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Old 10-05-2023, 21:23   #1
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How do I find a trustworthy Broker?

Hey friends,
I am looking for a used boat and I found 2 I would like to possibly see.
I spoke with the seller’s broker several times. Now, I would feel more confident if I was represented by a broker.

Since I have dual nationality French / American I am looking at boats in the French Antilles, Guadeloupe and Martinique.

How can i find a licensed broker?

Thx all!
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Old 11-05-2023, 03:35   #2
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Re: How do I find a trustworthy Broker?

In my experience the broker often is really trying to make the deal happen. That so often means that movement in price comes from the seller, who is ready to get rid of a boat, versus the buyer, who half the time is just shopping and stretched to his/her limit on the deal to begin with.
As far as finding a broker, check out the references. But better yet try to find some one NOT on the list of references who has done business with a given broker.
Sadly, while there are industry groups like ABYC who have recommended practices, few states have anything like the real estate industry which has mandatory state-regulated licensing and disciplinary procedures. The yacht business is closer to the used car business.
All the foregoing observations apply strictly to the US.
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Old 11-05-2023, 03:47   #3
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Re: How do I find a trustworthy Broker?

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Originally Posted by Mickeyrouse View Post
. The yacht business is closer to the used car business.
All the foregoing observations apply strictly to the US.
This is the feeling I’ve had for the last year, since I started my research on boat ownership….
It seems so easy to sell a boat that isn’t yours with so many being empty for months in various marinas.
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Old 11-05-2023, 03:50   #4
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Re: How do I find a trustworthy Broker?

BTW I noticed 52 views of this thread and not one recommendation!
This in itself is an answer :-)
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Old 11-05-2023, 06:01   #5
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Re: How do I find a trustworthy Broker?

I don’t know why you have to find a trustworthy broker.

there is a very standard purchase and sale agreement available online. All of the brokers use the same agreement.

just follow the process. You don’t have to trust the broker.

The agreement spells out the steps of buying the boat and set time deadlines, speaks to the management of the escrow regarding your deposit.

it’s all a very straightforward process.

it is not the broker's obligation to point out defects in the boat you are looking at. It’s your job to find them. So you should be looking for a good surveyor not a reputable broker.

just go through the deal keeping in mind that the broker is trying to make the deal happen. So, he will work both sides of the deal to bring you to an agreement. That is in his best interest. That means leaving out defects on the boat and hoping you don’t find them. That means convincing you to pay the most you will pay. That means convincing the seller to sell it for as little as he will sell it for. That also means keeping everybody getting along and happy throughout the deal.

that little description is the job of the broker. There is no other aspect to his job. Just making the deal go through. he is limited by the purchase and sale agreement.

it’s your job to find what is wrong with the boat. And if you can’t do that on your own, you need to hire a surveyor to help you find the problems.

Then, it is also your job to negotiate. When problems are uncovered during the survey, they have a dollar value. And you apply that to the sale of the boat.
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Old 11-05-2023, 06:49   #6
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Re: How do I find a trustworthy Broker?

Here is the purchase and sale agreement.

This governs the process:

https://www.catamaransite.com/files/..._Agreement.pdf


No one needs to trust anyone with this agreement
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Old 11-05-2023, 07:34   #7
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Re: How do I find a trustworthy Broker?

Brokers are usually commission paid, in other words, they don't make a dime unless the boat sells, so it's in their best interest to "broker" a deal acceptable to both buyer and seller.
There are other threads on this CF addressing brokers. Though the accepted "commission" fee is typically 10% of the selling price, the broker sees only half of that as the other half goes to the brokerage house. If another broker gets involved, where you have a selling broker and a buyers broker, the above 5% gets split in half again.
The broker invariably has to deal with a number of tire kickers or show a boat miles away. It's a tough gig and most brokers earn their money.
Getting a good and qualified boat surveyor is the key to the whole process, but it's the broker who has to sort thru' the survey report to come to an accepted value that will appease both buyer and seller.

To get to your question, ask around and talk to other boat owners, see who they used and why. Certainly, some brokers are top shelf, while others not so much, but who are we to know ?? That people that will know are people in the area of the boat.
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Old 11-05-2023, 09:17   #8
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Re: How do I find a trustworthy Broker?

My experience with trying to use a buyer's broker was a waste of time. I agree with MicHughV's analysis ... 2 broker's involved ends up them splitting a commission and both losing some interest. We ended up ditching the buyer's broker and finding our own boat. He really wasn't interested. We were sufficiently impressed with the way in which the broker conducted business to list our old boat with him. The potential of getting another listing undoubtedly helped doing business with him which may not fit your situation however. One of our members (Boatpoker) is a surveyor and has made a useful tool available for people searching for boats;
http://www.pcmarinesurveys.com/All%2...%20surveys.htm
Best of luck with your search
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Old 11-05-2023, 10:22   #9
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Re: How do I find a trustworthy Broker?

