Buying and Surveys-is there a better way....

boatone

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In an earlier thread our mate oldgit raises the thorny issue of the cost of a lift for survey.
My experience of buying a 'new' boat ealier this year again got me thinking about the nonsensical way boats are brokered. Whichever marina I visited I was usually handed the keys to any boat I expressed an interest in, told it was on pontoon D3xx and left to get on with it. Nobody remotely tried to actually raise my interest in any particular boat. Most of the boats I looked at were looking sad and neglected and in many cases it didnt look as if any attempt had been made to tart 'em up a bit to entice a buyer. In short any effort towards achieving a sale seemed to be expected to come from the buyer.......bit odd dont you think?
Want a survey - all costs down to the buyer including oldgit's grouse about the cost of a liftout.
What exactly are the brokers being paid for? At least house agents show clients round a property!


TonyR
boatone@boatsontheweb.com
 

ari

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Very surprised about brokers just handing out keys and telling you to help yourself. Not something I've ever come across. Surely the broker is leaving himself wide open if anything went missing or got broken? Were these ABYA brokers?

As to condition of boats, thats really down to the owners surely? If you put your house for sale with an estate agent surely you don't expect him to come around and mow your lawn and weed your gardens? I do agree with you though that it makes a huge difference when viewing and it is pretty short sighted of an owner not to present something for sale looking as good as it can.

Surveys have got to be down to the purchaser IMHO. Imagine you had your car for sale and I came along and said I'd like to buy it, but want it put on a ramp and fully inspected by the RAC. Are you going to pay for it? If so what happens when RAC man comes up with a few faults and I decline and the next buyer wants an RAC inspection. Going to put your hand back in your pocket again? And the tenth time it happens?

Basically, if I'm selling something (house, car, boat) a serious purchaser can have whatever survey, inspection, HPI check etc they like, but its not unreasonable to expect them to fund it. Also them commissioing and paying for the inspection means that it is their choice who does it, and the person that carries it out is liable to them as they've commissioned the inspection. Surely a preferable state of affairs?

Ari.
 

david_e

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Money for old rope in many cases. Often they will sell the same boat 3 or 4 times so you can imagine the income...... Recently travelled over 600 miles in a round trip to experience exactly what you mention from the brokers not bothering to leave the warm office and the boats being in tatty condition. To add to this, the boat I was primarily interested in had a '97 survey with it which suggested a structural fault, the broker never mentioned it even though they knew where I was travelling from.

I know it is a case of caveat emptor but a lot of time and money could be saved by having an independent survey done prior to sale so everyone knows where they stand and the condition would be accurately stated. It would also give more integrity to the whole process.
 

boatone

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>>>>>a lot of time and money could be saved by having an independent survey done prior to sale....>>>>>>
Precisely my thoughts.
A boat offered for sale with the benefit of a recent survey by a qualified surveyor to established industry standards would be a much more sensible way to proceed. If the survey revealed material defects sale could be on basis of with or wthout repairs and price struck accordingly. Might even persuade some people to maintain boats better as well.

TonyR
boatone@boatsontheweb.com
 

ccscott49

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An estate agent will mention, the fact a house doesnt look to good and will arrange for it to be tarted up, but ever heard a broker say anything or offer a service like that? I haven't could be wrong, but!!!!
 

hlb

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I had similar comments from a broker, when I was considering selling my boat.
His view was. That it was amaising how few owners would spend a few hundred quid on tarting the boat up before asking £££1000000000 for them. He even offered the service.
I went up to Scotland a few years ago, to look for a new boat.
All about £95 grand. Ripped seats, torn covers, dirty. One even had a hasp and staple for a lock!

I'll say this for Ancasta, who I bought my last boat off.
It was a bit mucky when I bought it, but then after a winter in the yard, not surprising. But it was all washed when I went to pick it up.
I did'nt bother with a survey. Cos, one. I read one they already had and two. They dont include engines or mechanical gear, Only inspect places easily got at.
Say things like. A scratch here. and dirty there.
It's like borrowing your watch to tell you what time it is!
Suppose if you know nowt, its better than that. But not much.

