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Old 04-01-2017, 13:00   #31
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Re: Boat Buying - the art of the Bid

[QUOTE=akprb;2294561]SNIP

The other think on your side is TIME. If making a very low offer and not in a rush make it respectfully, get turned down, then wait. "If anything changes please let me know".

SNIP/QUOTE]

Problem with this approach is that what most likely changes is the condition of the boat. Hard to disagree with the claim that the worst thing you can do with a boat is not use it. Having a boat sitting for a month may mean fuel gets water, growth, what ever in it. If it is at a dock lines chafe, bottom gets fouled, zinks degrade a little. And this is just the start. The longer a boat sits the worse things get. More to the point the more money you may have to spend to fix what went wrong while the boat was sitting. Not to mention you may get the rep as a tire kicker looking for the lowest price of a neglected boat.

As for the OP's idea about just how much he should lowball the bid he fails to realize the cost of what I will call deferred maintenance. A boat that has been in regular use, especially by cruisers, will often not need repairs that a boat sitting at a dock will need. As another poster noted if the boat is only going to be used for weekend sailing there will not be a problem simply getting ice to put in a fridge/freezer that needs to be replaced. But if the boat is intended to be used for cruising it may not only need a new fridge but additions to the battery bank and solar array to run the new fridge.

Spending $US10k on a boat that needs $US15k to deal with deferred maintenance makes less sense paying $US20k for a boat you can use right away and not spend maybe months getting it in shape. The first thing a buyer needs to determine is just what the boat will be used for. Next is how soon the buyer wants to use the boat. Both of these are fairly easy if the buyer is realistic about their goals (something that is not always the case). Often the hard part is to figure out just how much it will take to get the boat ready to do what the buyer wants to do.

A boat that is ready to go with no extra time or money needed may well be worth the asking price while a boat that needs lots of time and money to get ready may not be worth a 50% or more discount on the asking price.
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Old 04-01-2017, 14:16   #32
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Re: Boat Buying - the art of the Bid

Good point about "ready to go" vs "sitting forever"

That being said the "take your time" approach is not a 12 month deal, more like 3.

The seller has listed, you're likely the only offer so far. You come in low and seller balks.

3 weeks go by, he wants to do something else with the money but the boat still sits. He lowers the price a bit.......nothing.

You check in.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Brokers see this all the time.
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Old 04-01-2017, 14:18   #33
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Re: Boat Buying - the art of the Bid

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Originally Posted by akprb View Post
Good point about "ready to go" vs "sitting forever"

That being said the "take your time" approach is not a 12 month deal, more like 3.

The seller has listed, you're likely the only offer so far. You come in low and seller balks.

3 weeks go by, he wants to do something else with the money but the boat still sits. He lowers the price a bit.......nothing.

You check in.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Brokers see this all the time.
Good point about time. Take your time, don't be emotionally attached. It's often said the first offer is the best.
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Old 04-01-2017, 14:21   #34
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Re: Boat Buying - the art of the Bid

You never know what someone will take. I was looking for an in between boat and something small a few years back. I wanted something relatively easy to resell. There was a Cat 27 with diesel on CL for $5500, then $4500. I balked at buying it, but finally decided to give it a shot a week or two later after it lowered to $3500. Messed around for a few days and found out when I called the owner he gave it away... free.
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Old 04-01-2017, 14:22   #35
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Re: Boat Buying - the art of the Bid

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I think we will see an extended buyers market for the next 20 years or so.

Currently we are in a buyers market (in Australia at least)... and given that the post WWII baby boomers and now beginning to drop off the perch, I think that there will be a glut of yachts coming onto the market due to baby boomers getting out of the market because of ill health, fitness issues etc.

The baby boomer generation come from large families, but themselves had small families... the effect of this will be less and less buyers having available more and more used yachts to choose from.
"...drop off the perch..." Too funny! I'm going to work that line into my lexicon if you don't mind!
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Old 04-01-2017, 18:09   #36
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Re: Boat Buying - the art of the Bid

Ingredients:

A seller in need to sell
That very special boat you like/want
A detailed survey to tip off incurring costs

Boat larger than 50's tend to be good bargains, if carefully surveyed
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Old 04-01-2017, 23:10   #37
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Re: Boat Buying - the art of the Bid

Just a quick statistical thought:

The OP asked about AVERAGE discount.
- If you are buying an F150, that's a pretty good measure. There are thousands sold per day. Probably hundreds per day in a typical metropolitan area. Since the prices and sales patterns are well known the STANDARD DEVIATION is fairly small once you account for age, miles and condition.
- On even a high volume cruising boat, you are lucky to see 100 sales per year and assessing condition is much harder. Getting accurate comparables ranges from difficult to impossible and the sample of comparables is small if you do find one. Therefore the STANDARD DEVIATION tends to be huge.
- This issue is present for both the buyer and the seller, so don't expect the seller to know the true market value when they set the price.

So what does this mean? Going in planning to knock X% off the asking price and expecting that to be a good deal is a lot tougher than with a car.
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Old 04-01-2017, 23:47   #38
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Re: Boat Buying - the art of the Bid

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"...drop off the perch..." Too funny! I'm going to work that line into my lexicon if you don't mind!
here in Aus they normally fall or get kicked off the perch
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Old 05-01-2017, 00:00   #39
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Re: Boat Buying - the art of the Bid

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here in Aus they normally fall or get kicked off the perch
I'm actually in the aforsaid age bracket, but I avoid the pertch by moving around and staying fit.
This yacht I bought may be my downfall tho, who knows?
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Old 07-01-2017, 17:35   #40
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Re: Boat Buying - the art of the Bid

Timely thread and good advice!

