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Old 02-03-2015, 06:59 PM   #1
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The art of negotiation

I have been lurking this site and have gotten some valuable bits from this site. Thanks But I am closer to purchasing a trawler and am curious about how one figures out how much to offer or what is really a fair market value, what I have read hear there are to many variable but there must be some where one can get sold facts. I realize condition is piedmont but is there an average and where can it be found! Currently looking at a 1999 Defever 49
Gregg
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Old 02-03-2015, 07:07 PM   #2
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Hours and hours (and hours) on online boat sales websites over 6 months comparing different examples of the same model your looking for. That's how i did it, anyway. There is no 'redbook' equivalent for boats as far as I know.
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Old 02-03-2015, 07:12 PM   #3
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Having a broker, insurance pro or surveyor check soldboats.com(subscription only pro site) is about as close as it gets but it's still down to individual condition.
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Old 02-03-2015, 07:12 PM   #4
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It costs you absolutely nothing to enlist the services of a broker. A good broker could give you the information you are looking for. So your question should be where the good brokers are in your area???... Jay Bettis is one of the leading sellers of New DeFevers in the country. He would be a good person to represent you. I have absolutely nothing to gain here. But he is well thought of in this area and knows DeFevers.

And what was said above.....lots of research helps as well.
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Old 02-03-2015, 07:18 PM   #5
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There is a companion site to yachtworld where brokers who listed on yachtworld list what the boats actually sold for. The site is only available to brokers and is based on the assumption that they are honest about what they actually sold the boat for. You may be able to find a broker who could give you some comps off the site.

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Old 02-03-2015, 07:26 PM   #6
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I'm sure you've seen 'posh Pawn' the TV series about a pawn shop Las vegas; they offer about half of the value of an item and 99% of the time the shop makes a successful purchase. if you have to go to a pawn shop the presumption is that you are desperate for money......

99% of boat owners are desperate to sell!
Very desperate to sell.
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Old 02-03-2015, 07:54 PM   #7
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Not only can a broker help you with a starting negotiating point, a good one can do the negotiating for you. That takes the personal biases out of it on both sides. Sometimes it takes time to get a seller to realize his boat's real worth in the market. Be patient, and make a relationship with a good broker. There are several right here on Trawler Forum.
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Old 02-03-2015, 08:55 PM   #8
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Just speaking to negotiation and not boat condition or figuring out its market value: This is counterintuitive and not always appropriate, but sometimes giving the owner a chance to say "No" to you on several items in a negotiation creates an inclination to say "Yes."
"Are you going to replace that helm chair?" "Can I get you to upgrade the radar?" "You're going to redo the gas tanks, right? This model is known for rustouts." Then you get to the actual price, lower than what they're asking but a number you consider sound. That's the one you want the "yes" on.


Ask a lot of questions and deploy the power of silence after you get an initial answer. The urge to fill the silence is sometimes overwhelming, and you may find out things the owner originally had no intention of telling you.


I think Don on Moonstruck's suggestion of a broker is a valuable one. Personalities can really mess up the concept of "actual market value." So can emotions, and if your boat owner had a lot of great experiences with the boat, he's likely putting value on those emotions, not just on fiberglass and iron. And so can competitive human nature. Sometimes "I don't want to lose" beats out common sense.
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:12 PM   #9
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I think the comments from Don, Baker, and CP are spot on. Actually, I don't think that what a boat buyer needs to do is learn how to negotiate a plausable offer. I think what's far more important is to be able to, or learn how to, judge character, because this will enable one to enlist the help of the most effective brokers and surveyors.

Looking at lots of boat ads can certainly give one a ballpark idea of what a particular boat in a particular area in a particular condition tends to sell for. But boat values and prices are a lot harder to judge than cars because there are so many more variables.

A broker can cause a buyer a world of headaches and get them a bad boat, no question. Which is why it is so important to be able to separate the bad and mediocre brokers from the truly good ones.

We put a lot more thought into finding the best possible broker to help us find a boat than we put into thinking about what boat to buy. Because with a really good broker working on our behalf, along with our ace-in-the-hole friend in the marine industry, finding the right boat at the right price was a snap.
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Old 02-04-2015, 07:40 AM   #10
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These are great ideas, I will reach out to a couple of brokers and find out what they charge as a boat broker or if they are willing to just provide info. How reliable is the info on soldboat.com The boat I am looking at has older electronics and no thrusters or stabalizers I am sure there must be deducts for these as they are common sales pluses!
Thanks again for your help
Gregg
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Old 02-04-2015, 07:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wataworld View Post
These are great ideas, I will reach out to a couple of brokers and find out what they charge as a boat broker or if they are willing to just provide info. How reliable is the info on soldboat.com The boat I am looking at has older electronics and no thrusters or stabalizers I am sure there must be deducts for these as they are common sales pluses!
Thanks again for your help
Gregg
Gregg, There should be no charge as the broker will be paid out of the split on the sales commission with the selling broker. From your questions above, I think you really need a broker. Whether soldboat.com is 100% correct is doubtful, but it is probably the most accurate info available.
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Old 02-04-2015, 08:45 AM   #12
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Face-to-Face is the way to go!
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Old 02-04-2015, 09:16 AM   #13
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Greg

A good DeFever is hard to find as they tend to move quickly. I offer a few less than perfect thoughts.

