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Old 16-01-2009, 21:09   #31
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And that list would be available from where?
The list? Go to yachtworld.com They have most of the boats. I wouldn't buy a broker. Most of them can't earn their keep.

You want a boat but you demand some super broker or you will not buy the boat you really want? This idea that they do anything other than make the deal happen escapes me. Many brokers know a lot of things just like anyone else you might know.

I'm curious what people think a broker should be able to do aside from handling the transaction of selling a boat? We could start there as a baseline. If it is connected with handling the paperwork and bringing the buyer and seller together on an agreement we can assume this is done smooth and efficient with very clear communication. Helping with arrangements and setting up the events required to close the sale we would assume is a primary requirement. I'm talking regular phones calls, emails and papers just so you know what is going on.
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Old 17-01-2009, 09:56   #32
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The list? Go to yachtworld.com They have most of the boats. I wouldn't buy a broker. Most of them can't earn their keep.

You want a boat but you demand some super broker or you will not buy the boat you really want? This idea that they do anything other than make the deal happen escapes me. Many brokers know a lot of things just like anyone else you might know.

I'm curious what people think a broker should be able to do aside from handling the transaction of selling a boat? We could start there as a baseline. If it is connected with handling the paperwork and bringing the buyer and seller together on an agreement we can assume this is done smooth and efficient with very clear communication. Helping with arrangements and setting up the events required to close the sale we would assume is a primary requirement. I'm talking regular phones calls, emails and papers just so you know what is going on.
Right.
That is what I would expect. Not much more.
From what I read only 20% can be expected to do that satisfactorily.
How to find them?
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Old 17-01-2009, 10:15   #33
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WRT the poor broker being blamed for the owner not lowering the price...

Keep in mind that whenever you use a broker you ARE paying at least 10%* more then you would be if you dealt direct with the owner.....

Same is true for the seller. You ARE loosing the same 10%* over what you would have taken away.

IMHO, those using brokers to sell their boats are no better then the guy who calls animal control to report the barking dog rather then just going next door and talking to their neighbor.

*maybe more.
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Old 17-01-2009, 10:38   #34
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My Broker Rant

Called the broker about a listing and asked if the boat was in great shape. Mentioned that the particular boat was usually an amateur fit out so asked again if it was in good shape. Was told yes, very good.

When I arrived at the boat I noticed the standing rigging was slack. Clue number one. When I went below I saw an interesting piece of teak lying on the counter. Clue number 2. It was raining and the bilge was full of water. Clue number 3. Saw that the teak piece had bridged the gap at top of passageway between galley/nav area to saloon area. It had just been screwed in place and had popped out. Wait a minute, isn't that where the mast is located. Looked on deck at the mast step and noticed a pool of water sitting around the bottom of the mast. Whew. Mast was trying to make it's way through the deck. No deck beam under the mast because it was lying on the counter...lol.

Checking around some more I discovered the dry rot.

Gave the broker the keys, a short description of what I thought of him and left.
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Old 17-01-2009, 11:36   #35
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My broker was helpful,but not entirely truthful.He claimed engine,driveline had been professionally installed when in fact it was owner installed,resulting in premature transmission failure.Another boat that I considered buying In Mexico,was supposed to be in good condition,ready to go.Pictures are very deceiving!At $80000. you would expect a half decent boat.What a shock when I arrived on scene,the week turned into a "holiday".
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Old 17-01-2009, 11:55   #36
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Broker rants?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pblais View Post

I'm curious what people think a broker should be able to do aside from handling the transaction of selling a boat? We could start there as a baseline. If it is connected with handling the paperwork and bringing the buyer and seller together on an agreement we can assume this is done smooth and efficient with very clear communication. Helping with arrangements and setting up the events required to close the sale we would assume is a primary requirement. I'm talking regular phones calls, emails and papers just so you know what is going on.
Been watching this thread for a while and trying to curb my annoyance at some of the posts. Finally have to speak up.

First, what kind of response we would see on this forum if someone posted a rant about liveaboards being a bunch of slobs and worthless bums because there were a couple of ratty sailboats with junk all over the deck parked in their particular marina? Pick any subset of the population and you will be able to point out gross faults in some members of the group. To indict all members of a group based on the actions of some is ignorant and bigoted.

