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Old 27-02-2015, 19:00   #76
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

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Originally Posted by SimonV View Post
It would seem the most vocal here are those without boat. Just saying.

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Umm, of course, the boatless are the ones dealing with brokers right now.
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Old 27-02-2015, 19:08   #77
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

It's enlightening being on the sellers' side of this equation. As a seller, I dealt with a lot of tire-kickers. It was hard not to start profiling potential buyers. All too often I'd have to deal with people too lazy to do the basic research on my boat, or too distracted to focus on the information provided. I always tried to treat every query with respect, and respond with complete information, but once it became clear they were not really ready to buy it became a waste of my time, and theirs. So I understand why professional brokers might become jaded. But on the other hand, this is the profession of their choice. And every once in a while an apparent dud buyer turns out to be the real thing.

As a seller, I always assumed people were serious -- until proven otherwise. As a buyer, I expect to be treated the same way.

P.S. A sea trial as a final step in a sale is a normal condition. A seller who would put an additional fee on this step is not one I would deal with. A test run before an offer has been presented and accepted is a completely different thing. You can always ask as a potential buyer, but I would fully expect to pay for this service.
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Old 27-02-2015, 19:24   #78
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

Not unusual. I've been hired a few times to run sea trials...sometimes by broker/owner...sometimes by buyer. Have run a few just for grins too, just because I wanted to sail the boat.

Puts the sea trial captain in a bit of an awkward spot if he knows the owner/broker. I ran a sea trial once where the boat blew an engine during the sea trial due to a "defered maintenance" issue...deal did not close. Fortunately, my friend the owner knew it was the result of his defered maintnance (lubrication system issue + non working alarms on one engine....bad combination).

From the seller's perspective, if you cover the cost of a sea trial to be run by someone else for every tire kicker it could start to add up. Maybe negotiate a credit toward the sale if the deal closes (as the Cates did).
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Old 27-02-2015, 19:36   #79
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

As this thread clearly shows, there is no such thing as a "normal condition" when buying a boat.
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Old 27-02-2015, 19:56   #80
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

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If that is all that is holding you back you make your offer contingent on the engine checking out. Up here in the frozen wastelands all boats that go under contract during the winter have a bunch of like items for later when they can be checked/tested.
I made the offer but I had some "inside information" from the guy in the next slip; he told me that a friend ran the engine and cleaned up the boat once a month for the absentee owner and that it ran fine. Ten years later that 36 year old perkins 4-108 is still running fine...
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Old 27-02-2015, 20:09   #81
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

So how about a little math discussion.

Let's say a broker needs to earn $100 an hour. Seems high but...

$100 X 8 (hours) X 5(days) X 52 (weeks) = $208,000 a year . Seems like a decent income but let's say overhead for the business is 30% so he "clears" $145,600 - ballpark overhead may be higher considering taxes.

So to clear $145k a year a broker need to turn over $2.08m in inventory. If the "average boat is selling for $80k he has to sell 26 boats or 1 boat every 2 weeks.

A $40k boat takes just as much time to sell as a $120k boat. So just like real estate agents every broker is trying to up their reputation and list/sell the $200-$400k boats.

But in that realm I think customer service needs to be a lot higher - now you need a receptionist/bookkeeper adding to the overhead. Add to that that many locations are seasonal and it can be a pretty tough career. Of course, where it is "always" warm and sunny there is a lot more competition.

Not sure I'd want to be a boat broker.
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Old 27-02-2015, 20:32   #82
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

Well, as a counterpoint to all this... The couple who sold us our boat took us out for a sail, served a hot meal on board and generally pampered us for a good half day. As much as I would like to think myself immune to a brilliant sales pitch, we bought the boat, in a pretty flat market at the time, so maybe they know something worth knowing?

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Old 27-02-2015, 21:15   #83
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

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As much as I would like to think myself immune to a brilliant sales pitch, we bought the boat, in a pretty flat market at the time, so maybe they know something worth knowing?
Don't buy your boat from a professional salesman?

I would have so fallen for that.

My wife starts shouting "Husband, get behind me, get behind me!" every time she sees a professional salesman, particularly a female pro with long, black hair.

Because she knows that I'm about to whip out my credit card.
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Old 27-02-2015, 21:25   #84
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

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Don't buy your boat from a professional salesman?
Actually, they had a broker, who was OK I guess, they just handled the sailing demonstration themselves. Smart cookies. (Also, a hot meal in the oven hides a lot of the horrible smells old boats can acquire over time.) And, at the risk of sounding sexist, it is true that she spent lots of time showing the galley to my wife while he kept dragging me off to look at gearboxes and engines, chart plotters, radios etc.

On the husband/wife thing, I've been watching a sales guy trying to sell an OK looking 24 footer next to us. Well, at least I think it is ok, but every couple I have seen him show it to has ended up with the husband nodding away like an idiot while the wife stands there with her arms crossed, leaning back slightly and frowning. You don't need a degree in psychology to read THAT body language.

Needless to say, the boat is still for sale.

