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Old 06-22-2021, 09:30 PM   #1
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Question Negotiating a Purchase

Hello,

I need some help in determining the sequence of events when negotiating a purchase for a used MH. I want to have it inspected prior to negotiating the price but not sure what comes first, "the chicken or the egg" sort of speak. Do I proceed with the inspection hoping that the owner does not sell it in the meantime or do I negotiate the terms and then have the vehicle inspected. Any advice would be most appreciated. Thank you and happy travels.
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Old 06-22-2021, 09:41 PM   #2
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When we bought our used Phaeton, we put down a good faith/refundable deposit & settled on a selling price. The deposit held the unit from it being sold out from under us, Purchase hinged on a favorable inspection report by a certified NRVIA inspector. We agreed to a time limit on the inspection so that the Phaeton wasn't off the market any longer than necessary for the seller.
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Old 06-22-2021, 09:56 PM   #3
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Thank you Lori. Unfortunately, I'm several hours away from the RV in question and can't view it in person. Is it common practice to negotiate long distance prior to viewing the coach? This particular RV is one I've been looking for so I'm prepared to purchase if all checks out. Just not sure how to go about it long distance. Thank you again.
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Old 06-23-2021, 05:13 AM   #4
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I don't negotiate with people unless they come in person to look at whatever I'm selling. There are too many people that try to lowball the price or pull your chain.
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Thank you Lori. Unfortunately, I'm several hours away from the RV in question and can't view it in person. Is it common practice to negotiate long distance prior to viewing the coach? This particular RV is one I've been looking for so I'm prepared to purchase if all checks out. Just not sure how to go about it long distance. Thank you again.
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Old 06-23-2021, 05:22 AM   #5
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When selling my coach I had a buyer with which I had agreed on a provisional price. Buyer never showed up and I missed a sale from another person. So I required a deposit to hold coach for the next time. However I was fortunate that a buyer came the next day and gave me full price
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Old 06-23-2021, 09:54 AM   #6
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I don't negotiate with people unless they come in person to look at whatever I'm selling. There are too many people that try to lowball the price or pull your chain.
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When selling my coach I had a buyer with which I had agreed on a provisional price. Buyer never showed up and I missed a sale from another person. So I required a deposit to hold coach for the next time. However I was fortunate that a buyer came the next day and gave me full price
Same here. Not from selling an RV, but I learned that lesson the hard way too. It is tough on honest buyers but from a seller's perspective it has to be done.
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Old 06-23-2021, 02:38 PM   #7
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As I posted, we put down a good faith/refundable/time sensitive deposit. It let's the seller know you are serious...not just a flakey tire kicker. And letting them know you are getting an inspection, also lets them know you are truly interested
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Old 06-23-2021, 02:43 PM   #8
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Same here. Not from selling an RV, but I learned that lesson the hard way too. It is tough on honest buyers but from a seller's perspective it has to be done.
I've had that happen with items I advertised on craigslist. Someone asked me to hold until they got there. In the meantime someone else wanted the item. I tell them it's off the market for that other person. First person never shows up and by the time I get to the other person, they found the item elsewhere. I don't hold anything for anybody without money down
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Old 06-23-2021, 03:04 PM   #9
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Guess I will be contrarian.

Have bought and then sold three different Diesel Pushers as well as several very high end boats over the last 30 years. Never put down a deposit and when I sold, never had a buyer put one down.

Yes, it may be that the world has just turned completely flaky.

Guess my advice to both buyer and seller is to qualify each other. If buyer, make sure that the seller knows enough to convince you he IS the owner. No problem asking him to shoot you a copy of the title in his name. Asking for a picture of something NOT in the listing will tell you he has possession of it.


The order I have done things in is as follows:


Get enough info/pictures/talking with the owner to know that the unit is of interest to you.

Visit long enough for him/her to understand that you are serious and that you have your cash or financing lined up are are ready to buy.

The buyer on our last sailboat (think $$ of VERY high end DP) was from Washington State. We and the boat were in Florida. The fact that he was flying in to see it within one week was enough of a commitment/"deposit" for me.

Make offer and get agreed price "SUBJECT TO INSPECTION AND TEST DRIVE". Agree on a time window-- obliviously the shorter the window the more comfortable the buyer should be.

Yes, if only a couple of hours away, go see it before arranging for a mechanical inspection (assuming you are not completely familiar with both chassis and house systems).

Have the inspector "reserved" so if your visual inspection is a "go" you can quickly move to the next step. So, you go see it, you like it if it passes inspection. Get the inspector there and ABSOLUTELY LOOK OVER HIS SHOULDER so you know what the issues are. This can NOT be done properly by "written report". You need to have him put your eye balls on issues and be able for him to work with you in outlining what needs to be done NOW and what can wait. Next, what repairs/changes are within your mechanical skill level (and interest) and what will you hire out.

If more than small $$ issues, renegotiate price.

Next, after you are happy with the RV and the deal and have verified clear title is to have your bank WIRE TRANSFER the money to the seller. Only after receiving money in his account should he hand you the key and title. If registering it in the same state, both of you go to the tax collector's office to transfer title.

Our last coach, a 7 year old high end DP, was done exactly this way (except I was the inspector). Seller picked me and my tool box up at the airport, I spent 5 hours inspecting the coach, drove it, parked it, went to his bank, called my banker (who I had already alerted that I may be calling him to transfer money) and within 25 minutes seller's bank confirmed funds in hand. Went from there to the courthouse (other end of Texas-- so same state) and did the title work.

