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Old 24-08-2017, 18:41   #31
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Re: Boat broker etiquette - boat shopping

I would like to add to my experience that I did get to meet quite a few brokers. I even met a few idiots. Like complete idiots. One of them called me "a pussy" for not buying his half assed wet hull boat. Imagine that. Most of them were just people, nice people usually that showed me boats. I don't think a broker is someone who can give you a TON of advice. There might be some who do. And Im sure some know a lot. But it's easy to sway people like myself, buying his first big boat. And I don't think most brokers want to sway anyone into anything (except the pussy guy, and anyone who has ran into this particular broker in Annapolis will immediately know who Im talking about).

I had a FANTASTIC experience with Keith Mayes @ Annapolis Yacht Services. I met him on my first tyre kicking trip through the east coast (from Maine to Annapolis driving and looking at boats for sale for almost two weeks, so I met quite a few). I went to look at a run down Tayana 48 or something along those lines, cheap, looked like it needed some TLC. I liked Keith because he didn't ******** me. He said: "this boat needs work, and from what you tell me, it might not be your boat. I think you know what you want and it ain't this, unless you are willing to put x amount of money and a lot of work".

I immediately liked him. Honest, nice guy, a guy who himself sails (he is more of a racer, but he could identify my cruising needs). I think he owns a 30 something Bennie. Next boat I found in Annapolis, I called Keith to be my buyer's broker. He went to look at a Mason 44 I liked, took some pics and told me he thought it was a good boat. And it was. But once I flew in and we stated the survey, the turbo wouldn't turn on the engine. So no compression test possible. Add to that the hour meter apparently was disconnected so the 3500 hours were ... unknown. All the hoses for the engine were not ABYC compliant since the work had been done in Panama and sourced to a local. It wasn't a bad boat, but that kind of engine trouble probability was something I didn't need. The deal went sour, I canceled the survey and we all went home.

Keith suggested since I was there I took a look at other boats. Wow! What a huge difference to go boat shopping with a buyer's broker. Keith would just call around and ask the other brokers for the combo lock. We got inside every single boat. Keith promoted that I looked inside lockers, open everything up, and he even took along his moisture meter to do an "unofficial" deck reading on the boats we saw.

Damn it, this guy was earning his money. He gave me general opinions, always being very careful not to sway me in any way. He just gave me some opinions from someone who's been around boats. Without pushing any kind of agenda (not even mine, which in the end is appreciated). He was patient, nice and worked hard.

We found my current boat, a 1985 Passport 40, and as soon as we both walked in he could see my eyes lit up. After I inspected it and I was happy he said "I think you found your boat". I would buy, sell, and deal with this guy anytime. After one year of looking at boats and contacting brokers, I found someone I really liked. He helped me suggesting some possible surveyors when I had trouble finding one, but he didn't speak in any way on any of them. Even though he grunted a bit when I told him who I got (Mike Previti, I loved him too, I was so lucky he was the surveyor), he also added "He can be complicated, but he is good, I think he will be of your liking". Keith showed me through the whole process, he helped me secure people to do some work on the boat and he made sure I could receive all the packages and **** I ordered at AYS every day so I could start "moving" into the boat.

Six months after the sale he wrote me an email and queried how I was doing, and how the boat was doing.

With seller brokers, I can honestly say 75% of them did a fine job of showing the boat, giving me info and not being pushy. 30% where just MEH, and 5% where ********.

Most of the good brokers (not the MEH) were in the Northern East Coast, I guess that has something to do with it. But I found good brokers in Maine, RI, CT, NY and MD. Most of the brokers I visited in CA were more MEH. The worst was in Annapolis, even being the sailing capital of the east coast , but I also found the best there.

My point is I do believe YOU have to inform yourself. Brokers, even buying brokers, cannot make decisions for you. They should also NOT sway you into this or that. Even if they understand what you THINK you need. After my whole experience, and one year of ownership of my boat, I have learned that what you THINK and BELIEVE you NEED, might not be the case. Be very careful. I think many good brokers kind of know this and that's why they try to help you, but never sway you into anything. Because as we all know (now I do) boats are compromises. And you don't understand them until you visit A LOT of boats, and own a few. Truly understand them, in practical terms.

