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Old 10-05-2012, 22:25   #1
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How to find a good sailboat broker?

Hey guys,
I've got a 1972 39' Ericson in great shape that I'm looking to sell after an upcoming Bahamas trip (ending in early June) and I was wondering if people had any recommendations for choosing a boat broker in the Ft Lauderdale area. From what I've read on the subject thus far it sounds like brokers usually focus on certain types of boats but thus far most that I'm seeing seem to deal with motor yachts.

Does anyone know of any online resources that will help me find brokers that would have experience selling a (lovely) old boat such as mine? What is usually the expected cost of using a broker?


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Old 11-05-2012, 03:28   #2
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If you are going to be around the boat for a couple of weeks I would just list it on craigslist and see what happens. Brokers tend to cost you 6 to 10 % of the sales price. and in my opinion can turn a simple transaction into a nightmare. but if you are not going to be able to hang around then find a broker that has been recommend by someone, which as I type this realize that is exactly what you doing and I am just wasting electrons since I can't recommend anyone in that area. If you bring it north to Annapolis I can help you out.

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Old 11-05-2012, 03:42   #3
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Re: How to find a good sailboat broker?

Just like selling a house, a broker will take their percent of the selling price but a good broker will add value to the deal. They can access a larger number of buyers than most owners, if you are not local to where your boat is docked can save you a heap of travel and hassle, and they can help sort out the tire kickers from the real buyers.

Contrary to the experience of some forum members not all yacht brokers are slimy rejects from a used car lot. You might try forum member Richard Jordan of Jordan Yachts. Have not met him personally but he sounds like a decent sort in his posts on the forum.
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Old 11-05-2012, 04:01   #4
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Re: How to find a good sailboat broker?

If you Google up the same sort of boat (not just your model) in the area you want to sell in - will get an idea of which brokers have listings which will appear to prospective buyers, as well as simply a list of potentials (and then do whatever checking you can).

To be honest, if I was using any Broker would start from the position that he was a lazy idiot - until he proved otherwise. and then I would act accordingly by "managing" him.

I really only want him as a shop window (his website / listings elsewhere should get more hits than an Owner's website), to handle the cash, to manage the paperwork, screen some of the buyers (but not too much) and appear as a neutral party (even though he is not) for reassurance to a buyer - and if I am not around, then showing the boat to prospective buyers (although out of choice I would want to at least be there) - a bit of schmoozing of the buyers being a bonus.

Even if I was selling via a Broker, I would still create my own boat for sale website (in addition to any existing Blog) - although a lot of duplication there will be additional stuff you can say, list (and link to) that would not make it onto a Broker's for sale advert (for good reasons). It's simply another source of info for a buyer (and to help him dream about your boat!). A bit of Youtube would do no harm either. Say, a quick walk through, under sail and moored somewhere idlyllic - no need to shoot a full feature film!, for some things less is more.

I appreciate that Brokers may specialise in certain types of vessel - but buyers usually not that fussy.

Some will say that putting effort into a sale in addition to a broker is too much like hard work and is what the broker is paid for. But that each to their own - personally if I want something sold, I want it sold sooner rather than later and am willing to put some effort in.

Anyway, good luck - you could do worse than starting with a few pics and details on your own "for sale" thread here on CF (and a link to your own for sale website and to any broker's listing).
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Old 11-05-2012, 04:02   #5
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Re: How to find a good sailboat broker?

Bought and sold boats with and without,Preference A Broker.Not as personal as a seller,and can be a lot more objective,IMO.
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Old 11-05-2012, 04:11   #6
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Re: How to find a good sailboat broker?

check out
Don Lord Jones at yachting resources he does a great job
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Old 11-05-2012, 04:40   #7
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The Lord is a knowledgable sailboat broker who does quite a bit of business in the Miami area. I'd be interested if your E39 is in Lauderdale, Lars. We currently have a Ericson 35 for sale. I can find a safe, reasonable dock slip for you if you give me a heads when you return in June. RJ

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Old 13-05-2012, 20:17   #8
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Re: How to find a good sailboat broker?

Thanks for the replies guys. I'm currently living in Austin, TX so unfortunately I'm betting that I'll need to rely on a broker as I won't have anyone nearby who can help me show the boat to any potential buyers.

I plan on owning another boat in the future but it's just hard to justify paying storage (and maintenance) for a boat that's so far away. Thanks for the name recommendations. I'll start contacting the people you recommended and go from there. Thanks!

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Old 14-05-2012, 04:33   #9
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Re: How to find a good sailboat broker?

We used Ed Whiteacre of Whiteacre Yacht Sales. He's located in Bradenton, on the west coast, but has listings all around the East Coast all the way up to Canada, and will travel to manage the listings. He and his wife, Debbie, were absolutely great to work with--honest, communicative, attentive to detail, responsive, had a good advertising plan, etc. I have no reservations at all about recommending him. Our boat's buyer was very happy with them, too. They go out of their way to make sure a deal works for all parties.

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