I have no secret recipe for how it should work but a combination of VERIFY and just a little bit of TRUST work pretty well-- or at least has in the past.
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Old 06-23-2021, 05:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magg1 View Post
Thank you Lori. Unfortunately, I'm several hours away from the RV in question and can't view it in person. Is it common practice to negotiate long distance prior to viewing the coach? This particular RV is one I've been looking for so I'm prepared to purchase if all checks out. Just not sure how to go about it long distance. Thank you again.
When we purchased DP in private sale 800 mi away we wanted to make it a one trip deal.
We agreed to price after pics & owner description reviewed. I asked owner if everything was working and response was all working except res fridge ice maker.
I agreed to provide a refundable deposit to hold it until we could make the trip...1-2 wks.
We negotiated details and exchanged a purchase agreement with payment and refund, inspection terms and rough timing including that all equip & systems were working except ice maker. If any other deficiencies noted we would have renegotiated $, had owner repair or requested deposit refund.

We drove our toad to inspect, reviewed maint records and did a test drive. Based on maint records, low mileage and owner honesty I waived the chassis & house inspections and counted on my inspections.
We accepted the MH and paid an additional payment but held a significant final payment for owner to provide clear title (they had a load w out of town bank that took some time to vlear)
I Left with Bill of sale &registration Owner let me use his plates for trip home (we both had insurance in affect). I returned plates and included final bank check when title was received.

When selling boat and buyer was local and closing was short wait I did not require a deposit. In that case I could tell the buyer was anxious and I would have asked for a deposit if time to complete payment & closing was longer.

The key is a written agreement with all terms & conditions and both buyer & seller signatures.
I have a generic agreement I assembled, I'm no lawyer but if interested PM me an email and I will fwd it to you.
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Old 06-23-2021, 08:20 PM   #11
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Thank you Lori. Unfortunately, I'm several hours away from the RV in question and can't view it in person. Is it common practice to negotiate long distance prior to viewing the coach? This particular RV is one I've been looking for so I'm prepared to purchase if all checks out. Just not sure how to go about it long distance. Thank you again.
How far is "several hours"?
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Old 06-23-2021, 08:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magg1 View Post
Thank you Lori. Unfortunately, I'm several hours away from the RV in question and can't view it in person. Is it common practice to negotiate long distance prior to viewing the coach? This particular RV is one I've been looking for so I'm prepared to purchase if all checks out. Just not sure how to go about it long distance. Thank you again.
Yes it is. Some people buy RV's sight unseen. You don't have to view it in person right away. As I posted you put down a good faith/refundable deposit to hold it, arrange the inspection & if it passes, then go see it.

I negotiated nearly 600mi (9+ hours by car) away. If this is one you've been looking for as you stated, make the effort.
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Old 06-23-2021, 09:49 PM   #13
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We purchased our fifth wheel site unseen by us.



TLDR - We initiated contact, explained we were serious, asked questions and developed rapport with seller. Offered to put down a deposit (he declined). Had bank get in touch with seller to collect necessary info and reaffirm we had everything lined up. Had RV inspected, upon inspection completion we wired the funds to the seller and had the RV picked up by the shipper a few hours later.




We had been researching and checking out fifth wheels for months and knew exactly what we wanted. We found the exact model we wanted listed for an extremely reasonable price, alas down in FL and we are up in the Pacific Northwest. We found this particular unit during a daily search of rvtrader within an hour or so of it being posted.



We immediately reached out to the seller and they got right back to us. I explained to the seller that we were seriously interested and had already done our tire kicking, had our funds lined up, and so long as it was in acceptable shape, we would buy it from him. That evening we spoke on the phone, he answered all our questions, and sent all the additional pictures we requested. We established a rapport and my sense was he was legit. I negotiated a small amount off his asking price and I offered to put down a deposit but he didn't want one.



I had the bank contact the seller the next day to confirm to him that we were legit and everything was arranged, and we all exchanged necessary paper work (purchase agreement and bank wiring info). It was a minor hassle dealing with a remote dealer to schedule the inspection, but they did it for us and even went out to the trailer. The seller confirmed 3 guys went through everything top to bottom for a few hours (he commented how thorough and how much time they took), and the shop called me the following day with their findings. Everything was in good shape and fully functional.



Once I heard that, we had the funds wired over to the sellers bank account and the shipper who was on standby went and picked it up a few hours after the seller confirmed he received the funds. All in all a very smooth and satisfying transaction.


Seeing as we didn't pick it up in person, the seller offered to do a video call/walk through with us when we get to the RV to go through all the systems and whatnot.


As a buyer, I took actions to let the seller know I was serious, communicated clearly, and was extremely grateful for their patience (overall from initial contact to shipper picking it up took about 7 days).


On the flip side, I recently sold a little flat bed tilt trailer and man was that a PITA. Like others above, buyer interested, wants it, will come pick it up Sat. In meantime other interested parties reach out, and I tell them I'll reach out if deal falls through. First person backs out, and I go through the other 5 interested parties in the order they reached out and of course they had all moved on. Took down the listing for a few days, then reposted it with the approach of 'first person to show up with cash and tow it away gets it'. It ended up going to a very nice woman who was extremely grateful to get it. She reached out at 5am in the morning and followed up around 8am as I woke up. She seemed legit in our phone conversation and to help her out I offered to meet her halfway between us. She was a lovely slightly older woman carrying on the plans/dreams she and her husband had had before he had recently passed. I was happy that the trailer went to someone who really appreciated it and I think it all worked out for the best in the end.
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Old 06-24-2021, 10:19 AM   #14
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I am so grateful for all of the thorough and detailed information everyone has posted. Your shared experiences are invaluable in helping me make an intelligent decision. I feel so fortunate to be part of this incredibly supportive community. Thank you so much everyone for taking the time to share your wisdom. Safe travels…
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