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Old 27-02-2015, 06:55   #31
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Those (O'Reilly's method) were the same conditions under which we purchased both of our boats. Pretty standard in the brokerage industry with their contracts. Except for the part about speaking directly with the seller. But in both of our cases, many many questions were asked via the broker.
x2 Other than talking directly to the seller this is the method I'm familiar with.

Once the deal is set, you may get a chance to talk to the owner.
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Old 27-02-2015, 07:40   #32
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Those (O'Reilly's method) were the same conditions under which we purchased both of our boats. Pretty standard in the brokerage industry with their contracts. Except for the part about speaking directly with the seller. But in both of our cases, many many questions were asked via the broker.
With regard to speaking with the owner, I agree it is unusual, but I find that owners usually want to speak with potential buyers, at least with the boats I deal with. All my boats are all quite old. They have a history that no professional broker can afford to spend time knowing about. I find that the broker is usually happy to pass these things off to the seller once they know a deal is in place (offer made, accepted, deposit paid, etc.).
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Old 27-02-2015, 07:57   #33
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Those (O'Reilly's method) were the same conditions under which we purchased both of our boats. Pretty standard in the brokerage industry with their contracts. Except for the part about speaking directly with the seller. But in both of our cases, many many questions were asked via the broker.
I agree. O'Reilly's process seems completely reasonable to me.
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Old 27-02-2015, 08:02   #34
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

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Originally Posted by Mirage Gecko View Post
I have bought and sold a few boats all through brokers and never even heard of a fee for a sail.However at all times the sail or better put sea trial has been after an offer has been accepted and a deposit paid........
That is what happened when we bought our boat. We went and looked at the boat and made an offer contingent on a survey and sea trial (not our idea, this is how the broker operated and I assumed it was standard practice). The offer was accepted and we were required to make a 10% deposit.

At that point the owners moved the boat to a mutually acceptable yard (an overnight trip for them) and the boat was sea trialed and surveyed. The surveyor found only depleted anodes and a non functional GFCI receptacle but we could have declined to purchase because it was too slow, hard to maneuver, most anything. We didn't of course, and completed the purchase.

All the money was done with wire transfers at the broker's insistence. No opportunity for fraud or screw ups.
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Old 27-02-2015, 08:18   #35
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

A broker dealing with an occasional tire kicker is part of the business. I'ts no different than when a broker tells me a boat is "turn key" and I spend a full day driving just to find out on first inspection that the boat is full of water, rotted out and would probably not even make it to the fuel dock.

I have dealt with quite a few brokers and I must say that I have never had a good experience. This is really making me not want to work with these clowns. Brokers have taken all the fun out of buying or even selling a boat.

$40K may not be much to some of you, but it is for me and it has taken me a lot of hard work to get here.
I will be buying a boat, but I will not be playing any more brokers games. Luckily there are many boats to choose from right now.

Group9 has the right idea when it comes to sea trials and selling. I would love to work with a seller like this..

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Old 27-02-2015, 08:34   #36
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

One one hand, if I had been asked to pay for a sea-trial after an accepted offer (which was conditional on seatrial), I would have demanded my deposit back.

On the other hand, if the *option* of sea-trialling boats, even at cost, had been available to me, I would have jumped at the opportunity.

When we were last boat-shopping, we travelled around, sometimes at considerable expense (flights/hotel) to see the boats we were considering. If some of the sellers had offered the option of a for-fee seatrial before an offer, I would have been eager to take advantage of the opportunity. Quite possibly, those boats who had offered for-fee seatrials would have moved up in the list.

Amidst all this broker-bashing, I found that having a broker made the buying process much easier than it would have been. His knowledge of other brokers around the world made possible learning details about boats for sale around the world much easier, quicker, and less costly. As opposed to lazy, the broker I used, who was over 1,000 miles from me, drove around to visit potential boats and take detailed photographs of them so that I could "inspect" the boat remotely. When we finally flew out to see the boat that we ultimately bought, he stayed on the boat with us for 10 hours while I went over every square inch of her. He even went and picked-up a take-out lunch for us.
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Old 27-02-2015, 08:53   #37
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
This is exactly how the "normal" boat buying process goes here in Florida. The one comment I would add is that the offer is a signed-and-sealed, legal contract, and includes a down payment (usually 10%).

As others have said, the fact that the buyer is paying for a survey and putting up a down payment clearly indicates that he is not just a tire-kicker. Now, if the boat was already in the water, and no survey was being done (meaning that the buyer hasn't put up anything that he can't completely get back at this point), then I might consider it reasonable to charge a modest fee for a sea trial. Only on the condition, however, that the fee would be fully applied to toward the purchase when the sale went through.

What is not clear in the original post here--and what I think is crucial information--is, was there a signed contract to buy the boat, and a down payment made? If so, a non-refundable fee for doing a sea trial is not reasonable. If not, charging for a sea trial seems quite perfectly reasonable to me.

How I bought my boat, sea trial was part of the survey process, after an offer had been made and accepted and after a deposit had been made.
I never met the owner, who I believe to be sort of an Ass, as he tried taking a lot of stuff off of the boat that was there during it being showed, like the grill etc.
I did the engine survey part myself, as I believe myself qualified. Was a little surprised I was allowed to.
I had him ship me all the missing items
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Old 27-02-2015, 08:57   #38
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
I would run, not walk, away from any boat where the broker or seller made it unreasonably difficult for me to examine it in detail before making an offer. This does not include a sea-trial, but it does include full access to the boat in its current state.

