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Old 24-04-2008, 10:32   #1
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Lousy Boat Brokers

Are all boat brokers lousy or am I just having bad luck? I scheduled a trip to the West coast to look at boats. I called/e-mailed 5 different brokers to try to look at 7 different boats. Only one even bothered to call back. He was great and very helpful. I just dropped in on one of them and he seemed ticked off that I had done that. I explained that I'd tried to call and e-mail multiple times but no one called back. Clearly against his will he showed me the boat, although he never got on it. He stood on the dock and chain smoked for 15 minutes, THEN JUST WANDERED OFF and never came back. I haven't heard from him since.

A friend of mine has scheduled a trip to another West coast port to look at boats and is having the same kind of luck. Not a single response to his requests to schedule appointments. Is this how the boat brokering business works? If so, are any brokers hiring? I think I could do well in that business!

Are these common experiences?
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Old 24-04-2008, 11:04   #2
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They aren't all like that. I would just show up, and explain I just flew in to look at some boats since you are already there. If he doesn't snap to his feet then go down the walk, and get another. I did my walking on the internet first. I just showed up, and things went snap, snap, snap. Exactly where are you looking?
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Old 24-04-2008, 11:39   #3
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tardog, I'm sure they aren't all like that, although you pretty much described my experiences with them.
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Old 24-04-2008, 11:56   #4
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We're looking in LA and San Fran for now.
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Old 24-04-2008, 12:02   #5
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tardog, I'm sure they aren't all like that, although you pretty much described my experiences with them.
Same here.

I've had some excruciatingly painful dealings with brokers... especially this time around.

If it wasn't for me hounding, then yelling at them, then writing to the president of the company, I would have never even been able to buy this boat. It took more effort to buy this boat through my broker than it did to sell my last boat without one! Seriously.

The part that really blew me away was that during my survey, boat out in slings, under offer with deposit in escrow, closing the next day, the broker sends another couple down to look at it - driving 4-5hrs. I wonder how angry they were?
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Old 24-04-2008, 12:31   #6
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The part that really blew me away was that during my survey, boat out in slings, under offer with deposit in escrow, closing the next day, the broker sends another couple down to look at it - driving 4-5hrs. I wonder how angry they were?
I think that's standard operating procedure for some of them. I've had a boat under contract for two weeks, had it hauled and surveyed, and transferred the money for the sale with closing tomorrow. And guess what? It's still for sale on Yachtworld!!

I have to say though, my experience with a buyers broker has been positive. If you can find one of the good ones it's a huge asset. She did a lot of legwork for us, calling brokers and setting up appointments, going with us to look at the boats, forcing the brokers to be honest about the condition before we drove to see it, etc. She knows the reputations of the other brokers, the surveyors, the locations of all the marinas, and was a help in negotiations. If you can find a good one that will be on your side it can make the process a lot smoother. Still not as much fun as it should be, but a help.
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Old 24-04-2008, 12:36   #7
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Old 24-04-2008, 12:37   #8
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Old 24-04-2008, 13:33   #9
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Brokers are a mixed bag; like most 'sales' folk out there I suppose.

You would think that someone FLYING OUT, or even driving 4 to 5 hours to look, would indicate their seriousness in buying a boat. But, maybe not.

As for good deals: LA, SF & don't forget San Diego. Tardog - might want to include WHERE you will be taking the boat to .. or do you intend to leave it on the West Coast?
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Old 24-04-2008, 13:40   #10
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Went into a broker in Australia with approx 250K to spend, said I have been at sea for 20yrs commercially and want to buy a well found cruising yacht for extended liveaboard cruising, broker shows me a Yacht with a long thin keel and a spade rudder (not exactly my idea of well found) and when I said it's exactly what I wasn't looking for, he replied "that it's a lovely yacht and he likes it", I suggested he buy it then and went looking for another broker
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Old 24-04-2008, 13:50   #11
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It's not funny, so why am I laughing?

Must be some sort of international training school for Yacht Brokers. Maybe a secret training camp in Afghanistan?
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Old 24-04-2008, 15:36   #12
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Nauticatarcher,

...GOOD FOR YOU!....GREAT REPLY TOO!!!!
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Old 24-04-2008, 15:58   #13
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These, of course, are all generalizations, but I must admit I am surprised at the amount of inquiries I have made to brokers on Yachtworld that have been completely ignored.
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Old 24-04-2008, 19:49   #14
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I think to be fair to brokers they get a lot of tire kickers, dreamers, guys trying to impress their girlfriends and generally a lot people out there, who waste their time.

On top of that, if you are a tough experienced buyer they will know that their commission often become the first casualty of a serious negotiation.

I think a “buyer's” broker prefers to find inexperienced clients that they can guide towards a purchase that maximises their profit instead of researching for the perfect boat for a knowledgeable sailor.

I recommend writing up a very detailed owner’s brief of what you are looking for and “why”.

Send that out to every established brokerage house and wait to see if it gets a good hit from someone who feels they have found a possible match.

That way, you don’t waste anybodies time.
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Old 24-04-2008, 20:28   #15
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I think to be fair to brokers they get a lot of tire kickers, dreamers, guys trying to impress their girlfriends and generally a lot people out there, who waste their time.


Tire kickers. Can sympathize with that end of it.

We had one group (family) of 5 come by to see our boat. They asked tons of questions, took up a good hour and finally one of the kids slipped up and mentioned that the dad thought it would be "fun to look at a big boat before the family dinner."

Apparently, they weren't even buying boats. They just thought it would be neat to see what a "big boat" looked like inside. After the showing, they were off to a dinner in the city they had with the extended family.

Mind you, we lived aboard and it took us 5 hours to clean for the showing.

So... I understand those brokers who do strange things to week out tire kickers.
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