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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2009
    Posts
    133

    Default Selling A Horse - Your Thoughts On My Situation?

    I suddenly feel like I am between a rock and a hard place and would like to hear your feedback on the situation.

    To summarize:

    I have a horse for sale - I do not own it, it belongs to a client. In my book it's not an expensive horse (under $10k). I will be collecting a 10% commission.

    Horse has been for sale for quite a while - it is a difficult sell for a couple of reasons which I don't think are relavant to the story. I don't have people beating the door down for this horse, even though it is a nice horse!

    A younger trainer who I know of (seen at shows - all positive) calls and wants to see the horse - she's got a couple clients looking. She comes to me and I show the horse to her. She likes it enough to want to have a client try it.

    I find out that the client is not necessarily "hers" but rather someone coming to the area to train with yet another (BNT) trainer for the week. She wants me to ship the horse to the BNT (about 2hrs away) for the client to try.

    I know that people do this all the time (especially in the BNT's world) with the bigger money show horses, but this horse is not (nor will ever be) in that catergory. Am I really expected to take a minimum of 6 1/2 hrs out of my day (2hrs each way, 1 hr there with them trying horse, and 1/2 hr hooking and unhooking trailer), plus gas and wear & tear to get this sale even POSSIBLY done? Plus I am now thinking with THREE* other trainers involved, how likely is it that it will even happen? (*The trainer that came to me in the first place, the BNT where I would ship the horse to, and the "regular" trainer who has come along for the lessons with the BNT). Not even mentioning the commissions I am sure will be stacked on for the buyer!

    However, I feel that it is my duty to do what I can to get this horse sold for my customer. I just feel like I am being asked by the potential buyer to go to extremes for a horse of this calaber. And best of all, at this rate it is likely that I will end up losing money selling this horse as I already have a couple hundred into advertisements, videos, etc. Personally, if it were my own horse I would tell the people that they need to come to me to try the horse and if they won't than so be it. But, I don't feel like that is fair to MY customer the owner.

    Additionally, putting the cart before the horse, IF the sale does manage to go forward how do I get them to pay my client directly? Normally, I have the buyer (not the buyer's trainer) pay my client the seller directly. Then my client the seller pays me and the buyer works whatever out with their trainer. However, I have a feeling that some significant commissions would be tacked on to this sale and that they may not be fully disclosed to the buyer. That's not my style. How can I express (without ticking anybody off) that the buyer (not an agent) needs to pay the seller. On the other hand, how would I write the bill of sale from the seller to the buyer?

    Ugh, just frustrated I guess. This all just seems to "messy" for my taste.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 21, 2008
    Posts
    913

    Default

    If you really want to get the sale done, you might have to do it. You could always hire a shipper and ask the potential buyer to pay for it.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2009
    Posts
    133

    Default

    I know, I know, that's what I think. I just feel like I am getting jerked around and because it's not my horse nor a good market there's nothing I can do about it.

    I did think of the shipper route, but my instinct is that they would balk at that idea. I am not even sure how serious they are about this horse. Afterall , the person who wants to show it to them is at the end of the totem pole behind their regular trainer and the BNT. Originally, I was optomistic when I thought the horse was potentially for a client of the trainer who came to see him, but it's going down hill from there!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 21, 2008
    Posts
    913

    Default

    yeah i hear ya. Selling horses can be a pain in the butt.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 20, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
    Posts
    2,978

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alterknowbetter View Post
    Additionally, putting the cart before the horse, IF the sale does manage to go forward how do I get them to pay my client directly? Normally, I have the buyer (not the buyer's trainer) pay my client the seller directly. Then my client the seller pays me and the buyer works whatever out with their trainer. However, I have a feeling that some significant commissions would be tacked on to this sale and that they may not be fully disclosed to the buyer. That's not my style. How can I express (without ticking anybody off) that the buyer (not an agent) needs to pay the seller. On the other hand, how would I write the bill of sale from the seller to the buyer?
    I've had this happen when I was selling my 3'6" horse. I was very upfront with the trainer that approached me about him (who was a go-between to the client's main trainer). I told them that I would ONLY accept a signed bill of sale from the client, NOT the agent, and that final payment was to be a wire transfer directly from the client only. Commissions on the buyer's side were to be very upfront and would come directly to them from the client with the client's full knowledge.

    The trainer refused to do it, and I said, "No thanks, then. I don't do shady horse sales."

    So yes, I possible missed out on selling him a few months earlier, but he did sell....honestly.
    Cherry Blossom Farm - Show & Field Hunters, Side Saddles



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2009
    Posts
    133

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SidesaddleRider View Post
    I've had this happen when I was selling my 3'6" horse. I was very upfront with the trainer that approached me about him (who was a go-between to the client's main trainer). I told them that I would ONLY accept a signed bill of sale from the client, NOT the agent, and that final payment was to be a wire transfer directly from the client only. Commissions on the buyer's side were to be very upfront and would come directly to them from the client with the client's full knowledge.

