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Old 20-09-2021, 19:18   #1
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I think the selling broker is jerking me around. Advice?

This is not my first boat buy using a broker. This is the first time I've felt like one was not being straight with me, but I have only bought one other boat with a broker. I was able to go look at it with my surveyor and get my financial outlay in order.



For several weeks I have been going around with the broker for a boat I'm interested in. On two separate occasions I asked these questions;


1) Can you put me in contact with a local surveyor?


A) It will cost $20-22 a foot.



2) Can you put me in contact with a local boat moving company?


A) It will cost $3 -5 per-mile.



3) Can you give me the name of the marina where the boat is stored? I'd like to use my own surveyor and mover.



A) I am showing the boat soon. You may want to get the ball started with me.



I'm not trying to make a run around the broker. I told the broker up front that I was working through the financial side of the deal to make sure it's worth it for me to haul a boat from it's current location to my location, plus a minor refit for my use. This evening he called me and lowered the price after supposedly showing the boat over the weekend. We had already discussed my possible offer and he was ready to accept it and said the buyer was too. My offer that was supposedly accepted is lower than the new lowered price. The broker also knows my location and how long it would take me to get there to see the boat.



My first broker experience was exactly opposite of this. I asked these same questions and got the info I asked for. The broker ask me to notify him if my surveyor or myself was going to see the boat, which I did. The broker notified the marina and we were very well taken care of during the process. The broker was not on sight. We met him way later in the day.





Where am I going wrong?



Is the broker jerking me around? Why or why not?
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Old 20-09-2021, 20:38   #2
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Re: I think the selling broker is jerking me around. Advice?

You are only in the buyers seat so few times. Find the right boat. Search the forums and see the posts I made last year buying a boat. I had people jerking me around for sure! But please if I said anything, remember your in the buyers seat. Find the right boat.
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Old 20-09-2021, 20:52   #3
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Re: I think the selling broker is jerking me around. Advice?

If the broker is trying to prevent you from using your own surveyor, that's not a good sign.
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Old 20-09-2021, 21:10   #4
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Re: I think the selling broker is jerking me around. Advice?

Make a hard offer based on what has been presented by the seller in their Ad. If accepted, get your depoisit in. Make the offer contingent on your personal inspection, your acceptance of a survey, etc. Find your own surveyor, not someone recommended by the selling broker.
Now you are a real buyer with a contract and the broker needs to start working to make the deal close. You, as the buyer, needs to start doing all the inspections to decide if you will go through with the deal or not
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Old 21-09-2021, 04:30   #5
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Re: I think the selling broker is jerking me around. Advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Woodbridge View Post
You are only in the buyers seat so few times. Find the right boat. Search the forums and see the posts I made last year buying a boat. I had people jerking me around for sure! But please if I said anything, remember your in the buyers seat. Find the right boat.

The boat is good for the purpose I intend to use it for. It shouldn't be hard to resell. Boats aren't investments so I'm not paying out a lot of money for the boat. If I keep the boat a year or two and lose $10,000 on the sell it will be worth it for the experience and education I'm after.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Muaddib1116 View Post
If the broker is trying to prevent you from using your own surveyor, that's not a good sign.

Several people have said that to me. I feel it's true.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
Make a hard offer based on what has been presented by the seller in their Ad. If accepted, get your depoisit in. Make the offer contingent on your personal inspection, your acceptance of a survey, etc. Find your own surveyor, not someone recommended by the selling broker.
Now you are a real buyer with a contract and the broker needs to start working to make the deal close. You, as the buyer, needs to start doing all the inspections to decide if you will go through with the deal or not

Good advice. I can't personal inspect the boat due to the distance it is away but my plan was to get a surveyor not connected to the broker.
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Old 21-09-2021, 04:48   #6
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Re: I think the selling broker is jerking me around. Advice?

Absolutely get a surveyor NOT connected with the broker!

Your story has shades of what I recently experienced with attempting to buy a second-hand car. It was a 2011 posted at $5,500 - which was an exceptionally good price for that make/model and in the excellent, well-maintained condition it was in.

I marshalled my funds and contacted the seller - whose first message to me was: "what can you offer? Because we've got a number of very good other offers..."

In other words, the posted lower price was just bait to draw me into a bidding war for the car.

I think the Seller's broker is operating in a grey area - if not absolutely jerking you around.

As the Selling broker, of course he's trying to get the Seller the best price for the boat (which will also get the broker the best commission). The dodgy part comes in when he's throwing up roadblocks to getting an independent survey (as well as the other items you mentioned).

Of course, if your surveyor finds a compromised-something, the price of the boat will go downwards (and also take more time to effect). I expect an ideal buyer to such a broker in this market would be someone who buys the boat outright and the devil take anything that might be wrong with the boat.

Like Muaddib1116 said, be cautious. With this broker AND with this boat.

Fair winds,
LittleWing77

EDIT: Notice he's grudgingly come back to you after showing it to someone else over the weekend. Evidently, that potential-buyer didn't buy the boat outright either...
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Old 21-09-2021, 05:00   #7
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Re: I think the selling broker is jerking me around. Advice?

