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Re: No room for negotiation?

All good advice. I am not trying to ask for 25% off a list, and these boats are at the very top end of my allotted budget for the purchase. I need to hold in reserve money to insure and sail the damn thing, plus the inevitable repairs and routine maintenance. I don't need a lender I can just transfer the money from my account to theirs up to 450k USD. So I am a good buyer in the eyes of most sellers. I am not just kicking tires.

As for the survey, I am under the impression I make a provisional offer that is agreed upon pending X Y and Z. One of those letters is a haul out and survey plus a sea trial. I don't believe many owners or buyers would agree to "hey let me pay for a survey and then we will talk about price" before an offer had been agreed upon?

Boats as good investments... well there are ways. But I don't see the return on investments anymore as just in dollars. Having gone thru gamma knife and two neurosurgeries prior to age 40, I think of personal and shared enjoyment as a return that is not often talked about. When I am sailing, chartering, or just cruising on someone else's boat with family and friends I feel great. I am up before dawn, switch the solenoid on, get that water going for the french press, turn off the anchor light, make the coffee and head up to watch the sun come up. I make and eat breakfast with my wife and kids, and whoever else is aboard. Listen to Chris Parker, clean up and decide what we want to do today. No obligations, no timeline, no pressure. I am full of energy dawn to dusk ( okay perhaps a post scuba nap happens often) and hit the bunk at midnight (aka 8:30pm). At home, I barely can force myself out of bed by 10am, having worked until 2am the night before. I survive on coffee and daydreams until my day+night is over. I barely see my kids, couldn't tell you what color their eyes are as they never look up from those damn iPhones, and my wife who works even more than I do is less energetic than a corpse when she gets home. All that changes when we are sailing. Maybe its a pie in the sky fools fantasy but I am in a position now where I can buy my own boat, spend time with friends and family, and enjoy my life. To me, that's the best investment ever.

Well didn't mean to railroad my own post with a love of sailing + sob story. Suffice it to say I will keep bidding within my budget, see how things play out over time, and press forward with my plan.
Cheers for all the replies!
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Old 28-01-2019, 11:52   #11
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Re: No room for negotiation?

I get the impression the catamaran market is pretty tight now after so many charter catamarans were destroyed in hurricanes Irma and Maria. The listing prices for used catamarans seem to have risen significantly, and your experience seems to indicate it's a seller's market. Last year I saw a lot of wrecked catamarans sell for ridiculously high prices.



I have recently heard from a broker it's a buyer's market for older monohulls, though.



Good luck and have fun! Any time I've ever sold a boat I've been delighted to get an offer and thought long and hard before I let them walk away.
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Old 28-01-2019, 11:59   #12
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Re: No room for negotiation?

It sounds to me like the DockDoc might benefit from having a good "buyers" broker, to save the doc some footwork, and I would guess that an offer, broker-to-broker, is treated more seriously...?


What does the CF hive mind think of that idea? I've never been in a similar situation (and probably won't be). Gotta be some way for a motivated and funded buyer to be matched to a realistic seller...
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Old 28-01-2019, 13:21   #13
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Re: No room for negotiation?

Reality check time. There is no typical boat sale. I just had someone tell me about a nice small older Dragonfly trimaran for a very good price. I called the guy and agreed to drive down to the boats location (maybe a 5-6 hour drive to Ft. Myers ) the next weekend to look at the boat. Next day the owner called me up and said he had a guy from New England who was flying down and was willing to pay more than the asking price; which was still a good deal. I have also looked at boats that were over priced and one at an estate sale where the broker told me if I wanted to start the motor I should bring a 12volt battery to do so; he went on to say I should make an offer since the price was negotiable.


It is just silly to say there is a rule of thumb to offer 5-10% less or 65% of the asking price. Every sale is different and some boats are well worth the asking price while others are not worth half the asking price. The trick is to be knowledge enough to determine if a boat is reasonably priced and if the seller is being reasonable about selling it.
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Old 28-01-2019, 13:31   #14
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Re: No room for negotiation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LF4 View Post
Everything that I am reading, and hearing, goes as follows:


- Find the boat
- Ask an expert for a survey
- After the survey ask what the boat is worth
- Once you know what the boat is worth, ask what they think the seller may take
- Once you have that number, offer 65% of it.


All boat owners want boats to sell high, all boat buyers want boats to sell low.
I'm sure anything is possible and you can certainly ask, but I've never seen the survey BEFORE a signed P&S. I can't imagine why either party would put themselves in that situation.

Asking what the seller may take is a pipe dream. That is the point of negotiation, to find the bottom line. The seller is only going to tell you whether you're below his number or at it.
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Old 28-01-2019, 13:38   #15
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Re: No room for negotiation?

Cats have become very popular in the last few years, especially as a number of YouTube channels have moved to them without fatalities. Then last year's hurricane season wiped out major charter fleets and anything that is still undamaged became sought after to allow the charter companies to have ANYTHING to operate with.

So I am guessing it is very much a seller's market for any "clean" boat. Your offer may not be unreasonable, but if the broker does not wish to pass it on to the owner, there's not much you can do unless you try to bypass the broker or up your offer, and then afterwards use the faults found in survey to reduce your offer.
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