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Old 28-12-2014, 08:26   #1
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The Prize Winning Broker

On our drive from West Palm Beach to Chicago, we made a detour to Annapolis. My SO wanted to see a Bowman 48, listed with one broker, and a Passport 47 and Tayana 48 listed with another. As it turned out, both broker offices were in the same yard.

We first saw the Bowman and the broker, Jim Ireland, was more than helpful and very accommodating. Very nice guy. After we were done there, we stopped at the office of the next broker. He invited us to sit down where we learned all about his sailing accomplishments and heard about the $5 million in boats he's owned and the countless boats he's sold.

He then asked us what boats we've seen so far. We told him the Bowman, a Hylas 49 and an Oyster 485. When I mentioned the 485, he said, "You hit a home run there!" Within a few minutes he was telling us that wasn't the boat for us and we needed a newer, turn-key boat. This, after I had told him I was an electrician, woodworker and luthier and was pretty good at fixing things and wasn't afraid of a challenge.

After about 20 minutes I interrupted him and said we'd like to see the boats we had made the appointment to see. He said, "The Tayana is under contract and the Passport has teak decks. You don't want teak decks." He refused to show it to us. I was kind of speechless and a bit ticked off. If we weren't so beat from the drive, I'm not sure I would have contained myself so well.

He then starts talking about this 2001 boat, "I won't tell you which one", that originally sold for $750K, had been well appointed and the owner was now willing to let it go for $199K. I wanted to leave but my SO wanted to see something. I had to interrupt him again and said, "Okay, show us the boat."

He took us over to a boat on the hard. I saw the swept-back spreaders with no back stay and the funky wing tabs on the winged keel and knew what brand it was. He placed a rickety ladder, with a missing run that had been replaced by rope, against the stern and unzipped the shrink wrap opening.

I was tempted to walk away but something told me I had to see this so I could set my grandkids on my lap and tell them the whole story. When I stepped inside, my first thought was this boat had been sitting for a very long time. It was in pretty bad shape and very dirty, despite the shrink wrap. The label at the helm confirmed it was a Hunter. We stepped below and thought an Animal House party had take place here. Many Animal House parties. The white cushions looked like they were in a frat house for years. "Look at how nice all this wood is!" he added.

I had my camera with me but had reached my limit with this guy so, without saying a word, I turned around and left. Once back on the ground, the broker said he knew this was not the boat for us but had another boat to show us. We remained polite but said we had to go. At our car, he offered his services as a buyer's broker and handed us each his business card. They quickly found themselves in the nearest trash bin.

We then went to Pussers and each had two #4 Painkillers.
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Old 28-12-2014, 08:34   #2
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

Its not a trash can. It is the pertinent information file

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Old 28-12-2014, 08:43   #3
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

Sad, but typical of some annoying boat brokers. You had an appointment to see a boat that was under contract? Unfortunately, we tend to buy boats in spite of the broker showing or listing it, instead of because of them.

You likely wouldn't turn down a boat you really liked because of a broker, or buy a boat because you liked the broker, so these types somehow survive.
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Old 28-12-2014, 09:28   #4
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Hilarious! Great story, superbly told!! Still LMAO. Classic broker story.
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Old 28-12-2014, 09:28   #5
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

Quote:
Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
Sad, but typical of some annoying boat brokers. You had an appointment to see a boat that was under contract? Unfortunately, we tend to buy boats in spite of the broker showing or listing it, instead of because of them.

You likely wouldn't turn down a boat you really liked because of a broker, or buy a boat because you liked the broker, so these types somehow survive.
We had no idea the Tayana was under contract until we finally asked to see it when sitting in his office.

You're right about buying a boat regardless of the broker but if this broker had a boat we liked, we'd use a buyer's broker to deal with him. Of course, we'd make sure the boat was still available and that we could actually see it. I'm guessing the Passport owner wouldn't be too happy if he or she knew their broker wouldn't show the boat to a prospective buyer.
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Old 28-12-2014, 09:29   #6
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

Howdy Julie,

I enjoyed your well written story.

You know when you find a good broker, as they do stand out from the others.

From your story, it is clear that one broker did not listen to you or care about your wants. That is always disappointing.

I can imagine another broker, being more in tune with you and your interests would have said:
"Now that you mention you are a luthier, I have a rare hand-built classic wood boat in the back of the yard I can show you. I would not show this boat to most people, but you have the kind of experience and skills that will appreciate this one. You should see the exotic wood details on her with alternating light and dark woods in the cabin. She has a teak and holly sole and a brightwork finish that is like glass. The lines of the hull are deep bodied but graceful and she has a sweet sheer with elegant overhangs, a fair curve and a long and lovely wood sprit. When you get your hands on her, you won't want to let go. She sails like notes on a musical score. In fact, I named her "Water Music."