    The trainer refused to do it, and I said, "No thanks, then. I don't do shady horse sales."

    So yes, I possible missed out on selling him a few months earlier, but he did sell....honestly.

    I would LOVE to handle it that way. However, I don't think it's fair to my client the seller if I squash the sale because of it. If it were my own horse, I would do it in a heartbeat.

    I have lots of respect for the training ability of the BNT involved, but zero for the ethics of this BNT and I can easily see the sale being squashed . . . that's why I am asking NOW for advice just in case things move forward.

    I know that the owner/seller would love to at least know where and to whom the horse goes. I can push to get info for the owner/seller. Not sure that the BNT gives a hoot though.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 7, 2000
    Location
    The burbs of Chicago
    Posts
    3,744

    Default

    I like what Sidesaddle had to say about getting them to not double/triple dip in the horses price tag'/commisions. I want to also say that if this potential buyer doesn't like the horse maybe the bnt will still like said horse and could get the horse sold through someone else or another buyer? Bnt's tend to have a lot of contacts so maybe by going down there this could go down different avenues or other doors could open?
    I want to be like Barbie because that bitch has everything!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 23, 2004
    Location
    Camden, De
    Posts
    3,601

    Default

    A trainer that I lesson with really liked the sales horse that I had in who belonged to a client of mine. She thought she had a potential match and could I bring him back up (2 hrs each way) for her to try. I ended up taking him up there three seperate times- twice for potential buyer to ride and once for the vetting. I billed my client for the gas but I felt like I trusted the trainer to do the right thing and she was helping me out. I had a nice horse but she basically pushed the potential buyer to my horse. They bought him and I signed the paperwork as the agent and the whole sales price with to my client who then paid me 10% and the trainer got what she wanted which was a bit less than 10%. My client had no issue with this simply because the horse sold for good money and to a good home.

    I am always willing to meet with BNT's to let them see my horses or let client's ride them. It does take a lot of time, gas and wear and tear on the vehicles but oftentimes these trainers do have a lot of clients and if one doesn't work out then another might. Not to mention if they like the horse then they will spread the word.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2007
    Location
    Down on the Farm
    Posts
    3,054

    Default

    At this point I would be upfront with your client...if they would like the horse to be seen, then they can pay the shipping.

    I had something similiar happen to me, I have a farm and a ring, potential buyers did not want to drive the extra hour and expected me to come to them...I mentioned they could pay for my gas and they declined, but they did ene up driving down to try the horse.

    Stay firm and trust your instincts.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 3, 2000
    Location
    Nokesville, VA
    Posts
    35,064

    Default

    This is what it says on Buddy Brown's site. You could use that as an example.
    Please get your professional involved in the process...after all, these are the people that know your riding style and skills the best, as well as your home situation and competitive goals. You pay them for their opinion, and this is a time when it is most valuable. Keep in mind that our horses are not priced with their commission considered, and therefore you are responsible for paying your trainer on top of the purchase price.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 23, 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    879

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alterknowbetter View Post
    However, I feel that it is my duty to do what I can to get this horse sold for my customer. I just feel like I am being asked by the potential buyer to go to extremes for a horse of this calaber. And best of all, at this rate it is likely that I will end up losing money selling this horse as I already have a couple hundred into advertisements, videos, etc. Personally, if it were my own horse I would tell the people that they need to come to me to try the horse and if they won't than so be it. But, I don't feel like that is fair to MY customer the owner.

    Additionally, putting the cart before the horse, IF the sale does manage to go forward how do I get them to pay my client directly? Normally, I have the buyer (not the buyer's trainer) pay my client the seller directly. Then my client the seller pays me and the buyer works whatever out with their trainer. However, I have a feeling that some significant commissions would be tacked on to this sale and that they may not be fully disclosed to the buyer. That's not my style. How can I express (without ticking anybody off) that the buyer (not an agent) needs to pay the seller. On the other hand, how would I write the bill of sale from the seller to the buyer?

    Ugh, just frustrated I guess. This all just seems to "messy" for my taste.

    Not sure if I will be a help...but...from a clients view.
    I was once in this position as the owner of a horse. My trainer and I had my horse for sale for 15K. A BNT came to the barn for another horse and saw mine and thought they had someone for him. My trainer knew I have been around the block and had me talk directly to the trainer about the price. I told BNT I knew he was going to tack on and if so just make it realistic.

