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What do I do when selling?

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  • What do I do when selling?

    So I am selling a horse and have not owned him for very long but it's really important to me that he go to a great place. I have only owned 2 other horses in my life and leased all the rest. My first was one I raised who ended up being bought by a girl at my farm so there was no "process" there at all. The other one unfortunately had to be put down.

    This is my first time really selling. Anyway, I have people coming to see him this weekend to try him and are very serious. They have all of their reservations set, etc. Well, now I have 3 other people who want to try him too this week.

    I really like the people coming this weekend. They are really serious and I have spoken with the trainer, vet, mother, etc. I want to be a good horse person so when I end up in these situations, do I tell the others to wait because other people are interested or do I just let everyone try him and sell him to the first and best offer?

    If I were buying I wouldn't want a horse sold that I was planning on visiting and was really serious about but at the same time I would understand if a horse was sold as that is why they are on the market.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Jack16 View Post
    do I tell the others to wait because other people are interested or do I just let everyone try him and sell him to the first and best offer?
    First offer or, if two come in simultaneously, best offer. That's a good situation to be in..much better than the alternative =)
    "If we we couldn't laugh we'd all go insane, if we weren't all crazy we'd all go insane." ~Jimmy Buffet
    "Pursuing the life of my high-riding heroes I burned up my childhood days..."-Willie Nelson


    • #3
      I do a lot of marketing. First, I only show a horse once a day to prospective buyers. I don't think it is fair to the horse to do more than that as usually we ride the horse, the trainer may ride the horse and the buyer may ride the horse, so to do that more than once is a bit much for the horse to truly show itself to its best potential. Secondly, I have had a situation, before I limited to one person per day, where the first person to see the horse was writing a check and the second one was pulling in the driveway! Kind of awkward! BAsically, the first one to make an appt. "wins" in my book! But that is because usually I am representing a hrose for a client. As I do a LOT of "pre-screening" I often show the horse to one potential buyer and that is it. Rarely do I end up showing the horse to more than 5 potential buyers before they are sold. I tell most prospective buyers that, I will make an appt, but to call me before they come (preferably night before) to confirm, as it is always possible they are sold.


      • #4
        Be meticulous about your communication. That means keeping track of who made their trial appointment and PPE appointment first. It also means being very honest about the horse and your estimation of how well he seems to adapt to the rider or what you can tell about their "program" based on what the trainer asks you and has her student do.

        Since you want to do well by your horse, be observant about the people, too. If you see something that makes you uneasy, either ask or figure out a way to decide if it's a sign of worse things to come.

        In your situation as it stands now, you ought to show the horse to the "serious people." Tell all others that they are "in line" and where they are in the order. But tell the first people that others have asked to come try the horse. They need to know that they need to decide to move forward or not.

        IMO, the first person to schedule a PPE exam (and that should be pronto) gets "dibs." I can't imagine selling a horse out from under people who have promised to have a PPE done within a week or so. But apparently others do that. I suppose you would be within your rights to show the horse to another prospective buyer within that week, but let everyone know about that. The first buyer might want to put down a deposit to keep that from happening. The second buyer ought to know that she may be wasting her time to come try a horse already far along in the purchase process.

        I'm old school and believe in "I say what I do, and I do what I say." But I know stories of squirrely buyers and sellers out there who don't do this but consider nothing firm until money changes hands.

        I hope you find your way through all this!
        The armchair saddler
        Politically Pro-Cat


        • #5
          You might also consider....

          If the 2nd and 3rd in line want to come and see the horse earlier in the week, you could let them, with the understanding that they are 2nd and 3rd in order of purchase. So if the weekend people come, either don't like him, or you don't care for them, the earlier people get next choice of purchase. If one of them want to leave a small deposit that won't be cashed unless the weekend says NO...

          Gets you faster exposure if weekend says NO...

          Just a thought....

          I agree with you, it's hard to skip over someone who can't come till the weekend, especially over the holidays...
          " iCOTH " window/bumper stickers. Wood Routed Stall and Farm Signs


          • #6
            It's always hard, but truly, in the end, it's he who has the money first wins.

            We've held horses in good faith for people who are "very serious" or even promise to buy, and people we really like after speaking - only to have them come, and either it's not quite what they want, or they really just aren't that serious... then you have to try to get the other people to come out still, who usually have moved on, and it's a big mess.

            The aforementioned deposit idea is how we do it and it works flawlessly. What we do is, if you want right of first refusal, you send a deposit of 10%, usually by wire. This ensures you'll get the first dibs and confirms your seriousness, and it protects us against the opportunity cost of turning people away and losing potential sales in the meantime. The deposit is refundable only if the horse doesn't vet for a legitimate reason. (otherwise why have it if you're never going to keep it, i.e. the person doesn't like the horse and gets all of it back - that means you've upheld your end of the deal and get nothing but they get the horse held but then no "cost" to them)

            When you first start selling, you want to do things in good faith, but you quickly realize it has to be treated as a business, or else usually you're the one left holding the bag, unfortunately. The deposit system keeps everything fair and in order and works for both parties, without one being disappointed or feeling cheated. Hope this helps!!
            Signature Sporthorses


            • #7
              Since you are not a professional and it doesn't seem like you'll be making a living off selling horses, then by all means take the advice that people have given you so far. However, if you want to handle things the way a true professional would, it goes like this- Set up appointments to try the horse, but the person who contacted you first gets first right of refusal. So if someone comes on Thursday to try him, they need to know that you have someone else trying him Saturday who gets first right.


              • #8
                IMO a deposit should apply only if they don't want anyone else to try him before you, like in case he would get hurt or something. But even with NO deposit, it is most ethical to still give the first contact the first right of refusal. Any A circuit professional would do it this way, or risk ruining their reputation.