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Old 14-08-2018, 06:34   #1
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Potential Buyer Asking for a "Test Drive"

Greetings:


I am in the process of offering my beloved Islander 32' for sale.
I have had many inquiries.
I couple came to look to her over the weekend, and spent 2 1/2 hours inspecting the boat. Ran the engine from cold start, checked out systems, electrical, plumbing etc. Fine. He seemed to be somewhat knowledgeable about sailboats having owned a smaller ODay.

Here is my question, he would like to go our for a "Test Drive" - I guess a Sea Trial, "Raise the Sails, run the engine, see how she preforms"

I have NEVER done this when I've sold any of my previous boats, and conversely never asked for one when I bought one -- and we are talking about $15k or less.

Is it rude for my to insist that either he just buy the boat - and I'll spend as much time with him as he needs - OR-
ask for a deposit- making the sale contingent on his "Test Drive"--

I don't want to lose this (potential) buyer, and at the same time, I gave him a half a day over the weekend, and don't want to be in the joyride business. he did express his "enthusiasm" for the boat -

he also mentioned he did go on another "Test Drive" on another 30' boat,
and was unimpressed with the captain's skill at handling his boat!

What to do?!

Cheers,
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Old 14-08-2018, 06:42   #2
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Potential Buyer Asking for a "Test Drive"

Iíd ask for the deposit.
Surely that has to be the point of one, cause a buyer can back out just by deciding they didnít like anything. I canít see how the deposit binds anything, but I guess it shows true interest as opposed to someone wanting you to entertain them for the day, and there are many, many of those.
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Old 14-08-2018, 06:45   #3
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Re: Potential Buyer Asking for a "Test Drive"

This is where itís tough when you donít have a broker to control the process. Since he has spent 2.5 hrs on board, I would ask how serious he is. If he is I would ask him to sign a contingent sales agreement and put down a deposit.
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Old 14-08-2018, 06:53   #4
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Re: Potential Buyer Asking for a "Test Drive"

Thanks, that is where I am leaning ---
I had looked at a boat once, and the seller insisted on a $500 deposit, just to start the engine - No Thanks!
My concern is always, as a PRUDENT sailor, that the risk is all on me, boat, engine, etc,
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Old 14-08-2018, 06:55   #5
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Re: Potential Buyer Asking for a "Test Drive"

What exactly would he need to confirm on a sea trial? Motoring in the harbor seems reasonable. If he can give you a specific list, a signed contract and a deposit you should consider it. He should already know about the boat from his research.
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Old 14-08-2018, 06:56   #6
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Re: Potential Buyer Asking for a "Test Drive"

Quote:
Originally Posted by meridian28 View Post
This is where itís tough when you donít have a broker to control the process. Since he has spent 2.5 hrs on board, I would ask how serious he is. If he is I would ask him to sign a contingent sales agreement and put down a deposit.

This!
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Old 14-08-2018, 06:59   #7
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Re: Potential Buyer Asking for a "Test Drive"

Quote:
Originally Posted by mocha View Post
Greetings:


I am in the process of offering my beloved Islander 32' for sale.
I have had many inquiries.
I couple came to look to her over the weekend, and spent 2 1/2 hours inspecting the boat. Ran the engine from cold start, checked out systems, electrical, plumbing etc. Fine. He seemed to be somewhat knowledgeable about sailboats having owned a smaller ODay.

Here is my question, he would like to go our for a "Test Drive" - I guess a Sea Trial, "Raise the Sails, run the engine, see how she preforms"

I have NEVER done this when I've sold any of my previous boats, and conversely never asked for one when I bought one -- and we are talking about $15k or less.

Is it rude for my to insist that either he just buy the boat - and I'll spend as much time with him as he needs - OR-
ask for a deposit- making the sale contingent on his "Test Drive"--

I don't want to lose this (potential) buyer, and at the same time, I gave him a half a day over the weekend, and don't want to be in the joyride business. he did express his "enthusiasm" for the boat -

he also mentioned he did go on another "Test Drive" on another 30' boat,
and was unimpressed with the captain's skill at handling his boat!

What to do?!

