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Old 15-04-2015, 11:06   #16
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Re: Questions for a boat broker

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Originally Posted by Cthoops View Post
No. I'm just looking to gather as much information as I can about age of parts (before ponying up for a survey) so I can support my well-under-the-asking price offer.

Unless I'm mistaken, I think the offer comes before the survey? And then depending on what the survey turns up there may be further price adjustments?
Over all your plan is a good one. As already said, pretty much any question about the boat is fair game. But also a broker is not likely to have personal knowledge of a boat's history and will have to depend on the seller to provide answers and information. This of course means that no matter how honest the broker you need to consider the honesty of the seller to evaluate the information you're given.

I would also not get too hung up on the smaller details. Unless you're looking at a fairly small, inexpensive boat I wouldn't make things like the age of the batteries a deal breaker. I would just go into the deal assuming that almost all the consumables will be ready for replacement, if not immediately then soon.

Instead, focus on the big ticket items. Structural issues like hull damage, hull deck joint, wet core, rudder. Engine, standing rig, sails. All these can be thousands.
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Old 15-04-2015, 11:56   #17
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Re: Questions for a boat broker

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Originally Posted by Sid at SailAway View Post
From a broker....Ask, ask, ask. Any and all questions are fair game. Answering questions is a very important part of our job. We do it every day. Just a few days ago I answered an email from another broker who had a client with a list of twenty some questions about one of my listings. Answered them all, even the one about why did the owner have a Danforth anchor when the new generation anchors are so popular. I believe brokers try to be as honest as possible in their answers, but remember those answers come from the owner who may not be as upfront. Granted, there are some less then honorable brokers out there, but usually the survey tells most if not all.

If you're really interested in the boat but don't want to put her under contract just yet, see if the owner will let you do an "in the water" survey that will determine her true condition and a basis in which to make an offer. Some will, some won't without the boat being under contract, which of course a full survey/sea trial would be in order. If you are not using a buyers broker you really should consider it. It costs you nothing and now you have an advocate looking out for your best interests in the deal.

Hope this helps a little, good luck and let us know how it goes...
Hi Sid,

I've purchased two boats and never used a buyer's broker. I'm trying to make sure I understand the process. The seller's broker will take something like a 10% commission on selling the boat. If the buyer brings a broker, then the two brokers split that same commission, right? So it costs seller and buyer nothing, but the selling broker gets only half of what he otherwise would have?
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Old 15-04-2015, 13:18   #18
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Re: Questions for a boat broker

Suggest you retain your own knowledgeable, experienced broker to advise you and negotiate on your behalf. He or she should act as your fiduciary in the transaction. You can't count on the listing broker to disclose negative information.
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Old 15-04-2015, 13:26   #19
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Re: Questions for a boat broker

The broker has no idea. Go see the boat for yourself, or speak directly with the owner. When you ask the broker, he just goes and asks the owner. Its like broken telephone, and it wastes a lot of time. Unless they have already said otherwise, assume the worst.

Now, ask the broker if he actually wants to sell the boat (and get his commision).
Ask for a new "current", realistic price. Be sure to mention the low Canadian Dollar.
Ask how low you can offer without getting punched in the face.

Its a start.
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Old 15-04-2015, 13:50   #20
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Re: Questions for a boat broker

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions.


The timing isn't exactly great for us, but there aren't too many of this particular boat on the market at any one time and the location is very convenient. It's been on Yachtworld for at least a year, but the owner still uses it.


The ad says that any serious offers will be considered, but the broker said that the owner is very firm on his price. Given that the broker is interested in selling it for as much as he can, and the owner can actually check the ad, I'm inclined to think that the owner isn't as firm as the broker is claiming. However, given the price and the fact that he's still using it, maybe I'm wrong.


I may hold off and wait until towards the end of the season, under the theory that an owner facing another winter of storage costs may be a bit more motivated. We'll see. Lots to think about.


Thanks again.
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Old 15-04-2015, 15:19   #21
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Re: Questions for a boat broker

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Originally Posted by cwyckham View Post
Hi Sid,

I've purchased two boats and never used a buyer's broker. I'm trying to make sure I understand the process. The seller's broker will take something like a 10% commission on selling the boat. If the buyer brings a broker, then the two brokers split that same commission, right? So it costs seller and buyer nothing, but the selling broker gets only half of what he otherwise would have?

