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Old 04-08-2009, 12:54   #1
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Should I Use a Broker?

I have been looking at boats in the 38' - 45' range under $40,000. There are a lot of them out there these days, and some are decent. I have been debating about using a broker though. Any advice? Do you use a broker? Is a broker going to work hard for me if I am only spending $40,000? A lot of the boats in this price range are for sale by private parties.

Any advice is appreciated!
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Old 04-08-2009, 15:34   #2
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Even if the broker doesn't work hard for you, if you are buying a broker listed boat it is probably worth it. The brokers are able to find out more about the boats than you will normally when calling about them. if the boat you are looking at is listed with a selling broker and you don't use a buying broker all that means is the selling broker gets all the money and no one is really working for you. On the boat I bought in April I had a broker, but looked at the boat by myself and the broker put in the offer for me. He get later go over the boat with me pretty good while we waited for the suryor
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Old 04-08-2009, 15:46   #3
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Use a broker, they are required to carry insurance and can be held responsible if things are not done properly, they can help you find surveyors, and will take care of the registration. Typically, you can offer 70% of asking and the broker is paid by the seller.
When I was shopping for a boat I used several brokers and spent a lot of money having boats hauled out and surveyed, and it was money well spent.
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Old 04-08-2009, 15:47   #4
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Why not? There is no down-side to using a broker as doing so can't cost you, the buyer, any money. If the seller is using a broker, his commission is built into the asking price. If the seller is not (using a broker), your broker will usually overlook that boat which you are already able to search out. Either way, a broker is free to you and can be of value in some cases.
The way I see it, you have two bigger challenges:
Find a decent 40 ft boat for $40k and not dumping another $40k into it to get what you want
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Old 04-08-2009, 17:28   #5
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I think there is a big difference between hiring a buyer's broker and looking at yachts that are represented by a seller's broker.

For boats in the price range you mentioned, I'd prefer to look at anything that meets my needs and not be steered only to certain boats by my own broker. With excellent internet sites listing both broker represented boats and boats for sale by owner, I think there is little need for a broker to tell me what's out there.

I've always looked at both boats for sale through a broker and privately and have ended up purchasing both. I'm more concerned about getting the best boat for my money, than who represents the boat. That said, I do think there are some advantages to buying a book represented by a seller's broker. They will handle escrow and will guide both you and the seller as to what is appropriate in certain situations. I found that very helpful when a notable expense came up during the course of a sea trial/survey with one boat I looked at. They may also help push the seller to close a deal.
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Old 04-08-2009, 19:53   #6
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Hi Drifter33:

The really great boats for sale never seem to reach the brokers.
Great boats sell by word of mouth in private sales. So consider
just telling people around the marina your looking to purchase
whatever type of boat. Hand out your boat / buisness card to all
people you speak to. Lots of oppertunities you never hear about
any other way will come to you.

Respectfully,
Paul
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Old 04-08-2009, 20:13   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeenThereAteIt View Post
Hi Drifter33:

The really great boats for sale never seem to reach the brokers.
Great boats sell by word of mouth in private sales. So consider
just telling people around the marina your looking to purchase
whatever type of boat. Hand out your boat / buisness card to all
people you speak to. Lots of oppertunities you never hear about
any other way will come to you.

Respectfully,
Paul
I could not agree more.

I would not use a broker, nor would I ever use a surveyor that was recommended by one.
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Old 04-08-2009, 20:48   #8
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I used a buyers broker for my current boat. He suggested an offer lower than I would have made on my own and sealed the deal in 10 minutes. Saved me a couple thousand.... which of course I spent on boat toys.
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Old 04-08-2009, 21:34   #9
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Quote:
I have been debating about using a broker though. Any advice?
I'm not much on buyers brokers. They look where they want to look. They only look for what you tell them and they have a client that really knows not that much. Most buyers do look at a lot of boats so by the percentages they really can't afford to work that hard for you on every one they may show. Most all offers start as written so the number you start with can be anything. Only the sellers broker is going to talk to the seller. So the only person the buyers broker works on is - YOU. By the percentages it really does not matter what you buy so long as you do soon as it's the only way the the buyers broker collects. They risk you running off looking again with another broker. The sellers broker might be able to blow off your broker and sell it to someone without a broker. For double the commission they really now work for the buyer that shows up along the way to closing with no buyers broker.

