Originally Posted by BillyBobtx
Thank you for taking the time to address this topic. In your response:
"2. Provide the seller with my offer and any questions I might have about the boat":
Probably not in that order and one of my first questions will be "has a survey been done on the vessel? (along with how long has it been listed; what offers have been made,...,,,)" I am in agreement that the broker could lose a license
by giving false information, but I still fear a dishonest broker.
Thank you for your points of view and looking at it from afar, I can now see why someone would walk away from a boat after investing the survey costs and realizing that boat condition may not be the only problem. I will cross that bridge when I get to it.
Glad to be of help, with my POV and thoughts.
We Can ALL Learn by Sharing Our Experiences
I don't claim to be an expert in buying
boats. I also don't have the same experience buying
boats that so many others here have, so I know that there are many forum members who can add more experiences, insights, and anecdotes (that will help you and
me). The ability to get "collective experience" via a forum like this is a big help to buyers. I recognize I have a lot to learn, I have an open mind to learning
from anyone, and I have learned plenty from the many CF members. (Thanks guys and gals!)
You mentioned order up above, related to asking questions. I agree. I would ask questions of the broker (and/or owner if possible) prior
to transaction. And anytime I feel the need for more information.
As I see it, anytime is a good time for questions to further the sale and I think both the seller and buyer should see it that way.
Also, I don't want you to mistake my earlier statements as the only way I see things or the process.
For example, when I contact a broker in the future, I will ask for a copy of the latest survey (done for others) IF it exists. I will ask if the broker knows of problems, damage, etc. If he shares it with me, I will consider it, but not depend upon it
. If he does not have one to share with me, I have not lost
Since we may be buying a boat that is remote
from us or our experience, we have to depend on others for their views of those boats. Since the broker is "close" to the boat, I will start by asking the broker some questions. Here are just a few that come to mind now:
- I will ask if the broker has a video walkthrough or will make one for me to see.
- I will ask if the broker has additional photos of the boat, and how recently they were made.
- I will ask if the broker has sold other boats of this brand and this model and this year. How many? What problems did he see in those other boats?
You mentioned a fear of a Dishonest Broker.
While I understand that caution is prudent, I don't really have a fear that the Broker will be dishonest, because I have low expectations of what I will learn from the broker, and I approach the boat search with expectation that I must do some research
prior to making an offer on any big boat. And I am always aware of "Caveat Emptor."
This is because of my previous experience dealing with brokers who seemed to know very little about the boats I viewed. So, in general I have low expectations that the broker will provide me with information that I cannot acquire myself (often via the internet).
Put another way, I think the onus or responsibility for learning
"about" the boat type and brand and brand issues (known problems with leaky decks, construction, layup
, etc.) really falls on the buyer, rather than the broker.
Luckily, the internet exists!
With a few clicks we can find answers to just about anything including the ability to find other owners of similar boats.
As I see it, like any other major purchase, a buyer must depend on a few things:
1. One's own knowledge of the subject.
What does the buyer know of the boat type, signs of condition, and research
on the boat design or boat reputations. This depends on you or me (the buyer).
2. The use of experts when one does not have that same expertise.
This depends on finding some honest experts who have more knowledge than we have ourselves.
One could do the following:
- Pay for a Boat Search Professional (e.g. consultant, Buyer's Broker)
- Pay for a professional survey by a Surveyor.
- Pay for a rigging survey by a pro rigger.
- Pay for a Engine Analysis, etc.
Buyer's Broker May Help the Buyer
It may have been mentioned earlier, but there is also the possibility of hiring a "Buyer's Broker" to assist in the search, evaluation of boats, and negotiations. If a buyer does not feel comfortable with the process or their own knowledge, and if the purchase
is substantial in cost or importance, I think a Buyer's Broker makes sense, especially if the boat purchase is a big one ($$$).
What's My Gripe?
One gripe I have is that the photos used to show the boats online are often OLD or undated photos and few show a boat as I want to see it.
As I see it, taking photos is easy enough, or making a video walkthrough is easy. Most brokers should do a better job of this or hire someone who can.