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Buyer throwing up red flags

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  • Buyer throwing up red flags

    And I'm not sure if it's due to his inexperience, or what, but I'm nearly ready to pull the sale. I'm just not sure if it's my irritation with him or something feels really off.

    My inlaws breed Friesians, It's a small breeding program and they generally only have one foal a year. So there's a 2 year old and a yearling for sale at the moment. Sales are slow because of the drought here. But there's been some inquiries. All of the youngsters are on payment plans if people want them. They pay for board and the horse doesn't leave the property until they are paid for.

    One is a man, who originally rang up saying he wanted a horse for himself. He's a complete beginner and I explained that having a young horse for an inexperienced person isn't a great idea. However, he said he'll be working with a trainer. Then he proceeded to grill me about questions that he's obviously done a lot of reading, some of them were irrelevant but I didn't think there was harm in it.

    He flew from interstate and came to view them. It's very obvious he's not a horse person at all. Then there were a lot more questions and a very big insistence on making sure the horses are registered. They're both registered and purebred, however the Friesian studbook is odd and confusing with having different levels, Both of the fillies can be upgraded and the next grading, which only happens every two years.

    Then his story changed to how he's buying the horse as a surprise for his wife because her old horse died.

    This morning he rang me after doing more research and was really being forceful about their level and trying to tell me he was told they wouldn't be eligible for upgrading at all. I got a quite short with him and explained the whole process yet again and said if he's buying his wife a riding horse, I'm not sure why he's being so nit picking on their status. It came out that he wanted to breed Friesians. Which is another different version of the story? Then he wants to buy the 2 year old, keep her and present her at the Keuring next year, but wants it to be guaranteed she'll be upgraded to Ster, despite me saying numerous times there are no guarantees.

    There have also been questions like "Who pays for the horse if it gets hurt and it's your fault while I'm paying it off?" That question made me take a step back and I had no answer for it. Our facilities at home are safe but certainly not flashy.

    Their price is firm and relevant for a purebred Friesian. He's known that from the start so I don't think he's trying to screw the price down. They still aren't cheap so I'm really not sure what the game is here?

    Am I right that this is setting off red flags?
    Last edited by BrokenArrow; Jan. 24, 2020, 11:38 PM. Reason: Spelling
    Not my circus, not my monkeys!

  • #2
    Yes. He may just be a complicated lookieloo. He might be nuts. I would cut my losses now.

    Comment


    • #3
      I bought one horse on terms, specially the breeder did not want full payment in the current tax year. I purchase mortality coverage on the horse which remained in the breeder's care until I completed payment

      Comment


      • #4
        Yeah I'd run from this guy.

        Comment


        • #5
          so many red flags I would decline any further contact and interest. I would also consider your security system at your farm. I think you have been cased.
          _\\]
          -- * > hoopoe
          Procrastinate NOW
          Introverted Since 1957

          Comment


          • #6
            Have to agree with hoopoe, I would not deal with this man any more. Not sure what excuse you can give him, maybe another buyer or ship his choice off to a trainer for a while?

            I also think something cagey is going on, not a good thing. Do you have any security at the farm? Locked gates, lighting or cameras for surveillance in barns or paddocks? Better to over react, take steps to protect your property BEFORE something happens, than after.

            Comment


            • #7
              Stop this now .... send him on his way.

              Sell to someone you are comfortable with owning your young horses.
              Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by BrokenArrow View Post
                And I'm not sure if it's due to his inexperience, or what, but I'm nearly ready to pull the sale. I'm just not sure if it's my irritation with him or something feels really off.

                My inlaws breed Friesians, It's a small breeding program and they generally only have one foal a year. So there's a 3 year old and a yearling for sale at the moment. Sales are slow because of the drought here. But there's been some inquiries. All of the youngsters are on payment plans if people want them. They pay for board and the horse doesn't leave the property until they are paid for.

                One is a man, who originally rang up saying he wanted a horse for himself. He's a complete beginner and I explained that having a young horse for an inexperienced person isn't a great idea. However, he said he'll be working with a trainer. Then he proceeded to grill me about questions that he's obviously done a lot of reading, some of them were irrelevant but I didn't think there was harm in it.

