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Old 17-09-2021, 09:56   #1
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Buying boat based on survey value?

Im shopping for a new (to me) boat. I was shown a previous survey on the boat and it has an "estimated value" on it. Im comfortable paying the amount listed. Was even going to offer a little higher. Should I start with the "estimated value" number?
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Old 17-09-2021, 10:07   #2
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Re: Buying boat based on survey value?

Surveyors are not appraisers.

It’s an artificial $$$ based solely on what the asking price is. Stated differently, the surveyor is indicating his acknowledgement of the asking price.

Although there are folks who actually believe their surveyor can actually appraise value.
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Old 17-09-2021, 10:31   #3
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Re: Buying boat based on survey value?

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Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
Surveyors are not appraisers.

It’s an artificial $$$ based solely on what the asking price is. Stated differently, the surveyor is indicating his acknowledgement of the asking price.

Although there are folks who actually believe their surveyor can actually appraise value.
Actually, surveyors have access to information that is not easy, or cheap to come by.
The same information as a broker has access to.

If you can look up the sales of all the same vessel sold in the last few years, sold for number note, not asked for, then you would have similar information, all you would lack then is (depending on surveyor of course) many years of expertise and the ability to guage as best as possible, how this vessel compares.

Yeah, other than all that, surveyors have no ability to put a value on a vessel.

That aside, that is something that is only lightly to enter into the equation, it is most definately not a main "to go by" piece of information.
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Old 17-09-2021, 10:50   #4
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Re: Buying boat based on survey value?

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Actually, surveyors have access to information that is not easy, or cheap to come by.
The same information as a broker has access to.

If you can look up the sales of all the same vessel sold in the last few years, sold for number note, not asked for, then you would have similar information, all you would lack then is (depending on surveyor of course) many years of expertise and the ability to guage as best as possible, how this vessel compares.

Yeah, other than all that, surveyors have no ability to put a value on a vessel.

That aside, that is something that is only lightly to enter into the equation, it is most definately not a main "to go by" piece of information.
The premise that surveyors subscribe to and pay the premium for access to those data is dubious. Some might; most donít. Faulty premise = faulty conclusion.
Regardless, do your own due diligence about market value.
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Old 17-09-2021, 11:07   #5
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Re: Buying boat based on survey value?

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Originally Posted by Rockinar View Post
Im shopping for a new (to me) boat. I was shown a previous survey on the boat and it has an "estimated value" on it. Im comfortable paying the amount listed. Was even going to offer a little higher. Should I start with the "estimated value" number?
Usually those estimated values are WAY high. I'm not sure why, probably to support acquiring insurance.
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Old 17-09-2021, 16:27   #6
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Re: Buying boat based on survey value?

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Usually those estimated values are WAY high.
My observation as well. Possibly elevated to make the buyer feel like he's getting a bargain.

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Old 17-09-2021, 17:05   #7
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Re: Buying boat based on survey value?

Every time I have had a survey that I was paying for, the surveyor asked me what value I wanted on the report. They know that I’ll be using that value for insurance purposes. I am sure that some people use this to game the system on insurance rates, but that can bite you in the butt if you have a total loss. I’d hope they’d refuse to post a number that was wildly out of wack.

In each case the value I asked them to put on the report was as close to the replacement value as I could guess.

In other words, put ZERO faith in the value number in a surveyor’s report. It MIGHT be close, or not.
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Old 18-09-2021, 08:10   #8
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Re: Buying boat based on survey value?

Offer what you think the boat is worth you based on prices for other similar boats and what costs you need to put into the boat for repairs and upgrades.
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Old 18-09-2021, 08:24   #9
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Re: Buying boat based on survey value?

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In other words, put ZERO faith in the value number in a surveyor’s report. It MIGHT be close, or not.
I don’t necessarily agree with this “zero faith” point. The “value” in the report is an estimate (some might say guess). If it proves “off” by as much as 5% is that really a gross misstatement of fair-market value? Ultimately it comes down to what a buyer will pay. When there are few boats and many buyers, a rarity but what’s happening now, “value” might be estimated higher than in the opposite situation. An estimated value might come in higher than the final purchase price. In a recent survey of mine the surveyor noted the age, condition, and how equipped in comparison to other boats on the market. How else could anyone do it? How “wrong” might it actually be? If you want it nailed to within a few bucks you might not be happy with boat ownership.
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Old 18-09-2021, 08:24   #10
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Re: Buying boat based on survey value?

The value of a boat is whatever the buyer offers and the seller agrees to take. Forget the surveyors value.
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Old 18-09-2021, 08:33   #11
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Re: Buying boat based on survey value?

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The value of a boat is whatever the buyer offers and the seller agrees to take. Forget the surveyors value.
No. That would be post hoc; i.e., no longer an “estimate.” An estimate of value is before a purchase is completed. Yes. The actual value is determined through negotiation which starts with the seller’s asking price. A months to year old old survey certainly might be out of date due to changing market conditions, etc. Doesn’t mean the surveyor was wrong in his/her estimate at the time.

But to the OP. Yes It’s a good starting place, although most buyers might wish more “wiggle room.” Build in your own contingencies.
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Old 18-09-2021, 08:42   #12
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Re: Buying boat based on survey value?

My experience is that the survey value is usually high. BUT if the OP was willing to pay more than the survey value and is considering lowering his offer based on the survey, then I'd say to go for it. He has a 2nd opinion in writing to help negotiate a lower price than he was going to offer. I don't see a down side to offering the survey value if he's willing to pay more than that.
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Old 18-09-2021, 08:46   #13
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Re: Buying boat based on survey value?

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Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
The premise that surveyors subscribe to and pay the premium for access to those data is dubious. Some might; most donít. Faulty premise = faulty conclusion.
Regardless, do your own due diligence about market value.
As a surveyor I agree with your skepticism about surveyor valuations. It costs over $1k/yr for access to actual sales data and not many surveyors will fork that over. The vast majority of surveys show little other than boilerplate as to where the value came from.

If the surveyor does not show the soldboats.com data in his report, then find one who does. Never ever hire a surveyor without seeing examples of his work.

I've got some good and some terrible examples on my website.
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Old 18-09-2021, 08:53   #14
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Re: Buying boat based on survey value?

I will keep asking until I get an answer.



What is the core curriculum for boat surveying? (Does it include classes on appraisal methods?) Is there a typical exam? What is the pass/fail rate?



Because at the end of the day, boat surveying has NONE of the standards inherent in the Captain's license. Even hairdressers are held to higher standards in most states.
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Old 18-09-2021, 08:58   #15
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Re: Buying boat based on survey value?

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I will keep asking until I get an answer.



What is the core curriculum for boat surveying? (Does it include classes on appraisal methods?) Is there a typical exam? What is the pass/fail rate?



Because at the end of the day, boat surveying has NONE of the standards inherent in the Captain's license. Even hairdressers are held to higher standards in most states.
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