Now if they took it out for a spin with you and pointed out the good and bad points. Like well the radars ok but. And eer well the Decca system looks good but now diffunct. And well the market price for this boat is about X or Y .
Espesialy. Ahh. Those gear boxes complete crappy things. wont last the day out. Knock nine grand off.

Now thats a survey I would pay for.

Haydn
 

ari

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I've had good experiences with Ancasta also. The thing is anyone can set themselves up as a broker, all you need is a phone. Like a lot of businesses there are those who do it properly and those who don't. Hence my question of earlier about the broker who sits in his office and handes keys out and whether he is a member of ABYA? It is no guarantee, but at least if a broker is a member it shows that he is taking it seriously.

As to the comment about describing condition correctly, I couldn't agree more. I'd be livid if I drove hundreds of miles to look at a boat that was in nothing like the condition described! In my experience private sellers are no better. When have you ever had a private seller describe his boat as anything other than immaculate!?

Ari.
 

ccscott49

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When I travelled from, Holland to Salcombe to view aboat, the broker took me out in a leaking old avon rubber floor jobby, because "I'm not paying for the harbour ferry" I would have! When we arrived at the boat, it was a mess, mildew everywhere etc, etc, he couldnt start the engines, only one at a time? then in the engine room I noticed diesel in the bilges! Oh! yes, two of the fuel tanks are split! Split! this means the whole boat would have to be ripped out, to replace them, approx 12 grands worth of work, then we looked further, the boat was a besutiful old silver Ormidale, but all the equipment was from that era aswell. Ancient! I was told before coming to Salcombe, the boat was in excellent condition, with all modern equipment etc. This broker knew I was coming from Holland, I said I couldnt make an offer over so and so, he said the boat is already under an offer more than that! You can imagine! I held my tongue!¬ why couldnt he ahve ahd a survey done before, nobody is going to put out 100 grannd on an old wooden boat without one and then show prospective customers the survey to save me a 500 quid trip, the arsehole! Surveys first at the brokers expense, as long as he is the sole broker, then he can pass the cost of the survey on to the purchaser. It would solve a few problems, I believe. Thanks for letting me vent my spleen! pant pant.
This guy is meant to be a respectable broker, Bollocks!
 

billskip

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Maybe the "missrepresentation" laws extend themselves to this area ....but never seem to be used..as for agents just giving keys and leaving you to it ..is the way its allways been with me..I also found some "sellers" didnt realy want to sell but would advertise their boat at a low price just to get it lifted out free..also at one time in Penton hook boats were given free mooring if they put their boats for sale..as for surveys well...maybe best to take along that friend that allways says"woodnt do that if i wos you" and he would find the faults...
 

Scubadoo

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When I sell my boat I would consider getting it surveyed out of my own pocket. This can only encourage people to view your boat and it will also show that the seller to be more upfront about their boat.

I sold my last boat by being totally honest and I must say almost got full price I wanted. People who phoned me were told about problems like scratches/minor GRP damage etc, it just made them more confident - I even offered the buyer free tution if he needed it (as he nevered owned a boat before).

I do tend to look after my boats and fix any problems and keep it clean. I am surprised when I walk round boat yards/marinas on how tatty some £100-250,000 boats are treated - could be more money than sense, they can afford to lose money.

RM.
 
