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Old 08-05-2011, 16:39   #46
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Re: Buying a Boat - Lack of Response

When selling privately who handles the deposit while the survey is completed assuming most deals through a broker allow for return of deposit if the deal falls over. If a foreign buyer, the broker through the title agent they use handles the deposit, deregisters the boat from US coast Guard and handles the money on behalf of both buyer and seller. Also checks title which particularly for a foreign buyer is very important. I have not looked into using a title agent in the case of a private sale. Some experience on the matter would be interesting.
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Old 08-05-2011, 16:39   #47
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Re: Buying a Boat - Lack of Response

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What I don't understand is if the marine market is soft as it currently is, what is brokerage management doing to improve the level of professionalism and commitment to the client whether they be a buyer or a seller? I'm getting the feeling that laziness and sloppy followup is a structural problem in the marine retail industry and not much is being done to address that. If I owned a yacht brokerage business, I'd be asking my sales staff what they are doing today, this week, this month bring in clients or close deals. If these folks are professionals as they would have you believe, I would expect them to have at least an action plan to operate profitably in the type of market. Perhaps I expect too much... Capt Phil
The funny thing is, the sailboat market isn't as bad as people think it is. It's a buyers market, and that means people are buying. I bought my boat just a few months ago, many people have done the same thing. The prices are down, and as a result, sales on the older used boats are UP! Its these very boats though, that give the broker the pretense that this person doesn't have enough money to be worth his time...

The Real Estate agents I work with understand that the market is crappy, and so they are not going to risk passing up potential buyers. Funny enough, a lot of low-end homes are selling like hotcakes right now. Not just to investors either... People are buying up the homes they couldn't afford a few years ago.

The only benefit an agent or broker has of pre-screening potential buyers, is that he saves himself a little work. Thats it. It's pure lazyness.

When I was calling on boats 2 years ago, and 1 year ago, those same boats are still for sale today. I would have bought any one of them had the sellers been responive. When I was ready to buy, I had cash in hand (as others have said) and was "pre-screened" out of the picture as a non-serious buyer... So there ya go, proof positive, pre-screening does nothing but hurt your chances for a sale and save yourself a little legwork. I know I'm not the only one that's had this experience (at least a few others in this thread alone have) and I know I'm not some ignorant tire-kicking 'hopeful' buyer. I was just as serious about buying a sailboat 2 years ago as was 6 months ago when I actually bought one.
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Old 08-05-2011, 16:45   #48
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Re: Buying a Boat - Lack of Response

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I have to disagree with Dave that pre-screening will chase off serious buyers—if a serious buyer is capable of buying he will rarely be upset by such questions, tactfully put, (the difference between a good salesman and an amateur), since it shows a professional stance.


My point was that too harsh pre-screening will chase off serious buyers - a broker (or private Vendor) simply has to accept that not every prospect will be holding a bag of cash they are desperately trying to hand over, if only they can meet "your" requirements and that means most folks looking will not be buying. It's annoying, but that's just how it is - if you don't like it then you are in the wrong business, even if you can bamboozle / bullshit punters that they need to be "qualified".

I would simply tell the Broker that I am looking to buy, as soon as I find something that catches my eye and pocket - whether that be next week or next year I would leave silent If he started asking questions about my finances etc I would treat him the same as any other complete stranger - and politely tell him to mind his own business




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Old 08-05-2011, 17:06   #49
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Re: Buying a Boat - Lack of Response

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The solution is to stop using brokers. There are plenty of private sellers to sift through the weirdness and find a good boat...and as a seller (that better be prepared to answer emails and phone calls) there are plenty of great private listing sites out there that get just as much traffic as yachtworld.... Eventually, if some brokers ever decide they want to start making money again, they will have to get off their rumps and actually do some work.
Any suggestions for private listing sites, apart from Sailboat Listings?

Also, brokers do need to nurture next season's crop if they want a better harvest. Today I'm not in a position to buy. My house is on the market but until it sells all I can do is research, and for that I need to ask questions and deal with brokers. When I CAN buy, that research I've done will make me a better buyer because I'll have a far better idea of what I want.

I'd like to say I'll choose the brokers who've been helpful in spite of knowing my situation, and when the time comes there are a couple I'll advise of my new buyer status. It's the best I can do, and hopefully they'll have what I'm looking for. That's the reward for nurturing a future buyer.
But the reality is I'll have to deal with the broker who has listed the boat I decide is the one.
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Old 08-05-2011, 17:55   #50
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Re: Buying a Boat - Lack of Response