Brokers work for themselves, true. But a good one will make the process a good one.
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Old 24-08-2017, 19:07   #32
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Re: Boat broker etiquette - boat shopping

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I had a FANTASTIC experience with Keith Mayes @ Annapolis Yacht Services.
Thanks for that report! This is what I would have expected a good broker to be like. Unfortunately I never found a broker that would live up to that standard. I am glad to hear they are not a myth !
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Old 24-08-2017, 19:45   #33
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Re: Boat broker etiquette - boat shopping

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BTW: Your boat (Valiant 40) has been high on the list twice already! There's a few for sale right now in the pacific northwest. Going to see one in 3 weeks in Portland that supposedly is turn-key aside from of course "a few blisters!" haha! We'll see about the "few".
I think you will be looking at the Valiant 40 for sale near me. If so, it looks well equipped from the outside but the blisters in the topside are significant IMHO. Of course they are just cosmetic, and could have a simple cosmetic treatment, not an expensive peel/hot vac/epoxy-glass rebuild. Your choice. BTW this is just a heads-up, please leave me out of it with the brokers (they are good people I wish to stay on the right side of).

If you are coming to Jantzen Beach/Hayden I/Tomahawk I, stop by and say hi.

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Old 24-08-2017, 20:16   #34
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Re: Boat broker etiquette - boat shopping

As to the OP, it seems to me that the broker pushing for a commitment to be your buyer's broker was wrong, and speaks to me of misplaced priorities. Since you were making direct contact with him, and apparently didn't have a buyer's broker, he stood to keep the full commission if a deal was made. That should have been enough to continue the process. I can imagine that after showing you the boat that he would be wise to offer his services if you were still in the market, with your experience with having worked with him that day as a sample. But as a pre-condition he was being greedy and betraying the trust of the seller. This speaks to the market: it is a lot worse than the brokers would like us to believe - buyers with the cash to buy older boats (remember, they usually can't be financed) are thin on the ground so they are valuable, while there are lots of boats that have been on the market for years. This broker was just trying to leverage his position to ensure a slice of the commission when you did buy. My guess is that the tire-kicking stuff is just a way to pressure you into making an unnecessary, and in this case almost certainly unwise, commitment by making you think you were behaving in an un-serious manner.

Brokers, like all professionals, vary all over the map. There are great ones that will be worth their weight in gold, and there are others that are just out for themselves. In this case, you don't need a buyer's broker so unless someone really fits the bill I would give it a pass (and this particular broker clearly doesn't). From what I can see brokers are having to walk a narrow line of doing the right thing for the seller, the buyer, and themselves, and the really good ones can do that. But some are only out for themselves - so buyer beware.

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Old 25-08-2017, 05:10   #35
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Re: Boat broker etiquette - boat shopping

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From my experience you never know how serious someone is until they pass over the cash.
Exactly!

Years ago I worked in a jewelry store. I was the junior guy, so if any of the other salesmen were around when someone who looked like a high-roller came in, I did not get a chance to talk to them. But if someone came in who looked like they could barely afford to buy a Timex... Yep, I was told to go talk to them.

I made the biggest sale that the store had had in more than two years as a result of this. Very modest looking couple came in. Didn't look "serious" to all of the more senior salesmen, so they told me to talk to them. Turned out that they had just returned from overseas, and had lost their luggage -- hence the very modest appearance. They were replacing some jewelry that they had lost and I ended up making more than $600k worth of sales that day. My commission from that one day paid tuition for a full year of college, with beer money left over.

Of course, the senior guys were really PISSED that they had shuffled this couple off to the junior guy. But not nearly as pissed as they were about two months later, when the wife came back into the store, and didn't want to talk to anyone other than me!

Dismissing people because you don't think they look like "serious" buyers is a really, really stupid thing for a salesperson to do.
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Old 25-08-2017, 05:50   #36
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Re: Boat broker etiquette - boat shopping

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Exactly!

Years ago I worked in a jewelry store. I was the junior guy, so if any of the other salesmen were around when someone who looked like a high-roller came in, I did not get a chance to talk to them. But if someone came in who looked like they could barely afford to buy a Timex... Yep, I was told to go talk to them.

I made the biggest sale that the store had had in more than two years as a result of this. Very modest looking couple came in. Didn't look "serious" to all of the more senior salesmen, so they told me to talk to them. Turned out that they had just returned from overseas, and had lost their luggage -- hence the very modest appearance. They were replacing some jewelry that they had lost and I ended up making more than $600k worth of sales that day. My commission from that one day paid tuition for a full year of college, with beer money left over.

Of course, the senior guys were really PISSED that they had shuffled this couple off to the junior guy. But not nearly as pissed as they were about two months later, when the wife came back into the store, and didn't want to talk to anyone other than me!