                He flew from interstate and came to view them. It's very obvious he's not a horse person at all. Then there were a lot more questions and a very big insistence on making sure the horses are registered. They're both registered and purebred, however the Friesian stud book is odd and confusing with having different levels, Both of the fillies can be upgraded and the next grading, which only happens every two years.

                Then his story changed to how he's buying the horse as a surprise for his wife because her old horse died.

                This morning he rang me after doing more research and was really being forceful about their level and trying to tell me he was told they wouldn't be eligible for upgrading at all. I got a quite short with him and explained the whole process yet again and said if he's buying his wife a riding horse, I'm not sure why he's being so nit picking on their status. It came out that he wanted to breed Friesians. Which is another different version of the story? Then he wants to buy the 2 year old, keep her and present her at the Keuring next year, but wants it to be guaranteed she'll be upgraded to Ster, despite me saying numerous times there are no guarantees.

                There have also been questions like "Who pays for the horse if it gets hurt and it's your fault while I'm paying it off?" That question made me take a step back and I had no answer for it. Our facilities at home are safe but certainly not flashy.

                Their price is firm and relevant for a purebred Friesian. He's known that from the start so I don't think he's trying to screw the price down. They still aren't cheap so I'm really not sure what the game is here?

                Am I right that this is setting off red flags?
                This sounds like someone who simply doesn't know what he wants or is having a hard time deciding between various options. If it were me, I'd find a way to say, "Perhaps it would be a good idea to get your trainer involved. If she has experience with Friesians and the stud book she can explain the process to you. The fillies are eligible to be presented for an upgrade in status in 2021. I'd be happy to explain the process to your trainer if she is not familiar with all the details." Then I would invite his trainer to call.

                If you are having misgivings, there is probably a reason why. The buyer doesn't sound like he is entirely comfortable either. This is why it is useful to have a trainer involved in the negotiations. They can help to bridge the communication gap. The buyer may not invite his trainer into the conversation, but you don't have much to lose by making the suggestion when the communications become strained and you are thinking about bailing.

                If things move forward and money changes hands, I would have a solid contract, that clearly states the buyer loses all funds if he is late with any payments. The contract would require the buyer purchase insurance and the contract would state the horse's registration status.

                It is really up to you if you want to pull the plug on the sale. Only you can make that decision. But be honest with the buyer. You only have one reputation, you wouldn't want to sully it with a lie that the horse is leaving for training when it isn't, or there is another buyer when there isn't. You can simply say, "I don't think this is the horse for you. I cannot guarantee she will be upgraded in status at the next inspection and I know that is important to you. I would suggest if you are desirous of a Ster mare that you buy one that has already been approved at that level. Here are a couple of breeders/owners I can recommend who have Ster mares."

                To be honest, you don't need a reason for pulling out of a sale but buyers often want one and we often feel obliged to give one. If you pull out of a sale, nothing you can say will make it sunshine and butterflies. Just pick a reason, state it calmly and repeat as necessary, until the buyer accepts that you aren't changing your mind.

                Let me digress for a moment. I had a professional couple interested in a talented but quirky horse. He could be a little hot and the potential buyer rode him beautifully. It was a great match, or so I thought. We agreed on price but after some foot dragging, the buyers came back and tried to haggle the price down. Then they wanted to make payments. Then they wanted free board. The list went on. I wasn't feeling great about the buyers at this point but I felt obliged to keep my word and sell them the horse if they could meet the original terms. When I refused to accept payments or board the horse for free, the husband became loud and briefly suggested I wasn't honest. I calmly told him if he thought I was dishonest, he shouldn't want to do business with me and I didn't want to do business with him. He quickly realized his bullying had backfired and he tried to resurrect the deal. His wife even called and gave me her sob story about the horse being her Christmas present. But the bed was made and the horse went to a different home; for a better price I might add.

