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Old 16-04-2017, 21:36   #1
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What you should know about brokers

I'd like to start this by saying I'm a newer broker, part of the decision to become a broker was general frustration when buying my boat. I have already agreed to run a FREE SoldBoat search for any CF user I like the research and gaining market info and am happy to help.

I wish I knew what I know now! Using a "buyers broker" is FREE... actually you're already paying for it if you're buying from a listed boat, might as well use it!

All boats on YachtWorld have a listing agreement. The listing agreement has a commission agreement outlined in it. When a boat is available for co-brokerage it means you should have someone on your side, you're already paying the commission, give half to someone on your side!

Advantages of using a listing broker:
1. They will pull a SoldBoat search for you and help advise you on a good initial offer. I usually suggest lower offers than buyers think to offer, and they get accepted. Or negotiated to less than their first thought
2. They can arrange to show you several boats listed by several brokers in one day. Send them the links you want to see. Have them go through the painful process of coordinating with the frequently slow responding listing broker and get locations of marinas and boats in the marina and make your time off work more efficient.
3. They have a plethora of service providers ready to help you out. The last deal I worked I helped the buyer find: a surveyor (gave him a list and let him pick one he felt comfortable with), a shipping company, a rigging company to unstep the mast, coordinated the haul in, and haul out and blocking, helping him get a local bottom painter, and arranging for the crane for unstepping the mast.
4. Their job is negotiating boat deals. They're likely better equipped to get you a better deal. Again make sure you interview them well! Ask for examples, I love bragging about deals I've negotiated. I'm young, I have long hair and a beard. People think they're singing around a campfire with me when entering a round of negotiations and leave feeling like they just killed the hostages themselves. Although I know my limits and am never afraid to defer to my GM for something I'm unsure of.
5. If you picked the right broker you've got a friend for life. You never know when down the road you'll need advice for a local tradesmen. Sometimes even more useful is who not to use! We've seen boats with $10k receipts from service departments where we have a hard time valuing $1,000 worth of work.

Disclaimer: You need to select the right broker! Don't choose the guy with 5year old photos on all his boats, and takes 3 days to answer an email. Have several conversations with the broker before deciding to use them to represent you. Don't just go with the first guy you meet. If people are unsure of listing with me, I advise them to talk to other brokers! I know my response time is light speeds ahead of most other brokers, I know I travel further than most other brokers and I know how I treat people. Don't trust your friend at the marina. They have bought 1 boat in the last 3 years. Just because they liked the guy who sold them the boat doesn't mean he did a good job! This past month I talked to 2 people who wanted to list with the person who sold them the boat. The one broker had the boat for a whole year before the one person bought it and it sold under market value he clearly put no effort forward. The other broker was advising the client to move their boat to his year (a much smaller market than its current location) who has the same boat a year older for $10k less than he wanted out of his boat (that's been on his lot for a year!)


Support your decisions with data!!!!
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Old 17-04-2017, 00:12   #2
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Re: What you should know about brokers

Not in the market nor in your area, but I like your style! Good luck in your new profession, and good onya for the soldboats offer.

Jim
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Old 17-04-2017, 00:55   #3
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Re: What you should know about brokers

I agree with the above 100%. I have always found the crowd here on CF who stereotype brokers as nothing but a bunch of scumbags are way off base. Just like anywhere, there are good and bad out there.

Using a buyer's broker has nothing but upside for purchasers. No, it doesn't make sense to use one if you're buying a $10,000 boat, but for a boat with any value, it makes a world of sense. Like he says, it doesn't cost the buyer anything anyway, and the fact is that brokers will generally talk to other brokers more openly than they will a customer.

So, kudos.