Dismissing people because you don't think they look like "serious" buyers is a really, really stupid thing for a salesperson to do.
Had similar experiences when I was a yacht broker. Never made such a giant sale because of it, but had more than a few clients that came in dressed quite casually that could have bought the whole business.

Reminds me of something that happened to Oprah a few years ago. She was in a fancy shop in Zurich and asked to see a $38,000 handbag but the clerk wouldn't even show it to her saying it would too expensive and she couldn't afford it.

On the other hand who in their right mind would spend $38,000 for a stinking purse? Even if I had a billion dollars that just sounds ridiculous.
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Old 25-08-2017, 07:10   #37
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Re: Boat broker etiquette - boat shopping

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Exactly!

I ended up making more than $600k worth of sales that day. My commission from that one day paid tuition for a full year of college, with beer money left over.
WOW.
That must be one serious commission rate.
Or EXTREMELY cheap tuition and beer.
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Old 25-08-2017, 07:25   #38
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Re: Boat broker etiquette - boat shopping

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No.



There are tire kickers and there are serious buyers. Tire kickers are the ones who don't know what they're looking at, haven't done their homework and don't know what they want; expect a broker to educate them and show them all kinds of boats in hopes they'll find something that suits their fancy.


Yes, and it's the job of a good broker to educate and help turn your so called tire kickers into buyers
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Old 25-08-2017, 12:08   #39
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Re: Boat broker etiquette - boat shopping

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WOW. That must be one serious commission rate. Or EXTREMELY cheap tuition and beer.
This was back in the 70s, in Nebraska. In-state tuition was, as a matter of fact, pretty cheap.
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Old 25-08-2017, 12:24   #40
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Re: Boat broker etiquette - boat shopping

My 2c: When looking for our next (now our current) large ocean cruiser we wanted the help of a broker; I've bought boats with and without and prefer their market knowledge and ability to find boats I had know idea existed (it's what they are supposed to do). I had a 5 year shopping window and went to a broker I was referred to at Bollman Yachts in Ft. L. He was a circumnavigator, former boatbuilder, and understood both the market and our needs after a long conversation.

I said that I wanted to use him as my buyers' broker, that I would be buying a boat, and his name would be put in even if I found it on the pages of Soundings, and that I would be buying in the next 5 years, perhaps sooner but not later. We were looking for a 60' +/- Ketch so the commission was not insignificant. Over a three year period Jim showed us more than a dozen boats ranging from a 49' Perry Design with inside steering (nice but smaller than we wanted to a 65' Irwin that had once been Ted's personal boat (too big). After many trips to Ft. Lauderdale, one to Seattle, and one to Newport, he called and he said 'I found your boat.' And he was right. After all that time he knew exactly what we wanted, what our deal breakers were, budget was, etc. And the price was fair. We offered the asking price (subject to survey), adjusted it $30K after the survey, and our adjusted offer was accepted. Jim handled all the paperwork and drove us back to the airport after finding us temporary storage. Oh, and after all that, it was his firms listing so he received both sides of the broker's commission. I call that karma; and 13 years later we're still thrilled. Good brokers are wonderful.
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Old 10-09-2017, 22:02   #41
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Re: Boat broker etiquette - boat shopping

If you are a serious buyer, do your own research, and you know exactly what you want, you will very quickly find brokers to be just another obstacle in the process. sometimes they can be a very serious problem, for example when they withhold your offer from the seller. If you are really onto a hot deal, often that deal will be reserved for the brokers friends or associates, AKA a back pocket sale. If you want to land a fish like that, you may have to fight the broker outright to get your offer in front of the seller.

really the only thing a broker can do for you is show the boat or arrange for the owner to show the boat.

Want to try something fun? list your boat for sale through a broker, and have a friend call as an interested buyer. Very enlightening to see how you are represented. (works great with real estate agents also)



Sorry to rant, I have met one good broker in my life, and hundreds of bottom feeding trash. The best thing about the one good broker? She stays out of my way, and lets me do everything. I just call her up when closing is set so she can come get her check. If only more were like her! She is a sleeper for buying and selling because she is the grease not the obstacle...
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Old 10-09-2017, 22:10   #42
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Re: Boat broker etiquette - boat shopping

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If you are a serious buyer, do your own research, and you know exactly what you want, you will very quickly find brokers to be just another obstacle in the process. sometimes they can be a very serious problem, for example when they withhold your offer from the seller. If you are really onto a hot deal, often that deal will be reserved for the brokers friends or associates, AKA a back pocket sale. If you want to land a fish like that, you may have to fight the broker outright to get your offer in front of the seller.

really the only thing a broker can do for you is show the boat or arrange for the owner to show the boat.