                I know nothing about Friesians so I probably butchered the terminology, but the sales concept is the same across breeds and disciplines. Be professional. Be honest. Stick to your guns on what you will and will not do and try to keep a smile on your face.
                Last edited by OneTwoMany; Jan. 23, 2020, 11:09 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think you have a gut instinct about this already, and this guy could be a pain at every step of the way from the payment plan through to his questions about 'guarantees'. I would not want him around based on your feelings/red flags right now.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I agree with everyone else. Listen to your gut. This guy is trouble - it doesn't really matter why. Something is very off here. I think OneTwoMany's advice is spot on.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      "I'm sorry, this isn't working out for me. Best of luck to you in your search."

                      Repeat as necessary.
                      No further explanation is required.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It sounds like you don't like the guy already so the deal is over. You just have to tell him that.

                        But some of his questions or desires were legit. I don't like payment plans on horses precisely because there is the chance that the horse gets hurt before payments are through. There are ways around this (insurance is one way but there are clauses in contracts that help, too). But if you had no answer as to what happens if the horse he's paying for gets hurt on your place and your watch, I think that is a problem on your side, not his. So you can't blame him for asking a question for which you don't have an answer if you set up a buying scenario that creates risk for your buyer.

                        The Dutch system for elevating horses is unusual, but very good, IMO. Of course you can't guarantee Ster status. But it's not wrong of someone to want to know about all registration possibilities. And that is true whether the horse will be bred or ridden. In my opinion (and apparently also in the KWPN's opinion since they offer IBOP inspections), it is *great* if breeding horses are required to have working careers as well.

                        A bit about my credentials-- I have been riding for 40+ years, written contracts for horses that were lease-to-buy, bred myself a KWPN horse (complete with getting the TB mare inspected and her colt re-inspected as a three-year-old so that he would move up into the main stud book). I won't buy an unregistered riding horse (especially if she is young enough that she could have a spectacular career and prove herself worth breeding). I also want a horse whose age and provenance I can always prove in case I have to sell and that horse needs to find his way in the world without me. And finally, I feel that any competent adult that can produce a new living things can also take responsibility for doing the paperwork to get it registered.

                        So perhaps I, too, would not be a buyer you'd like. But that's not because of inexperience. Again it sounds like the process has made you not like the guy. If that's your criterion, then bail. And with complicated, prolonged transactions processes in things like horse sales and real estate sales, I think the process will almost always have the point where buyer and/or seller get frustrated with one another. Personally, I remind myself that I just have to get to the other side of the transaction and come out with what I want; I don't have to marry the guy. But in this case, if you think he will mistreat your filly, then your not liking him matters. But I wouldn't let my dislike for him mar the sale for any other reason than the horse's benefit.
                        The armchair saddler
                        Politically Pro-Cat

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I would be really more concerned about the changing story as to why he wants the horse- first to ride himself, then as a surprise for his wife, then because he wants to breed Friesians. If it were my horse, I would want to know where he would be boarding horse when payments are completed, what trainer he or his wife would be training with etc. I would certainly suggest that his wife come and visit rather than to give her a surprise.
                          Around here, Friesians have suddenly become the Majikal Horse (replacing gypsy vanners) and there are some really weird crosses being sold by unscrupulous backyard breeders.
                          An older totally inexperienced woman I know of bought 3 Friesian mares several years ago. She can't handle or ride any of them, very disrespectful and untrained horses. Another investor bought several for his estate because they looked so pretty.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If you have even a passing interest in the future of this horse, Don’t sell to this nutter.
                            Show me your horse and I will tell you who you are.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              He keeps changing his story. That would be enough for me to tell him to hit the bricks. Definitely something very not-right about this guy.
                              Homeopathy claims water can cure you since it once held medicine. That's like saying you can get sustenance from an empty plate because it once held food.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I halted sales negotiations once when I discovered the buyer's agent lying to me.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I would be polite and simply say something like, "Look, it seems like you have a lot of doubts and concerns. You should not buy a horse from me or anyone else unless you really feel comfortable with the purchase. No matter what you are spending or what type of horse you are looking for, it's a huge commitment and it's okay with me if you aren't ready to purchase the horse/s at this time."

