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Old 22-01-2014, 13:03   #1
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To broker, or not to broker, that is the question...

OK, I'm surely getting into highly opinionated waters, but the question is this:

If I'm looking at a boat represented by a brokerage, do I need to bring my own broker in as representation?

I've noticed that sometimes if you call a listing broker, they appear to assign you to a non-listing representative that also works for the brokerage. In other cases, you talk with the listing broker/representative. In either event, though, you're dealing with representatives of the seller. Since the broker fees are essentially coming out of the transaction anyway, is it worth trying to find the equivalent of a buyer broker, so at least I have some kind of fair representation in the deal? Clearly, it's in all of their interests that a transaction take place.

Thoughts?
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Old 22-01-2014, 13:06   #2
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Re: To broker, or not to broker, that is the question...

I tend to think of a buyer's broker's function as being to find the boat you are looking for. When it comes to negotiation over price, you should be able to handle that!
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Old 22-01-2014, 13:10   #3
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Re: To broker, or not to broker, that is the question...

A boat buyer should always have a buyer’s broker.
It cost you nothing and is part of the boat sale as the seller already has a Selling broker.

You need someone to act on your behalf.
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Old 22-01-2014, 13:16   #4
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Re: To broker, or not to broker, that is the question...

Cotemar,

I'm not even sure what a buyer's broker is supposed to be/do. Could you please explain the buyer's brokers responsibilities? In what issues/ways is he/she supposed to protect the buyer? I'm having a hard time imagining how adding this layer of complexity will help the buyer.

Thank you very much.

Ann
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Old 22-01-2014, 13:28   #5
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Re: To broker, or not to broker, that is the question...

Good questions.

This is my understanding, mostly from real estate transactions, but I imagine that it's somewhat similar to boat transactions as well.

Generally, there is a listing agent who works for a licensed broker. They charge a commission for their services. Then there is an agent who works with the buyer to make an offer. That agent can work for the listing broker, or a different broker. If they work for a different broker, a commission-sharing arrangement is made. Usually I think of the breakdown like this:

Listing broker/listing agent- half the commission, broker/buying agent-half the commission. If their is only one broker involved, I'm guessing they get all of the broker's part.

In the case of a buyer's agent, that's a person who helps search for a boat, make an offer, etc, and I assume would get half the commission, at least that's the way it works in real estate. Some states have legal requirements for the buyer agent, at least in real estate. Though it's in their interest for the sale to go through, they have legal responsibilities to the buyer. If this particular deal doesn't go through, they still have a chance of getting a commission from you on another boat. You have a relationship there that doesn't depend on this one sale.

I just noticed that if you call a broker directly, they give you a representative to work with that essentially represents the listing broker. I was just wondering if for my purposes in this case it's worth having an outside agent/broker just to try and keep things more objective.

I'm open for corrections in my boat-buying world view.
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Old 22-01-2014, 13:31   #6
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Re: To broker, or not to broker, that is the question...

As I understand it, a buyer's broker (agent) is simply looking out for the buyer's interests in the process, which can be anything from helping research the sales/maintenance history of a particular vessel, possibly providing a sales contract that is more buyer friendly/protective, negotiating on behalf of the buyer, etc.

While the seller typically has an X% commission deal with the selling broker that can be split with a buyer's broker, this isn't always the case and not all selling brokers are willing to split commissions.
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Old 22-01-2014, 13:45   #7
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Re: To broker, or not to broker, that is the question...

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As I understand it, a buyer's broker (agent) is simply looking out for the buyer's interests in the process, which can be anything from helping research the sales/maintenance history of a particular vessel, possibly providing a sales contract that is more buyer friendly/protective, negotiating on behalf of the buyer, etc.

While the seller typically has an X% commission deal with the selling broker that can be split with a buyer's broker, this isn't always the case and not all selling brokers are willing to split commissions.
I think that kind of answers my question. So when in the past I've used agents to help me find a boat, they've been negotiating a fee from the listing broker?
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Old 22-01-2014, 14:30   #8
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Re: To broker, or not to broker, that is the question...

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Cotemar,

I'm not even sure what a buyer's broker is supposed to be/do. Could you please explain the buyer's brokers responsibilities? In what issues/ways is he/she supposed to protect the buyer? I'm having a hard time imagining how adding this layer of complexity will help the buyer.

Thank you very much.

Ann
It’s just like Real Estate (Buying a home).
The seller has a broker and the buyer has a broker.

Both brokers are trying to cut the best deal for their customer.

Also they check to make sure all the paper work is proper and in order.

Can you do this boat buying transaction without a broker, absolutely.
A smart boat buyer would not.
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Old 22-01-2014, 14:34   #9
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Re: To broker, or not to broker, that is the question...

In real estate, the interests of both brokers are best served by ensuring the worst possible deal for the buyer - they are both payed in commission based on the selling price.
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Old 22-01-2014, 15:31   #10
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Re: To broker, or not to broker, that is the question...

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Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
A boat buyer should always have a buyer’s broker.
It cost you nothing and is part of the boat sale as the seller already has a Selling broker.

You need someone to act on your behalf.

Exactly! But don't think that your "buyers" broker necessarily has your best interests in mind. In other words check them out before hand.
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Old 22-01-2014, 15:40   #11
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Re: To broker, or not to broker, that is the question...

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Exactly! But don't think that your "buyers" broker necessarily has your best interests in mind. In other words check them out before hand.
Absolutely agree.
You have to do your homework as a seller and a buyer.
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Old 22-01-2014, 16:02   #12
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Re: To broker, or not to broker, that is the question...

Cotemar,

Thank you for your answer. What criteria would you use for selecting a broker for yourself if you were buying? Particularly, what questions would you ask to assess their competency? honesty? Just being a nice person would not necessarily make them good at title search, for instance.

Ann
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Old 22-01-2014, 16:28   #13
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Re: To broker, or not to broker, that is the question...

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Cotemar,

Thank you for your answer. What criteria would you use for selecting a broker for yourself if you were buying? Particularly, what questions would you ask to assess their competency? honesty? Just being a nice person would not necessarily make them good at title search, for instance.

Ann
1) I would first find a buyer’s broker by word of mouth and good recommendations from trusted associates.

2) With a few good names. I would call them and see how compatible we would be.

3) Brokers are licensed, so you can do a check on their license to see if it’s still active.

4) Check with the BBB (Better Business Bureau) for any complaints on the broker or marina that the broker is working from.

A clear picture will arise from this homework and your broker choice.
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Old 22-01-2014, 16:38   #14
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Re: To broker, or not to broker, that is the question...

In real estate I always try to work directly with the sellers broker. That way if it's between my offer and another person dragging along their own broker my deal will be more important to push through as he/she will not be splitting the commission. I have also been involved in deals where the broker gave up some commission to make it happen, hard with two brokers involved.
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Old 22-01-2014, 17:24   #15
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Re: To broker, or not to broker, that is the question...

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In real estate I always try to work directly with the sellers broker. That way if it's between my offer and another person dragging along their own broker my deal will be more important to push through as he/she will not be splitting the commission. I have also been involved in deals where the broker gave up some commission to make it happen, hard with two brokers involved.
I've done that as well, but I've often wondered that maybe if I had a really good broker working for me, I might do even better. If you're working either with a weak broker, or the seller's broker, you're doing all the heavy lifting for yourself, and you'd better not miss anything.
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