G

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The problem is a surveyor's liability. No sane surveyor will produce an open report extending open and personal liability for his work to any party. Somebody might be buying a Silhouette to sail round the world! Equally things can change: a boat laid up ashore might be moved by the yard, poorly propped and damaged as a result. I am continualy amazed at the condition hoats are offered for sale in, and feel that a pre-sale vendor's survey could be a good idea, but is no replacement for a proper pre-purchase survey conducted to the purchaser's instruction at the time of sale.
 

oldgit

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Having got to know many boatyards over the last few months or so would like to comment as follows.I have always bought my boats as is and where lying and have paid according to the risk I am taking so have no prob paying for lift out.What really annoys is travelling loads of miles to look at a boat which which is a heap of s...... and will not sell anywhere near even half asking price.Please broker tell the owner perhaps what he does not what to hear and that unless he gets real with the price the boat will just stay there and rot. Still all the time the mooring fees are coming in.Ps had a look at an early fairline today CHIPBOARD on a boat.
 

alpha

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Some good points made here. I bought my boat this summer, and was as well looked-after by the broker as I would have expected. Approaching buying a bigger boat now, I'm being very wary, and asking lots of awkward questions. I won't say any more as the transaction is on-going.

I wouldn't trust a survey I didn't commission myself, and I have taken trouble to learn what I can about the relevant issues before looking at boats myself. This has proven useful, but I suppose is not much help to those not of technical bent.

I concur totally with the remarks about boats presented in poor condition. This seems almost universal, and I wonder whether there isn't an opportunity for some enterprising young chaps to get themselves into business doing regular, top-notch, valeting of boats for sale- either for the broker (who would charge on) or for the vendor?

Paperwork is another sorry aspect of the boat-buying business. Owners should at least keep all relevant receipts, better yet some form of logbook incorporating these, in order to satisfy the potential buyer that the (tatty-looking) boat he's about to buy has, in fact, been cared for........

The other thing that springs to mind (and there's another thread about this) is that (for recent example) a 1980 Princess 33 looks very, very, sorry inside - and yet they sell for £30K+! The build quality on some old boats is very poor.
 

lanason

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Always my experiance - give you keys and tell U to find it yourself. They somethings ask your name or address to send you mailings or in case I decide to run off with it.
If your lucky when you give the keys back they may say thnkyou - and one asked me if I liked the boat.
 

Bergman

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I tend to agree. There really isn't such a thing as an independant survey. A surveyor works for his client and has a responsibility only to that client. Part of the problem with a buyers survey is that the surveyor will always have an eye to future liabilities and will tend to cover himself by spending time (and money) reporting on minor details which are of no benefit to the buyer whilst excluding in his contract major areas (such as engines) which are of potentially great concern.

I think the best you can do as a buyer is to learn as much as possible and cover as many areas as possible yourself and then commision a survey only of areas that are outside your knowledge base.

Probably like second hand cars a friend with experience and no emotional attachment is a useful thing to take along, that and don't buy on first inspection take 2 or 3 separate views.
 

david_e

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Interesting thread, the conscencus of opinion seems to lean towards a definate need for more accurate information prior to marketing the boat and the onus still remaining with the buyer to get their own survey done. The idea of a pre-sale report seems good in that it illustrates the owner is serious about selling, it is probably easier for the broker and the seller to set a realistic market valuation with a detailed condition report, which in turn would increase the brokers business. Looking at the average brokerage fees payable, the cost of this type of report, at say £250, could easily be refunded to the seller by the broker on completion of the sale. The net result would be a better and more realistic market for all. So how do we translate these thoughts/threads into action?
 

oldgit

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Re: Boat pricing!the boat supermarket.

Just imagine.Is there out there a boat yard with all the boats priced at the absolute rock bottom price the owner will take .I can walk in to a CAR super market find a car at the price I want to pay and walk out No haggle no discounts no inflated prices to fight your way through.Some people may enjoy the art of the deal I just want to buy a boat.
 
G

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Re: Boat pricing!the boat supermarket.

Isn't this the chesterfield place? No chance of a seatrial, surely.
 

oldgit

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Re: Boat pricing!the boat supermarket.

Err well Actually I did end up buying my last boat from there.Funny that.
 
G

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Re: boat field.

is there a website for them? National something or other. And what did you buy? Go on tellus tellus.
 
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