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Old 09-27-2020, 08:33 AM   #1
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Buyer’s etiquette

Even though I’ve bought and sold trailers and cars, purchasing a unit that costs almost as much as my first house is a little intimidating.

Are certain things expected of a buyer during a private sale?
For instance we have found a unit with a floor plan we like in our state.
If the inspection goes well we plan on making a serious offer.

My point is we are going in good faith and not to kick the tires (frankly who has time for that).
What else should we do to hold up our end of the transaction?
What can we fairly expect from the sellers?
Is it too much to ask that all systems can be hooked up/running?
Etc.
Has anyone done this enough to outline expectations in this situation ?
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Old 09-27-2020, 09:07 AM   #2
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I've done it a bunch, both professionally and privately. Every deal is as unique as are people. Whether you are using an agent, such as in real estate, or privately on your own, you are responsible for looking out for your own best interests and you can be sure that's what everyone else in the transaction is doing, whether honestly or otherwise. Work through the process on your terms and how you are comfortable. If that doesn't work for the other parties then move on.
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Old 09-27-2020, 09:34 AM   #3
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If it were me, I would go over the trailer where it sits and determine that this Airstream that I want to purchase. Before finalizing the transaction, I would want to see that all of the mechanical systems are operating properly.

If this cannot be accomplished where the trailer sits, I would ask that the trailer be taken to a nearby campground with full hook-ups in order the check out the trailer's systems. I would also offer to pay for the campground site so that this could be accomplished.

Good luck in your purchase.

Brian
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Old 09-27-2020, 10:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
Even though I’ve bought and sold trailers and cars, purchasing a unit that costs almost as much as my first house is a little intimidating.

Are certain things expected of a buyer during a private sale?
For instance we have found a unit with a floor plan we like in our state.
If the inspection goes well we plan on making a serious offer.

My point is we are going in good faith and not to kick the tires (frankly who has time for that).
What else should we do to hold up our end of the transaction?
What can we fairly expect from the sellers?
Is it too much to ask that all systems can be hooked up/running?
Etc.
Has anyone done this enough to outline expectations in this situation ?

Since most of my experience in buying/selling vehicles is to/from a dealer, I was wondering the same questions myself, albeit from the opposite end: I recently sold my Airstream in a private transaction. Along with the buyer, I had a lot of questions on how to transfer funds, how to handle title transfer, temporary license plates, etc. I'll tell you my experience and how the buyer behaved and maybe this can help you figure things out.

Immediately after putting my trailer up on the classifieds, I received a ping from a potential buyer. We talked on the phone (FaceTime, actually--I prefer to do face-to-face so this was a good compromise) and they immediately Venmo'd me a deposit to hold the trailer. During that call, we negotiated high-level price and other big terms and agreed to work out the details in upcoming days. I drafted up an email with bill of sale and had them respond with their acceptance. Since the buyer was 1000 miles away, I included a "due date" for both buyer and seller to come to final terms. Throughout the next week, we finalized all details and they showed up the following week to do their final inspection, sign the papers, and transfer custody. Buyer financed the trailer, so they wired me the difference between sales price and their lien amount directly to my bank account--that pretty much happened in real time.

I had one major concern the entire time: Protect both parties' interests. The first countermeasure was to have open, honest bilateral conversations. I recognize buyer was coming a long distance, and I didn't want to waste their time. In the 2 weeks between deposit and transaction, a few of the terms and conditions changed. I was flexible, in so much as I was willing to make sure they were getting what they needed. I appreciate that buyer kept asking questions and thinking things over and coming back to me. At the end of the day, I wasn't going to kill the deal over a few hundred dollars and I get the sense they weren't that worried either. Key message: Don't sweat the small details--a few hundred dollars one way or another won't change the magnitude of the transaction. When they buyer wanted to change a few of the terms we had agreed to, we had a great discussion and found a happy medium that worked for all parties. These small items were not material to the bigger transaction at hand, and neither party took advantage of the other.