Good luck on your search for your boat.
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Old 28-12-2014, 09:50   #7
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Julie Mor View Post

He took us over to a boat on the hard. I saw the swept-back spreaders with no back stay and the funky wing tabs on the winged keel and knew what brand it was. He placed a rickety ladder, with a missing run that had been replaced by rope, against the stern and unzipped the shrink wrap opening.

I was tempted to walk away but something told me I had to see this so I could set my grandkids on my lap and tell them the whole story. When I stepped inside, my first thought was this boat had been sitting for a very long time. It was in pretty bad shape and very dirty, despite the shrink wrap. The label at the helm confirmed it was a Hunter. We stepped below and thought an Animal House party had take place here. Many Animal House parties. The white cushions looked like they were in a frat house for years. "Look at how nice all this wood is!" he added.


We then went to Pussers and each had two #4 Painkillers.
I dare not read this again because it induces unrestrained laughter.

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Old 28-12-2014, 10:08   #8
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

Yeah, It can be quite frustrating at times. The more you look the more you learn I guess. Of course we would all like to know who broker #2 was... :>)
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Old 28-12-2014, 11:13   #9
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

It sounds like the broker was a real Rogue
You aren't trying to setup a long term relationship with the broker or the current owner, so as said earlier, buy inspite of the brokers.
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Old 28-12-2014, 11:27   #10
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

If that is a reference to the broker, it does not surprise me.

Quote:
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It sounds like the broker was a real Rogue
You aren't trying to setup a long term relationship with the broker or the current owner, so as said earlier, buy inspite of the brokers.
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Old 28-12-2014, 11:51   #11
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

Weird, that Passport does not have teak decks. It's a gorgeous boat though. You passed it, shrink-wrapped, 50' before you got to his office.

Maybe he's getting his inventory confused.

I'd find a buyers broker and see what working through them yields. It's a pretty amazing boat.
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Old 28-12-2014, 13:01   #12
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

When we were in the search for our current boat, we romanced a Kaufman 50 that sounded exactly like what we wanted. It was described as less than two years old, in perfect "yacht condition" and ready for sea trials if we liked her. The price, while high, was within reason. Long telephone conversations with both broker and owner. We were in love with a mail order bride! Rented a car, drove 600 klicks, got into a shore boat and approached our new boat...

I saw from a hundred meters away that the hull paint was peeling in places. From closer up, I could see pooled water standing on the sagging decks. When we entered the companionway, engine parts were scattered around the cabin sole. There was a chunk broken away from a corner of a bulkhead, splinters bristling. WTF???

After less than 10 minutes aboard, we climbed back into the shore boat, fuming. The broker, a very attractive lady, couldn't understand why I was so pissed off.

A couple of years later, another attractive boat appeared on the market. When I realized that it was being represented by the same woman, I didn't even go to look at it, and we were then in the same area... I could have gone by dinghy.

It is astonishing that some of these folks can earn a living when they are so bad at their jobs!

Julie, I hope that you can find a better broker and a better boat. And ya know, when I was in uni, those frat house cushions didn't look so bad...

Jim

PS The Kaufman finally sold about two years later for less than 1/3 the original asking price!
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Old 28-12-2014, 15:00   #13
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

Thanks Jim. We'll find the right boat. I kind of already have my heart set on one but my SO needs to kiss all the frogs first.

Yacht brokerage is built on a pretty loose foundation. Along the way deception and silence seems to have become the acceptable way of doing business. With one exception, the brokers we've met with haven't volunteered a thing about the boat they are showing. You have to ask. And even when you do ask, it's hard to get a straight answer, but at least you can tell by their evasiveness that there's problems.

I've read a number of articles where brokers say "tire kickers" or "professional shoppers" waste a lot of their time, but won't give you a straight answer over the phone and instead they invite you to come see it. The broker is complicit. When you ask questions and the reply you get is, "It will all come out in the survey," is it any wonder why buyers are reluctant to move forward? If brokers don't want to waste their time with so-called tire kickers, they need to be honest and upfront about the boats they are selling. That way serious buyers won't have to waste their time either. I'm not holding my breath.
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Old 28-12-2014, 15:56   #14
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

When I was shopping I had a heck of a time to get them to take me seriously, to return calls, to show me a boat etc.

What I did was picked one that seemed honest and listened to me and I liked, and made them my buyers broker and let them set up the showings, and assist in finding boats etc. The brokers seem to return other brokers calls as opposed to just my calls. Plus mu broker knew 90% of the boats that were being shown and which were not worth looking at
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Old 28-12-2014, 15:56   #15
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Re: The Prize Winning Broker

Julie,
Good luck with your search. Do you remember the clown's name by chance? My shopping starts after the Miami Boat Show. It may just save me a trip to MD.
Thanks,
Mike
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