The process I've used to buy, and to sell, is:

Pre-offer: Potential buyer is given reasonable access to completely examine the boat in its current location. To me this means at least an hour, maybe two, so I can examine the whole boat in some detail. This certainly includes looking into bilges and behind cabinetry. I would not expect to do any destructive testing in my pre-offer examinations, nor would I expect a sea trial at this point.

If I as the potential buyer wanted to sail the boat at this time I would fully expect to pay for the privilege.

Post-offer: Once my offer has been made and accepted I want complete access to the boat more or less on my schedule (within reason of course). I want to be able to do a complete survey, including the potential for minor destructive testing if needed. I want complete access to all past documentation, and (in the case of a broker sale) I want to be able to talk directly with the owner. In my experience most brokers of older boats (the only one I have experience with) know very little about the actual boat they are selling.

Sea trial: As a final condition of the sale, and with no additional costs outside of direct expenses, I want (or expect, as the seller) a complete sea trial that includes both sailing and engine time. NOTE: A sea trial is not intended as an opportunity for the buyer to see if they like how the boat sails. The purpose here is to affirm that the primary systems are functioning as expected.

Sounds right to me. I might add that if it was a rare boat whose sailing qualities were not generally known I may want to actually sail the boat before an offer. If I was local to the boat a reasonable fee that would apply toward the purchase price would be sensible. If I had traveled some distance to view the boat I would look at that investment as proof of serious intentions and would expect a serious seller to put some investment into the sale attempt.

I would not have any further interest in any boat that I was not given full access to crawl over, under, around and through on first inspection and would not travel two hours to walk through a boat like I was at a boat show. With modern cameras and the internet you can see most of the "boat show" look over without leaving home.
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Old 27-02-2015, 09:01   #39
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

This is all very interesting, helpful and timely. I sold my 22' sailboat alone a while ago. I didn't really need three boats. This spring I am going to sell boat #2, a 1989 Ericson 28 ft. Once the snow melts and I can get back to it, that is.
Your good ideas will help me bypass the broker, but I have a good friend who is one who will help me out if needed.
My cat was purchased with his help, through another broker. It was valuable having his thoughts as I went through the process.
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Old 27-02-2015, 09:20   #40
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

My big problem with brokers, at least here in Florida, is that they won't run the engine unless you make an offer/deposit. Given that the engine may be the most expensive part to replace, how can I make an offer?
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Old 27-02-2015, 09:27   #41
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

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If it's that simple, why don't you do it?
Huh? Attitude adjustment time? This contributes nothing to a valuable discussion. Are you a broker of the type the OP described?
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Old 27-02-2015, 09:30   #42
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

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OReilly, given your "methods", I'm surprised you're able to buy boats.
Is this a personal issue? If so, then pardon my intrusion. Otherwise, the points made seem very useful and reasonable.

Trophy husband, huh. Guess that explains a lot.
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Old 27-02-2015, 09:50   #43
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

What a circus! If you're interested enough on a boat, make an offer. The offer contains the contractual details. The offer contains the terms for down payment and expectations for such. It contains any contingencies that the buyer may want to make. It can contain terms of a trial sale which, in my four cases, was free. It can even contain a requirement of how many grains of sand per unit in nonskid decking if desired. This really is an easy process. If you can't come to terms, then go elsewhere...the only thing you might be out is a voided check..
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Old 27-02-2015, 09:51   #44
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

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Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
My big problem with brokers, at least here in Florida, is that they won't run the engine unless you make an offer/deposit. Given that the engine may be the most expensive part to replace, how can I make an offer?

I had that issue too, but given the number of just lookers out there that have no intention of actually buying, but enjoy being catered to and shopping, I understand.
For every person that travels hundreds of miles to look at boats to buy there has to be many that wake up and say I'm bored, wanna go look at some boats today to kill time?
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Old 27-02-2015, 09:55   #45
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

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Originally Posted by Piney View Post
$125 isn't really a lot, its more about principle. It would be like me putting a car for sale up on craigslist, then charging every prospective buyer $20 for a test drive. They would tell me to get bent.. lol!

Seems like a good, honest, hard working broker that knows how to use modern technology like computers and email, and has a least some resemblance of courtesy could make a fortune in this environment while putting the lazy, old school, bottom feeders out of business.
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Originally Posted by Piney View Post
A broker dealing with an occasional tire kicker is part of the business. I'ts no different than when a broker tells me a boat is "turn key" and I spend a full day driving just to find out on first inspection that the boat is full of water, rotted out and would probably not even make it to the fuel dock.

I have dealt with quite a few brokers and I must say that I have never had a good experience. This is really making me not want to work with these clowns. Brokers have taken all the fun out of buying or even selling a boat.

$40K may not be much to some of you, but it is for me and it has taken me a lot of hard work to get here.
I will be buying a boat, but I will not be playing any more brokers games. Luckily there are many boats to choose from right now.

Group9 has the right idea when it comes to sea trials and selling. I would love to work with a seller like this..

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A broker does not deal with an occasional tire kicker, he deals with an occasional buyer. I would make a guess and say for every 20 lookers there may be ONE real buyer who may or may not like the boat.
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