Want to try something fun? list your boat for sale through a broker, and have a friend call as an interested buyer. Very enlightening to see how you are represented. (works great with real estate agents also)



Sorry to rant, I have met one good broker in my life, and hundreds of bottom feeding trash. The best thing about the one good broker? She stays out of my way, and lets me do everything. I just call her up when closing is set so she can come get her check. If only more were like her! She is a sleeper for buying and selling because she is the grease not the obstacle...
Such nonsense.
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Old 22-10-2017, 17:50   #43
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Re: Boat broker etiquette - boat shopping

24-08-2017, 18:41 #31
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Re: Boat broker etiquette - boat shopping
I would like to add to my experience that I did get to meet quite a few brokers. I even met a few idiots. Like complete idiots. One of them called me "a pussy" for not buying his half assed wet hull boat. Imagine that. Most of them were just people, nice people usually that showed me boats. I don't think a broker is someone who can give you a TON of advice. There might be some who do. And Im sure some know a lot. But it's easy to sway people like myself, buying his first big boat. And I don't think most brokers want to sway anyone into anything (except the pussy guy, and anyone who has ran into this particular broker in Annapolis will immediately know who Im talking about).

Hmm? Let's see? (I bet it was Bernie at Roguewave!) His 'partner' showed me one boat I was interested in viewing that was in their yard on the hard. After I viewed it and went inside the office to tell him it was'nt for me; his reply was along the lines of ,"Oh, I see you don't have the money to buy a boat like this huh?". To which I replied, "no, I found out by viewing it inside and out that it was'nt the boat for me"; I then proceeded to ask about another boat that was on the hard in the yard, to which he replied, "you can't afford that one either". To which I replied, "No, I can't afford to waste MY time with people like yourself!" and walked out and never said a kind word about him since 2012! Little did he know at the time that I was a 'cash in hand buyer that day', I could have bought any 5 figure boat in his listings, but his arrogance got in the way of a sale.

Sid, on the other hand, I did have the good fortune to spend some time speaking with at the recent Annapolis BTshow aboard a SEAWIND Cat. Sid was extremely welcoming and discussed MY 'boat dream' and told me that ultimately it was/is MY choice as to which boat to purchase and HIS job to find it... when I was ready and able to afford it. I left wishing I had more time to 'talk boats' with him. For me, THAT'S the kind of broker/person I want to do business with. I was actually bummed out that I did not get to buy him a drink after the show closed due to circumstances that arose with another person in our party which required an earlier than scheduled departure from the show. Next year I'll go early and buy him lunch AND the drink! He's a fellow sailor, a cruiser, a knowledgeable boater, and a guy whom speaks highly of other people when they are'nt in the room...Rich Boren I'm talking about YOU LOL!

READ HIS POST ON THE SECOND PAGE OF THIS THREAD.
Old 24-08-2017, 15:05 #27
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Old 22-10-2017, 18:47   #44
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Re: Boat broker etiquette - boat shopping

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Such nonsense.
Absolutely.

You notice he lists his boat as a 10' surfboard.
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Old 22-10-2017, 22:29   #45
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Re: Boat broker etiquette - boat shopping

It amazes me how people ignore that being a boat broker is a business. As with any business, your goal is to make a profit. You can't break a law or commit fraud - but just about anything else is allowed. As a yacht broker you make a big profit selling a lot of boats anyway you can. Good deals and bad deals both pay about the same commission.

Both the buyer and seller have to keep this basic conflict of interest in mind. The broker only gets paid for doing a deal. He gets nothing if a deal doesn't happen. The one way to make a lot more commission on a sale is if he doesn't have to split the commission with someone else.

Almost all boat sales do have two brokers. So, of course, the broker will work with the OP if he has a broker. The next guy will have a broker too. Unless the boat just came on the market, he'll take the bird in hand.

A few 10% commissions instead of a 5% commissions can make a broker's year. That's why the broker suddenly forgot about selling the boat and focused on selling himself as the sole broker. No? So you think the broker might just give the 5% windfall back to his client, the owner -- Or even split the extra 5% with the owner? Fat chance.

It's all pretty pathetic. What does "bouncing between brokers" even mean?
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