Use the one that rides the unicorn, you can trust him!!
Actually, thats a bit harsh, i pitty brokers at times, i see some of the stupidity they have to deal with.
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Old 12-05-2023, 04:50   #10
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Re: How do I find a trustworthy Broker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
I don’t know why you have to find a trustworthy broker.
It is the first boat i am buying so i have no knowledge.
The amount of money I am spending is such that I want to make sure the paperwork is filled correctly, that the boat is actually owned by the seller, that the boat is actually paid in full, etc….
Buying a house requires understanding contracts and pretty much no one buys a house w/o an agent.

Thanks for the link and for explaining that in fact the buying/selling process seems to be pretty straight forward contraire to a house.

Now, finding a surveyor…. That’s another thing I have to figure out, and I certainly understand how important it is. It will be another thread probably :-)
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Old 12-05-2023, 04:51   #11
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Re: How do I find a trustworthy Broker?

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Originally Posted by desodave View Post
My experience with trying to use a buyer's broker was a waste of time. One of our members (Boatpoker) is a surveyor and has made a useful tool available for people searching for boats;
All about marine surveys and checklists
Best of luck with your search
Thx for sharing your experience and for the link
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Old 12-05-2023, 05:18   #12
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Re: How do I find a trustworthy Broker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xavierp View Post
It is the first boat i am buying so i have no knowledge.
The amount of money I am spending is such that I want to make sure the paperwork is filled correctly, that the boat is actually owned by the seller, that the boat is actually paid in full, etc….
Buying a house requires understanding contracts and pretty much no one buys a house w/o an agent.

Thanks for the link and for explaining that in fact the buying/selling process seems to be pretty straight forward contraire to a house.

Now, finding a surveyor…. That’s another thing I have to figure out, and I certainly understand how important it is. It will be another thread probably :-)

congratulations! Good to hear that you are buying your first boat exciting times. A little nerve-racking, but don’t worry too much about the process. It is pretty straightforward.

also, no matter how good of a job you do picking out the boat and closing on the boat, you’re still going to have a boat list. Plenty of things to fix.

here’s where you find the surveyors:


https://www.marinesurvey.org/

https://www.namsglobal.org/

Those are two marine surveyor accreditation organizations and anyone on these lists is typically quite reputable and will do a good job. It’s always good to get some recommendations about what surveyor to use, just never get that from the broker or the seller
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Old 12-05-2023, 05:28   #13
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Re: How do I find a trustworthy Broker?

One thing not discussed here, is that when considering purchasing a boat, it is typical to have the boat hauled out of the water for an inspection.

This will be on your dime, ie, you must pay for this out of your pocket, on top of the fee you'll be paying to your surveyor

Many newbie buyers are shocked by this, as the cost can be quite a bit. Secondly, a typical issue arises when a problem is discovered at the haulout, which may cause a buyer to re-consider buying the boat, but having spent all this money up to this time is reluctant to walk away from a prospective boat, as besides the cost of the haulout, the surveyor will also be in attendance and will ask to be paid for his time, whether you buy the boat or not.

So that's the tough part, you must have the ability to walk away from a boat that has issues, even though, you will have spent some money by this point, likely in the $1,000 range, which is, for all intents and purposes, is gone. There are no freebies in this instance.

Used boats don't come with warranties either. Once you sign on the dotted line, it becomes yours. If something breaks down the line, it's your problem.

Additionally, you will immediately be on the hook for marina dockage fees, etc.

So consider all these costs. Finding a good broker is just part of the puzzle.
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Old 12-05-2023, 06:18   #14
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Re: How do I find a trustworthy Broker?

Forgot to add one last thing...and it's not a pleasant one.

Sales Tax !!!....you will likely have to pay a "sales tax" wherever you are. This is not part of the boat purchase, but a separate $$ number that will passed along to the relevant taxing authorities.

It can be a considerable number...6% of the final price or thereabouts....so if you have just paid $100K for a boat, you must now trundle on down to the local tax office and fork over $6K...not an inconsequential number by any means...

'jes sayin'.....
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Old 12-05-2023, 06:26   #15
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Re: How do I find a trustworthy Broker?

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Now, finding a surveyor…. That’s another thing I have to figure out, and I certainly understand how important it is. It will be another thread probably :-)
Choosing a Marine Surveyor & 10 questions to ask
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