I was a broker in Ft Lauderdale in a former lifetime and saw the business from the inside. I will be the first to agree that there were plenty of liars, scoundrels, bums, drunks, and outright crooks in the business. However the majority of the brokers were boat owners, sailors, cruisers and even liveaboards that saw brokering as a way to make an honest living in a lifestyle that they loved. That is not to say that all of those "good" brokers were experts and free from their own biases. See a broker that is into racing and you will probably get different recommendations than from another broker that lives on a classic, wood, gaff rigged, double ender.

OK, counter rant done, now to answer the question of what a (good) broker would contribute to a sale. For a very knowledgeable buyer who knows boats and the various models, knows what he or she wants and is willing to do the research to find the right boat, verify clear title, transfer same, arrange for survey, insurance, financing, etc then a broker can offer very little other than access to those boats that are listed for sail exclusively through brokerage. However, it seems very clear to me reading the posts and questions on this and other forums that there are lots of buyers out there that do not have this knowledge and capability.

A good broker will ask the buyer a lot of questions to determine the budget and intended use for the boat and try to match the buyer with the most appropriate boat. Then evaluate available boats and arrange showings for the buyer and finally assist in all the aforementioned red tape. The service may also include helping out of town buyers with local transportation and accommodations.

Regarding the commission resulting in a higher cost to the buyer, in my experience that was frequently not the case. In my personal experience selling boats I found that the majority of boats for sale by owner (at least back 35 years ago) were overpriced, for various reasons: the owner/seller was too emotionally invested in the boat, did not have a realistic understanding of the market or just thought the boat was worth a lot more was realistic. Also sellers that listed their boat with a broker were frequently more motivated to move the boat.

For the seller a broker will try to qualify the buyers and weed out the day dreamers and tire kickers. Many sellers are not local to the boat so the broker in this case also sets up the showings, makes sure the boat is ready to show and frequently is keeping an eye on the boat for the owner, usually at no charge other than listing the boat for sale with that broker.

Now the confession, after 30 years landlocked I am buying a boat and I am not using a broker but buying directly from the owner. Also, in case anyone asks, I have lost touch with the business and would not know a broker in south FL to recommend but I do know a great surveyor.
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Old 17-01-2009, 17:53   #37
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skipmac: "To indict all members of a group based on the actions of some is ignorant and bigoted." No one indected all members of a group...that's a bit extreme. The original post discussed great disappoinment and others followed with their stories...that's all fair game and should be considered educational in the spirit of the blog. There are just a bunch of negative stories and that's just the facts of the thread.
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Old 17-01-2009, 20:27   #38
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There are just a bunch of negative stories and that's just the facts of the thread.
Mostly correct and there are several posts that are even complimentary to brokers. However, read back through the thread and you will see not all posts are just negative stories or balanced opinions.

Do not want to post specific quotes and start a personal argument but I find a couple of posts that without qualification state essentially I hate brokers or if you deal with a broker you're an idiot. I sometimes get annoyed by such tone and sometimes cannot stop myself from responding.

Then there was a question posed about what a broker can bring to a deal which I thought was a fair, reasonable question (thank you Mr Blais) and warranted an answer.

To elaborate on my answer, in the information age, to an educated buyer a broker brings much less to the table than in the past. Before yachtworld.com and similar sites it was much more difficult to locate a large inventory of yachts for sale. Today a persistant internet surfer can find many more boats than 90% of the brokers out there will have the time, inclination or interest in digging up.

So for an knowledgeable, careful buyer today I think a broker is usually redundant. For a buyer with less experience and boating knowledge a good broker can help them find the right boat and possibly prevent an expensive mistake. However that same buyer is also more susceptible to being conned by a less reputable broker, hence the quandry. How do you find a good, honest broker? I guess the same way you find a good boat, make yourself an educated consumer. Do a lot of research and ask a lot of questions.
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Old 17-01-2009, 21:51   #39
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For a buyer with less experience and boating knowledge a good broker can help them find the right boat and possibly prevent an expensive mistake. However that same buyer is also more susceptible to being conned by a less reputable broker, hence the quandry.
It is the way of the world and not just boats. If you don't understand very much it leaves more room for confusion, distrust, and the opportunity to be taken advantage of. Unreasonable expectations quickly drive deals apart. It also sets up the case where rather than admit mistakes the blame gets shifted back and the story or the truth becomes otherwise. It cuts three ways between buyers, sellers, and brokers. They each play a role. They may not all be as honest with each other as they should and each can be unprepared to complete responsibilities. You don't know until you begin and find out.

