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Old 10-09-2011, 22:08   #1
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Selling a Survey

What's the deal with selling a survey back to the owner of a boat that you do not buy? Is that a fairly common practice?

Say you look at a boat, put a deposit down on it, have it surveyed, bu then are unable to come to an agreement with the seller. Is it common practice to then sell that survey to the owner?
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Old 10-09-2011, 22:18   #2
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Re: Selling a survey

I'd guess that if you backed out of the deal because of the survey results, then the survey would only be of value to the present owner if he were to use it to fix any issues uncovered. Most owners would allocate little value to the survey, and they certainly wouldn't provide such a report to a prospective buyer. IMHO...
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Old 10-09-2011, 22:18   #3
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Re: Selling a survey

I think it depends where you live. On a previous boat, I bought the survey from a guy who was a prospective buyer, but dropped out. I paid him 50%. When I had the boat I own now surveyed, the broker asked if he & the seller could have copies of the survey, before we'd concluded negotiations. I said, " Forget it!" They didn't seem too pleased, but why would I give away what I'd just paid $450 for? I did tell them that if we couldn't make a deal I'd sell a copy for 50%, but they seemed a little miffed at that, as well. The seller & the broker were both nice guys, but business is business.
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:52   #4
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Re: Selling a survey

"Business is business" only makes sense when there is some value to be exchanged between two parties.

In this case, the survey has no value to you now that you backed out of the deal. Trying to sell it to the buyer is being petty.


It is not unreasonable for buyers to want to have a copy of the survey as evidence there is a reason why you backed out of the deal - depends on how contract was written. Also, why, as an owner, would I accept the word of someone about a defect unless it was in writing and I could see it? Quite often, buyer's remorse sets in and some might want to back out for no legitimate reason and want their deposit back.
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:28   #5
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Re: Selling a survey

I'm a bit confused about what comments it is that you are referring to, here, with the exception of the first 2 sentences.

Quote:
"Business is business" only makes sense when there is some value to be exchanged between two parties.

In this case, the survey has no value to you now that you backed out of the deal. Trying to sell it to the buyer is being petty.
If you're referring to the survey I bought on the earlier boat, from someone who had decided not to purchase it, he had paid to have an extensive survey performed and, while he may have had no further use for the survey, like all marketable items, it had a value. Certainly, if I had decided to have my own survey performed, the other party's survey would have, at that point, had no value. Had enough time passed, the survey would have had no/little value. However, I saved 50% of what it would otherwise have cost me, and he received a 50% return on his loss. Therefore, the survey did have a value, both to the other party and myself. There was nothing petty about the previous party trying to mitigate losses.

Quote:
It is not unreasonable for buyers to want to have a copy of the survey as evidence there is a reason why you backed out of the deal - depends on how contract was written. Also, why, as an owner, would I accept the word of someone about a defect unless it was in writing and I could see it? Quite often, buyer's remorse sets in and some might want to back out for no legitimate reason and want their deposit back.
Did you mean "seller(s)" rather than "buyers" in the first sentence of this paragraph? If so, when I made a post-survey counter offer, I listed the reasons for my valuation of the boat I recently bought, citing issues noted by the surveyor, as well as, the rig inspector. If the seller disagreed with their assessments, or felt that I was "making it up", he could've turned down the counter offer. There is no sensible reason for giving him or the broker a copy of the survey, even if it had no further value to me. An analogy; I have 2 electric guitars & 3 amplifiers sitting in my home that I haven't made use of for a few years, due to an injury. I recently listed them for sale. Are you suggesting that they should be given away because I have no future use for them? I realize that the survey only has a value for a specific boat and a specific period of time, but, until that specific boat sells and/or that specific period of time "runs out", the survey does have a value.

Of course, none of this applies to the boat I recently bought, because I hadn't even made my counter offer when the broker & seller were requesting a copy. Would I have given them a copy if we hadn't come to an agreement? At some point, perhaps. Prior to completion of negotiations, not a chance. If the seller doesn't know his boat well enough to know what issues it has, he can always go pay for his own survey. As I said, "Business is business."
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:34   #6
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Re: Selling a survey

I see nothing wrong financially or ethically by selling a survey to the owner. They are not owed a freebie for something that cost you money. If they want their own survey then pay for it just like everyone else does or purchase it from you.
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:41   #7
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Re: Selling a survey

Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
I see nothing wrong financially or ethically by selling a survey to the owner. They are not owed a freebie for something that cost you money. If they want their own survey then pay for it just like everyone else does or purchase it from you.
LOL "He(David) says in 3 sentences what took me a page!"
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Old 11-09-2011, 13:47   #8
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Re: Selling a survey

