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Backing out of a deal?


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21 replies to this topic

#1 Urban Coyote

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 12:09 PM

I've been trying to purchase an Impreza and thought I had found my 'new to me car'.

I took it for a test drive and made an offer to the seller through email which was accepted. I offered to put down a deposit which the seller refused, which I found odd. Then this morning he says he has two other offers on the car and is planning to have it appraised at the local Subaru shop and "go from there".

What I was wondering is can he back out once he accepts an offer?

I figure the guy is big time full of kaka.

#2 NoahDL88

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 12:26 PM

Legally you really have no leg to stand on, as verbal agreements are hard to prove.

As far as his word, yes, he should honor your verbal agreement, but in the end do you really want to buy a car from a guy like this? Give your money to someone else, a deal isn't done until cash and title change hands.

#3 987687

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 12:29 PM

I've found the best thing to do when buying cars off craigslist or whatever you have there (what is it kijijijiij or something?) is to be as brief as possible.
Don't sound really excited, or anything. Just say, I wanna look at your car, when works.
Don't make an offer over email. What if you show up and it has rust that wasn't pictured, and more problems than you thought? Suddenly your good deal offer, isn't. You'll want to do more negotiating, but now you've set a price you're willing to pay. So it's hard to ask for him to go lower.

The best thing to do is make a time to show up at look at it. After you've inspected the car over, THEN make your offer.
I've found when I'm buying/selling cars. It's best to show up with cash in hand, so if you make a deal you can just pay right then and there. Cash makes it easy. Nobody is worried about a check not clearing, etc. Cash is cash, title gets signed over, and the car is yours.

I just bought a car, paid cash, and actually let it sit in his driveway for a day before i picked it up. But it was in my name, all I had to do was show up any time and grab the thing. I told him it would be gone by the weekend, and he said whenever.

Sorry this deal fell through for you, but take some of these tips into consideration, and it'll go much more smoothly next time.
It takes a couple times buying/selling cars to figure out how to play the game. If you're good at it, you're one step ahead of whomever you're doing business with.

#4 grossgary

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 12:43 PM

I took it for a test drive and made an offer to the seller through email which was accepted.

if a tree fell on the car - you would all of a sudden not want that email to be binding, so don't get too amped up. sounds like an interesting seller and all, but i'd just move on.

"accepted"....is so ambiguous it probably doesn't mean anything. He could say it would have been accepted if you showed up within an hour with cash at his doorstep, but you didn't...no time frame, no details (i could make a very long list, etc....email is not a contract and that email sounds particularly lacking. he's not (and don't forget equally that you're not) bound by anything. there's waaay too many variables and possibilities for that to hold any water.

in the end do you really want to buy a car from a guy like this?

Yes, this. move on and be ready to buy with cash next time.

If you want a good deal - have cash. Great deals move fast and you need to move fast too. Test driving and emailing an offer later is generally a good way to miss nearly every good deal out there.

#5 Urban Coyote

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 01:44 PM

The only problem with showing up cash in hand is you're taking a risk that the car may have a lien on it. The title has to be clear and free before I would pay for a car as I would not want to take on that sort of headache. I would never just show up to look at a car with cash....too risky from my perspective. If a deal is that good then it's probably too good to be true.

I took the car for s test drive and had a mechanic look it over before I made an offer. All I needed from the seller was proof of a clear title on the car.

You guys are right though....time to walk away. I don't actually think there's anything wrong with the car itself....it's the owner.

#6 Rooster2

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 02:17 PM

Once the buyer had your offer, he undoubtedly used it as a negotiating point with the next interested buyer to get a higher offer. In my opinion, I wouldn't buy anything from this seller. He has little integrity. After you had "closed" your deal, the seller should have been telling every potential buyer that the car was "sold." End of conversation to anyone else wanting to buy his car. He wasn't doing that. His "word" is no good. Even if he comes back to you saying your original deal is still acceptable, I would not buy his car. The guy is not to be trusted, and is likely to jerk you around some more should you continue dealing with him.

#7 Caboobaroo

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 02:23 PM

Buying a car from a private party.... ALways have money in hand to purchase the car. If you do not give them money the day you look at it or even a deposit, just walk away. Sounds like he's shady and was looking for the best price. Don't worry about it, just take it as it is.

#8 Subruise

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 02:41 PM

there are other cars out there. find someone who really cares about the car theyre selling, kinda like finding your dog a good home. and take dough with ya, just in case everything is legit

#9 hankosolder2

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 03:09 PM

I had something similar happen to me. Responded to an ad for a car with an O.B.O. price. I test drove the car, and offered the guy his FULL asking price in cash, on the spot. It turns out he had made a tentative sale the prior night to someone else. (Thanks for not telling me first, buddy! I had even called earlier that day to see if the car had sold yet.) He asks me if I'll go any higher on price (no!) and then calls up the other party and wrings another $100 out of them. I told him that when I left, my offer left with me, and it did.


Nathan

#10 grossgary

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 03:25 PM

you can lean (ha ha, pun intended) on some experience if you'd like...i just wanted to say that, you probably don't need any tips..anyway.

