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Old 17-01-2015, 13:14   #46
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

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.
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Old 17-01-2015, 14:04   #47
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

My wife and I had a very similar experience with that same fast talking Annapolis area broker. He misrepresented the boats condition in a huge way and even once we'd seen the boat didn't seem a bit embarrassed and continued to try to blow smoke about how little it would cost to bring everything up to the standard described in his listing and shown in his decade old listing photo's, misrepresenting that cost by at least 50%. The boat smelled like a sewer and was entirely missing any refrigeration system despite having one specified in the listing. Almost everything was far out of date and/or needed work despite being depicted as in great shape in his listing. After that one experience with him, even if he happened to have a boat listed that I just had to have, I'd use another broker to buy it just so I never had to listen to to his never ending stream of BS again. I'd also be extremely skeptical of any listing of his. Apparently he comes across much better to folks who want to sell their boats and works hard at that so he has lots of listings so buyers and their brokers are forced to deal with him.

We lucked out though because, with some time to kill, we headed back into Annapolis and stumbled onto a Tayana 48 that we eventually bought. It was listed with the Passport brokerage and the broker we used was named John Albertine. Very knowledgeable, experienced sailor and experienced broker, and patient, low/no pressure guy who just naturally holds himself to the highest ethical standards and doesn't even hesitate to help out in any way possible. He's just what a broker should be, IMHO, a knowledgeable facilitator of the deal who is also a real gentleman and a pleasure to spend time with. A few months after the sale, when I called to ask for some clarification about the watermaker membrane storage arrangements, he once again couldn't do enough to find out the information I needed even though he had no implied obligation to us at that point and he wasn't going to make any money from it. If you are looking for a cruising boat in the mid-Atlantic area, it sounds like you can't go wrong with either Jim Ireland or John Albertine.
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Old 17-01-2015, 15:23   #48
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

"As a buyer, I simply expect the broker to:
1. Provide the buyer with basic information about the boat (age, asking price, location, equipment list, etc.)
2. Provide the seller with my offer and any questions I might have about the boat
3. Facilitate the process of inspection of the boat by myself along with my choice of surveyor, the communication of offers (and possible counters),
4. Facilitate the paperwork needed to complete the transaction between buyer and seller.
Of course this is just one point of view. "

The above is quote from Steadyhand, sorry I don't know how to quote it in a proper way.

I agree with those 4 points, but I think that such broker should not pocket $16k or thereabouts for a $200k boat for these simple services!!
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Old 17-01-2015, 16:32   #49
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

Quote:
Originally Posted by HankOnthewater View Post
"As a buyer, I simply expect the broker to:
1. Provide the buyer with basic information about the boat (age, asking price, location, equipment list, etc.)
2. Provide the seller with my offer and any questions I might have about the boat
3. Facilitate the process of inspection of the boat by myself along with my choice of surveyor, the communication of offers (and possible counters),
4. Facilitate the paperwork needed to complete the transaction between buyer and seller.
Of course this is just one point of view. "

The above is quote from Steadyhand, sorry I don't know how to quote it in a proper way.

I agree with those 4 points, but I think that such broker should not pocket $16k or thereabouts for a $200k boat for these simple services!!
I hope you do realize that he was just listing his expectations as a buyer. From the seller's perspective, there is a WHOLE LOT that the broker has to do to earn his commission. And much of it does involve money and time. I wonder if most of us would be willing to work for what a broker makes.
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Old 17-01-2015, 16:49   #50
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

Funny! "Broker" is just another name for "salesman". Plenty of crappy salesmen everywhere....cars, boats, homes, motorcycles, magazines...you name it. A good "salesman" is not easy to find, no matter what you are looking for. (In my previous life I was a salesman) Good ones earn their money, and work hard.

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Old 17-01-2015, 16:52   #51
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

I Passed on a boat that busted survey. Since we found problems I couldn't live with, the survey stopped well before it was finished, and since the surveyor didn't finish and didn't write it up, he cut the price in half.
I bet most busted surveys don't get to the written phase, so there would be no survey to see.


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Old 17-01-2015, 17:45   #52
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

When I observe sales professionals in any sales category - real estate, autos, or boats - engage in the practices described in this thread, I understand something about the other customers they're "servicing". The tactics they use must work, or else they'd be shortly changing to another line of work. Contrarily, I've noticed that many such salesmen last a very long time. It seems to imply that there is a big enough supply of customers who are green enough to support their sales quotas and pay their commissions. Otherwise, their managers would throw them out.

Another thing is that the broker for a boat is an agent for the seller. Forthrightness to the buyer often suffers in that case. I think you can hire a "buyer's broker" or good surveyor, but the idea of using that kind of help is probably not on the radar for the newbies arriving at the yard.
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Old 17-01-2015, 18:26   #53
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyBobtx View Post
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!)

Asking Questions
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 anything.

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:
  1. I will ask if the broker has a video walkthrough or will make one for me to see.
  2. I will ask if the broker has additional photos of the boat, and how recently they were made.
  3. 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.
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