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Old 21-08-2017, 07:23   #1
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Broker Dilemma

We are looking at buying our next sailboat and have decided on a few models that will suit our needs for the next couple of years and then years of coastal cruising. We are looking at used 45' boats in the $300K range. Our dilemma is that we want to keep the boat in the Great Lakes (Mi/Wi/Mn) for a couple of years then take it to the Atlantic and beyond. There are a FEW boats that are in the Great Lakes area that match our wants, but many more on the East coast. Our preference is to find a boat in the Great Lakes area to make logical/financial sense of moving it.

The question is... do we hire a broker on the East coast who is likely to know our boat models and have more choices, or do we hire a broker in the GL area who will have a limited choice locally? Does anyone hire more than one broker (seems difficult)?

Same with the surveyor, local is better? Or better if they know the boat manufacturer well?
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Old 21-08-2017, 07:32   #2
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Re: Broker Dilemma

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Originally Posted by dksail View Post
The question is... do we hire a broker on the East coast who is likely to know our boat models and have more choices, or do we hire a broker in the GL area who will have a limited choice locally? Does anyone hire more than one broker (seems difficult)?

Same with the surveyor, local is better?
I'd be more inclined to hire who I trusted with much less consideration to where they were located.
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Old 21-08-2017, 07:56   #3
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Re: Broker Dilemma

Boat brokers normally work on commission and or share if they work between varying locations so I would just shoot off a few emails to a few of the larger recognized brokers, the wider selection nation wide if nothing else gives you more weight with decisions and you can always add in the delivery,

As for surveyors look for some one well qualified/experienced in small craft pre sale surveys as a starting point, for example the International Institute of Marine surveyors or SAMs

IIMS web site allows you to search nation wide/world wide with their surveyors and experience https://www.iims.org.uk/
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Old 21-08-2017, 07:58   #4
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Re: Broker Dilemma

What brand/models of boats are on your list?

A good experienced broker will be used to looking all over for the boat you want, even internationally, and will be familiar with associated tax/transportation/documentation issues.

In my opinion it would be foolish to limit your search to the GL area. In your price bracket I'd get the right boat, and eat the transport costs. Financially, you could well do better buying a boat price wise in markets where there is more choice/competition and trucking the boat to you. If you shop around that cost will be around $5-7k, depending largely on the air draft of the boat on the trailer (can require a longer route to avoid low bridges, etc.). Flip side is that GL boats are often in better condition.

You can use the transportation issue to your advantage when negotiating. When I bought my boat on the east coast there was one on the west coast that was in somewhat better condition at a lower price; even with a $15k trucking cost it would have been cheaper. That fact was valuable when working towards to an accepted offer.
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Old 21-08-2017, 07:58   #5
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Re: Broker Dilemma

I'm old and out of touch but I didn't know you would have to hire either one. Why not contact a broker in your area and one on the East coast; give them a bank letter showing you have financial where-with-all to buy. They should hop at the chance to find you what you are looking for.
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Old 21-08-2017, 08:21   #6
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Re: Broker Dilemma

all good advice, thanks so much...

Boat list: Hylas/Tartan/Tayana/Halberg Rassy at the moment
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Old 21-08-2017, 10:13   #7
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Re: Broker Dilemma

I've been doing all my own looking. Between www.sailboatlistings.com (check dates of ads) and www.yachtworld.com there are plenty of boats to look at and the brokers representing them.
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Old 21-08-2017, 11:07   #8
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Re: Broker Dilemma

My advice: Buy the "right boat" irrespective of the location providing transportation to your home port plus expenses is still in budget.
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Old 21-08-2017, 11:16   #9
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Re: Broker Dilemma

Is the broker relationship similar to real estate? If I contact a listing broker myself, can I still drag in a buyers broker later or do I get in trouble?
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Old 21-08-2017, 11:29   #10
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Re: Broker Dilemma

It only cost me $3,000 to ship my 41ft sailboat from Cleveland OH, to Charleston SC.

Worth every dime.
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Old 21-08-2017, 11:30   #11
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Re: Broker Dilemma

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Is the broker relationship similar to real estate? If I contact a listing broker myself, can I still drag in a buyers broker later or do I get in trouble?
Get a buyer's broker. It costs you nothing as they split the commission with the selling broker. A good buyer's broker will be invaluable, particularly if you find one with specific expertise in the type/brand of boat that you are looking for. That is why I asked what kind of boats you're focusing on. They will have the context and experience to say "Yeah, that listing you sent me is OK, but it's over priced for it's condition. I actually know of one in better shape that is about to come on the market, probably at a lower ask too."

They also can see past sales with final values on YachtWorld which is huge in terms of negotiating as it provides an historical record of values.

I would not wait to pull one in. At $300k they will be motivated to help you find the right boat.

As far as the surveyor is concerned, local is no better or worse, other than paying the cost of their travel. It's worth getting recommendations here when you're ready to pull the trigger. The general consensus is to not take a broker's recommendation (for fear of collusion) but I think that concern is overblown in significant markets.
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Old 21-08-2017, 12:03   #12
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Re: Broker Dilemma

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It only cost me $3,000 to ship my 41ft sailboat from Cleveland OH, to Charleston SC.

Worth every dime.

I bet. Could you share the name of your vendor & contact details?
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Old 22-08-2017, 15:34   #13
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Re: Broker Dilemma

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Is the broker relationship similar to real estate? If I contact a listing broker myself, can I still drag in a buyers broker later or do I get in trouble?
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

NO. not in a legal sense.
Yes you can drag in a buyers broker an NO you won't get in trouble.
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