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Old 02-19-2016, 12:42 PM   #1
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Boat Shopping Made Easy

Buyers Best 1st Group of Questions over the Phone!

1. What year is the boat?

2. How long you owned it?

3. Why are you selling?

4. Has it ever been sunk or badly damaged in any way?

5. How many hours on the engine[s] and do it/they as well as transmission[s] run well?

6. Does it have gen set - what brand / how many hours / currently run well?

7. Are there any glaring defects or repair, restoration, maintenance needs?

8. Does your wife/girl-friend like your boat?

Those eight questions and their answers should get you to the point of further discussion if the answers please you. Some times I end the conversation within the first few questions/answers because either things are not as I like for a boat - or - I quickly get the feeling the seller is not who I want to deal with Upon further discussion you may decide to go visit to see if that boat really may be correct for you. From that point there are many, many questions and reviews/surveys needed to make sure it's the correct boat.

Happy Boat-Shopping Daze - Art
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Old 02-19-2016, 01:02 PM   #2
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I actually have an initial set of boat questions for whenI call a boat for sale myself. YMMV but these have worked well for me to siftout the ones I was more interested in pursuing...

- Are all those pictures of your boat?
- Are the machinery hours TT?
- Do you have a full list of all items and options that convey with the boat?
- Are there maintenance records and are they up to date?
- Do you have a full history of the boat? Has it been damaged, partially submerged or seen heavy repairs?
- Can you send me 40-50 hi-res photos of the boat including all of the machinery?
- What is your cruise and max speeds and at what rpm doyou see those?
- What currently does not work on the boat?
- Where is the boat currently and in what condition is it stored?
- Do you own this boat or maybe is it under an LLC or partnership? Do you have 100% rights to sell the boat unencumbered?
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Old 02-19-2016, 01:42 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by smitty477 View Post
Do you own this boat or maybe is it under an LLC or partnership? Do you have 100% rights to sell the boat unencumbered?
I know someone recently who was buying a boat. Surveyed. Sea trialed. I questioned him initially about the fact it was being kept in and sold from Bimini even though US flagged and the owner lived in South Florida. Well, my suspicions turned out right as he was going through a divorce and with Florida being a community property state, his wife owned half of it. She refused to sell. Refused to agree to anything until they got to court.
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Old 02-19-2016, 02:50 PM   #4
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"Well, my suspicions turned out right as he was going through a divorce and with Florida being a community property state, his wife owned half of it. She refused to sell."


Yes - agreed, I have seen this more than once and seen some even worse. I know some folks find some of my questions foolish but it is a result of what has happened out there.
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Old 02-19-2016, 04:41 PM   #5
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Good questions. Depending on where the boat is and how easy it is to get access; talk face to face, initially I prefer to communicate via email. If questions are not answered, I will ask again.

Early in the process I will ask a couple soft questions about surveys (when, why) and insurance (with who, coverage).

Some of the best answers came from a relaxed visit sitting in the cockpit, others via interrogation.
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Old 02-20-2016, 05:44 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Art View Post
Buyers Best 1st Group of Questions over the Phone!

3. Why are you selling?

8. Does your wife/girl-friend like your boat?
Yet another reason to use a broker, so one does not have to deal with "tire kickers" asking personal/inappropriate/irrelevant questions.
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Old 02-20-2016, 06:41 AM   #7
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Buyers Best 1st Group of Questions over the Phone!

3. Why are you selling?

8. Does your wife/girl-friend like your boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost Horizons View Post
Yet another reason to use a broker, so one does not have to deal with "tire kickers" asking personal/inappropriate/irrelevant questions.
No reason at all for you to imply the categories you mention.

A seller is fair game for being asked in-depth questions about their product for sale. When I sell autos, houses, boats, or other items I am prepared to answer any forthright "knowledge-needed" question asked by potential purchaser. It is the purchaser's right to learn all they can regarding property for sale. Brokers, although a good way for seller to distance themselves from the nitty-gritty of selling something, are a buffer (some times an inappropriate buffer) between seller and purchaser. When I purchase something I demand to learn it's full history to best of seller's (owner's) knowledge. When I sell I am happy to provide an item's full history, to best of my knowledge.

Point in case: Some time ago I called on nice make sedan boat with a reasonable asking price. The ad mentioned some interior clean up needed... not much more... except a very enticing statement that engines had only 275 hours each. I called and spoke with a person who at first it seemed was presenting himself basically as the owner. Did not take me long to discern it was not the owner but rather a "broker" selling the boat for an estate. When I asked further about the engines I was told they are re-manufactured originals, that had been rebuilt years ago by the deceased owner. Then I asked if I came to see the boat could he or the estate provide me with papers (invoices) on the engine rebuilds. I was told no, there were none. So I asked does anyone in the estate have previous relationship with this boat. I was told yes, his son. So... I asked if I could speak briefly with the son. I was told no. I left it with the broker that if papers on the engines could be located or if I could have brief chat with the son that I would come to review the boat during any time available for me to board; that I had cash to purchase it and that it's basic style was such as I seek. Please call me if either opportunity to learn more about the engines becomes available. I never heard back and have noted the same ad repeated for weeks.

