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Old 27-02-2014, 10:49   #1
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From survey to acceptance question

I have received some good advice on the offer process here before. Thank you.

We now have an accepted offer and a completed survey. We decided to offer on this boat because, based on our own comprehensive inspection, appeared to be in exceptional condition, which the survey confirmed. Of course, there are numerous minor issues that need addressing. I have heard many stories of people getting substantial price reductions after the survey based on major findings. In our case, all of the issues noted in the survey would take a few hundred dollars to fix (GFI outlets, on/off switch for the battery monitor, etc.). Before I ask for these to be remedied, I just wanted to make sure that it is also standard - as it would be with a house - to ask for these relatively minor things to be fixed as well.

I would, of course, appreciate any additional advice about this stage in the purchase process. Thanks in advance.
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Old 27-02-2014, 10:59   #2
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Re: From survey to acceptance question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Helbent View Post
SNIP

I just wanted to make sure that it is also standard ...

SNIP
There is nothing standard about buying a boat.

Feel free to ask or not ask for anything or nothing to be done. The seller may or may not agree depending.
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Old 27-02-2014, 11:01   #3
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Re: From survey to acceptance question

Questions to buyer-
1) have you already beat up the seller on purchase price?
2) Are these changes you might be requesting the seller to pay for, significant safety issues and were they "hidden" ? GFI's are good but obvious when you looked at the boat. ON/OFF switch for battery monitor??
3) What's more important to you- a few hundred or the ongoing goodwill of the seller?
As the boat had no major issues I think you should pay for these yourself, not that the seller would pay necessarily anyways.---JMO--
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Old 27-02-2014, 11:08   #4
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Re: From survey to acceptance question

As been noted, there is no standard but.....

IMO, it's acceptable to ask that things are brought to working condition, but don't ask for things that are upgrades & nice-to-haves. Example: Engine runs fine but leaks oil, sure ask to fix the oil leak. Basically, any "deferred maintenance" is fair game.
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Old 27-02-2014, 11:41   #5
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Re: From survey to acceptance question

Personally, of it's just a few hundred dollars I'd count yourself very lucky and keep the deal as is. Or at best, split the difference in costs. Specially if the boat is greater than $30k.

Sounds like you have a gem.
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Old 27-02-2014, 12:15   #6
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Re: From survey to acceptance question

You can always negotiate beyond the point of good returns. I agree with the others. If it's a substantial deficiency or repair type issue then it's one thing, but to bring small matters into the equation at this point runs risks.

Now, I might take an approach like this. Never once imply that you're thinking of not taking it or that the sale is contingent on him agreeing. The last thing you want to do is risk having somehow cancelled the deal. But then you might say, "John (had to name seller something), the survey went well and so we're ready to proceed. Now we did find a couple of minor things (say what they are) that I'm sure you probably weren't aware of and I just wondered if you'd be willing to split that cost with us." Either he says, "Sure, that's fair." or says, "I really don't think I can do that." Either way you make it clear you're moving forward with the deal as structured and you arrange closing.

Post survey is a time to account for any significant findings, but it's not a time to start renegotiating the deal if there are none.
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Old 27-02-2014, 12:31   #7
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Re: From survey to acceptance question

BandB nailed it. If that's all you have "wrong" be done with it and fix 'em yourself. You'll learn more about the boat by doing it.

When we bought our '86 boat in '98, we, too, got an excellent survey. I installed two GFCIs, one in the head and one for the other circuit.

But, and this is the important part, GFCIs were not mandated back then, and weren't even on the survey.

You didn't say how old the boat is, so it may well have been built before GFCIs became more than just a good idea.

I/O for a battery monitor? Why?

After we bought the boat, I ripped out the old shorepower charger, put in a new Freedom 15 inverter/charger because the PO had installed a useful microwave which was more useful if it could be used when away from the dock (golly, who knew?!?), and improved the entire electrical system.

Once you get into it, you'll find all sorts of things.

Don't screw up the deal for these kinda things.

If there were structural or rigging issues, yeah, they'd be fair game for discussion, but not the two things you mentioned.