The buyers brand specific knowledge, previous boating experience and financial resources play a large role in the boat buying experience. A buyer's broker is a great asset when it comes to closing the deal and finalizing paperwork.

Fortunately a 1999 DeFever is a known quantity. Previous owner care and attention can move the value of this vessel up or down about $100K. Negotiating on frivolous items can be frustrating for both sides.

Suggest you properly establish vessel's worth and make an in the arena offer, but only if the buyer understands and can define the costs to accomplish the obvious necessary fix up items identified during initial inspections

Then the surveys will uncover a few hidden issues, this is where it gets interesting and real negotiations begin, or end.
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Old 02-04-2015, 09:26 AM   #14
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Greetings,
Mr W. All good advice thus far. Also keep in mind that any vessel is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Condition, condition, condition AND a good survey.
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Old 02-04-2015, 09:53 AM   #15
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All the data in the world wont tell you how clean and modern the boat is. I suggest looking at as many of the same model as possible. Keep the selling brokers informed of your progress and what you see. A boat in need of upgrading may be cheaper but the expense of upgrading is often underestimated. Most boats sell within a narrow price range because brokers have access to the above mentioned actual selling price data. Look for the best turn key boat you can find and make a offer toward the middle of the sales range, subject to survey, of course. In todays market buyers have the upper hand. If the seller says no, or counters, he doesn't know if the buyer will keep looking or not. The buyer can always make another offer.


The sad thing today is that modern electronics, immaculate housekeeping, lexan enclosures, awlgrip etc don't return their cost but are great advantage to buyers.
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Old 02-04-2015, 10:13 AM   #16
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I have worked with two brokers, in two boat purchases. Both lied, straight-faced, about anything that would have hurt the sale. I talked to nearly a dozen brokers when looking for our 4788 Bayliner. In every case I knew more about the model than they did. I think Pilothouse King is the only broker I would trust if I were looking for a Bayliner yacht today.

There is one big advantage to doing your own research and working with the seller's broker: no split commission. We successfully bought our boat at our price because the buyer was desperate, the broker was lazy, and the broker knew that his commission on our purchase would be significantly better than a split commission on a higher selling price.
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Old 02-04-2015, 10:26 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Robster_in_edmonds View Post
I have worked with two brokers, in two boat purchases. Both lied, straight-faced, about anything that would have hurt the sale. .
My experience is about 1/3 are good and pass the smell test. But the same can be said for real estate, investments, insurance, cars, art, airplanes etc - it is what it is. SALES!!

Knowing more than the brokers and doing your own research as Robster intones is not easy but can be a good thing and helps to level the playing field.
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Old 02-04-2015, 10:33 AM   #18
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Marin's advice of shopping for a broker before shopping for the boat is spot on.
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Old 02-04-2015, 11:44 AM   #19
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I would also offer a strong endorsement for Curtis Stokes, who sells a lot of Defevers and is headquartered in your city. We found him to be very knowledgeable and ethical.

Sunchaser and others are on the money about condition determining value. Also, the length of time a boat's been on the market with a steadily declining price can indicate either an unrealistic starting price or a boatload of "issues" discovered by would-be buyers.
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Old 02-04-2015, 12:08 PM   #20
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I'm going to be a little different here.

You do not care what the boat is "worth".

You do not care what other people sold different boats for.

You only care what this owner can and will agree to sell this boat to you for.

So, do some homework. Research the owner.

How did he come up with the asking price?
How badly does he want to sell the boat?
How much can he actually sell the boat for?
How long has he been trying to sell the boat?
If the boat has been on the market for a long time, why?
Why does he want to sell the boat?

With some research on your part you can learn allot about the owner, and the boat. That knowledge will allow you to possibly pay much less than you imagine for the boat, depending of course on the owner.

Two true stories.

BOAT 1. I looked at a boat in Whittier Alaska owned by an elderly couple that had owned the boat for a very long time and had gotten too frail to use it.

I did not buy the boat, but I know that the guy who did buy it was a very young man who befriended the elderly couple and took them out in the boat occasionally. How much did the young man pay? I do not know, but I bet it was a lot less than the $150K asking price.

BOAT 2. I saw a boat for sale on Boat trader. Sent my son who was in college nearby to go look at it. The boat was VERY nice. New engines, new everything. I talked to the owner... He was a surgeon who bought the boat and re-fitted it for a trip to Alaska. He said money was no object, and it showed. He was very sad. He said that before he could make his dream trip his body failed him and he had a stroke. When I explained to him that I was in Alaska and if I bought the boat I'd be making the inside passage trip he was very excited. He said that's what his boat was meant to do.

I did not buy that boat, only because the layout was not what I was after. How much would this nice elderly man have taken for the boat if I would have promised to send photos of my Alaskan adventure? I do not know but I bet it was less than the asking price, which was already below his re-fit costs.

Both these stories are true.

The first seller got something he wanted more than money. He got to go out in his old boat occasionally. He made a friend, and the buyer made a friend as well.

The second seller did not need money. He knew he had more money than his life had left. He wanted to be part of an Alaskan adventure. Something he couldn't buy with money.
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