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Old 21-02-2013, 13:27   #1
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Broker or no broker, that is the question.

We have been looking for over two years and we think we may have found the one. Do we contact their broker or do you recommend using one in our area. We know a survey is a must. What should we expect a survey to cost? The boat is in the States and we are in Canada, what other fees should we be thinking about? Thanks for all your help so far.
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Old 21-02-2013, 13:28   #2
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Re: Broker or no broker, that is the question.

cost is no more if you use your own person to represent you

would you use the state prosecutor to defend you at your trial?
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Old 21-02-2013, 13:57   #3
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Re: Broker or no broker, that is the question.

Hi Paul, we went through the same process when we purchased our current boat. It was in Wisconsin, and we purchased and imported it to Ontario.

We went through the seller's broker. We did not contract a buyer's broker as some recommend. I would think it would depend on your comfort level dealing with boats, with the seller's broker, and perhaps the price of the boat.

A good survey is important. Make sure you find and hire the person. I think we paid about $25/foot for our pre-purchase survey (I'd have to check to make sure).

When you import the boat to Canada you will have to pay the standard taxes at the border: HST in Ontario (13%). If the boat was not built in North America (a non-NAFTA boat) you may also be on the hook for import duties of 9.5%. Other than the hit to the pocket book, the process is easy.

If the boat is Documented in the US (equivalent to Registered here in Canada) you'll need to have it un-documented first. There's no cost to do this, but it must be done before the boat is imported to Canada.

Other costs...? Well, you'll need to account for your own travel and time since you need to inspect it yourself. Do this before making an offer and ordering the survey.
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Old 21-02-2013, 15:05   #4
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Re: Broker or no broker, that is the question.

It is always better to use a Buyers Broker when purchasing a boat... It cost you nothing more since the Buyer & Sellers Broker split the commission. More importantly you have someone looking after your interest!

You need to not only have a Surveyor look at the vessel, but have a mechanic do an engine survey... Your Buyer Broker can arange this.

You didn't say where the boat was in the States, so prices will vary significantly. In San Francisco, we had our Survey just before we started cruising for insurance purposes in 2010. It was about $600 for teh Best of the Best Surveyors in the area.

Engine Surveys run about $300-500, depending on the engine size. Mulitipule engines will cost double.
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Old 21-02-2013, 15:09   #5
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Re: Broker or no broker, that is the question.

You mention contracting a buyer broker in your area. I assume you mean Ontario. You say the boat is in the USA. I am assuming that means *not* within driving distance. In this case, I'll play devil's advocate. Contracting an Ontario broker could be a negative both (1) during the sale and (2) post-sale.

(1) During the sale, it can be frustrating for all parties involved when the seller broker is distant. He/she never sees the boat prior to offer and does not come to the survey-seatrial. There are significant limitations on the level of service they can provide.

(2) Likewise and even more important is post-sale. Even if the buyer broker flies in for the deal, he/she will be limited in helping you after the purchase. Optimally a broker should be someone who can refer you support groups near the boat to repair items discovered during the sale process and help you outfit the boat. They can drive you around if needed and introduce you to other local cruisers. Your Ontario broker will be handicapped in fulfilling this role.
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Old 21-02-2013, 15:18   #6
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Re: Broker or no broker, that is the question.

As a newbie to boats, having a buyer's broker was essential for me. He had my interests at heart and as others have mentioned, it didn't cost me anything. He had access to all sorts of information on previous sales price for my boat etc. that saved me thousands of dollars in the negotiations.
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Old 21-02-2013, 16:09   #7
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Re: Broker or no broker, that is the question.

I've never had a buyer's broker--just always used the broker listing the boat. I personally have never found most brokers to be of much use anyway, so it doesn't really matter. In your case if you do find a buyer's broker how will that work exactly with you in Canada and the boat in the USA? I'm not certain, but I would think it would not be that helpful to you if you didn't have someone in the USA to handle all the correct paperwork.

First things first though--have you already personally inspected the boat, crawled over every inch, and gone back to do it at least a couple of times? That is the most important survey to do before you spend money on a pro.
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Old 21-02-2013, 18:36   #8
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Re: Broker or no broker, that is the question.

If you are buying a boat across the border I think it would be wise to go through a Canadian broker. it does not cost you anything as he will be splitting the commision thats already been agreed upon at the other end. Let him worry about the lien search, let him worry about protecting your deposit is the deal goes south (pun). Let him deal with customs and shipping.
To help you personally check out the boat before you open your wallet take a look at Marine Survey 101. You might also read Are You Buying A Hurricane Boat. These patched up bondo babies are already hitting the market with fresh paint.
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