The only problem with showing up cash in hand is you're taking a risk that the car may have a lien on it.

not really, it doesn't really work or happen like that.

***if you mean the guy didn't have the title - then by all means avoid that deal. no title, registration...that just smells of shady-ness.

1. you buy cars without using cash, you're the shady one - tax evader!!? just kidding - however you do it - show up ready to buy the car, however it is you buy them without cash or whatever - you have some method in mind - well show up ready to do that on the spot - meet them or drive wherever/however it is that you buy cars. in states that require notarization (mine doesn't but i buy out of state frequently), i plan ahead and find the closest notary, heck some even travel and meet you. 3 minutes of planning on my phone at a red light and i can do the deal on the spot.
2. the registration and title tell you if it has a lein on it. so if you can read you can figure this out.
3. have a state issued bill of sale - (all state's i have bought in have them online), ready to sign. if you're super anal have a piece of paper stating the car has no lien and sign and notarize that too. if they lie - it's fraud and you don't do anything but hand it over to a really good lawyer and they can sue for all costs associated with that....but that will never happen anyway...that's just a feel good step for paranoid people or folks that aren't good at business/dealing with people.
4. it's fairly easy to spot a legit seller, walk away from all others. if you show up in an upper class neighborhood and buy a smoking deal from a Doctor with nice cars, at their house, married, kids that has nice cars and just wants to dump this thing quick...you get a pretty good feel for whether or not they're shady. Doctors do not care about $1,000 car, it's in their way. if you drive back a country road and meet someone with 8 junk cars in the yard that looks like they don't ever cross the county line or someone doesn't want to meet at their home...walk. both of those were real world situations i've encountered.
5. compare title info to drivers license
6 . if you're super anal call the DMV and ask them or drive straight there and run a DMV report showing it's lien free

there are options. i've bought tons of cars and regularly talk to others that have as well, it's not really that hard. basically walk from the first signs of weirdness you see, don't even go there.

i...and many on this board have bought dozens of cars, we've gone through more Subaru's than we know over the years - and i've never had this happen nor heard of it happening.

i'm not saying it can't but it's not hard to avoid compromising situations either.

#11 Urban Coyote

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 06:43 AM

Exactly....the title of the car was not free and clear. The guy didn't have the title to the car as he bought the car with a loan from the bank.

I still would never go look at a car with the full purchase price in cash with me. To me that's just asking for trouble. Place a deposit pending a mechanical, VIN and title check sure, but not hand over the full price on the spot. It's my responsibility to do due diligence and I would not trust to a 15 minutes test drive and a quick look over of the car enough to purchase it outright. I'm not a mechanic and I realize I don't have the expertise to make a choice like that on the spot.

After the guy accepted my offer I did try to give the him a deposit if he would sign a purchase agreement....he refused. That's when all the red flags started going off. Definitely slimy but a good experience to learn from.

#12 porcupine73

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 07:43 AM

Not specifically related, but I just thought I'd throw this out there, probably is like this in other states too, in NY, you really have to make sure the title the seller is giving you is the last title that was issued. Because s/he could have possibly an old title that shows no liens, but then the title was later branded with a lein. So in NY anyway you can go to the DMV web site and enter the vehicle VIN and it will tell you the date the last title was issued so you can compare that with the title issue date on the title the seller is showing you.

I think in many areas verbal contracts can be considered binding, though of course some sort of judge or arbitrator would have to decide who is telling the truth. I don't know, on Judge Judy she seems to take into account text messages, twitter posts, stuff like that all the time. Though that isn't really a court of law I don't believe, I think it's really an arbitration. It seems like an e-mail of the seller accepting the offer could be enforceable, though I guess the seller could claim it wasn't him, it was altered, he never sent it etc. In the end it probably just isn't worth the time and money it would take to force him to sell you the car, plus then people like to do stupid things to cars before selling in this kind of case probably.

#13 grossgary

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 07:45 AM

Exactly....the title of the car was not free and clear. The guy didn't have the title to the car as he bought the car with a loan from the bank.

there we go - the issue is the title, walk from that deal. that is terribly risky - should have never even thought about giving a deposit for that car. as soon as i heard that i would move on. if they don't have a title, not even worth my time.

deposits are risky, and hose people fairly often even with a signed contract. contracts of this sort usually fall into a "he said, she said" kind of match. people i know have gone through it and splitting the difference is common - so getting half your money back. courts, time, money...not good.

it's easy to tell a good seller and a bad one if you know what you're doing. sometimes it's just hard to walk away from a car when you should though!

i can see where your situation is different if you're not mechanically inclined and such but having bought countless Subaru's over the years i can say that it's easy to buy a car with cash, it's not a big deal. i can do it with zero risk...no more than any other way at least. others may not be able to do that though, so i can see different approaches.

