A little bit of info about Buying Pianos
I have been working with pianos for over 25 years. Not just selling pianos but buying, servicing and restoring them too.
In that time I have found that there are two obstacles that people will undoubtledly face when puchasing a piano from a private party,
The Buyer and The Seller
Now don't get me wrong here, I wholeheartedly feel that each one is working with honesty and integrity based upon the knowledge and experience that they each posses, but when you really stop and think about it, what does that really mean?
The seller for instance is that person who in the best case scenario is tired of dusting that piece of furniture in their living room and wants to make room for the new entertainment center before football season. In the worst case scenario is cleaning our their garage and doesn't know what to do with Grandma's old piano. Whichever the case may be, they either have never played piano or have not played in so long that they forgot how the instrument should feel or sound. All they know is
"It just needs to be tuned!"
On the other hand you have the buyer...
The buyer wants to get the best for the buck. Nothing wrong with that. They scour the classifieds or Cragslist and try to find what looks like the best deal out there. Chances are they have never played piano before or haven't played in so long they forgot how the instrument should feel like or how it should sound. They have no clue how let off effects the playability of the piano or how to tell if lost motion is affecting that bobbling hammer and all those other things that have to work right for a piano to be an enjoyable instrument. You have to understand that, especailly with a piano, we rely on the mechanics of the instrument to transfer the music from our hands to our ears.
When the instrument doesn't work right it's kinda like riding a bike with a flat tire. At first we're all excited about taking a nice ride on a beautiful day just to realize that it is so much work to get where we want to go we might as well just stay home. Music is too important to miss out on. Let's fix the flat and have a wonderful time!
Check out What makes A minor music different and you will see that you can make a sound investment in a previuosly owned piano.