Going to be boat shopping in the spring, this is the year!
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Old 08-01-2017, 03:06   #41
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Re: Boat Buying - the art of the Bid

Reasonable vs. low ball? You must be careful not to insult the boat herself. You will have to live with her long after the sale. Boats, like brides don't like to think of themselves as bargains.
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Old 08-01-2017, 03:55   #42
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Re: Boat Buying - the art of the Bid

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Reasonable vs. low ball? You must be careful not to insult the boat herself. You will have to live with her long after the sale. Boats, like brides don't like to think of themselves as bargains.
Lol..... I think boats may be more like Ex-Wives or Mistresses.....

They want any financial transaction gains to benefit their future....not any past relationship
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Old 08-01-2017, 16:23   #43
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Re: Boat Buying - the art of the Bid

So it sounds like I should put my boat on the market now while I'm actually using and maintaining it. If it sells great if not then I'll just keep sailing. Meanwhile I'll keep fixing stuff and let the price float based on the work remaining at any given time. :-)
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Old 08-01-2017, 18:11   #44
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Re: Boat Buying - the art of the Bid

You should seriously consider hiring a buyer's broker. They split the fee with the seller's broker and so cost you nothing. We used one for our last purchase and were very happy we did.
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Old 09-01-2017, 02:47   #45
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Re: Boat Buying - the art of the Bid

My first sailboat buying experience was an interesting one. I wasn't even serious about buying yet and considered going to look at sailboats more of the beginning of my education process for maybe buying a sailboat in a few years. I showed up at the Hinckley Company and happened to walk in on a brokers meeting in midwinter. They were used to dealing with millionaires but the best I could claim was to be a "thousandaire." I told them I wanted to look at a couple of their least expensive, used boats because that's all I might be able to afford. They all looked at each other and one (classiest broker I ever met!)of them smiled and introduced himself and offered to show me the boats they had for sale. I fell in love with one of their 35' Hinckley Pilots that was simply equipped but had a new paintjob so looked brand new on the exterior but needed new varnish in the interior. Sails and engine were fine. This was back in the early 90's and boat prices were depressed. This boat had been listed 3 years earlier for $105K and soon had an offer in the mid 90's that had been turned down. Since then, he'd had a couple of other offers but had also refused them, but had gradually lowered the asking price so it was now $65K. I didn't have that much to spend so I made an offer of $46K through the broker. That offer was refused with no counter. The seller accused the Hinckley broker of trying to "steal" his boat and hung up on him and wouldn't answer subsequent calls. So he told me there was nothing else he could do. A few weeks later I saw an ad in Soundings Magazine for that same boat for sale by owner at the same asking price. So I called up and chatted with the owner, not telling him that it was my offer he had recently turned down flat. He actually told me about it without mentioning the numbers involved. I told him that I liked the sound of his boat in his ad but would of course need to see the boat before making an offer. He didn't live locally so couldn't show it to me and of course he couldn't ask the Hinckley brokers to show it to me for a private sale. He hadn't really thought things through and couldn't suggest how I could see the boat. So I told him that I would go to Hinckleys on my own and try to look at it on my own. I called up the broker who had showed me the boat and explained the whole situation to him, including that the seller seemed interested in a price quite similar to what I had previously offered and I offered to pay his commission if I ended up buying the boat in a private sale. He was very understanding and encouraged me to buy the boat if I could and to not worry about the commission, advising me to spend it on my new boat if I bought it. So, I called back the owner and explained that I had a limited budget (true!) and didn't want to insult him but $47.5K was the best I could do (I was willing to pay in low 50's). He took it and I ended up owning the boat for $1500 more than the offer he had hung up on a month earlier! He never did find out that I was the same person who had made that offer. Hinckley's was happy to have the boat sold because they were owed for 3 years of indoor storage and were about to put a lien on the boat, so part of the selling price went directly to them. I later also found a way to repay the broker who had done my such a huge favor by allowing me to buy the boat via private sale.

So I guess the moral of this story is that the way a seller looks at the amount of the offer can depend on his perception of that offer and the way it's presented to him so it's important to go about it the right way. The Hinckley broker did nothing at all wrong in his presentation of my offer, but because the owner was aware that a lien on his boat was in the offing, he became paranoid and was sure that my original offer was really just the Hinckley company itself trying to take advantage of him. When presented with virtually the same offer just a few weeks later from a private party who he (correctly) understood didn't have very deep pockets, he had an entirely different attitude. A lot of this situation doesn't apply to most boat purchases, but as a potential buyer, I think it's valuable to try to meet the seller yourself because if you develop some rapport with him, it both gives you a feel for the kind of owner he's been and will be during the transfer of ownership, and he'll see you as a real person instead of a corporate entity and that might make it a bit harder to play hardball with you during negotiations. He will also often be able to give you much better info about the true condition of the boat than a broker can. Brokers try to avoid that kind of interaction but as a potential buyer, I think it can be very valuable and I'm not suggesting trying to cut the broker out of the deal at all.
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