It's not about the broker. It's about the boat and the deal. Your preparation and objectivity is all you ever have even with sincere help. After a great deal the broker is suddenly the great person or the moron that screwed it up. The perfect broker sells the perfect boat and the buyer is unhappy or the broker got shorted or the seller sold too cheap. The most common denominator is "it was the other guys fault and they did it on purpose to me".

We read the rants from one side so we don't really know what happened or more importantly why it happened. Perhaps not even all the players knew fully either. A deal falling apart is not overflowing with accurate details. Misinformation and incomplete communication with a lot of money tends to go that way. There are a million ways to unravel a perfect deal. So how bad can it get when the deal isn't all that perfect from the start?

Picking the perfect broker sounds like the better idea but unless the perfect broker is tied up to the perfect seller and the perfect buyer does it really matter?

Not all boats are really for sale and not all boats for sale can be purchased. There are many impossible deals out there that can't be closed. All homework you do is insurance so buy a lot. There should be enough checks and balances to protect your interests but during the process you need a little trust and honesty. Don't get emotionally invested until the boat leaves with you on it.
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Old 17-01-2009, 22:43   #40
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Since I am currently in the market for a yacht, I've come across both of these types. One of the brokers I dealt with only had 1 picture of the boat from the outside as if he just cruised by in his dingy and took a shot for fun and giggles. Then when I asked for more photos of both inside and out, it took him FOREVER to get the shots. I mean, COME ON, this is for the broker in the long run if he is truly selling the yacht. Don't do it just to make me happy!!

Most of the stuff that irks me should be basic common sense and common/professional courtesy!! It doesn't take that long to reply to a voice mail or e-mail!! I don't think anyone appreciates weeks of dead space and silence!!

Then I've dealt with excellent brokers that bent over backwards only to get screwed from the boat owners.

Oh well, it takes all types I guess!!
First I want to say thank you to the first poster. This rant made me feel so much better. I too ranted about this on my blog recently with my very similar suggestions for the boat broker community, 5 Tips for Boat Brokers.

I think that most boat brokers could take a few tips in customer service... sadly... from their local Ford dealership (let alone a nice high end dealership). I too am shopping for a boat and have ran into an inordinate amount of idiots or people who are just plain rude and should not be in sales. We were referred to a really nice person who was immensely helpful and we thought she was the best broker ever, but then realized she was only showing us boats with extremely high prices. Not only was it gut wrenching after a while of looking at all these great boats that we could not have, but it was kind of like saying to us that we aren't good enough to get into the boating community unless we're rich. She's a really nice person, but again, not paying attention to the needs of the buyer and finding a perfect match.

I've been tossing around the idea of becoming a broker maybe later in life and when the economy picks up again. Maybe my tune would change after walking a mile in their shoes dealing with the sometimes flaky and stupid buyers.
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Old 17-01-2009, 23:40   #41
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Hi Skipmac...I value your opinion also. Obviously you have a wealth of knowledge as a former broker. As you know, it takes all kinds...good and bad. Having said that, one must also recognize that this is a forum. A place for all of us to voice our opinions. We each have had different experiences to formulate opinions.
I have just bought yet another boat through a broker and so far choose not to express my experience with the transaction. But having had dealt in the past with 4 brokers over the years, I can say (for me) it's a mixed bag. In as far as the forum is concerned, these threads usually burn themselves out over a period of time...well except if you're talking about you favorite anchor
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Old 20-01-2009, 08:30   #42
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Good Brokers, Bad Brokers, No Brokers..........

Good Brokers: There are a few and as Paul stated, approximately 80% of the boats are sold by 20% of the brokers and these are usually the good brokers. They serve a purpose; to educate or augment the un-informed or under-informed buyer. assist in consummating the deal in a professional manner and adjudicate any mis-understandings by either party.