Cheers,
Personally, I would insist upon his making an offer, negotiating to an agreed upon sales price, giving you a 10% deposit, and signing a contract for purchase (with a contingency for a satisfactory sea trial). Until that rubber hits the road, all you really have is a looky-loo.
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Old 14-08-2018, 07:03   #8
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Re: Potential Buyer Asking for a "Test Drive"

Quote:
Originally Posted by meridian28 View Post
This is where itís tough when you donít have a broker to control the process. Since he has spent 2.5 hrs on board, I would ask how serious he is. If he is I would ask him to sign a contingent sales agreement and put down a deposit.

This.


Not that it is binding or anything, but plunking down a reasonable sum of cash means it is less likely that the guy just wants to take a free joy ride. A free half day charter, in not so many words. It should be understood and in writing that any damages or expenses are deductible from the deposit. Perhaps let a small amount be non refundable? Fair, I think, in exchange for your time.



Also, maybe it would be nice to take the boat out for a sail, possibly for the last time.



One thing has me curious... as a buyer, why was he particularly concerned about whether the owner of the other boat he checked out, was adept or inept at boat handling? What does that have to do, with the suitability of the boat for purchase? Maybe he IS a joyrider.
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Old 14-08-2018, 07:05   #9
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Re: Potential Buyer Asking for a "Test Drive"

I can easily raise the sails at the dock, contingent on light or no wind -
when we ran the engine - we put her in gear,

he could easily see the dock lines strain, and the prop wash --
and then inspected the cutlass bearing, no leaks
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Old 14-08-2018, 07:11   #10
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Re: Potential Buyer Asking for a "Test Drive"

GREAT SUGGESTIONS-THANKS!

Not sure what his point was about the other Captain=
He mentioned the 30" he "test drove" had a tiller, and the captain had a difficult time handling the boat with that -- I suggested that a tiller is far more responsive than a wheel - and perhaps there were other issues?
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Old 14-08-2018, 07:18   #11
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Re: Potential Buyer Asking for a "Test Drive"

Would you by a car without taking it for a test drive? If you think heís serious, take him for a sail. You can ask for a deposit, jump through all the contract hoops, but in the end he can decline to pass it on sea trial and get his money back.
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Old 14-08-2018, 07:21   #12
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Re: Potential Buyer Asking for a "Test Drive"

I would ask for an offer and a deposit, and assuming they are going to book a survey, suggest that a test sail could be done with the surveyor present.


A test drive can prove that the boat floats , reveal engine/drive/handling problems, and it's a good chance to assess the sails and rigging, but otherwise I expect one Islander 32 is going to sail like any other Islander 32 (unless your bottom is a forest), so if the purchaser just wants to find out whether he/she will like the performance of an Islander 32... they can pay you for a day out. Lunch is extra.
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Old 14-08-2018, 07:26   #13
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Re: Potential Buyer Asking for a "Test Drive"

Frankly, unless you're not using the boat at all, or there is some reason why you might not want to take it out, I don't see any down side to taking your prospects for a sail with you without the formalities of an offer or deposit or whatever, particularly so since they seem to have spent so much time inspecting the boat. A nice afternoon sail might be all it takes to tip them over the edge of buying the boat. You will have lost nothing but, potentially, have gained a sale (or sail as the case may).

FWIW...
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Old 14-08-2018, 07:26   #14
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Re: Potential Buyer Asking for a "Test Drive"

Every boat I've ever bought or sold has gone through a survey and a sea trial. In each case, the purchasewas subject to a satisfactory survey and seatrail. In each case, a price was agreed upon, a contract signed and a deposit given. Then the survey and sea trial commenced. I see nothing wrong with some variation of this.

The buyer has the right to ask, the seller has the right to refuse.
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Old 14-08-2018, 07:28   #15
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Re: Potential Buyer Asking for a "Test Drive"

Standard practice is to have a purchase agreement in place, usually contingent on a number of factors including a sea trial. A purchase agreement is usually accompanied with a íserious moneyí deposit; 10% is standard in my world, but is negotiable (everything is negotiable).

If for whatever reason you donít want to proceed with an official purchase agreement, and

IF you think this buyer is serious, and

IF you think it will help you sell the boat, at the price you want, and

IF it is fairly easy for you to take the boat out, thenÖ

Then Iíd probably go for the sail with them.
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