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Old 09-02-2018, 00:30   #1
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Struggling with international brokers

Hello everyone,
we have recently sold our boat and on the look not only here in Australia but internationally and are just so frustrated with some of the brokers we are dealing with. I guess we are on a learning curve buying overseas but I stuggle with brokers advertising boats and when we start getting serious we find that many of these "brokers" have not even sighted the boats. It seems the case that while they have a listing it is purely an electronic listing with little or know factual knowledge of the vessel.
Trying to find the broker who actually knows the boat is frustratingly hard. One boat we are particularly interested in is listed with four brokers that I have found to date and each has a different sale price. Bloody frustrating. !!!!! We are working it out but we are finding it a frustrating process.

Greg H
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Old 09-02-2018, 07:01   #2
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Re: Struggling with international brokers

Originally Posted by ozsailer View Post
we find that many of these "brokers" have not even sighted the boats. It seems the case that while they have a listing it is purely an electronic listing with little or know factual knowledge of the vessel.
Welcome to the internet age. This is now quite common.

The question is: Why do you feel that the broker must have personal knowledge of the boats? Does that make the boat any better or worse? It would still be the same boat regardless of their personal knowledge, and you would either like it or not like it. Their personal knowledge will not change this.

Because you noticed that a boat has multiple listings and multiple prices, which is not that uncommon, you should seek the positives of the situation. There is a boat for sale in which you are interested. Gather as much information as possible. If it still seems viable, then spend the money to visit the vessel. If it pans out, make your offer. Because the broker has no personal knowledge of the vessel, they cannot balk at your lower offer, but only present the offer to the seller.

I recently used this to buy my current boat, which the broker had never seen. I made a very detailed offer before I even saw the boat. It was very low ball given many circumstances, and because the broker could not argue any of my points, he agreed with my position. Because he agreed with my position, I turned the seller's broker into a buyer's broker and he made my case for me to the seller, and my very low offer was accepted.

Today, brokers do not need carnal knowledge of the boats they sell. It really serves no purpose. You see this in real estate now as well. This is because Brokers no longer sell, they only list. They have been replaced with knowledgeable buyers, or specialists (agents and brokers) who are hired by buyers to guide them. Listing brokers simply facilitate the sale in many cases.

When looking internationally, or even a long distance in your home country, you will need to know what you are looking at, what problems can occur or might be present, and spend many hours looking closely at the photos. Look for the tiny details in the background, not just the part they intended to photograph. Pay special attention to the words used in the listing, and imagine what the seller wants to convey as well as what they do not.

Once you think you have gathered all of the information possible, you can make a contingent offer before spending the money to fly out to look at it, writing a check for 10% of your offer when you do. People want to know you are serious, so write the check - you are protected by the contingencies in your contract. I like to go low and be detailed in why I am offering the number. Maybe they will counter, maybe they will accept, maybe they will decline. That is the nature of long distance purchases.

Once you get an accepted contract, get your tickets and make a mini-vacation out of it, just in case the boat is not what you expected. But if it pans out, you probably got a great deal, because you turned a negative into a positive.
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Old 09-02-2018, 07:50   #3
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Re: Struggling with international brokers

Photos lie, I know I've taken about 100,000 of them in boats. Finding a broker that knows what he is talking about and will tell the unvarnished truth is a tough job. Persevere !
Once you are ready to take a more serious look, search out a good surveyor in the area (just as tough as finding a good broker). Make a deal with the surveyor to do a quick walk-thru for $100 - $200 just to pick up on the "deal breakers". If he finds one, at least you are not out airfare and hotels. I have done these walk-thru's for many clients in your situation. While it can take many hours to do a proper survey, the major issues that will shut down a deal can almost always be spotted in short order. Good luck.
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