    Told BNT to call me before coming out and let me know what he priced my horse at since I would be meeting the buyer. He calls me and tells me 25K!!
    I told him...Don't come. I had explicitly told him don't over price my horse as he was a greenie and we were not selling him as a made 3FT horse. I don't mind him tacking on a few bucks but I would not make him my partner.....sigh.
    Stupid and short sighted because the trainer was selling horse to someone In His Barn so he would have a new horse to collect training fees, etc.

    From a "knowledgable" owner.....I do not mind a few bucks being made to get the sale, but........and I personally will not buy a horse without paying the owner directly....that way if monies have been tacked on it is with full consent of owner and no one gets scr*wed.

    Can you discuss the situation with your clients?? Hope this helps. I admire your honesty
    Adriane
    Happily retired but used to be:
    www.ParrotNutz.com



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2009
    Posts
    133

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Smiles View Post
    I like what Sidesaddle had to say about getting them to not double/triple dip in the horses price tag'/commisions. I want to also say that if this potential buyer doesn't like the horse maybe the bnt will still like said horse and could get the horse sold through someone else or another buyer? Bnt's tend to have a lot of contacts so maybe by going down there this could go down different avenues or other doors could open?

    In general, I agree with you. I would like to keep things positive particularly with the younger trainer that came to me to see the horse. The BNT I really would prefer not to have to deal with. I was not aware that the BNT would be involved until after the younger trainer had come and seen the horse and made the decision that she wanted to try it for the client. I know that I am not the only one who feels this way about the BNT, but am also aware that there are many others who feel differently.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    14,888

    Default Simplify

    First, why not have the mid-trainer pay the shipping costs? She ought to pay you up front and then bet she will recover that in her commission. If she's making money, she can spend some.

    Or have the trainer bring her client to your barn for the trial.

    Finally, whatever you do, communicate and stay clean with everyone. Tell the trainer how you'd like to be paid (the stated purchase price to the owner, the owner pays you a commission based on that). Tell the owner what's up with the deal and ask how she feels about it. Perhaps she wants to pay the shipping just to get the damned thing sold. She may or may not care that the actual price paid for the horse is higher than what she receives. Let her worry about that.

    In other words, don't make everything your problem or secret.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 2, 2007
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    231

    Default

    Is there any way THEY can drive the 2 hours to try the horse at your place? If they are only going to the BNT for a lesson and it's not their normal trainer -Why even get BNT involved?

    I also would never buy a horse without paying the owner directly. To may crooks in the horse world.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2009
    Posts
    133

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 80s rider View Post
    Is there any way THEY can drive the 2 hours to try the horse at your place? If they are only going to the BNT for a lesson and it's not their normal trainer -Why even get BNT involved?

    I also would never buy a horse without paying the owner directly. To may crooks in the horse world.

    I tried to get them to come to me to try the horse. They are too busy. I guess they don't think that I am? Anyway, my understanding is that the "regular trainer" and the customer have come from another state to the BNT to train for a week and then go to a show at the end of the week. I guess that's why the BNT is involved? I don't know, I sure didn't get him involved.

    I have always had the buyer pay the seller directly. I have worked with very local people as well as some LBNT's without a problem. I don't know for sure that it will be a problem if this sale ever goes forward. I am just speculating that with three other trainers in the picture they are likely to all want a piece and not be so up-front about that with the buyer and therefore not want the buyer to pay the seller directly.

    I just feel between a rock and a hard place because I do NOT want to do business in any other less than straighforward way, but feel like I may have to let them slide one by on the buyer in order to get this horse sold for my client. It stinks, but I don't see a way around it without potentially killing the sale. Which I wouldn't mind doing if I had others waiting in the wings, but I don't.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
    Location
    down the road from bar.ka
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    31,055

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alterknowbetter View Post

    I find out that the client is not necessarily "hers" but rather someone coming to the area to train with yet another (BNT) trainer for the week. She wants me to ship the horse to the BNT (about 2hrs away) for the client to try.

    ...I just feel like I am being asked by the potential buyer to go to extremes for a horse of this calaber... IF the sale does manage to go forward how do I get them to pay my client directly?

    This all just seems to "messy" for my taste.
    Ummm....BNT "A" may send a horse to BNT "B" for a client to try BUT BNT "A" will not send it to to BNT "B" for "SNT"C's client to try...you may not be BNT but you are trainer "A" here. You don't know "B" and have not communicated with them and "C" wants to try it at BNT Bs place???? Yeah, too many unknowns and those unknown to you.

    And, NO, this is NOT done "all the time". Trainers that know one another and trust one another may send horses back and forth and the buyer client PAYS fo all shipping or short term leases involved.

    I say, Yeah, go ahead and bill "C"s client because THAT is the way the BNTs do it with pricey horses.