The standard commission is 10%. If the sellers broker sells the boat to a "walk in" or one of his clients then he gets the whole 10%. If the buyer uses a buyers broker then that 10% is split between the two brokers. It costs the seller the same regardless if there is a buyers broker or not. It costs the buyer nothing. Hope that helps...
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Old 15-04-2015, 15:37   #22
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Re: Questions for a boat broker

I've found that usually when a boat is way overpriced the broker is aware of it and will readily acknowledge it, saying something along the lines of the owner needing a little more time to become realistic about the market. That way he doesn't discourage potential buyers. The broker saying that the owner is firm on an inflated ask would probably be enough for me to not waste my time. He's indicating that there isn't any point to making a reasonable offer---which isn't a good sign from a broker.
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Old 15-04-2015, 16:43   #23
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Re: Questions for a boat broker

Marine Survey 101 will show you how to inspect the boat yourself before paying for a surveyor
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Old 16-04-2015, 04:53   #24
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Re: Questions for a boat broker

In my experience, brokers have in their interest to bring the price down to complete the sale and get their commission. Then they are free to work on the next deal. No point in waiting ages for the rare or non-existent customer with inflated price. The broker will persuade the seller to go down unless the offering price is so low that it becomes offensive.
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Old 16-04-2015, 06:06   #25
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Re: Questions for a boat broker

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Originally Posted by meirriba View Post
In my experience, brokers have in their interest to bring the price down to complete the sale and get their commission. Then they are free to work on the next deal. No point in waiting ages for the rare or non-existent customer with inflated price. The broker will persuade the seller to go down unless the offering price is so low that it becomes offensive.
100% correct. For most brokers the motivation is stronger to get the deal done that it is to squeeze the last few dollars out of every deal. If a boat is over priced and the broker knows the seller is firm then the broker is generally going to let that listing sit unless he finds a buyer that insists on that one boat.
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Old 16-04-2015, 07:49   #26
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Re: Questions for a boat broker

Brokers are often very nice, intelligent people, with a good knowledge of boats. Ok, I don't believe that. But its possible.

Having said that, its their job. They get paid when/if the boat gets sold. They play both ends...encouraging the seller to drop the price...encouraging the buyer to pay more. The goal of the broker is to facilitate until there is an accepted offer. Around here they get 10% of the sale price for this service.

Its important to keep this in mind when dealing with a broker.
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Old 16-04-2015, 08:34   #27
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Re: Questions for a boat broker

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Brokers are often very nice, intelligent people, with a good knowledge of boats. Ok, I don't believe that. But its possible.
Assume you're just attempting humor here since, like all general indictments against a group or class of people it's total bull. Like all lawyers are sharks, all Irish are drunks, all yacht brokers are lazy, lying bums.

I was a broker for several years and knew a lot of guys in the business that were very knowledgeable, experienced sailors that worked hard to find the right boat and the right deal for the buyers and were honest to a fault. I also knew a few outright scoundrels that would tell any lie they could get away with to try and sell a boat. Also knew one drunk whose main goal was to get customers to meet him at the local bar.

Not saying put 100% trust in some broker because he/she seems nice. Just like buying anything caveat emptor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hamburking View Post
Having said that, its their job. They get paid when/if the boat gets sold. They play both ends...encouraging the seller to drop the price...encouraging the buyer to pay more. The goal of the broker is to facilitate until there is an accepted offer.
Again, a generality that is not always correct. Certainly in most deals this may be the case but frequently a broker may, for a number of reasons, focus primarily on the needs or interests of the seller or the buyer.

A major fact to remember, there are two commissions involved in any yacht sale (same as a house sold by a realtor). The commission for the person that listed the boat for sale and the commission for the person that sells the boat. Of course one person can do both and get both commissions but in most yacht brokerage sales that is the exception.

Also boats can be listed two ways. It could be an exclusive listing with one broker or an open listing with many brokers.

So, it can depend on whether the boat in question was also listed for sale by the selling broker or not. If that is the case then it can almost be a conflict of interest for the broker. He has a responsibility to the seller to get the best price but also a responsibility to the buyer to get him/her the best deal.
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Old 16-04-2015, 10:33   #28
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Re: Questions for a boat broker

Any state my made by either the seller or broker is always subject to misinterpretation.

My boat was built in 1979. The POs kept so-so logs of the work done. But all the manuals. Since I purchased her all work goes into a maintenance log.

Ask to see her maintenance log, or any logs of repairs, etc. that alone will give you a hint of the quality of her maintenance program.

The absence of logs is not a deal-breaker. But it discounts any verbal representations.




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