Those are all good questions, Maynard. So let's see if you like my answer. :sidelaugh: :sidelaugh:
What you do is this. You come to a forum, such as this one, and you ask for "opinions" about the tractor itself and what the value would be. After all, if YOU don't know what the value is, then how else are you going to find out? There is no "Blue Book" or "Black Book" that is readily available to Joe Average. And even if you do check in some printed guide, it isn't all that helpful.
Why? Because those guides are too vague. Condition of the tractor is paramount. Photos give US a good idea about condition and that gives US an edge over any guide.
Location also matters because a tractor sitting half and hour away from where you live is worth more to YOU than one that is 30 hours away. Shipping costs must be factored in.
So, let's say YOU brought that tractor to this forum and asked for opinions. Here's what I would say.
This appears to be either a 1972 or early 73 446 that is in really, really nice, all-original condition because even the original seat is still there. It has the Speaker 777's in it. This tractor would make a great collector unit or work unit.
Since the Seller is just "fishing", then the smart thing to do is to go in cheap. Offer him $350.00 for it. Personally, I think that it's worth $500.00 because of the condition but that would depend on the engine. If it smokes or has a broken rod, then $350.00 is tops.
He's asked for an offer. A lot of people will react just like you did and won't even make an offer. That's a good thing for those who are not shy. Make a low-ball offer and see what his reaction is. Maybe he'll accept and you end up with a bargain. Maybe he'll laugh and tell you to get lost. That would be a stupid move on his part.
He's the one who set things up this way so he should not get offended by low-ball offers. Now if he counters with "$1000.00 would be more like it", then you know that there's too much space between the two of you but you don't give up. Instead, you politely tell him that it would surprise you if anyone would pay him anywhere close to that amount but you'd like to leave your phone number with him in case he does not get an offer. Tell him that you'd be willing to come up some, providing the engine checks out but no where near his valuation.
You never know....... The tractor is for sale because he wants it gone. Someone has to make that happen. Don't piss him off. Just work with him calmly. Many people want big bucks but when a week goes by and nothing happens, they will come back and try to make a deal with someone they know to be seriously interested.
YOUR job is to make that person understand that YOU are a serious buyer that has the cash and the trailer needed to take the tractor away. YOU need to sell yourself to this person. There are plenty of tire kickers out there. There are plenty of people who will make an appointment to see the tractor and then not show up. Sellers get fed up quickly with these people and just want to put an end to it.
One way I convince people that I'm a serious buyer is to ask them if they have a Paypal account. I tell them that I'm prepared to Paypal them a deposit on the tractor RIGHT NOW if we can make a deal over the phone. Money talks, bullshit walks.