Here is what is important from the buyer:
1. Communication
2. Intent-based flexibility
3. Communication
4. Pay close attention to rule #1


I recognize that we are in an absolute sellers' market at the moment. I could have easily walked away from the original buyer and sold to one of several highly-interested parties that contacted me. My advice to you is to quickly figure out what you're willing to offer and how much you might be willing to flex. If you try to make things difficult, they seller can easily move on.
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Old 09-27-2020, 11:18 AM   #5
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Like Moosetags said, I don't think it's too much to ask for the seller to take the trailer somewhere where things can be hooked up for demo/proof of function purposes. If you pay for it there's less angst from the seller if you don't purchase. Communication will be key and you only hurt yourself if you keep quiet on an issue that's important to you. I've found it's best to ask direct questions when you want direct answers. Don't be afraid to ask "has the fridge always made that sound?" or "what have you done to upkeep the trailer?"

Above all, be polite and respectful and you should get the same in return. Good luck!
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Old 09-27-2020, 06:55 PM   #6
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I wouldn't buy a trailer that couldn't be shown with all systems working.
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Old 09-27-2020, 07:54 PM   #7
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On the right side of the forms you will see an "Airstream Inspectors" site. If you read down a little furter on that column you will see an Airstream Inspectors Checklist. Take that with you when checking out the trailer, and even see if there is an Inspector nearby that will go with you. They will want to check all systems and look for may things that only owners with years of experience know what to look for. If everybody is straight up and honest there should be no problems.
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Old 10-05-2020, 01:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaybauman View Post
Since most of my experience in buying/selling vehicles is to/from a dealer, I was wondering the same questions myself, albeit from the opposite end: I recently sold my Airstream in a private transaction. Along with the buyer, I had a lot of questions on how to transfer funds, how to handle title transfer, temporary license plates, etc. I'll tell you my experience and how the buyer behaved and maybe this can help you figure things out.

Immediately after putting my trailer up on the classifieds, I received a ping from a potential buyer. We talked on the phone (FaceTime, actually--I prefer to do face-to-face so this was a good compromise) and they immediately Venmo'd me a deposit to hold the trailer. During that call, we negotiated high-level price and other big terms and agreed to work out the details in upcoming days. I drafted up an email with bill of sale and had them respond with their acceptance. Since the buyer was 1000 miles away, I included a "due date" for both buyer and seller to come to final terms. Throughout the next week, we finalized all details and they showed up the following week to do their final inspection, sign the papers, and transfer custody. Buyer financed the trailer, so they wired me the difference between sales price and their lien amount directly to my bank account--that pretty much happened in real time.

I had one major concern the entire time: Protect both parties' interests. The first countermeasure was to have open, honest bilateral conversations. I recognize buyer was coming a long distance, and I didn't want to waste their time. In the 2 weeks between deposit and transaction, a few of the terms and conditions changed. I was flexible, in so much as I was willing to make sure they were getting what they needed. I appreciate that buyer kept asking questions and thinking things over and coming back to me. At the end of the day, I wasn't going to kill the deal over a few hundred dollars and I get the sense they weren't that worried either. Key message: Don't sweat the small details--a few hundred dollars one way or another won't change the magnitude of the transaction. When they buyer wanted to change a few of the terms we had agreed to, we had a great discussion and found a happy medium that worked for all parties. These small items were not material to the bigger transaction at hand, and neither party took advantage of the other.

Here is what is important from the buyer:
1. Communication
2. Intent-based flexibility
3. Communication
4. Pay close attention to rule #1


I recognize that we are in an absolute sellers' market at the moment. I could have easily walked away from the original buyer and sold to one of several highly-interested parties that contacted me. My advice to you is to quickly figure out what you're willing to offer and how much you might be willing to flex. If you try to make things difficult, they seller can easily move on.
We just sold our own tiny trailer (hence the search for an AS) and
we truly are in a sellers market.
All the aspects regarding your sale that you shared reflect our experience in selling our trailer.
I think you’ve put together a great template for selling a travel trailer.
Your advice is appreciated.
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