Bad Brokers: The majority of the marine brokers are bad brokers. Many are knowledgeable sailors and even hold captains licenses, however, this serves only a small part of the competence quotient of the successful professional broker. Their professional selling skils are almost non-existent. These include, but are not limited to poor listening skills, poor follow-up skills, laziness, lying and outright lying, tardiness, insisting on phone conversations versus e-mails, the excuse being he 1) can't type well 2) has a computer virus and can't accept and/or send e-mails. The purpose of this last tactic, I believe, is to cut down on the audit trail in case problems arise in the future as to what was implied or said in negotiations. OMG.....I could go on and on and on..........feel free to PM me for the names of these swarmy, slimmy guys as well as their brokerage house.

No Brokers: My personal favorite! One does NOT need a broker!! If one uses ones computer coupled with due diligence, it is easy to find and buy your boat without these over-paid, worthless pieces of poop. Find your boat, locate the owner and make your offer direct. If the owner has the boat listed with a broker, then wait until the listing expires. Since you found the boat without a broker it is perfect legal to exercise this option. Good luck, my 2 cents for what it is worth.
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Old 20-01-2009, 08:31   #43
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Hi Skipmac...I value your opinion also. Obviously you have a wealth of knowledge as a former broker.
Well, since I've been out of that businses for 35 years I have a wealth of outdated knowledge.



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As you know, it takes all kinds...good and bad. Having said that, one must also recognize that this is a forum. A place for all of us to voice our opinions.
Completely agree. I had to voice my opinion because I saw a couple of other opinions (rants) that in my opinion were, how shall I put this in a PC way, a bit one sided and over the edge. If nothing else I like a little balance.


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I have just bought yet another boat through a broker and so far choose not to express my experience with the transaction.
Well as noted in previous post, after 35 years on the hard I am buying a boat again and NOT using a broker.

When I started the search I did call a couple of brokers about boats that they had listed. First boat I called about was sold so I asked that broker if he had any similar boats for sale and described a bluewater capable, sloop or cutter, center cockpit, 38-44', around $100k, etc. Broker sent me a listing for a 46' aft cockpit ketch?

Then I went to look at a boat in CT that met my criteria but the boat didn't quite work. For one thing it was a 43' cruiser with no nav station at all and bunks for 8-9 people. Asked that broker if he had any similar listings. Turned out he had recently retired from business (banking or real estate, something none boat oriented), bought a sailboat and was working part time as a yacht broker. We talked about sailing and he admitted he had never been out of sight of land in his short sailing career. He strongly recommended a well known boat that is generally acknowledged as a nice coastal cruiser and island boat but is built more for price and comfort than serious bluewater sailing. Turned out he lived on one himself and this company was the local dealer for the brand. Strike two.


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...well except if you're talking about your favorite anchor
No, no, no, not anchors again. Please anything but another anchor thread.
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Old 20-01-2009, 08:44   #44
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Well as noted in previous post, after 35 years on the hard I am buying a boat again and NOT using a broker.

When I started the search I did call a couple of brokers about boats that they had listed. First boat I called about was sold so I asked that broker if he had any similar boats for sale and described a bluewater capable, sloop or cutter, center cockpit, 38-44', around $100k, etc. Broker sent me a listing for a 46' aft cockpit ketch?

Then I went to look at a boat in CT that met my criteria but the boat didn't quite work. For one thing it was a 43' cruiser with no nav station at all and bunks for 8-9 people. Asked that broker if he had any similar listings. Turned out he had recently retired from business (banking or real estate, something none boat oriented), bought a sailboat and was working part time as a yacht broker. We talked about sailing and he admitted he had never been out of sight of land in his short sailing career. He strongly recommended a well known boat that is generally acknowledged as a nice coastal cruiser and island boat but is built more for price and comfort than serious bluewater sailing. Turned out he lived on one himself and this company was the local dealer for the brand. Strike two.

[/quote]

Exactly...........My Point Exactly!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 20-01-2009, 11:52   #45
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Well...I guess to get a Brokers license, you don't need experience as a sailor. It's not like I havn't seen this in other areas...Realestates, Investment bankers and so on. Hopefully people have a built in crap detector and can feel their way past these people.
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