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Old 04-01-2021, 21:47   #1
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How does working with a broker actually work?

So the wife and I are just starting to seriously look for a boat and honestly have no idea where to start other than surfing yachtworld. How exactly does working with a broker work when we will likely be looking across the entire world. For example one of our current front runners is a Moody 44, but there are only like 6 for sale worldwide. What exactly does getting a broker do for us if they are thousands of miles away from all the potential boats?
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Old 05-01-2021, 05:00   #2
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Re: How does working with a broker actually work?

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So the wife and I are just starting to seriously look for a boat and honestly have no idea where to start other than surfing yachtworld. How exactly does working with a broker work when we will likely be looking across the entire world. For example one of our current front runners is a Moody 44, but there are only like 6 for sale worldwide. What exactly does getting a broker do for us if they are thousands of miles away from all the potential boats?
The only advantage is that you can hire a purchase broker physically close to the boat to act in loco parentis so to speak.

In my experience however especially in Europe , a purchase broker is very unusual outside of mega yachts. If you cant travel , hiring a local surveyor to do a video walkthrough is often done. Increasingly buyers are using Zoom and a real-time meeting with the sellers broker who goes through the boat. This is then followed up by a purchasers surveyor doing a walk through etc

The first step is to curate your desired boats , then make contact with the sellers broker , get the detailed info by email typically , short list , get a video walkthrough by the sellers broker if you cant travel. Then negotiate

I spent 2K euros in travel during sept nov last flying around Europe looking at boats. Its not cheap and that was with vastly reduced airline costs due to Covid
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Old 05-01-2021, 05:08   #3
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Re: How does working with a broker actually work?

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The only advantage is that you can hire a purchase broker physically close to the boat to act in loco parentis so to speak.

In my experience however especially in Europe , a purchase broker is very unusual outside of mega yachts. If you cant travel , hiring a local surveyor to do a video walkthrough is often done. Increasingly buyers are using Zoom and a real-time meeting with the sellers broker who goes through the boat. This is then followed up by a purchasers surveyor doing a walk through etc

The first step is to curate your desired boats , then make contact with the sellers broker , get the detailed info by email typically , short list , get a video walkthrough by the sellers broker if you cant travel. Then negotiate

I spent 2K euros in travel during sept nov last flying around Europe looking at boats. Its not cheap and that was with vastly reduced airline costs due to Covid

So without a buyers broker how do I know what to offer? If I don't know the market and all the nuances of how to price a boat how do I even know how to negotiate effectively?
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Old 05-01-2021, 05:34   #4
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Re: How does working with a broker actually work?

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So without a buyers broker how do I know what to offer? If I don't know the market and all the nuances of how to price a boat how do I even know how to negotiate effectively?
Survey the market , look at the price ranges of the boats you are interested in , have a look at similar sizes and makes. , typically you’ll see a cluster of prices and a few outliers.

This should let you know roughly where the price points are. If possible talk to a few recent buyers or owners , you should quickly build up a picture of the market value

Pitch in a bit below this , try and avoid low balling

Keep in mind there is very very rarely “ good value “ in boats !!

If you still feel out of your depth , then retain a broker familiar with the range of boats you’re interested in , in my experience simply talking to a few selling brokers will quickly establish the market value. Most selling brokers simply want to shift the boat and will happily tell u if the seller has priced the boat incorrectly.

Ie ring a broker that doesn’t have the particular boat for sale and ask them to give you advice on market value , you could also talk to a few local surveyors of small boats.

The key is to communicate and acquire market knowledge.

It’s currently a sellers market , so you’ll have move along sharpish and make decisions or you’ll chase boats that arnt there when you finally decide
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Old 05-01-2021, 05:36   #5
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Re: How does working with a broker actually work?

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So without a buyers broker how do I know what to offer? If I don't know the market and all the nuances of how to price a boat how do I even know how to negotiate effectively?
Some advise from a former broker.

