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Old 01-02-2016, 08:37   #1
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As first time buyers should we use a broker?

Planning to buy a cat. We've been doing our homework/research, but have many unanswered questions. We realize we can a broker, but also that we'll save money if we buy direct. Here are some of our core questions. We appreciate any and all advice.

1) If we should use a broker, do you have recommendations for a good one?
2) Is it better to buy older boat that is in good condition or a newer one for the best use of our money?
3) What are the most important aspects/characteristics of a boat we should be considering (knowing there are many aspects to consider)?
4) What are the brands/boats that hold the best resale value, and which have the best sailing characteristics?
5) Where is the best place to buy our first cat and start sailing?

Thanks for your input!
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Old 01-02-2016, 09:04   #2
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As first time buyers should we use a broker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pathfinders View Post
Planning to buy a cat. We've been doing our homework/research, but have many unanswered questions. We realize we can a broker, but also that we'll save money if we buy direct. Here are some of our core questions. We appreciate any and all advice.



1) If we should use a broker, do you have recommendations for a good one?

2) Is it better to buy older boat that is in good condition or a newer one for the best use of our money?

3) What are the most important aspects/characteristics of a boat we should be considering (knowing there are many aspects to consider)?

4) What are the brands/boats that hold the best resale value, and which have the best sailing characteristics?

5) Where is the best place to buy our first cat and start sailing?



Thanks for your input!

That is such a wide open and personal list of questions, you will get a proportional wide open and list of answers. I'll give you mine, but expect many to be the opposite. Refining your question about who you are, what your plans and dreams are and what your expectations are will narrow the search for you.
1) yes if buying new as you have no choice usually. I'd recommend Javier of catamarans Barcelona if buying lagoon or outremer and planning on spending time in the med. no if buying used, I'd try to find a cat for sale by owner to save 10% or thereabouts broker fees.
2) new
3) safety, comfort, performance, resale, personal preference (you have to like the design)
4) lagoon, FP, possibly leopard
5) ex factory, probably France.

BtW, welcome to the forum 🍻
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Old 01-02-2016, 09:15   #3
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Re: As first time buyers should we use a broker?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Pathfinders.
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Old 01-02-2016, 09:38   #4
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Re: As first time buyers should we use a broker?

The seller pays the commission, not you. So it is to your advantage to use a good one.
You did not detail where you are from, so it would be difficult to recommend a broker.
If you do anything, hire a good surveyor.
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Old 01-02-2016, 10:39   #5
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Re: As first time buyers should we use a broker?

The OP might wish to mention if they are looking for a sailboat or a motor boat... for a start.

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Old 01-02-2016, 10:43   #6
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Re: As first time buyers should we use a broker?

I don't think it is a given that you will save money buying direct. You might though. But you will likely find many of the boats are tied up by a broker and will have little luck getting access to them.
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Old 01-02-2016, 12:12   #7
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Re: As first time buyers should we use a broker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pathfinders View Post
We realize we can a broker, but also that we'll save money if we buy direct.
No, probably not. Like with buying a house, the broker is paid by the seller. If there is a buyers broker, they split the commission with the sellers broker. The only way going without a broker will save you money is if you are buying from someone who is selling without a broker (and few--if any--brokers are going to show you those boats anyway).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pathfinders View Post
1) If we should use a broker, do you have recommendations for a good one?
That would depend on where you are looking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pathfinders View Post
2) Is it better to buy older boat that is in good condition or a newer one for the best use of our money?
This is not something that anyone else can answer for you. If you're handy, and can do a lot of the work yourself, then an older boat might be a great bargain. On the other hand, if you are not, or if you want to spend your time enjoying the boat instead of working on it, then newer might be better. You're going to have to decide for yourself what you want, and what you can afford.

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Originally Posted by Pathfinders View Post
3) What are the most important aspects/characteristics of a boat we should be considering (knowing there are many aspects to consider)?
This depends entirely on how and where you intend to use the boat. There are a thousand different threads on this forum discussing this subject. Spend some time reading and researching.

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Originally Posted by Pathfinders View Post
4) What are the brands/boats that hold the best resale value, and which have the best sailing characteristics?
Too vague to be able to answer. There is no "best." There is only what works best for you. So first you have to decide, best for what?

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Originally Posted by Pathfinders View Post
5) Where is the best place to buy our first cat and start sailing?
Again, there is no "best." It depends on a lot of variables. It depends on what your priorities are. It depends on what your criteria are.

It may sound like I'm being harsh, but I really am not. You have, more or less, asked the equivalent of "what's the best house to buy and what's the best place to live?" How would you answer that question? You would tell the person asking that they are putting the cart before the horse. That they need to make a whole lot of decisions, and provide a whole lot more details, before anyone can give them an answer that is going to be meaningful for them.

I suggest spending a lot of time on this forum reading old threads. That will help you understand the alternatives, will help you narrow down what you are really looking for, and maybe even answer a lot of your questions for you. At the very least it will give you enough to think about that you'll be able to ask more specific questions that people will be able to answer for you.

Good luck.
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Old 01-02-2016, 13:23   #8
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Re: As first time buyers should we use a broker?

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Originally Posted by Pathfinders View Post
Planning to buy a cat. We've been doing our homework/research, but have many unanswered questions. We realize we can a broker, but also that we'll save money if we buy direct. ,............!
You won't save money by not using a broker. The seller pays the broker.

A broker is in a position to find you the boat you want.
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Old 05-02-2016, 03:08   #9
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Re: As first time buyers should we use a broker?

