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Horse Selling Saga- or what's right/fair/when is a horse actually sold?

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  • Horse Selling Saga- or what's right/fair/when is a horse actually sold?

    I'm not involved (thank goodness!), but as I have very rarely been engaged in selling a horse was wondering if some kind of etiquette was breached, what is normal etc… in this little tale.

    X has a horse which she is reluctantly considering selling due to financial constraints. X has not advertised but a friend of family A hears that this may be the case and introduces family A to X. 2 members of Family A attend and try horse, and like horse. Family explains that another 2 members must try horse to be sure. Members 3 and 4 arrange to attend a week later. Weather too bad to do much with horse, but they like him and say when they can come back if the ride is ok will have him. No word for another week. Finally 3 and 4 are in touch and arrange to come the week after. Try horse, confirm they like him and will have him, then no word for a few days. Eventually call to say will arrange vetting next week, if vetting ok, will take him. To this point nothing is signed, no deposit arranged and owner has requested to view the yard horse will be moved to once sold before the vetting goes ahead- yet to be arranged.

    Meanwhile another family learn of horse for sale through a friend of a friend and while X is waiting to hear as not sure what's happening X says they may as well come see him. Day 1 come see him and try him in and out of school. Love horse. Ask to come back with trainer for a session very next day. Come back the following day, horse is impeccably behaved, trainer absolutely loves him. Brief discussion. Family B want to buy horse subject to vetting but will get in touch about this with their vet surgeon right away and will pay deposit to secure horse 2 days later. Owner invited to come view stables where horse will kept as soon as X likes. X overjoyed, accepts offer and says will tell family A the deal is off and the horse has sold.

    I do feel quite sorry for family A in this situation, but suspect they may just have proceeded much too slowly- thing is I know nothing about horse selling, having minimal experience myself- is the first process- pretty lengthy- more normal- or the second- very fast? Could family A make any claim to the horse or is it just- no contract, no deposit, no deal?

    This is just for my information, as I am curious! Situation will not change, as X is happy with arrangements made.
    Horse Selling Hell
    My Writing
    People who think they know everything about horses know nothing

  • #2
    Not unusual and the first person with deposit and signed agreement is the buyer. I've wired money to a seller when there were several people interested in a horse and been the first to get money and a written agreement to the seller and I got the horse (long distance purchase of in-foal broodmare).
    Colored Cowhorse Ranch
    www.coloredcowhorseranch.com
    Northern NV

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    • #3
      No etiquette breach to me. Family A was asleep at the wheel. Sounds like this was a nice horse and Family B was on top of things.

      There is an asssumption that since it has been a buyer's market for the last few years, that a buyer can do whatever. Actually, with a nice horse suited for its intended purpose, it's going to be more competitive. My sales horses are always on the market until there is a contract. I don't care how many times you look, no contract means you are not serious.
      Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule
      http://www.ironwood-farm.com

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      • #4
        Whoever puts check in hand first...gets the horse.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by dalpal View Post
          Whoever puts check in hand first...gets the horse.

          Comment


          • #6
            Ditto sar2008.

            I've had horses sold on me because I dragged my feet. I've also had people try to buy my mare out from under me, but I left a deposit, a check, kept in constant contact with the sellers and made moves very quickly.

            Money talks.

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            • #7
              I agree - the check/deposit has priority, and that is the custom in the industry and well understood. Snooze and lose. When buying something, I never assume it will wait around for me to ruminate about it. I inquire as to other interested parties, then ask what I can do to hold the item pending final arrangements, such as give a deposit, if I care that much. Sounds like first family didn't work very hard to make it happen for themselves. They assumed the horse was only available to them, and unless they had a contract saying so, they assumed wrong.

              Oh, well.

              Business is business. It must be practiced as business and not with 'favors' or emotional exceptions, or deals go bad quickly. Best thing for the horse, too, if I read it right.
              Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by IronwoodFarm View Post
                No etiquette breach to me. Family A was asleep at the wheel. Sounds like this was a nice horse and Family B was on top of things.
                Originally posted by dalpal View Post
                Whoever puts check in hand first...gets the horse.
                Yep! Too bad, so sad for the slow pokes!
                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.

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                • #9
                  You snooze you lose.

                  Personally as a seller I'd be more willing to make the deal with people that have their ducks in row anyway.

                  Multiple visits from multiple family members stretched out over a length of time before they even bother making an appointment to have the vet exam and God only knows when that's going to come about...then someone comes in and bip-boom-bam they are taking care of business and ready to make the deal. Sounds like a no-brainer on the seller's part.

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                  • #10
                    Good for X. It sounds like she conducted the transaction well. For all she knows, family A may not ever call back.
                    "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer
                    http://dressagescriblog.wordpress.com/

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                    • #11
                      It sounds like the sale was eventually stalled by the seller though; she wanted to see the yard the horse was being moved to before the buyers could arrange the PPE right?

                      If that was the case, then I could understand the first party being miffed; they were not asked for a deposit, and were told to wait to arrange the PPE. Did the seller at least warn them that someone else was looking at the horse?

                      If the second buyer had come before the first buyer had declared interest in doing a PPE (but been told to wait by the seller), then I would think differently, but in this case it sounds like the seller stalled the sale, not the first buyer.
                      Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CHT View Post
                        It sounds like the sale was eventually stalled by the seller though; she wanted to see the yard the horse was being moved to before the buyers could arrange the PPE right?

                        If that was the case, then I could understand the first party being miffed; they were not asked for a deposit, and were told to wait to arrange the PPE. Did the seller at least warn them that someone else was looking at the horse?