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Old 17-04-2017, 02:32   #4
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Re: What you should know about brokers

Pity your not uk based. Im trying to buy my first boat and after an Oceanis 411. It's a jungle out there lol. Good luck with your venture
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Old 17-04-2017, 03:22   #5
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Re: What you should know about brokers

I'm sold on the value of a buyer's broker, provided you pick the right one. A couple of other advantages that you should add to your spiel:

- Paperwork and process. A buyer's broker interprets and coordinates all the paperwork and is familiar with associated requirements from contract, registration/documentation, etc. Can provide good advice on insurance options.

- Communication with selling broker. A buyer's broker is far more likely to get honest, relevant information out of the selling broker, such as disposition of the seller, prior bids, surveys, etc. that is useful in evaluating the boat and formulating a rational bid.

- Negotiation. Buyer's brokers get business via their reputation and word of mouth. They are incented to work honestly on their clients' behalf, and a key part of that is effective negotiation with the selling party. You might think that they are looking to get the highest price and as a result the largest commission, but that's not how they build business.

The value of a broker's recommendations for service providers should not be underestimated. In Annapolis, for example, where the volume of boat work to be had is so huge that pretty much anyone can hang out a shingle and stay in business, it's easy to retain a service provider only to find out that they don't return calls, can't estimate honestly, can't get work done on time, and don't do quality work. A good broker knows who's good and who's not.
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Old 17-04-2017, 04:20   #6
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Re: What you should know about brokers

Good to know, & REALLY appreciated. That said, anyone have a list of questions, & resources to use for vetting such a broker? It surely would help in picking one of quality.
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Old 17-04-2017, 05:42   #7
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Re: What you should know about brokers

Good stuff here. How does the buyer broker fit in when boats you are interested in are a hundred miles away or more. What I see happening is a buyer decides on a couple models, none of which are local to him. So to see them will require some day trips. I can't imaging the BB traveling along.
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Old 17-04-2017, 05:43   #8
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Re: What you should know about brokers

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
Good to know, & REALLY appreciated. That said, anyone have a list of questions, & resources to use for vetting such a broker? It surely would help in picking one of quality.
It all comes down to word of mouth. The good ones rise to the top and get recommended over and over by experienced boat owners.

In addition, it really pays to find a buyer's broker who has specialized experience in the make/type of boat you're in the market for. Not only will they be familiar with the boat itself, but they'll probably be familiar with the price/demand history and even specific boats that are on the market.

The buyer's broker I used when I bought my boat specialized in Valiants. Not only had he owned two himself, but he had brokered about 100 of them. He was individually familiar with more than half the V40s that were on the market at the time, and perhaps even more importantly, their owners. "This one is well kept...this one is probably a wreck by now..." were comments made to me as we looked over the listings.

When it came time to pull the trigger, he formulated a very aggressive bid and backed it up with very specific reasoning that he passed on to the selling broker. Among other things, there was a boat that was clearly better outfitted at a lower price on the west coast, and transportation would not have equaled the difference.

When it came to the survey, he was more knowledgeable and helpful than the surveyor, who had been recommended to me by several people on this board as the boat was out of my geographic area. He flagged a whole fistful of things that the surveyor did not, had very specific information about how to perform certain upgrades and their costs, etc.

His post survey negotiation was very helpful as well. We requested a fairly sizable reduction in purchase price and went back and forth a few times with the seller, who ultimately would not budge below a certain point. My broker said "I would not budge either if I were you, but let me try something." The next day he informed me that he and the selling broker were making up the difference out of their commissions, which was smart since the deal was all but done and it was a no brainer for them to give a bit and get it over with.

My broker is not to to everyone's tastes, and he rubs some folks the wrong way due to his personality. But he knows his stuff and works hard for his clients.