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Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
The seller pays the commission, not you. So it is to your advantage to use a good one.
If we are talking of a buyer's broker, this is not quite true. What matters to the seller, whether or not he has his or her own broker, is the "net vendor" offer. If the buyer comes with a broker, and the seller doesn't have one, the "net vendor" offer will be lower, often too low to have a deal. 4-10% on a catamaran is huge.
i'm not quite sure what a good "buyer's broker" is. What matters is to find a VERY good surveyor.
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Old 05-02-2016, 04:29   #10
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Re: As first time buyers should we use a broker?

If you can find a good broker to work with you then it might even save you money. Yes there is a commission paid by the seller when going through a broker. One might assume that the seller will then pad the price to compensate for that commission but if that prices the boat higher than the market the boat isn't going to sell and brokers will not want to waste their time trying to sell an overpriced yacht. Also, when I was a broker I frequently ran into owners that didn't want to sell through a broker to save paying commission but also were often unrealistic about the value of their boat and were offering at prices higher than I could sell the same model.

A good broker will know the market and boats and can save you time and money by helping determine the boats that fit your needs and preferences and filtering out the ones that don't match, are overpriced or have serious faults.

However finding a good broker isn't always easy. There's lots of nice, boaty types that think it would be easy to make money selling boats but don't have the knowledge, background, skills and most important, the work ethic (IE they're a bit lazy) to do you a good job. Also, as in any profession, there will be a few outright scoundrels and bums that will tell you anything they can get away with to convince you to buy their boat.

In this, Cruiser's Forum is your friend. Tell us where you're located or in what part of the world you plan to buy a boat and someone is bound to have some recommendations. This forum in case you haven't noticed, is global and if you don't say ,no one knows even what hemisphere you're located in.
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Old 05-02-2016, 05:58   #11
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Re: As first time buyers should we use a broker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pathfinders View Post
Planning to buy a cat. We've been doing our homework/research, but have many unanswered questions. We realize we can a broker, but also that we'll save money if we buy direct. Here are some of our core questions. We appreciate any and all advice.

1) If we should use a broker, do you have recommendations for a good one?
Depends, sellers or buyers broker. Assuming the boat is represented, you don't get a choice. I don't see much advantage in a buyers broker.

New or Used get a survey and require survey and sea trail as a condition of your offer.

2) Is it better to buy older boat that is in good condition or a newer one for the best use of our money?
As your first purchase, I recommend used on the smaller side. The odds of getting the perfect boat with no knowledge is really slim and the odd of not getting a boat that fits your needs pretty high. A lower cost used boat reduces your risk.
3) What are the most important aspects/characteristics of a boat we should be considering (knowing there are many aspects to consider)?
All depends on what your plans are. Day sailing, living space is less important. Long term cruiser, I would sacrifice some performance to get more comfort. Beyond that it's very personal.
4) What are the brands/boats that hold the best resale value, and which have the best sailing characteristics?
Why the boat I'm selling of course. If I'm not selling it's still my boat, so when get around to selling it keeps the value up.
5) Where is the best place to buy our first cat and start sailing?
Close to where you want to sail. Otherwise, you have to account for the cost of getting the boat to your cruising ground

Thanks for your input!
Give us details about your budget and planned cruising and we can better dial in suggestions.
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Old 05-02-2016, 06:44   #12
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Re: As first time buyers should we use a broker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wellington View Post
If we are talking of a buyer's broker, this is not quite true. What matters to the seller, whether or not he has his or her own broker, is the "net vendor" offer. If the buyer comes with a broker, and the seller doesn't have one, the "net vendor" offer will be lower, often too low to have a deal. 4-10% on a catamaran is huge.
i'm not quite sure what a good "buyer's broker" is. What matters is to find a VERY good surveyor.
Sorry....true when I have sold. A good broker is one who gets off his ass and finds you a good boat, is in your best interest, not his wallet and negotiates a price down for you. I tried googling "net vendor" to see how it applies to boat brokers and could not find anything. Maybe Cats are different given the price they bring.
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Old 05-02-2016, 06:46   #13
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Re: As first time buyers should we use a broker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
If you can find a good broker to work with you then it might even save you money. Yes there is a commission paid by the seller when going through a broker. One might assume that the seller will then pad the price to compensate for that commission but if that prices the boat higher than the market the boat isn't going to sell and brokers will not want to waste their time trying to sell an overpriced yacht. Also, when I was a broker I frequently ran into owners that didn't want to sell through a broker to save paying commission but also were often unrealistic about the value of their boat and were offering at prices higher than I could sell the same model.

A good broker will know the market and boats and can save you time and money by helping determine the boats that fit your needs and preferences and filtering out the ones that don't match, are overpriced or have serious faults.

However finding a good broker isn't always easy. There's lots of nice, boaty types that think it would be easy to make money selling boats but don't have the knowledge, background, skills and most important, the work ethic (IE they're a bit lazy) to do you a good job. Also, as in any profession, there will be a few outright scoundrels and bums that will tell you anything they can get away with to convince you to buy their boat.

In this, Cruiser's Forum is your friend. Tell us where you're located or in what part of the world you plan to buy a boat and someone is bound to have some recommendations. This forum in case you haven't noticed, is global and if you don't say ,no one knows even what hemisphere you're located in.
ya ya...what he said
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Old 05-02-2016, 06:52   #14
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Re: As first time buyers should we use a broker?

Broker, NO. I had one, and found most of the selling brokers didn't want to work with a buyers broker. Probably because I was buying a lower cost boat and they did not like splitting a commission. Then based on what I was looking for, I found most of the boats searching online myself. Then when I finally found "the one" I had to do most of the buying, negotiation, survey, documentation, etc. and still had to pay the buyers broker a commission. So over all cost me more and I did not get good value. Would never do it again.
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Old 06-02-2016, 19:50   #15
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Re: As first time buyers should we use a broker?

I gotta go no with the broker too... Good luck!


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