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  • Writer's pictureSpencer Kent

Beginners Guide to Making an Offer in 2023

An offer is simply a contract outlining an intent to purchase, signed by the interested buyers that has conditions attached and a 100% fully refundable earnest money deposit.

An industry wide purchase & sales agreement typically highlights the information regarding an offer amount, deposit, contract date, seller acceptance, buyer acceptance, closing date and additional terms. (More terms can be found in the boat glossary below.)

The contract signage date; I recommend giving the seller less than 48 hours to respond, another approximate 30 days for buyer acceptance and closing usually happens a week to 2 weeks after the buyer acceptance.

The reason for the delays could be the availability of surveyors, and preparation of paperwork load post acceptance.

The industry standard deposit amount is 10%, while some articles suggest you negotiate this it makes you look unqualified. Do not “negotiate” the deposit unless it is in excess of what you hold in a liquid cash account. If that is the case, make that known, suggest an initial deposit of a substantial amount with the remainder of the deposit to be submitted within X number of days as it takes that much time to move the finances around. If you are financing you will likely need 10% or more to secure the rate, so do not detract from your offer by negotiating the deposit.

Speed is key when making your offer stand out. If you end up in a multi-offer scenario, a seller is going to look at the buyer who put the offer in the shortest period after the showing or at the showing. After the offer gets negotiated to terms acceptable to buyer and seller comes the other contingencies.

At Calm Seas Yachting, we understand how stressful the buying process can be. We have developed the first system to shrink the buying and selling time to help you get your dream boat or get you the best offer for your boat. Call 443.797.3698 to ask us how we do it differently to make sure we are the best value to you!


Other examples of terms are :

Personal inspection (be sure to put a quick timeline on this, 3-7 days at most),

Sharing of maintenance records (assign a timeline, many people want to wait to get information before submitting an offer and often this time ends up with another buyer getting the boat or a multi offer scenario.)


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