You can learn to look at boats. You can also compare the prices of boats you can actually buy and figure the differences. There really is no secret password the brokers use to determine "what is the real price not the one for the suckers?".
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Old 04-08-2009, 23:14   #10
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I basically agree with Paul, with this one qualifier:

Since you are looking at “well used” boats in your given size and price range, you need to evaluate your own ability to sort thru the many poor choices on the market to find real value for the kind of sailing you plan to do.

If you are new to the kind of sailing you aspire to, then sometimes a good broker can help qualify and shortlist the type of boat you should be looking for.

Giving him/her the chance to find that boat would seem like a fair deal, but I would never make them your “exclusive” broker and keep your option open to find and acquire your own purchase
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Old 04-08-2009, 23:52   #11
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I like the idea of using a buyers broker. The commission for two brokers is the same as for one, as they split the commission between them. Using a buyers broker will help you get through the paper work, setting up surveys, and make suggestions on making the offer...if you need help in that department. I bought a boat 500 miles away, and my broker went with me to arrange everything once I decided to make an offer on it. My broker did a lot of leg work for me that I would have had to do, and attended the sea trial, haul out, and the survey. When the day comes that I sell my boat to buy another, I'll use that broker again. Some people have had bad experiences with brokers, but not me!
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:06   #12
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after reading all replies, agree w/most.
USE a buyer's Broker You feel like You can trust, who Has References & gladly gives them to You (that YOU CHECK OUT), both the individual AND employing brokerage;

And only for looking at/negotiating ON Brokerage Listed Boats.
The best deals in this lifetime have ALWAYS come via word of mouth or wholesale auction, every time. Getting the word out at local marina's/yards/stores (including a short note on the "bulletin boards"(lincluding online places like Craigslist...just be Careful) gets the word out. Your cell phone will ring soon enough. They're out there these days...everywhere...in Your sought price range. Maybe even someone You Know has been considering selling. "networking" pays off.
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Old 07-08-2009, 15:43   #13
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Thanks for all the good advice and help. A lot of my concerns were addressed here. I am concerned that since my budget is small, I may not get a broker that really wants to work hard for me and try to find a decent boat in my price range, as the commission is small.
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Old 07-08-2009, 16:22   #14
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Quote:
I am concerned that since my budget is small, I may not get a broker that really wants to work hard for me and try to find a decent boat in my price range, as the commission is small.
I would not look at it that way. The broker will work as hard as they usually do. A sale is a sale if you play the percentages. Any deal that closes pays. It's why the good brokers work hard.

The problem you have is the market may not yield the low price you think or it might. Given the market as a whole is never wrong - you could be. You need to understand the reality of how far your money will go plus have the extra money after the sale to make things right. It's the way it's always been. The down economy has a lot of neglected boats that cots a whole lot more on the back end. Brokers don't close deals - your check closes deals.
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Old 07-08-2009, 19:26   #15
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I would not look at it that way. The broker will work as hard as they usually do. A sale is a sale if you play the percentages. Any deal that closes pays. It's why the good brokers work hard.

The problem you have is the market may not yield the low price you think or it might. Given the market as a whole is never wrong - you could be. You need to understand the reality of how far your money will go plus have the extra money after the sale to make things right. It's the way it's always been. The down economy has a lot of neglected boats that cots a whole lot more on the back end. Brokers don't close deals - your check closes deals.
Best Single LINE Written By ANY POSTER since I've been here!
AMEN & Amen!
Drifter,
Paul absolutely nailed it! That's reality in today's market.
They MAY find You a boat.
YOU may find You a boat.
A "friend" may find You a boat.

It Needs to be the RIGHT BOAT & You'll know it when You're looking at it. You'll Just "feel it".
Your solid deposit gets You taken seriously, with a realistic offer.
Your survey brings everybody back to the table over the necessary repairs/updates to be a safe & viable vessel.
Your CHECK Closes it. Dealing w/confidence can be accomplished with or w/o that broker. IF it's a broker listed boat, It's not smart to go to the table w/o Your Own Broker. The commission is the same either way, and the Seller already determined that You'll be paying 1, not You.
Don't forget, it's a BUYERS Market now, You hold the purse strings.
Your money goes a long way today.
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