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Old 03-08-2011, 15:32   #1
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Broker Interaction

I am looking for some feedback about the following interaction with a broker. Was I wrong in the questions and how I approached this interaction???

First call to them was about a week ago and went like this- High my name is Bill and I am interested in the "brand x 34 you have for sale." I will be in town in about a week and would like to see the boat. Could you tell me a little about the boat? The answer basically repeated the boat listing and added that the centerboard does not work.

When was the last time the bottom was painted or if it was ever barrier coated? I know he had it painted, but I don't know if they painted the inside of the trunk or the board, I will have to pull the file and call him.

Okay and do you know the age of the rigging? I don't know I'll have to call the owner.

We spoke amiably and left it with I would be in touch when I knew when I would be in town.



I called today to setup a viewing of the boat later this week and stated I was considering placing an offer. When I asked about the centerboard, I was told the board does not work and he has no idea if when the bottom was hauled if anything was done to the centerboard. When I asked about the age of the rigging, he had no idea- but that is what an inspection is for.

Am I wrong to be leary? Did I ask/say something wrong and breach etiquette? Without knowing the conditions of major systems like a centerboard or the rigging, isn't one forced to assume they are in need of major work?

The intention is not to start a debate, but to solicit feedback.

Thanks

Bill
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Old 03-08-2011, 15:36   #2
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Re: Did I say something wrong????

Bill, sadly some brokers manage to make second hand car dealers look like angels. We came across a few then found a really good one.

There was another recent thread on here on the same subject, worth having a search for.

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Old 03-08-2011, 15:38   #3
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Re: Did I say something wrong????

Quote:
Without knowing the conditions of major systems like a centerboard or the rigging, isn't one forced to assume they are in need of major work?
No, but you can tell the broker (and/or the owner) that your bid will be diminished by the amount it will take to get that inspection and repair. Then if they want to help with information, they can...
Sometimes people just don't behave the way you would expect - even when it is in their own best interest...

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Old 03-08-2011, 15:43   #4
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Re: Did I say something wrong????

Hi,

I am afraid you have entered "the broker zone", it sits just to the left of "the twilight zone" all who enter surrender all hope of normal behaviour.

Numerous stories about the generally useless nature of brokers on this forum.

Suffice to say the only thing you did wrong was not realise you were in "the broker zone"
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Old 03-08-2011, 15:50   #5
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Re: Did I say something wrong????

I have some good people in San Diego I recommend if you need a hookup in that department.
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Old 03-08-2011, 15:51   #6
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Re: Did I say something wrong????

Give it a pass Snore. So many boats out there to choose from and too many eager sellers to put up with that. I think he doesn't know because he doesn't want you to know. Is the centerboard stuck in the up position which often just means a fouled box/board or release thats potentially easier to deal with than the board stuck in the down position which, though it could be the case either way could more likely mean a bent centerboard, (aiyeeee!).
BTW This is the U.S.we are talkin about? What area of the country iif so?
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Old 03-08-2011, 15:52   #7
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Re: Did I say something wrong????

Give your money to a broker who treats you well. There are those types of brokers out there as well.
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Old 03-08-2011, 16:08   #8
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Re: Did I say something wrong????

I think the fact that the broker told you up-front that the centerboard does not work puts him in the category of honest. If boat has such major issues it certainly is priced low. Any purchase would be subject to inspection and survey first - buyer beware.

A lot of liability possible for the broker if he starts giving opinions lacking a survey. A dishonest broker would instead be saying "just add your clothes and food - ready to go cruising".
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Old 03-08-2011, 16:08   #9
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It's entirely possible the "owner" of the boat is dead, out of the country, in jail, getting divorced - and no answers to your questions will be forthcoming

So if the price is right and you really like it - let the pre-purchase survey give you all the info you need. And more reliable then any answer you might get from an untruthful owner anyhow.
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Old 03-08-2011, 16:15   #10
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Re: Did I say something wrong????

Don't know the asking price but sounds to me that the broker couldn't be bothered working for a small commission. Also sounds like he doesn't have your answers and is going to pass all responsibility to the surveyor.... Run man run....
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Old 03-08-2011, 16:18   #11
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Re: Did I say something wrong????

Thanks for the fast feedback, after studying this forum, reading books, etc like mutual fund prospectuses, to become more education- I did not expect what I got. This is the third broker I have spoken to and the first character. The others have ranged from remarkably honest and educational to classic salespeople. I just thought I crossed some line.

The boat is not in the "bargain range" so one would expect that all major systems should be in decent shape. The boat is in Florida and the owner is a Canadian snowbird.

Please note that I never asked for opinions. Opinions are subjective, undocumented statements that have the life span of toilet tissue. The questions related to facts that a competent owner would have kept in a maintenance log that should be handed down with the vessel. Gee- I guess I just answered my own question on that one!

Any hoot, thanks for the fast and informative feedback.
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Old 03-08-2011, 18:05   #12
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Re: Broker Interaction

I take extremely good care of my boats. When I sold my last boat, zero items came up in the survey. To this day, the buyer stays in touch and sends me pictures from his cruises.

That said, I would never provide a written maintenance log to a buyer (other than engine maintenance). It's a sad commentary about many buyers that this log would be almost sure to come back to bite me (your log says the boatyard did "X" but we found a spot ..... That's fraud)

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Old 03-08-2011, 18:46   #13
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Re: Broker Interaction

It sounds like an average response to your initial cold car to the broker. When you do get to meet him and see the boat, most likely things will change if he thinks you are serious about finding a boat. Until he meets you in person, you are just another window shopper and he has no idea how serious you are no matter what you say or claim over the phone.
- - You need to learn how to examine the boat yourself initially to find out if there are any obvious major problems.
- - If you are serious about buying then most likely the broker will have other boats that may be better suited to your needs and will tell you about them.
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