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Old 29-07-2007, 14:09   #1
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Typical offering price vs. asking price?

We will be buying our first boat soon, if all goes well, a Catalina 30. I'd like to get an idea of what a typical offer would be on a well-maintained boat in very good condition. The boat is for sale by the owner-broker. Since the seller is also the broker who showed us the boat, we can't really ask him for advice on what to offer. Any advice would be welcome.


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Old 29-07-2007, 14:43   #2
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it depends on how much you really want this particular boat, some will offer well below the asking price to see what response they get and are prepared to walk away if the seller doesn't meet their offer. Often they are successful but can never go back to the seller with any queries. Others make friends with the seller and often have a relationship lasting years.
But I guess as realestate people you will have seen all the permutations of buyer / seller interaction.
It really comes down to how much you really want this boat and your ability to recognise the condition of it + & -. buying a boat should be a love affair, get the above wrong and it can all turn to custard.
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Old 29-07-2007, 15:45   #3
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It takes ages to find the right boat. A lot longer than the right house. When you find it who cares if you pay more than it is worth. It is what it is worth to you that matters. I paid $10,000 more than the market price for my boat. It was exactly what I wanted. I have had it for five years. You could say I paid $2000per annum premium. It was worth it
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Old 29-07-2007, 16:25   #4
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I think it depends on lots of things, but a couple of important ones are:
a) How the boat is priced relative to other similar boats of similar condition. If you have done your homework, you should have a reasonable idea of what the market value is for the type/age/condition. If the boat is underpriced, then the chances are there will be less negotiating room than if it is overpriced.
b) Being experienced in real estate, you already probably understand the idea that how low to start will be dependent on how badly you want the boat

Bottom line is, most people will expect to negotiate a little bit and probably put a bit on the price to allow for this. I started at 20% under the asking price for my boat and closed at 14% under - I would expect this to be reasonably typical.
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Old 29-07-2007, 16:29   #5
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It may depend on where you are and the type of boat. In this area brokers advise buyers to inflate their price by 10% to allow room to negotiate. There are a lot of Catalina 30s and a lot of people looking to get out of theirs on any given day. Consider offering at least 20% under the price of the boat.
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Old 29-07-2007, 16:40   #6
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In general, I don't think you have much to lose by offering 25-30% less than the asking price. But, what makes your situation a little different is that Cat 30s are perhaps the most popular cruiser class sailboat ever made. As a result, it is easy to comparison shop and I suspect that asking prices may be more competitive and 'realistic' than with other makes/models. Try posting your question on:

Catalina for owners sailing production sailboats
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Old 30-07-2007, 14:40   #7
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I just sold my boat to a gentleman who loves Pearson Sailboats. When I first put it on the market brokers were telling me the price was to low and should raise it. Well I did and didn't get any bites. I lowered the price and I have to say that the boat was in good shape with a new Yanmar with around 25 hours on it. I started at $53000. which was told to me by brokers and I thought that it was high. I sold it at $40000.00 which I thought was a fare and good price. It's now into the season and I would think that you should take this into consideration when making an offer, go as low as you want and if the seller goes for it great. If not you can always go higher and eventually maybe split the difference in the end. If the owner doesn't sell now he will probably get stuck with winter storage.
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Old 02-08-2007, 17:39   #8
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Thanks for the advice

Thanks everyone! We worked out a deal on the boat that we are pleased with. Onward to the survey, haulout, and sea trial. Exciting but scary!

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Old 03-08-2007, 11:01   #9
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If you don't mind me asking, what % did you end up paying?
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Old 07-08-2007, 08:43   #10
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Broker's love you... till you sign the purchase agreement.

I have only bought one boat... so others know more than me. After the survey, expect to negotiate some more... depending on how things turn out. While finding the right boat is extremely important... if you get involved in a deal that you can't walk away from, because of emotion, then expect to pay too much. Also, don't be afraid to involve the YBAA if you feel the broker is not following through on their obligations.

My experience was that the broker was very friendly, and offered all sorts of help prior to me agreeing to the purchase after the survey. Once I agreed, he was hard to get ahold of, became agressive about delivery conditions, and even downright rude (calling me "retarded" at one point). There were some issues which he refused to follow through on, to the point where I contacted the YBAA, who said I should offer him one more chance, telling him I was in contact with them. Once I sent him a copy of the letter I was about to send to the YBAA, he relented... almost instantly... meaning he knew he was in the wrong, but was being a jerk about it.

The YBAA is a great resource... and breach of ethics by a broker is very serious. Read their website for more on this... its not difficult for them to get a license suspension, or revokation.
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Old 07-08-2007, 17:01   #11
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So far, the broker has been very helpful and communicative. We haven't had the survey yet, though! But I would be really surprised (and disappointed) if he becomes an ogre after that point. So far, everything is still going smoothly....financing, slip rented, survey scheduled, etc. Just praying for no hurricanes! As first-time boat owners, we're not quite ready to deal with that....

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Old 08-08-2007, 03:51   #12
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