I have been been in touch with a seller over the last 4 weeks regarding a horse for sale. Communication has been a bit slow but I was ready to fly out and see the horse.
Now it's 2 days before I have to see the horse, and I have some personal and unexpected news that will affect my ability to purchase the horse (the finances are in place, there are other factors at play).
I really don't want to waste the seller's time, but knowing what I know now it doesn't make any sense to purchase a horse at this time. How can I respectfully tell the seller I am no longer interested without getting into details?
(There is another party apparently scheduled to look at the horse the week after, so there have been no deposits/agreements as to holding the horse that would prevent the seller from selling the horse to another party.)
I think a phone call should be enough. Things happen. At least if you let her know ASAP she can actively pursue working with the other potential buyer.
And of course etiquette should go both ways. Recently a friend of mine drove about 4 hours to look at a horse, decided she liked her, and put down a deposit pending the vet check.
That's where it started to get sketchy. First the seller didn't want this or that vet on her farm for various reasons. Then when she finally agreed to let a specific vet onto her property, she kept putting the appointment off claiming scheduling issues.
Finally the vet is able to see the horse who "just happens" to be three-legged lame that day. Seller claims it's an abscess, but vet can't find anything. Friend, of course, isn't going to buy the horse on the sellers word that the horse has an abscess.
So instead of picking up the phone, calling my friend, and postponing the vet check seller just doesn't bother. So now my friend has paid the vet for the farm call for an obviously lame horse. The icing on the cake? The seller won't refund the deposit (she cashed the check prior to the vet visit) citing her "inconvenience" and blaming the vet for "laming" the horse.
My take is that the seller knew the horse was having soundness issues and decided to try to get a diagnosis on somebody's dime that wasn't her own.
Unfortunately my friend isn't going to bother to go after her for the deposit. It was not a large deposit and it would cost much more in travel, attorney, etc. then she could ever hope to recoup. I'm really thinking she probably dodged a bullet with that one but it still sucks.
Yes, just call. I mean, what if you had found another horse and bought it in the meantime? Or you broke your leg and couldn't travel? Things happen. Just let them know and it shouldn't be a problem. Worse would be to just not show, as so many people like to do!