Good luck, enjoy.
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Old 27-02-2014, 12:32   #8
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Re: From survey to acceptance question

Good advice here.

On/off for the battery monitor and GFIs are things you might want to install, but if they're not already on the boat they're an upgrade, so I probably wouldn't bring those up. If you find something that isn't operational that you assumed was in working order, you might bring that up.
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Old 27-02-2014, 12:39   #9
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Re: From survey to acceptance question

As Dotdun mentioned, deferred maintenance items is the key. What are you buying, a project or a turnkey habitat?

You say the defects all add up to a few hundred dollars as if to say they really aren't worth talking about. Look at that from the other side, if they aren't that costly then I imagine the seller won't object to bringing them into conformance.

The deeper issue is what is the basis of your opinion? Surely, it is your patent observation plus that of the surveyor. IOW, you don't really know how troublesome it can be until you start in on the repairs. A faulty GFCI is a safety issue. But is the fault in the fixture or somewhere else in the system? I'm only using this as an example to illustrate my point. Once you close the deal, except for latent defects, you are solely responsible. Do you want to rest so much on the opinion of a single survey? Not to nick the surveyors (others can do that) but there are limitations to what a surveyor will and will not do, notice of that is even on the survey. You a betting man? Then again, if you are looking for a semi-project and enjoy the process of bringing her up to snuff forget what I said.

Legion are the stories of, 'It's only a GFCI, I'll have it fixed in a jiffy.' Only to find out the real problem is found after miles of wire is traced.

Incidentally, the two defects you mentioned are both electrical in nature. Is this indicative of a pattern, ie, a larger defect? My last boat everything worked fine until it didn't. I filled a 55 gallon barrel with scrapped electrical wire from a very sloppy installation. I knew what I was getting so I bought her in that condition. But because a lot of it was hidden or not disclosed I would have been seriously ticked off if I didn't want to buy a project.
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Old 27-02-2014, 12:41   #10
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Re: From survey to acceptance question

We did get the price down fairly significantly in the initial negotiation, and I do have some concerns that the seller may walk away. I am also interested in, more generally, maintaining "the ongoing good will of the seller," as someone put it. So, it sounds like we will be proceeding as is.

Thanks for all the sound advice.
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Old 27-02-2014, 12:53   #11
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Re: From survey to acceptance question

Will you have access to the PO for advice after the sale? That is worth something. I guess a few hundred giggles should cover it.
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Old 27-02-2014, 13:50   #12
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Re: From survey to acceptance question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Helbent View Post
We did get the price down fairly significantly in the initial negotiation, and I do have some concerns that the seller may walk away. I am also interested in, more generally, maintaining "the ongoing good will of the seller," as someone put it. So, it sounds like we will be proceeding as is.

Thanks for all the sound advice.
Yes, I used to work with someone who negotiated everything to death. I once saw him spend thirty minutes to save $1.80 on something. But it finally came back to haunt him. He was purchasing a house. Negotiated for nearly three months and finally a deal, subject to Home Inspection. Now I suspect the sellers were already tired of him. What he didn't realize was the sellers also had received another offer one day after accepting his but had told the people it was under contract.

Well, home inspection was great. Only thing inspector recommended was that he would recommend a couple of things sometime in the future. Total cost about $400 and this was a $250,000 home. He notified the seller that per the inspection, he'd have to knock $400 off the price to go forward. Well, that pushed over the seller's tolerance so he had to say no. Buyer didn't get it and said, "You'd let me walk over $400". The seller said, "I just did and I would have done it over $4".

My coworker didn't like it much when I laughed and told him he deserved it. I then suggested if he ever wanted to buy a house he let his wife handle all the negotiations. Amazingly, he did and they closed on a house in less than 60 days from that day. His wife sent me a bottle of champagne when they did. That made for some office humor, me getting champagne from his wife.
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Old 27-02-2014, 14:45   #13
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Re: From survey to acceptance question

Chances are the seller will fix those anyhow if you walk away from the sale so the boat will survey out fine for the next seller.. Maybe as a goodwill gesture, you offer to pay half of those expenses. That way , if one of the minor issues found on the survey, turns out to be a major issue, you will know about it before you close on the boat.
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