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Old 20-02-2011, 10:00   #1
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I'm Ready to Buy the Boat, but How Do I Get a Broker to Take Me Seriously ?

So I sold the house, only took 15 days and even got what I was asking!! Mixed feelings about the whole thing but now for step number 2: How do I get a broker to take me seriously? I know what kind of boat I want and the price range I'm willing to spend in but for whatever reason over the internet its hard to get them to take you seriously. I'm in Canada and the intention is to go south on the east coast to find my sailboat. The issue I'm having is that when ever I try and contact the broker I don't get a response, why is that? What do I need to do to find out if maybe the boat is already sold or its just a pretty picture to get you to look?


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Old 20-02-2011, 10:25   #2
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Perhaps your Canadian location is a turnoff, don't know. But call (don't send an email) Rod Rowan at Crusader Yachts in Annapolis. Rod is a pro. And Annapolis has the biggest concentration of cruising boats in the country.

Whether it is Rod or whoever, develop a relationship so he knows that he will be the broker of the boat you buy. Don't try to find the boat, call the listing broker and try to find out about it and make a deal. Your Canadian location works against that approach, which might be ok for a knowledgable buyer in the US.

Contact Rod at 410-269-0939 x102 or 703-593-7531 mobile. Tell him David sent you.


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Old 20-02-2011, 10:25   #3
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My fellow sailor
Well done on making the decision to go sailing. Best decision you have ever made.

Brokers work on commission. They react to the smell of money. They get emails a plenty but have to filter the more realistic opportunities from the chaff.

When I was ready to buy my boat, I paid a visit to the broker and had a chat. We discussed budget, accomodation requirements and intent, and he knew from that that I was a serious buyer. I bought the right boat for me after looking at many, many boats with my broker in tow.

So, take some time to go and see the brokers. Stay in the place where you intend buying and get to know the sailors. Ten to one, you will find the boat of your dreams without the assistance of a broker.
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Old 20-02-2011, 10:27   #4
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I think you've had some bad luck with brokers. In my experience, most respond. The only time I've contacted a broker and got no response was when the boat was already being sold. Otherwise, they've seemed eager to tell me how wonderful the boat in question is.
Craigslist is another option, if you want to deal directly with the owner. I'd guess you'd find a similar percentage of flakes though.
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Old 20-02-2011, 11:01   #5
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I would love to call a broker directly but I am deaf and it's really difficult to understand over the There are benefits being deaf and Canadian but then times like this I would love to be able to just pick up the phone and talk to a person. I guess emails are still a hard thing for people to take seriously. My best bet is to just go to the east coast and start my travels, walking docks etc. I can understand people face to face, as I lip read, but the phone doesn't work that way unless I get onto skype maybe.

Nothing is supposed to be easy in life so this is just another exciting challenge for me. Nothing worth doing is easy right? I just can't wait to join you all out there sailing the beautiful ocean and facing new challenges!! Bring em on baby!!!
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Old 20-02-2011, 12:19   #6
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I'm inclined to agree, you just ran into some bad brokers. I've had email conversations with half a dozen on the east coast, all in Canada and they were all kind, courteous and replied to my emails fairly promptly. However I might add that I was asking about specific boats in their portfolio.

Perhaps you should write down what it is you are looking for in a boat, and then include this with the email. I might go so far as to give them an idea of how much money you care to spend. (I'd only tell them about 2/3rd or 3/4 of the amount) Ask them what they have that might fit the bill.

SV Sabre Dance, Roberts Offshore 38
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Old 20-02-2011, 12:29   #7
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Have to admit I've had a pretty crappy time trying to get info from some boats from brokers too. Then when I accidentally stumbled on the listing for the boat I ended up buying I was very happily surprised by the level of professionalism that the broker provided. Especially at the price of the boat that I bought. If you were looking for something in the NW Michigan area I would suggest a broker.
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Old 20-02-2011, 12:40   #8
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Try something like this..

Oi.... $h*t for brains... in case you did not know there's a crisis and I'm looking to put some money in your dirty sticky little hands if you'll get of your fat ass and go to the computor and send me some details about these boats...
The money from my recently sold house is burning a hole in my pocket and I'm 'Road Kill' for some sleazy ex-secondhand car salesman to screw me up and down...

Your truly disgusted prospective client...

Can't hurt... may work better than being polite....

Born To Be Wild
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Old 20-02-2011, 13:13   #9

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"when ever I try and contact the broker I don't get a response, why is that?"
The folks who can't return a phone call aren't the kind of folks you want to deal with anyhow. Whatever their problem is--let it be theirs, not yours.
I'm sure you can get recommendations to good brokers, here and elsewhere. If you call and say "I sold my house, have cash in the bank, and intend to be on a boat within the next month" you'll get some attention.
And the ones that don't call you back? Forget about them! There are plenty of boats and plenty of folks willing to work their butts off to sell them. Do keep in mind, even then you can't and shouldn't believe everything a broker or owner tells you. You'll be looking for recommendations for surveyors at the same time.
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Old 20-02-2011, 13:38   #10
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Congrats on your new start! As already stated, if the broker does not don't want him! It's a buyers got it made! Go shopping, check out yachtworld and be is good and you are in the drivers seat oh yeah, take your time and use a good surveyor.
A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, he said, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. But we do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again.

J.M.Synge, in The Aran Islands
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Old 20-02-2011, 13:54   #11
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Find a broker that you like and get THEM to make the calls for you (maybe one that did respond to one of your emails etc)! As a buyer commission doesn't mean anything to you and brokers tend to respond to other brokers better.

You still need to listen to and watch out for yourself on the deal.
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Old 20-02-2011, 14:28   #12
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IMHO you are much better off dealing directly with boat owners themselves. Check out listings in places like Soundings and the BoatUS magazine, or even craigslist and here on the Cruisers Forum. I have had much better results when I can communicate directly with the owner. Having said that, many boats are listed with brokers and one way to get them to respond is to visit them at a major boat show like Newport or Annapolis and make contact with them that way. Don't know if you can wait until the fall, but Newport is in September and Annapolis (the best show in the USA) is in October. Plus there are tons of boats for sale in and around Annapolis, Newport, and Ft. Lauderdale. You could visit any of these cities and walk into numerous brokerage offices to start your search.
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Old 20-02-2011, 14:41   #13
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I've gone through the same routine on the West Coast & ended up calling, rather than e-mailing. Do you have a friend or relative who could do the initial calling on your behalf? All they need to do is to tell the broker to read the e-mail you've sent them & you can carry it on from there.
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Old 20-02-2011, 14:53   #14
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Email them a copy of this thread.
Any broker with a brain ought to respond.
Memento,homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.
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Old 20-02-2011, 14:55   #15
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What is your budget? A broker will make maybe 5% and half of that will be expenses. Unless you're looking to spend a couple of hundred thousand on a boat, they will not want to spend a lot of time on you. Mostly they like to sell new boats for millions. Can't really blame them. How much work are you willing to do on a 10% chance you'll make $200?

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