#14 The Dude

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:20 AM

there we go - the issue is the title, walk from that deal. that is terribly risky - should have never even thought about giving a deposit for that car. as soon as i heard that i would move on. if they don't have a title, not even worth my time.

deposits are risky, and hose people fairly often even with a signed contract. contracts of this sort usually fall into a "he said, she said" kind of match. people i know have gone through it and splitting the difference is common - so getting half your money back. courts, time, money...not good.

it's easy to tell a good seller and a bad one if you know what you're doing. sometimes it's just hard to walk away from a car when you should though!

i can see where your situation is different if you're not mechanically inclined and such but having bought countless Subaru's over the years i can say that it's easy to buy a car with cash, it's not a big deal. i can do it with zero risk...no more than any other way at least. others may not be able to do that though, so i can see different approaches.


You're in a much better situation than the average used Suby buyer. A lot of used car sellers are trying to dump a car that requires expensive repairs. That's why an average used Suby buyer might want to have a professional mechanic go over the car before they buy it. If you get stuck with a car with undisclosed, expensive repairs, you're in a position to mitigate the damge. You have the experience, tools, heavy equipment, and used parts connections to repair a "dumped'' car at miminal cost.

#15 Prwa101

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 12:03 PM

Best advice a person can give you right now, is when your going to buy a car from a person. HAVE CASH UP FRONT! Cash money talks:) they can't say no after you've already payed and have the title. Never put cash down... Unless you have the title! That's a scam waiting to happen... As for him backing out, nothin you can do. Just means he's an ***hole and can't stick to his word, which prolly means he may have lied about the condition of the car? I don't know. There's always a better car out there, always go into a buy with that mind set. :)

Good luck guy!

-Prwa

#16 987687

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 12:09 PM

I was selling a car once, I had someone come look at it, and leave a $200 deposit. He wanted me to deliver it to his house 2 hours away. In 5 days. Which meant I had to keep registration and insurance on it, and use it as a DD for 5 more days, then go drop it off. Also, he wanted to meet at a central location, not my house.

I always thought it was odd that he wanted to meet me a ways from my home, and give me $200 down and ask me to deliver it the next weekend.
Talk about trusting a stranger!! I could have screwed him on that deal so bad. Nothing was in writing, no legal agreement, he just said he wanted it and handed me $200 cash.

NEVER EVER do that, think what would have happened if I sold it to someone else the next day and just ignored his emails.. He'd have absolutely no legal ground to stand on. Don't be an idiot like the guy who bought that car from me. heh.

#17 naru

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 12:54 PM

IMO,an oral/texted contract is legally binding in all juristictions,it is just not easily enforcible.

Deposits are a greyer area.
Legally speaking,I think it boils down to the fact that the seller has no right to keep the deposit regardless of what happens.

Friend of mine has an interesting cash car buying strategy.
He fills a paper bag with 20-30% of the asking price in crumpled up small bills.
If he likes the car,he will pull out the cash and make sure the seller has a good look at the big wad.
Might not work to buy the docs car,but,he says it works more often than it doesn`t.

BTW,"Judge" Judy is not a judge at all.She is a court appointed arbitrator that both parties have agreed to have.

Edited by naru, 30 October 2012 - 12:57 PM.


#18 987687

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 12:58 PM

Well the agreement in my case wasn't made over email. We agreed to meet, that was it. The agreement on a price, and his deposit was oral. Therefor nobody can prove anything other than we met at a certain time and place. There were not witnesses.
It worked out for him because he didn't buy from a jerk, but it could have ended really badly for him, which I pointed out when I delivered the car. He agreed that it probably wasn't a good idea.

#19 Rooster2

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 02:15 PM

IMO,an oral/texted contract is legally binding in all juristictions,it is just not easily enforcible.

Deposits are a greyer area.
Legally speaking,I think it boils down to the fact that the seller has no right to keep the deposit regardless of what happens.

Friend of mine has an interesting cash car buying strategy.
He fills a paper bag with 20-30% of the asking price in crumpled up small bills.
If he likes the car,he will pull out the cash and make sure the seller has a good look at the big wad.
Might not work to buy the docs car,but,he says it works more often than it doesn`t.

BTW,"Judge" Judy is not a judge at all.She is a court appointed arbitrator that both parties have agreed to have.


In buying a car from a private owner, I carry cash with me, but am very leery about flashing cash for anyone to see. Only when it is settle up time, do I meet someone discretely, (and with confidence that the situation is on the up and up), that I present cash for the transaction. Otherwise, you can be leaving yourself open to get robbed.

#20 naru

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 05:28 PM

Flashing the cash is his pressure tactic.Even more effective if the wife is there.
NOW or NEVER,buddy.
I`ve got other cars to look at.
He is not into protracted multi day negotiations.

Edited by naru, 30 October 2012 - 05:36 PM.


#21 987687

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 06:07 PM

People are usually more likely to make a bargain if they know you have the cash to pay right now. Rather than, yea.... I'll get you the money in a week when my sister's boyfriend's mistress pays me back.

When I'm buying a car, I say I have cash in hand. When I'm selling, I say I have title in hand. It's a good motivator.

#22 Rooster2

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 08:27 PM

When I'm buying a car, I say I have cash in hand. When I'm selling, I say I have title in hand. It's a good motivator.[/QUOTE]

You are absolutely right. In both cases, you are telling the world that you are ready to do business NOW.




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