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Selling boat, buyer backing out question

Old 05-19-2020, 09:26 AM
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Default Selling boat, buyer backing out question

My father-in-law is selling I used boat, motor, and trailer. We meet with a potential buyer yesterday for a test drive. He liked it and requested a mechanical inspection. We agreed to do so if the buyer paid a deposit. Buyer agreed.


We wrote up an agreement stating that the buyer agreed to purchase the boat pending mechanical inspection. It was signed buy the buyer, seller, and witness.

This morning he called asked if we would consider selling just the boat and trailer. Both parties agreed on the price.

He just called again stating he found another boat and would like to buy it instead.

The question is can we legally keep his deposit for withdrawing from the purchase agreement?

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05-19-2020, 09:31 AM
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Give him the deposit back and move on to your next buyer.
Old 05-19-2020, 09:28 AM
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What state? What's purchase price and deposit? Was the mechanical inspection completed?
Old 05-19-2020, 09:30 AM
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Was an mechanical inspection preformed by buyer on the boat?
Old 05-19-2020, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by DenmarkSC View Post
What state? What's purchase price and deposit? Was the mechanical inspection completed?
Sorry, Louisiana. Original agreement was $12,000 but changed to $7,500 for just boat and trailer. Deposit was $2,500. Mechanical inspection has not been performed yet. It is at the shop waiting.
Old 05-19-2020, 09:31 AM
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Give him the deposit back and move on to your next buyer.
Old 05-19-2020, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeepman View Post
Was an mechanical inspection preformed by buyer on the boat?
It is at the shop waiting.
Old 05-19-2020, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by snapperkiller View Post
Mechanical inspection has not been performed yet. It is at the shop waiting.
From info provided sounds like deposit was dependent on mechanical inspection. If this did not occur then deposit can not be held.
Old 05-19-2020, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeepman View Post
From info provided sounds like deposit was dependent on mechanical inspection. If this did not occur then deposit can not be held.
Even if the buyer withdraws before allowing it to happen?
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Old 05-19-2020, 09:36 AM
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Depends on what the contract/agreement states in regards to the deposit. Chances are a judge would make you give it to him anyway.

Holding a deposit isn't worth the G&A.

Do yourself a favor and give him his money back.

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Old 05-19-2020, 09:42 AM
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OP your not going to win.

Since the mechanical survey has not been done he can find anything at all wrong and say no, there is a scratch on this, no thanks. Even if you make him spend the $$ on inspection he can use anything that the mechanic says to not buy it.

If you want to be difficult hold his $$ make him get the inspection or ask for a copy of the inspection and sandbag giving the guy back his $$ but you will have to give it back to him you will lose. All depends on if you want to kick him out the door or just send back his money to get rid of him.
Old 05-19-2020, 09:52 AM
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Give him the deposit back, if you incurred a haul out charge etc he should be responsible for that. If you had to go way out of your way to pull the boat and get it to the mechanic I think I would be discussing compensation with him about that but it it was minimal its not worth the hassle.
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:03 AM
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Just be careful with the refund process; don't get scammed.

For example, if he gave you a check or money order for the deposit, give back the check; don't write another check from your own account because his check could be fake.
Old 05-19-2020, 10:05 AM
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He set you up good, once you agreed to deviate from the original written contract all bets were off.
Return his money, you gave the shop away.
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:05 AM
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That stinks, but it sounds like this all happened quickly so really other than a tow to a mechanic you aren’t really out much. If someone else showed interest in the time he put the deposit down, call them back. If no one did, then you probably didn’t miss an opportunity to sell it.

I would give the money back and move on. Or keep it and argue. I imagine a new poster would show up asking what to do when someone keeps your deposit on a boat you don’t buy.
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:09 AM
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Give him the money back. Are you that hard up? Need a go fund me?
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:29 AM
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If you turned away any potential prospects or took down a for sale listing then I think you're entitled to part of the deposit - Maybe $200 for your trouble. If not, I would return it in full.

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Old 05-19-2020, 10:31 AM
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Maybe give him 250,000 pennies?
Old 05-19-2020, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by wshtb View Post
Just be careful with the refund process; don't get scammed.

For example, if he gave you a check or money order for the deposit, give back the check; don't write another check from your own account because his check could be fake.
Very good point !!!

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Old 05-19-2020, 10:42 AM
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Take out whatever expenses may have been occurred and buy yourself lunch, send the rest back.
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Old 05-19-2020, 11:08 AM
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Deposit is in cash. We agreed to keep $500 for our inconveniences. He is picking the boat up from the mechanic and returning. Deposit will be returned after I do an inspection to confirm boat was as it was before.

Not hard up. Father in law had it built, then was injured and never used it and has sat in his garage for 8 years.

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