Similarly, I have an Australian friend here in Annapolis who works at the Beneteau dealer. He owns a Bene, races it very competitively, and was at one point president of the Beneteau owners association. He's amazingly knowledgeable, personable, and well regarded around here. Never head anyone say a bad word about him, and that counts for a lot in this sail-crazy town.
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Old 17-04-2017, 05:55   #9
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Re: What you should know about brokers

Just to add some reality to this otherwise "rosey" picture of what a buyer's broker is -
The caution which should be mentioned here is that so-called buyer's brokers are also brokers the rest of the time selling boats and have the same disincentive(s) to share commissions by opening their 'net' beyond only those boats they represent as seller brokers. Regardless of whether or not it's their listing being considered for purchase -

And obviously, they are not simply working for a potential buyer but rather they are working for themselves as their income is a function of sales, not good will or objectivity.
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Old 17-04-2017, 06:38   #10
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Re: What you should know about brokers

,
Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
Just to add some reality to this otherwise "rosey" picture of what a buyer's broker is -
The caution which should be mentioned here is that so-called buyer's brokers are also brokers the rest of the time selling boats and have the same disincentive(s) to share commissions by opening their 'net' beyond only those boats they represent as seller brokers. Regardless of whether or not it's their listing being considered for purchase -

And obviously, they are not simply working for a potential buyer but rather they are working for themselves as their income is a function of sales, not good will or objectivity.
Well said and important. It's worth me adding to my post above that the broker in question tried to sell me a few of the boats he had himself under brokerage. He didn't oversell, just made sure I was familiar with what he had, including two Valiants that did not mesh with what I was looking for.

Every broker is going to try and sell you their boats first. More money, less work, and if one of them really does meet your needs, a win-win for all three parties involved. Do your homework, know what you're looking for, and be firm.
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Old 17-04-2017, 08:16   #11
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Re: What you should know about brokers

I agree with all you mention however after being a broker myself in the 80s I've modified my personal buying strategy.

I've done this 3 times since then; 40' Hughes, 50' Custom Catamaran, 40.5 Hunter Legend.

I would not recommend this for the uninitiated.

Rather than employing a broker on my behalf I look to go straight to the listing brokers. The commission is 10% and if NOT being split much more likely to get a concession from the broker when the negotiation gets down to the last few grand without ticking off the seller. That and if maintaining a good relationship with that broker many of the services mentioned will still be provided. I also make it clear that if all goes well I will pass the word on which I've done and am still friends with Eric West, Don Buckles, Claridy Schwartz and Cherie Starner.

My two cents for a new broker is LIST. Buyers will drive you nuts after awhile :-)
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Old 17-04-2017, 08:27   #12
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Re: What you should know about brokers

Because I am an older cruiser I left the world of sailing which was my first love. I have switched first to trawlers and now would like to go to a smaller boat either a Downeast style or a single engine trawler. I wondered if you work with cruisers such as my self who can no longer safely run a sizable sailboat.
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Old 17-04-2017, 08:34   #13
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Re: What you should know about brokers

I have been a marine surveyor for 35 years. I have been offered bribes 3 times from yacht brokers if I would "pass the boat" since I have too much integrity it wasn't going to happen.


I have moved on to commercial hulls, tugs and barges better to deal with professionals.


I have been in the market for a 36 to 40 ft boat and have met a lot of resistance in even showing me a boat to the point of refusal or telling me its under "contract' when it isn't.


when I pressed the broker as to why. he told me that I take too much time looking at the boat.
I have access to soldboats.com and when I show the broker the print out he ignored it and refused to submit my offer to the owner.


so much for the "yacht broker experience"
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Old 17-04-2017, 08:47   #14
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Re: What you should know about brokers

Kudos to you! As another "fresh" broker, I agree with your strategy and thoughts. Hope to work with you sometime! And yes--we aren't very well loved. But my goal is to always work hard and be honest, and that seems to work.
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Old 17-04-2017, 08:48   #15
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Re: What you should know about brokers

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
buyer but rather they are working for themselves as their income is a function of sales, not good will or objectivity.
A broker who plans on being around for awhile most assuredly learns that his/her continued income is definitely a function of good will and objectivity. Repeat and referral business is crucial to long term success.

As for working for themselves, the same can often be said for lawyers, accountants, doctors, etc so therefore they are simply in it for their fees?

Think about applying your sweeping generality to whatever it is that you do for a living.
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