First, as goboatingnow said, for the size and price range you're in, finding one buyer's broker to represent you for boats around the world is not going to work. Also I might add that it isn't always easy to find a good broker. Many are unwilling or unable to do a good job and the work required to find suitable boats for a buyer. A few are downright scoundrels and liars (I know I used to work for one). Like any large purchase, do some research and due diligence first.

All that being said, unless you are completely locked into the 44 Moody for some reason, there are other comparable boats that might suit. Could be worthwhile if you find a good broker in a large market like south Florida or Annapolis or NE US, to ask if he/she could bring you comparable boats to consider in their territory.

To determine market value of a boat your best option is to scour the internet and look at prices for the same or similar models.
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Old 05-01-2021, 09:19   #6
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Re: How does working with a broker actually work?

We went looking at boats. We looked at a lot of different boats with a broker in Annapolis and one in Ft. Lauderdale. We told them the general characteristics that we wanted and that our preference was a CSY44 WT or WO. The broker in Annapolis paid attention and when a WO came up, he got in touch with us (and he sold the boat). The broker in Ft L had a WT come up and he didn't call us, so he didn't sell the boat.
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Old 05-01-2021, 09:25   #7
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Re: How does working with a broker actually work?

I have bought boats with and without a broker. I have found a good, trusted, knowledgeable purchase and selling broker has saved me on both ends. I have known my broker for 30 years.
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Old 05-01-2021, 09:30   #8
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Re: How does working with a broker actually work?

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............How exactly does working with a broker work when we will likely be looking across the entire world. For example one of our current front runners is a Moody 44, but there are only like 6 for sale worldwide. What exactly does getting a broker do for us if they are thousands of miles away from all the potential boats?
Brokers show the boat usually in a secure marina, coordinate travel arrangements, coordinate Purchase and Sale Agreement, sea trial, survey(s), coordinate final notarized bill of sale, title documentation, and loan and boat delivery and berthing if required. Some brokers will even coordinate repairs for the seller to make the boat easier to sell, like they did on my Hunter 46 before I purchased it.
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Old 05-01-2021, 09:45   #9
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Re: How does working with a broker actually work?

Sure, have a casual relationship with any broker you want. If they find you the right boat, that's cool, they get a commission anyway.
Do not have a formal contract for any broker to find you a boat.
Leave it as: "First come first serve and the best finder gets your business."
JMHO
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Old 05-01-2021, 12:42   #10
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Re: How does working with a broker actually work?

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Sure, have a casual relationship with any broker you want. If they find you the right boat, that's cool, they get a commission anyway.
Do not have a formal contract for any broker to find you a boat.
Leave it as: "First come first serve and the best finder gets your business."
JMHO
Perfect advice in my opinion. My experience with a broker is they will help you unless the boat being sold is not open to a co-broker. That was my case and a lesson learned. I wanted a sailboat that a dealership had and it was not open to a co-broker (hope that the right word). Took me awhile to figure out why my broker kept stalling on talking to the dealership and kept pushing other boats on me!
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Old 05-01-2021, 13:19   #11
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Re: How does working with a broker actually work?

The brokers usually (99%of the time) mark the vessel up by 10%, the buyer ends up paying the broker in the asking price, the seller reduces his price, the broker always gets paid and never reduces his/her cut. At least that is what I’ve seen in my neck of the NE USA woods.
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Old 05-01-2021, 15:38   #12
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Re: How does working with a broker actually work?

Contact Capt. John Virginio at 207 671-0677 for honest answers to your questions.
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Old 05-01-2021, 17:13   #13
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Re: How does working with a broker actually work?

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The brokers usually (99%of the time) mark the vessel up by 10%, the buyer ends up paying the broker in the asking price, the seller reduces his price, the broker always gets paid and never reduces his/her cut. At least that is what Ive seen in my neck of the NE USA woods.
That was never my experience as a broker in south Florida. Basically if you wanted to sell a boat (and you don't sell the boat then you don't get a commission) then you priced the boat at a fair market value. Mark it up 10% over the rest and it won't sell.

Also, very often I saw boats for sale by owner priced well over the same models listed with brokers.
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