Sooo - My question #3: "Why are you selling?" is more than relevant - it is pertinent!

Regarding my question #8 "Does your wife/girl-friend like your boat?" is another pertinent question, for we boaters who cherish our other half and always include their wishes/needs into decisions for items of material size we purchase (very much so regarding boats). And, the quick answer of seller to that question immediately gives me a scale of 1 to 10 reading on a female's view of the boat. This question also can lead to some pretty good boy-banter about girls and boats. I've even had the wife come onto the phone and give me her real feelings... be they good or bad.

Relationship between buyer and seller should become somewhat dynamic and not static. That way both entities can feel satisfied when a deal closes; as well as, OK if for some reason a deal falls apart.
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Old 02-20-2016, 09:09 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Lost Horizons
Yet another reason to use a broker, so one does not have to deal with "tire kickers" asking personal/inappropriate/irrelevant questions.
The first question I would ask the second maybe, maybe not but I do think pretty much anything goes and it is up to the seller to determine appropriateness, not some stranger on an internet forum.

Questions are sometimes answered without even asking. Maybe even in the ad..."we love the boat, will miss her but need something bigger." Geeze, I've even read brokerage ads say; "owners have moved up." Pretty much answers both questions right there.
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Old 02-20-2016, 09:10 AM   #9
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No reason at all for you to imply the categories you mention.
The reason is that I was couple times on the selling side and dealt with unbelievablele number of people asking these kinds of questions without intentions to buy the boat. I will answer technical and ownership questions, but there is no way I will discuss my wife and her feelings with them.

The only reason I am selling a boat is I don't want to lose 10% on a broker's commission. That's it. It is that simple.

I find this "why are selling your boat" question very similar to a favorite recruiters' question "why do you want this job?"
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Old 02-20-2016, 09:19 AM   #10
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Geeze, I've even read brokerage ads say; "owners have moved up." Pretty much answers both questions right there.
I am sure the brokers get tired of these questions too and try to preempt them by providing a BS reason upfront.
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Old 02-20-2016, 09:47 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Lost Horizons
The only reason I am selling a boat is I don't want to lose 10% on a broker's commission. That's it. It is that simple.
Answers a ton right there. Why do FSBOs do that and refuse to move on a portion of that commission.

There was a local boat that checked all the boxes. Slightly over priced but right in there. Commission would have been 20 grand and the owner was adamant that he would not throw away that kind of money and would not lower his price.

2 tales in that...
The boat is still on the market 2 years later.
A broker brought a really good offer which the owner turned down. Owner later changed his mind and said; "sigh, I guess I'll take it." Purchaser said screw you. That was last August.
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Old 02-20-2016, 11:46 AM   #12
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The reason is that I was couple times on the selling side and dealt with unbelievablele number of people asking these kinds of questions without intentions to buy the boat. I will answer technical and ownership questions, but there is no way I will discuss my wife and her feelings with them.

The only reason I am selling a boat is I don't want to lose 10% on a broker's commission. That's it. It is that simple.

I find this "why are selling your boat" question very similar to a favorite recruiters' question "why do you want this job?"
LH - I've been on the selling side plenty! If I did not want take time to answer purchasers' questions and/or show up at boat for them to review... then I can hide behind a broker and for 10% let them do the nitty-gritty of getting the boat sold. When on the seller side I also have my questions to ask the purchaser; wherein I do my best to make sure that if that interaction was to go past a phone call that the looker is qualified for purchase.

I've no problem chatting on phone regarding an item I'm selling.

Adage "If you can't take the game - then don't suit up!" fits well for private sales of boats.
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Old 02-20-2016, 12:20 PM   #13
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As a seller I am happy to tell a prospective buyer pretty much anything about the boat itself. As far as my personal reasons for selling and my wife's feelings about the boat, I see absolutely no reason to share that information.
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Old 02-20-2016, 12:39 PM   #14
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I can make it real easy ,just check out classified here.
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Old 02-20-2016, 12:44 PM   #15
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I think the seller who is really proud of the boat is very willing to talk to a qualified buyer. They are comfortable with the questions and anxious to see their boat land in good hands. My wife sold her Miata to a man for his daughter's 16th birthday when we moved and she and the girl are still friends who email and chat regularly. They talk about college now.
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