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Old 08-01-2020, 16:52   #16
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Re: Survey before Offer?

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Originally Posted by thirds View Post
The survey increases the sellers negotiating position, because it adds to the value of the boat and takes out much of the risk that there are things wrong with the boat that the seller didn’t know about.

Further, you are now committed to buy or walk away from more money than you would otherwise be (as the deposit is refundable.)

If the survey comes back strong, the seller might even raise the asking price.
.......and if the Surveyor and Broker are "in" you're screwed !

Hire a well reputed Surveyor or Ships Engineer/Captain to walk you through the rough stuff.

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Old 08-01-2020, 17:12   #17
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Re: Survey before Offer?

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Normally just to the buyer but sometimes abnormal things happen.
The surveys belongs to the person who paid for but...stuff happens occasionally and other parties get to see it. Once seen it can't be unseen
Yes the survey is only for the buyer, but (at least here in NZ) sometimes the contract states that if the buyer is going to attempt to renegotiate after survey then they have to show that survey to the seller, to prove that they are not just playing a game. So it's not unusual for the seller to see the survey, at least if there's a problem in it and the sale doesn't just go through without issue.

On this last boat I bought the survey was pretty clean, so the seller didn't see it, but I'm sure he didn't care as he had the cash the following week.
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Old 08-01-2020, 17:18   #18
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Re: Survey before Offer?

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Originally Posted by Tillsbury View Post
Yes the survey is only for the buyer, but (at least here in NZ) sometimes the contract states that if the buyer is going to attempt to renegotiate after survey then they have to show that survey to the seller, to prove that they are not just playing a game. So it's not unusual for the seller to see the survey, at least if there's a problem in it and the sale doesn't just go through without issue.

On this last boat I bought the survey was pretty clean, so the seller didn't see it, but I'm sure he didn't care as he had the cash the following week.
Ahh yes, good point and I should have included it in my above post. Thanks for picking it up.
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Old 08-01-2020, 17:59   #19
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Re: Survey before Offer?

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Huuh? I thought the contract was for the seller to accept the buyer's price if the survey was acceptable to that buyer. How does the seller back out or raise the price post survey?

If the buyer is paying for and receiving the survey, I'm guessing there is no requirement to share the results with the seller if the buyer doesn't wish to do so??

I've seen several vessels for sale with surveys already completed (obviously paid for by the seller) in an attempt to show it in a positive light. They all seem to indicate the vessel is in pristine condition. I'd place the same faith in buyer provided surveys as assurances of engine rebuilds 100hrs ago and only driven on sundays. 😁

Cheers
If you get the survey before the offer...you have no contract, so there is nothing to stop the seller from raising the price or selling to someone else while you are getting your survey done.

There isn't a requirement to share the survey but if you want to use it as a negotiating tool, in practice, you do share it...or at least parts of it.

Usually if you see a survey on an existing vessel, it's from when the seller bought. We did that when we sold the last boat. It was a couple years old but fairly accurate still. What it does do is undermine the buyers ability to renegotiate based on a new survey. If I show you a old survey that says items A, B & C exist, then you make an offer, you can't use items A, B & C as negotiating points when you get your new survey done as those were known issues when you made your offer. Also if it's a couple years old, it may not satisfy your insurance company.

PS: A formal written offer (ie contract) makes sense pretty much regardless of the price. Certainly, if it's worth paying for a survey ($500-1500), it's certainly worth pulling a free sales agreement off the internet and filling in some info on expectations.
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Old 08-01-2020, 18:00   #20
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Re: Survey before Offer?

One additional thought, when you hire a surveyor, make sure to read up on exactly what is and is not included. For example engine and rigging are normally extras or handled by someone else.

Ask for a sample survey so you can see what is included.
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Old 08-01-2020, 18:14   #21
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Re: Survey before Offer?

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Big misconception here - sellers don’t buy objective surveys. They can and do sometimes have “condition and value” surveys done for different reasons but these are cursory inspections only and should never be used as a basis for a purchase decision. Neither can you rely on someone else’s surveyor or his thoroughness or objectivity
I'd regard anything provided by a third party, esp the buyer as at best informative and at worst self serving. I certainly wouldn't base my purchase upon it
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Old 08-01-2020, 18:17   #22
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Re: Survey before Offer?

Most of the previous info puts Surveys very similar to Pre Purchae house inspections at least where I'm from: buyer beware, read the fine print, and who is the surveyor working for, the one time buyer or the broker who sends him 20 referrals a month?

Thanks everyone. Very informative.
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Old 08-01-2020, 18:31   #23
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Re: Survey before Offer?

Hope this isn’t making “too fine a point” about are-purchase survey but a survey result doesn’t necessarily have to be in writing.

it can be verbal and unless the purchase contract stipulates a written survey be completed prior to and as a basis for negotiating any change to an agreed price, a seller isn’t guaranteed seeing it.

It remains either the buyer’s or seller’s prerogative to negotiate or walk away in that case. Any contract should stipulate “ a survey satisfactory to the buyer must be in writing and made available to the seller before negotiating any change to the contract price”.
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Old 08-01-2020, 18:50   #24
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Re: Survey before Offer?

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Hope this isn’t making “too fine a point” about are-purchase survey but a survey result doesn’t necessarily have to be in writing.

it can be verbal and unless the purchase contract stipulates a written survey be completed prior to and as a basis for negotiating any change to an agreed price, a seller isn’t guaranteed seeing it.

It remains either the buyer’s or seller’s prerogative to negotiate or walk away in that case. Any contract should stipulate “ a survey satisfactory to the buyer must be in writing and made available to the seller before negotiating any change to the contract price”.
Technically, if you don't provide a Contract based reason why you are walking away (ie: conditional on survey and you found something in the survey), the seller can keep the deposit...though in practice I've never heard of anyone doing that (more hassle than it's worth typically).

In practice, every boat will have some issues (no matter how well maintained). So if you try to renegotiate, they are going to want some evidence of what was found in the survey. If you start playing games trying not to share the survey, they are likely to see it as jerking them around and they can walk away from the deal.
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Old 09-01-2020, 09:48   #25
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Re: Survey before Offer?

The only way this would work is if you are prepared to pay the asking price, then if the survey has no surprises you contract to buy....if there are surprises you use to set a lower price or you walk.....
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Old 09-01-2020, 10:22   #26
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Re: Survey before Offer?

Here's an alternative... when we were about to make an offer on our first boat, we were real neophytes. We found the person who would be our surveyor and paid him a $150 to come with us to view the boat and give it a serious once-over to give us an idea of the condition before we extended an offer. He spent nearly two hours there. After the offer was accepted, he came back and did the survey. Maybe some arrangement like that could work for you.
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