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Originally Posted by LittleWing77 View Post
As the Selling broker, of course he's trying to get the Seller the best price for the boat (which will also get him the broker the best commission). The dodgy part comes in when he's throwing up roadblocks to getting an independent survey (as well as the other items you mentioned).
That isn't how it's working. If a seller's broker is working for a customer, he won't try to get the best price for the client. He'll try to move the boat as quickly as possible and will try to get the seller to accept as quickly as possible. If he put into it twice the effort to get 15% more for the customer, he'll be worse off than doing in the same time 2 deals. in once case he'll get 115% commission, in the other 200% for the time spent. This however isn't true if he's selling his own boat.

What could be the case here is that he tries to weed out difficult / informed buyers. In a sellers marked, it's a lot better to get a rube as a client who'll accept anything than someone who brings his own surveyor.

That at least how it works often in real estate and up to now I've seen no indication that boat brokers are in any better than realtors.
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Old 21-09-2021, 05:06   #8
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Re: I think the selling broker is jerking me around. Advice?

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That isn't how it's working. If a seller's broker is working for a customer, he won't try to get the best price for the client. He'll try to move the boat as quickly as possible and will try to get the seller to accept as quickly as possible.
Guess I'm an eternal optimist or just naive. Probably naive.

I agree, Joh, this Seller's broker is trying to just move the boat as quickly as possible - preferably to a non-pesky buyer who doesn't want a survey at all, or will use the Selling broker's surveyor.

I don't want Ben to be taken advantage of in that way.

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Old 21-09-2021, 05:14   #9
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Re: I think the selling broker is jerking me around. Advice?

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I don't want Ben to be taken advantage of in that way.
Neither do I. Sometime it's just best to move onto the next one.
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Old 21-09-2021, 05:26   #10
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Re: I think the selling broker is jerking me around. Advice?

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Neither do I. Sometime it's just best to move onto the next one.
Hard to do in this market, methinks. I was looking up Mark Johnson at Easport Yacht Sales in Annapolis this weekend, as he was recommended as an excellent surveyor in the Chesapeake area.

Since I was curious, I also went on to the Eastport Yacht Sales website and their brokerage listings....

Two boats. A 54' Little Harbour that was "sale pending" and a cabin cruiser. That's it. Two. At a time of year when usually there are lots of boats for sale!

Wow. They are NOT kidding about the boat sales market right now!

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Old 21-09-2021, 06:03   #11
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Re: I think the selling broker is jerking me around. Advice?

I'm an optimist and na´ve also.

What if the broker just doesn't read your questions, but tries to interpret them?

Can you give me contacts for a surveyor? (He reads, what does a surveyor cost?)
Can you give me contacts for a mover? (He reads, what does it cost to move a boat?)

Not that it's wise to guess what he thinks you are asking, but possible?
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Old 21-09-2021, 06:16   #12
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Re: I think the selling broker is jerking me around. Advice?

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Originally Posted by ben2go View Post
We had already discussed my possible offer and he was ready to accept it and said the buyer was too. My offer that was supposedly accepted is lower than the new lowered price. The broker also knows my location and how long it would take me to get there to see the boat.

Where am I going wrong?

Is the broker jerking me around? Why or why not?

You may be making it too hard. Just make your offer with appropriate conditions, trot out your deposit, decide whether to buy or not once you go to viewing/survey(s)/sea trial. Your surveyor(s), not his.

Details like escrow and so forth are important, of course, but until you've got money on it you're just taking up time.

Maybe you can arrange your own viewing on one day, survey(s) and sea trial the next? In this market, with surveyors in demand, you may find that a cancelled survey will still come with a minimum payment... which still may be worth it in the long run.

FWIW, our recent negotiation also included a "subject to successful maintenance records review" and we did that first -- no cost to me -- before deciding whether to proceed. No engine maintenance records surfaced, we walked. (But then eventually re-entered the discussion with an offer reduced by the amount estimated to catch up on engine maintenance.) I only mention this in case something on your target boat might warrant that kind of extra "subject to" right up front.

Also FWIW, I wouldn't be surprised if @leboyd is correct.

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Old 21-09-2021, 08:28   #13
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Re: I think the selling broker is jerking me around. Advice?

I just closed on a 60' Azimut in South Florida. While there were a lot posted online, most were sold before I called. Some brokers called back, while others didn't. But if you keep looking and calling, you'll find a boat that's right for you and a decent broker. Took me a few weeks, but was able to find that combination. We head down in a week or so to take possession. If it feels wrong, I'd run.
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Old 21-09-2021, 09:02   #14
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Re: I think the selling broker is jerking me around. Advice?

Walk away and find another broker that you can work with. This one is hopeless.
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Old 21-09-2021, 09:03   #15
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Re: I think the selling broker is jerking me around. Advice?

A lot of brokers are liken to used car sellers. Be sure to count your fingers after shaking hands.
I am not sure where you are located but i would recommend you contact John Warrington at Beaufort Yacht Sales in Beaufort, NC. He is a honest, helpful broker who won't try to rip you off(and there is no sale tax on used boats in NC). I bought a 44' sloop through him even though the was listed through a Florida broker and paid no Fla. sale tax.

Just a thought.

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