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Old 27-02-2015, 21:31   #85
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

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Well, as a counterpoint to all this... The couple who sold us our boat took us out for a sail, served a hot meal on board and generally pampered us for a good half day.
Actually, I probably should have explicitly stated, this was BEFORE we even made an offer. I do wonder if they took anyone else for sail before we looked at the boat, I suppose they might have taken dozens, or we might have been the first.

Anyway, when I was selling my last boat I actually offered a day sail as part of the advertisement, on the logic that I would take any excuse for a sail. As it was, neither of the two buyers who ended up bidding on the boat wanted to take me up on the offer. Do I look THAT scruffy and scary looking?

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Old 28-02-2015, 05:17   #86
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

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Actually, they had a broker, who was OK I guess, they just handled the sailing demonstration themselves. Smart cookies. (Also, a hot meal in the oven hides a lot of the horrible smells old boats can acquire over time.) And, at the risk of sounding sexist, it is true that she spent lots of time showing the galley to my wife while he kept dragging me off to look at gearboxes and engines, chart plotters, radios etc.

On the husband/wife thing, I've been watching a sales guy trying to sell an OK looking 24 footer next to us. Well, at least I think it is ok, but every couple I have seen him show it to has ended up with the husband nodding away like an idiot while the wife stands there with her arms crossed, leaning back slightly and frowning. You don't need a degree in psychology to read THAT body language.

Needless to say, the boat is still for sale.

Matt
Just like selling a house...the woman will often drive the decision on which cruising boat to buy. A good sales guy would realize this and pitch to her....of course a 24' is a hard sell.

Great sales technique by the first couple. I know real estate agents who bake something yummy in the over during open houses.
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Old 28-02-2015, 05:27   #87
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

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Originally Posted by GILow View Post
Well, as a counterpoint to all this... The couple who sold us our boat took us out for a sail, served a hot meal on board and generally pampered us for a good half day. As much as I would like to think myself immune to a brilliant sales pitch, we bought the boat, in a pretty flat market at the time, so maybe they know something worth knowing?

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Yeah - full disclosure. Those that "talk the talk" and those the "walk the walk" - I'd like to think I am a hardass but...

Had my first boat viewing today. Nice couple - poked and prodded and looked at the boat at the dock. The northeast monsoon is truly set and we had about 15 knots of wind. I am itching for a sail anyway, so...

"Wanna go for a sail?" - "Sure, why not?"

Our bi-weekly twilight race is just about to start. I am so tempted to dive into the start line but this is supposed to be a demo and I don't want to freak anyone out so we'll just shadow the fleet with a 80% of the 150 genoa.

8 keelboats, at least 3 tris and gaggle of cats. Very impressive start line and nice to have a bunch of boats on the water having fun.

While I did have my brother on as crew I demoed getting under way single handed with Otto holding head to wind while I raised the main then holding a reach while I unfurled the genoa. (I am gonna miss this boat - She is in great shape and I sure hope she finds a great owner)

Sailed for an hour or so and Relax Lah! did everything she was supposed to do. I showed them how well mannered she was by hands off steering (30 degree heel), letting her round up gently in the gusts and depower herself. We then dropped them at the dock and put the boat on the ball. Bought them drinks and something to eat.

Didn't close the deal so I guess I'd make a crappy broker - LOL...

Seriously though they are interested and are gonna go noodle it around.

Doesn't matter - went sailing instead of sanding!
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Old 28-02-2015, 05:56   #88
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

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Just like selling a house...the woman will often drive the decision on which cruising boat to buy. A good sales guy would realize this and pitch to her....of course a 24' is a hard sell.
I tried to help the sales guy too. I gently reminded him that he is also listing the boat we sold two years ago when we bought the current boat, and at the risk of gross generalisation, it IS a popular boat with the ladies. I wont elaborate on that much except to say it is NICE inside. As in cosy, welcoming, CLEAN.

I don't think he understood.
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Old 28-02-2015, 06:03   #89
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

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I tried to help the sales guy too. I gently reminded him that he is also listing the boat we sold two years ago when we bought the current boat, and at the risk of gross generalisation, it IS a popular boat with the ladies. I wont elaborate on that much except to say it is NICE inside. As in cosy, welcoming, CLEAN.

I don't think he understood.
My late wife did a lot of "interior decorating" on the current boat when we lived aboard. Annoyed the hell outta me at the time (well...the acres of Corian still annoy me...), but I know its gonna sell someone's wife on the boat in the end. ;-)
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Old 28-02-2015, 07:51   #90
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

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Yup... That's the kind of deal I'd walk away from just out of principle... Only if the broker/seller didn't think one is a legitimate buyer would they try a test drive fee. Also makes me wonder if the broker/seller knew there was something wrong that would come out in the sea trial.
Good point on a trial revealing issues! That's why I would not make an offer prior to a trial. Why would I make an offer on anything I'm not sure of?? I guess some would... not very good judgement for someone facing the rigors of depending on a ship at sea, huh. As for a broker "wasting" time. It's only wasted if he/she does not have the skills necessary to be doing the job effectively. I'm not paying for his lack of skills. Knowing how to effectively qualify a shopper would seem to be a fundamental requirement.
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