The value of the survey is enjoyed by the buyer to either confirm the seaworthyness and soundness of the vessel or identify problem areas that the buyer wants addressed before the sale is consumated. That is the 'value' the prospective buyer paid for and received.
If he chooses not to complete the sale based on the survey, there is nothing wrong IMO of letting the broker or seller know that if the seller wants a copy of the survey, it is available at a nominal price but I suspect there would be few buyers because the deficiencies identified in the survey would in almost every case be made known to the seller and/or his broker as negotiations on the sale progressed. Sales contracts normally contain 'subject to'... clauses referring to survey, sea trial and financing. I would expect the buyer to clearly point out the deficiencies a survey uncovered. Then it is up to the seller to decide if he wants to adjust the price or adress the deficiencies... pretty simple... Capt Phil
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Old 11-09-2011, 16:28   #9
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Re: Selling a survey

Insurance companies want a survey on many boats now, and every so many years after that now. Some have lists of acceptable surveyors. I've heard of a wooden boat being required to have a survey every 18 months. If the survey is acceptable to an insurance company then it saves the cost of having another done.

One buyer may reject a boat on the basis of a survey but another may not find the faults listed such a problem, especially if the price is reduced. Or they may be better placed to redress them.

An owner selling could also take the opportunity to redress any listed faults.

If I was selling a boat and a survey was done I'd be very interested in buying it if the price was right. Unless it was truly awful I'd give a copy to any interested genuine buyer.
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Old 11-09-2011, 16:39   #10
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Re: Selling a survey

Most survey's I have seen have the usual legal rider that the information is for the named recipient only.

With no warranty attached you may as well not get a survey don't you think?
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Old 11-09-2011, 17:30   #11
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Re: Selling a survey

Named Recipient:- One more thing to sort out with the surveyor before engaging.
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:48   #12
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Re: Selling a survey

Quote:
Originally Posted by unbusted67 View Post
What's the deal with selling a survey back to the owner of a boat that you do not buy? Is that a fairly common practice?
I don't know if that is common, but as an owner / Vendor I would certainly be interested in having a copy in my files for general interest and to use as a marketing tool for other potential buyers (I appreciate that they cannot rely on it, but all info is useful - even if no longer bang up to date).

As a Vendor I would expect to at least see the Survey report (if it was being used to haggle the sale) - no show Survey = DOJ no beleive I would settle on a quiet read (and taking a few notes) in the presence of buyer or broker.......so I could go onboard and verify myself. If the sale collapsed for "good" reasons I would probably offer 100 for a Survey Copy - but that's only if the Survey wasn't 1 sentence per item and as much use as a horoscope

In practice I would be surprised if a Surveyor had picked up anything material that I did not already know about - and had already disclosed (i.e Toilet needs replacement etc).......but it can happen
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Old 12-09-2011, 06:57   #13
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Re: Selling a survey

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Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
Also, why, as an owner, would I accept the word of someone about a defect unless it was in writing and I could see it? Quite often, buyer's remorse sets in and some might want to back out for no legitimate reason and want their deposit back.
As a buyer, I would NEVER agree to a contract that required that my reason for rejecting the survey had to be vetted and approved by the seller. As such, I would only discuss the results of the survey with the seller if I wanted to use that information to re-negotiate the price. Otherwise, it is a simple "based on the survey results I have decided not to buy." Period. End of discussion.

If the seller wants to know more--if they want to see what is in the survey--they can buy the survey from me. But it won't make any difference to me backing out of the deal. If the seller doesn't consider my reason for backing out to be "legitimate," too bad for him.

This, by the way, is the "usual" way that deals are written here in Florida. It is entirely up to the buyer to decide if he is happy with the deal after the survey is done, and the seller has no say-so as to what is a "legitimate" reason for the buyer to back out.
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Old 12-09-2011, 07:28   #14
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Re: Selling a survey

As a seller I wouldn't even accept a contract from some of you if your position is that you can reject the boat and back out of the deal based on the survey, but then refuse to provide a copy that is the basis.
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Old 12-09-2011, 07:45   #15
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Re: Selling a survey

I purchased two boats in the last five years, both in Annapolis. I think my agreement was pretty standard. It allowed you to cancel after the survey for any reason, regardless of the survey results, and did not require you to furnish a copy to the seller. But if you wanted to renegotiate the price based on the survey then you were required to furnish the seller with a copy. Seemed fair to me.
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