    They want to try it? They pay for the haul and your time. That IS customary.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun. 13, 2000
    Posts
    1,714

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    Quote Originally Posted by alterknowbetter View Post
    I did think of the shipper route, but my instinct is that they would balk at that idea. I am not even sure how serious they are about this horse.
    you need to talk to the BNT. he would know his customers abilities and needs/wants. if it sounds like a great match. send a video. if that sounds great, the person trying the horse should pay the shipping. if they baulk, you could possibly get the owner to split with potential buyer. if that doesnt work, they are not that interested in your horse. i would just forget it.
    i sold my horse in exactly this way. buyer could not come to try the horse. she had 3 kids and a farm with tons of baby horses. she wanted a good 2.6ft horse to get back in the swing of jumping around so she could get her babies going. she knew everything about the horse. the good and the bad. she still wanted him. i sent pictures etc. she wanted to send her shipper to get the horse. i decided i didnt like that idea. so i shipped him up to her and spent the weekend with her so she could try the horse. she paid me shipping. i charged reasonable rates. it was 3.5 hours each way. i got the horse sold. (well i did give her a months trial and she had to pay shipping back if she did not buy.)
    but this was my horse and i cared where he went. she was willing to pay the shipping to pick him up. which was alot of money with a pro shipper.
    as far as the BNT marking up the horse. i would tell your customer this is what will happen. are they still interested in selling the horse. its up to the customer to accept this shady arrangement. but it has to make you think 2x about buying a horse from a BNT!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    11,371

    Default

    1) Figure out who you are dealing with. IMHO, it should be your client and whomever the agent is for the potential buyer. Not an additional middle man trainer.

    2) Give your client an option on this shipping stuff...your client can pay you for your time and costs associated with taking the horse if they wish to allow it out on trial -or- they can give you permission to say, "I'm sorry, but if you wish to take this horse on trial, you'll need to make shipping and insurance arrangements." Or heck, they could haul the horse themselves.

    It's obvious that you're having a "gut feeling" about this that is not a good one. From a business standpoint, there are several potential points of risk/failure. From an ethical standpoint, same. I hear you when you say you really want to sell the horse for the client...so tell your client that....explain the situation and your concerns, and let them decide.

    IMHO of course.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan. 12, 2009
    Posts
    288

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SidesaddleRider View Post
    I've had this happen when I was selling my 3'6" horse. I was very upfront with the trainer that approached me about him (who was a go-between to the client's main trainer). I told them that I would ONLY accept a signed bill of sale from the client, NOT the agent, and that final payment was to be a wire transfer directly from the client only. Commissions on the buyer's side were to be very upfront and would come directly to them from the client with the client's full knowledge.

    The trainer refused to do it, and I said, "No thanks, then. I don't do shady horse sales."

    So yes, I possible missed out on selling him a few months earlier, but he did sell....honestly.

    I would ask the owner of the horse 1st, some owners would not want to risk a trailer trip that far for higly probable "no sale".

    Also the customer should be paying for your time and gas.
    Should they proceed w/ the sale then the cost can be deducted.

    I can tell your first hand experiance that when trainers start geedily tacking on it back lashes. Most of us advertise on the internet and a quick google will pull up matching ads by name loca etc. When this happens and the advertised prices don't match, the customer will walk.

    Up front the owner of the horse has the right to know what the 3 convaluted parties have hatched in the way of price, all monies wired to owners bank and appropriate commissions sent out once funds have cleared. All of which should be spelled out in a brokers agreement, which is not the same as the bill of sale and can be kept seperate from buyer.

    I personally despise doing business in that manner and go burn my bra but I prefer to pay a 1X flat up front commission. Why every glad hander who makes a phone call needs $$ is beyond me.
    In this market more times than not the trainer will ask the buyer to compensate them instead of the seller to keep price down, looks more honest, and as I mentioned above w/ the internet alot can be found out.

    And that boys n girls is why I prefer to sell only horses I wholey soley own when ever possible.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2007
    Posts
    1,311

    Default

    Obviously you have talked with some of the players and just in what you have written I can tell you are so uneasy about this situation it is making you ill. If your gut tells you this ain't right it is because your gut is right. I have so much told trainers if you come and buy the horse I will reimburse your gas or limited expenses. The bottom line is the horse will be so overpriced to not be what they want for the money and your out a full day and money. If people can't come to you to make money then don't go to them. What if the horse gets hurt in the trailer? Better yet the old "hey we like it and pretty sure it's the one, but leave it here so we can try it another day and have it vetted" which turns out for them to ride the piss out of it, test it, and tell you the vet is delayed and now they have the horse for much longer than you want and you have to go back at your cost and pick it up.

    Just have a bad feeling about this one...sorry...I say walk away



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