meyermm, it ain't that difficult. On a private sale in the US, find a title company, attorney or bank you can both agree on to hold the deposit or earnest money until contingencies of the sale are met such as survey, sea trial, financing or whatever. Title can be checked easily through USCG documentation or state registration offices. A marine title company can handle that for you for a small fee and it would be required by a lender if financing was necessary.
On a foreign purchase of USCG doc vessel, it must be removed from USCG documentation immmediately after the sale, another easy process you can do yourself or can be done by a title company. Register immediately under whatever foreign flag the new owner chooses. A broker is not needed for either transaction. There may be some tax implications depending on where the boat was sold, purchased and registered.
Folks that think there is a mystic surrounding sales and purchasing boats are underestimating themselves... if you can file your own taxes, buying or selling a boat is easy.
As a delivery skipper, I executed several sales for clients, two of which were completed to non-US citizens and done outside the US requiring removal from USCG documentation. I used a title company to convey to offshore registry for both vessels. Cost was nominal however Cayman Islands require a Bureau Veritas registered surveyor to 'measure' the vessel prior to registering. Handy to know how many guns (cannon) the boat was licensed to carry!
Brokers have a set procedure they follow but I've seen many of them drop the ball on straightforward paperwork. They bring very little to the party other than advertising and an occasional showing.
No one knows your vessel like you and no one knows exactly what you are looking for other than yourself. So don't rush into a listing agreement unless you really don't want the hassle of advertising and showing the boat. If your pride and joy is worth $100K, 10 grand goes to your newest best friend, your broker.
Hope this clears up any questions you have... cheers, Capt Phil
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Old 08-05-2011, 18:14   #51
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Re: Buying a Boat - Lack of Response

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Any suggestions for private listing sites, apart from Sailboat Listings?

Also, brokers do need to nurture next season's crop if they want a better harvest. Today I'm not in a position to buy. My house is on the market but until it sells all I can do is research, and for that I need to ask questions and deal with brokers. When I CAN buy, that research I've done will make me a better buyer because I'll have a far better idea of what I want.

I'd like to say I'll choose the brokers who've been helpful in spite of knowing my situation, and when the time comes there are a couple I'll advise of my new buyer status. It's the best I can do, and hopefully they'll have what I'm looking for. That's the reward for nurturing a future buyer.
But the reality is I'll have to deal with the broker who has listed the boat I decide is the one.

Craigslist.com: It's highly underrated, Use a web service (like this one) to search the entire country or state by state. Or simply scroll to the city (or country) you'd prefer to find your boat in and bookmark it......

Check it every day.


sailingtexas.com: This is not just for Texans...


SailboatTrader.com: This is mixed brokers and private sellers. You'll see a lot of duplicate listings from yachtworld, but also many that are not listed anywhere else.

Ebay.com: Seriously. People are afraid to buy something expensive from ebay, so they don't bid... The truth is that your money is insured in most cases (read up on it), and you are free to make legally binding agreements with the seller

Sailboatlistings.com: Despite the mixed results people are getting from here, it's an active site, new listings almost every day. It's not the websites fault if sellers are unresponsive
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Old 08-05-2011, 19:19   #52
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Re: Buying a Boat - Lack of Response

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Craigslist.com: It's highly underrated, Use a web service (like this one) to search the entire country or state by state. Or simply scroll to the city (or country) you'd prefer to find your boat in and bookmark it......

Check it every day.


sailingtexas.com: This is not just for Texans...


SailboatTrader.com: This is mixed brokers and private sellers. You'll see a lot of duplicate listings from yachtworld, but also many that are not listed anywhere else.

Ebay.com: Seriously. People are afraid to buy something expensive from ebay, so they don't bid... The truth is that your money is insured in most cases (read up on it), and you are free to make legally binding agreements with the seller

Sailboatlistings.com: Despite the mixed results people are getting from here, it's an active site, new listings almost every day. It's not the websites fault if sellers are unresponsive

I forgot, Good Old Boat has active listings

And Latitude 38 has some good listings: It's mostly West Coast boats, but not always.

I'm sure there's a few others...
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Old 08-05-2011, 21:46   #53
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Re: Buying a Boat - Lack of Response

That's a big help.
Thanks
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Old 09-05-2011, 05:31   #54
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Re: Buying a Boat - Lack of Response

At the risk of drifting the thread........

......what would folk expect / demand / need / like / dream of from a Broker? (whether as a Vendor or Buyer or..........as a tyre-kicker / pre-purchase researcher ).