                        If the second buyer had come before the first buyer had declared interest in doing a PPE (but been told to wait by the seller), then I would think differently, but in this case it sounds like the seller stalled the sale, not the first buyer.

                        They still took too long and should have gotten a contract signed subject to vetting and approval of new yard. We bought our pony subject to the owner drawing a Coggins - no contract or deposit. If a less discriminating purchaser had happened along with cash - oh well.
                        Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                        Incredible Invisible

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                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by CHT View Post
                          It sounds like the sale was eventually stalled by the seller though; she wanted to see the yard the horse was being moved to before the buyers could arrange the PPE right?

                          If that was the case, then I could understand the first party being miffed; they were not asked for a deposit, and were told to wait to arrange the PPE. Did the seller at least warn them that someone else was looking at the horse?

                          If the second buyer had come before the first buyer had declared interest in doing a PPE (but been told to wait by the seller), then I would think differently, but in this case it sounds like the seller stalled the sale, not the first buyer.
                          Just to confirm, it was always part of the deal that the owner saw the new yard first. The horse was a real pet and this condition was declared before family A first came to see the horse. Initially it was said there was no harm in letting family B come look, as they may not even like the horse anyway, but instead they just adored horse and asked what they could do to make a sale happen. Interesting that someone mentioned dealing with seller who had ducks in a row, X commented that after first speaking to family B, that it was nice that they seemed to know exactly what they wanted, what they would do next, and didn't dally when they decided they were interested, whereas at times it felt like family A had no idea what they wanted!

                          Glad overall it sounds like no trangression has been committed, as I know all the people involved, genuinely like all of them and was not sure how to feel! Am just thanking my lucky stars no one's come to me to complain about another party involved!

                          BTW- so far B are proceeding like they started- vetting already booked and transport for if he passes arranged for the following day!
                          Last edited by Cancara; Feb. 23, 2011, 02:46 PM.
                          Horse Selling Hell
                          My Writing
                          People who think they know everything about horses know nothing

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                          • #14
                            Generally if you're serious about a horse and don't want it sold out from under you, it's best to put down a deposit for the seller to hold the horse until the PPE, for example. Without a deposit or other agreement, the seller is free to sell the horse to the first person with cash in hand.
                            "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
                            -Edward Hoagland

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                            • #15
                              I always inform anyone interested that the sale is subject to first come first serve, or deposit in hand.

                              As a buyer, I assume that if someone gets the money to the seller first, I am out of luck. I figure if I drag my feet too much and lose out, it wasn't meant to be.

                              And if Family A is unhappy.....there are other horses on the market.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by threedogpack View Post

                                And if Family A is unhappy.....there are other horses on the market.
                                True- LOADS of them!
                                Horse Selling Hell
                                My Writing
                                People who think they know everything about horses know nothing

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                                • #17
                                  What X did was correct - If I were X I would have called the A family and told them if they wanted dibs on the horse they needed to provide a deposit and sign a contract that stated .... by Y date or the deposit was non-refundable.

                                  X really had no obligations to family A, but a "heads up" would have been nice.
                                  Now in Kentucky

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                                  • #18
                                    Flip it around:

                                    You like a horse. Test rides take longer than ideal to get done as the weather is unsafe for travel. You decide you like the horse and want to do a PPE, seller says ok, but before you book it, let me come see your barn. (at this point it sounds like a verbal agreement to buy horse pending vet check and property inspection is in place) Never mentions a deposit or a contract, and as you know the horse isn't listed, you don't think about it being sold out from under you. Everything seems casual about the sale and the seller is putting on no pressure.

                                    But...before the seller makes the time to come see your place and oks you booking the PPE, the horse is sold.

                                    As a potential buyer, i would be miffed, as I was ready to proceed but waiting on an action from the seller. I was not made aware that others were trying the horse and the horse wasn't listed for sale.

                                    Verbal contract breeched.
                                    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by CHT View Post
                                      Flip it around:

                                      You like a horse. Test rides take longer than ideal to get done as the weather is unsafe for travel. You decide you like the horse and want to do a PPE, seller says ok, but before you book it, let me come see your barn. (at this point it sounds like a verbal agreement to buy horse pending vet check and property inspection is in place) Never mentions a deposit or a contract, and as you know the horse isn't listed, you don't think about it being sold out from under you. Everything seems casual about the sale and the seller is putting on no pressure.

                                      But...before the seller makes the time to come see your place and oks you booking the PPE, the horse is sold.

                                      As a potential buyer, i would be miffed, as I was ready to proceed but waiting on an action from the seller. I was not made aware that others were trying the horse and the horse wasn't listed for sale.

                                      Verbal contract breeched.

                                      Not really. If the buyers were seriously interested they should have put a deposit down. I've dealt with enough wishy washy horse people, that I would have sold the horse after waiting two weeks on buyer A.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by dalpal View Post
                                        Not really. If the buyers were seriously interested they should have put a deposit down. I've dealt with enough wishy washy horse people, that I would have sold the horse after waiting two weeks on buyer A.
                                        Yep, agreed. If I want the horse, I don't take weeks, send four people to try him, dither booking the PPE, wait on the seller to mention again (since it sounds like that was clear at the outset) that they need to come see the stable where he'l be. I try him, I arrange for a second trial and PPE if necessary, I ask about those conditions, and if I'm serious, I put a deposit down to hold the horse.

                                        No deposit, first one with the money in hand wins.
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