                                  However, I am a little concerned about your statement that the horses are being sold on payment plans but that you aren't sure about "who would be responsible" regarding accidents or injuries (or death) while the horses are in your care. That is an EXTREMELY relevant question, and I would not be comfortable purchasing young stock from someone on a payment plan if they didn't have an answer to that question. It's not a complicated question and there are several satisfactory options, and as a seller you should be comfortable answering that question and offering some reasonable options.

                                  Ultimately though I agree that it can be a lot of work and trouble to sell horses to inexperienced buyers who don't know what they are doing.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by BeeHoney View Post
                                    I would be polite and simply say something like, "Look, it seems like you have a lot of doubts and concerns. You should not buy a horse from me or anyone else unless you really feel comfortable with the purchase. No matter what you are spending or what type of horse you are looking for, it's a huge commitment and it's okay with me if you aren't ready to purchase the horse/s at this time."

                                    However, I am a little concerned about your statement that the horses are being sold on payment plans but that you aren't sure about "who would be responsible" regarding accidents or injuries (or death) while the horses are in your care. That is an EXTREMELY relevant question, and I would not be comfortable purchasing young stock from someone on a payment plan if they didn't have an answer to that question. It's not a complicated question and there are several satisfactory options, and as a seller you should be comfortable answering that question and offering some reasonable options.

                                    Ultimately though I agree that it can be a lot of work and trouble to sell horses to inexperienced buyers who don't know what they are doing.
                                    That's such a polite, kind way to gently send the buyer on his way. Thanks for writing that out.

                                    And I agree with you, from my own experience, I'd want to know what kind of plan for mitigating my risk while I made payments and they kept the horse. I (or any buyer) should feel comfortable with that part of the sales agreement or walk. It's really something that I would have assumed the seller had thought about if they regularly sold horses on payment schedules.
                                    The armchair saddler
                                    Politically Pro-Cat

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      The changing story from the potential buyer, coupled with the fact that he is an absolute beginner as a breeder, would keep me from selling a mare to him if I were in your situation.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by BeeHoney View Post
                                        I would be polite and simply say something like, "Look, it seems like you have a lot of doubts and concerns. You should not buy a horse from me or anyone else unless you really feel comfortable with the purchase. No matter what you are spending or what type of horse you are looking for, it's a huge commitment and it's okay with me if you aren't ready to purchase the horse/s at this time."

                                        However, I am a little concerned about your statement that the horses are being sold on payment plans but that you aren't sure about "who would be responsible" regarding accidents or injuries (or death) while the horses are in your care. That is an EXTREMELY relevant question, and I would not be comfortable purchasing young stock from someone on a payment plan if they didn't have an answer to that question. It's not a complicated question and there are several satisfactory options, and as a seller you should be comfortable answering that question and offering some reasonable options.

                                        Ultimately though I agree that it can be a lot of work and trouble to sell horses to inexperienced buyers who don't know what they are doing.
                                        The contract is stated that the buyer is responsible for all vet costs it is highly recommended they take out mortality insurance. That wasn't the issue.

                                        His wording was "Well what if it's your fault if they get hurt or sick?" And then he said he wouldn't be paying for vet bills for colic if it's our fault the horse colics. That's what caught me off guard. It felt like a potential lawsuit waiting to happen for us if the horse so much as scratches herself.

                                        The issue was more about the story constantly changing about what he wanted. I'm more than happy to help people wade through the minefield of gradings and the other confusing things when it comes to Friesians. But both the fillies were advertised as their respective books, it was explained to him several times and I even got other people who are much more knowledgable than me to help him get his head around it. I'm not going to guarantee the 2 year old will be a Ster at the next Keuring as he wanted to be written into the contract.

                                        He doesn't have a trainer. The area he lives in has an abundance of extremely good trainers as well which I recommended him to as well as suggesting lessons.

                                        I told him this morning the fillies are no longer available to purchase. He's VERY unhappy with this which makes me glad about our brand new security system after the run in with the nutty neighbor. I feel like I've dodged a bullet with this one.
                                        Not my circus, not my monkeys!

                                        Comment

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