My thoughts (in no particular order) are:-

As a Vendor
  • A "Neutral" Party to handle the transaction paperwork / cash (to act as Escrow Agent)
  • An honest assessment of my Boat's market value - including it's condition for sale
  • A website that already attracts visitors (by location / boat type).
  • Advertising with 3rd Parties (Internet / print media)
  • Someone who can handle (not simply "screen" out ) the Numpties.
  • Progress reports on a regular basis (monthly?), whether only tyre kickers, e-mails or nothing at all.
  • All offers passed to me (even when Broker knows they will be rejected).
  • Ability to offer Guardianage in the locale, even if hands on provided by 3rd Parties and managed by the Broker.
  • Ability to show the boat to prospective buyers, so location of Broker and Boat is important!
  • Ability to organise (and supervise) a Surveyor's / Marine Engineers / boat yard visit (including any lift out / sea trial). and to ensure that all are appropriately insured etc.
  • A (cheap) selling "survey" would be nice as a marketing tool, from a 3rd Party would be good. Kinda like an Insurance Survey - except skewed towards someone looking to buy.
As a Buyer
  • A "Neutral" Party to handle the transaction paperwork / cash (to act as Escrow Agent)
  • A source of information about the specific boat (and the more online the better - plus a PDF. A Video walk through would also be nice ).
  • As much information on the history of the boat / maintanence / prior ownership / use as humanly possible..........
  • All offers passed to the owner (whether ballpark or as a pre-contract, without any "Pre-screening" requirement to pay cash up front to the broker ).
  • An accurate description of the vessel's condition A clean and tidy boat (even if it has shortcomings) would also be nice.
  • A source of information about how a boat purchase would usually be effected, including time frame - with the possible variations outlined.
  • General guidance on matters to be considered when buying in the locale (local boat taxes / mooring / shipping / refurb).
  • Contact details for local Marine Industry / suppliers in the locale.
  • For buyers who travel from afar, I would like some general info on where to stay, how far things are from each other / time to travel.
  • A draft Contract available
  • A draft bill of sale available
  • Assistance with re-registering the vessel (title and / or simple registration)
  • No substantial deposit before engaging a Surveyor
  • An initial sea trial not like asking for a Kidney Before I start writing cheques would be nice if I was happy with the boat and that I had spotted anything obvious that doesn't work.........
  • To be treated civily (even if Broker suspects I am potless ) - but that does not preclude being told to stop wasting the Brokers time That can be done nicely.
As a Tyre-kicker
  • I want loads of info
  • A walk through would be nice (just like a real buyer )
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:38   #55
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Re: Buying a Boat - Lack of Response

I think it only fair to the originator to try to keep a thread on subject as best we can.
I’m trying to suggest that the lack of response Rou-Coo complains about might be because he won’t be buying for the next year or so. I am not a yacht broker, but I am an experienced salesman, and in this present market we don’t give much credence to people in Rou-Coo’s position, because houses we might show today will be long gone by the time they are ready, and we often find people’s situation has completely changed by then anyway.
It’s a fine line between buyer and seller/broker, but I can’t imagine anyone who is ready to buy having any problem obtaining information, especially if they say so. If people are not prepared to tell us their status, we assume—and accurately in most cases—that they are “just looking,” and we don’t generally waste time on them.
Since boats can be bought more or less anywhere and many for sale which are the same make/model it would seem even more important for the yacht broker to deal with people who are able to buy.
VirtualVagabond raises a correct analysis about nurturing next seasons buyers, which anyone in sales should consider, but he admits that he will probably finish up buying from the person who has the boat he wants when he is ready, whether he likes them or not.
I can therefore well imagine brokers/sellers are fed-up with people who are not in any position to buy, and won’t even say when they might be.
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:45   #56
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Re: Buying a Boat - Lack of Response

The last boat we sold was an unusual deal. Boat was in Fla and buyer in Oregon. He negotiated a price and put down a deposit with the broker BEFORE coming to see the boat. deposit was refundable if he did not like the boat. He did not want to incure the travel expense without a firm price! Everything worke out fine. He came with a one way ticket and sailed away!
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:58   #57
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Re: Buying a Boat - Lack of Response

I'm a national sales manager and have been in big-ticket ($1milion ++ per order) industrial sales for over 25 years. The sales cycle for our machinery is typically about 6 months-2 years from the first phone call thru the decision making process. Qualifying a prospect's buying timeline, budget and needs is basic, professional salesmanship. Any salesperson will need qualified prospects today, next month, next year and so forth. The internet is such a tremendous sales tool for easily responding and cultivating a short or long term prospect. In my view, it is just pure laziness that a broker would not build a relationship with someone who cannot buy immediately. He will need that order just as much next year as he does today. However, I do understand that the tire-kickers probably drive them nuts, but weeding thru the dreamers to get to a real buyer is simply part of the job. At little common-sense courtesy goes a long way and people really do remember how they were treated...and tell their friends.
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:05   #58
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Re: Buying a Boat - Lack of Response

Well said, Steve W... Capt Phil
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:31   #59
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Re: Buying a Boat - Lack of Response

VirtualVagabond mentions wishiing brokers would offer information. My approach to buying may have impacted my experience but I was struck by two things, many of the brokers didn't seem to know much about the boats they represented and many did but seem reluctant to answer my questions directly.

I drove to the marinas where the brokers were and had them show me boats within my interest range so did not have one broker who was finding a boat that suited me. Part of this was inexperience and a sense that I couldn't tell someone what I was looking for until I'd seen it.

The broker who had the boat I purchased in the end had deep experience as a ships captain and should have been able to answer my questions better then he did. At times I wondered if he was on prozac. He was reasonably helpful but wouldn't give me his opinion which is something I really could have used.

I have heard of people hiring a disinterested third party for their expertise and I was hoping that I could get an honest response to my questions from the brokers but maybe that puts them in a conflict of interest.
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Old 10-05-2011, 14:01   #60
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Re: Buying a Boat - Lack of Response

Use your instincts. An honest and experienced yacht broker is worth his or her weight in gold. The good ones will always keep in touch, even if they know you aren't in the market currently. They will also give you an honest assessment of what each boat is worth. I'd say that covers about 20% of the brokers out there. As for the rest....avoid them at all costs.
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