I am in the process of purchasing
my first boat
and having been a real estate broker
in several US states over a ten year period I canít help but compare and contrast the apparent differences between buying
a house and buying a boat
although the amount of money
at stake is equally substantial.
While dual agency obviously exists in real estate as well, there are some rather clear advantages to having a buyerís agent with ONLY your interests in mind, yet this practice appears to be rare in the boat
industry, at least from the limited google research
I see one major reason why this could be; geographic location. In real estate, I can hire a local agent with intimate knowledge of the area and the properties for sale
within it. That agent could tour the property, conduct a comparative market analysis based on itís location, condition, and features, and effectively advise me throughout the negotiation procedures. With boats, however, the search is world wide. My agent would likely never personally see the vessel and be severely lacking in knowledge of local procedures and issues that could affect the sale
Do 99% of boat buyers simply contact the agent representing each boat they may be interested in and hope they will act as an honest broker
with both parties interests in mind? If they do anything other than sell me on the boat I contacted them about, arenít they doing their seller a disservice AND losing a commission as they will probably not be representing me (the buyer) or the seller in the eventual transaction?
To make this even more difficult, boat brokers seem to have a higher degree of anonymity than real estate brokers. I havenít found the zillow.com equivalent where I can simply search a brokerís name and get a plethora of reviews
and stories of exactly how agent X went out of their way to make it a smooth transaction or how agent Y became impossible to reach and lied every step of the way to steer them toward a purchase
that wasnít in their best interest.
So whatís the answer? Do I go with the sellerís agent, and where do I go to ensure they are likely to keep my interests in mind? If I want a buyerís agent, do I get one in each geographic area or should brokerís be familiar enough with the global market to assist me anywhere my dream boat may be waiting?