Yacht Broker "Certification"
Everything Paulk says is true ... BUT
Boat brokers can be helpful if they are truly knowledgeable. Many are not.
I’m not advocating any sort of mandatory certification for brokers, designers, or others.
However, certification is ONE tool the prospective boat-owner (buyer or seller) can use to help select a knowledgeable boat broker, tradesman, or whatever.
From Marty Ward at SSCA: http://www.ssca.org/ http://www.ssca.org/sscabb/index.php?action=vthread&forum=4&topic=6
When you’re interested in listing your boat for sale, selecting the right boat broker is the key to having an easy and effortless transaction. To help you find the boat broker who is right for you, follow these ten tips. Any broker can take your listing and advertise your boat in the trade magazines. But the best brokers have an undeniable passion for boats and boating. Make sure any boat broker you’re considering meets all ten of these criteria and you’re bound to have a quick and easy sale:
1. Is affiliated with an established brokerage firm. Reputation is key in this industry, where fly-by-night brokerage firms are a dime a dozen. Make sure the broker you select is affiliated with a reputable, long-standing firm, with a history of at least 20 years in the business. Bigger is definitely better – the more boats a firm has listed, the more potential customers will be looking at your boat. Make sure the firm is licensed and insured. Ask to see their certificates before you sign on the bottom line.
2. Offers free appraisals of boats. Nothing is harder for a broker than trying to sell an overpriced boat. On the other hand, nothing is more frustrating for a seller than feeling like you’re not getting the best value for your boat. The best boat brokers are experienced enough to provide an honest evaluation of your boat’s condition. This allows them to quickly establish a fair-market value for the boat, from their own experience and current market trends, so you receive top dollar and a quicker sale.
3. Is a savvy negotiator. Experienced boat brokers know what the market will stand. They know what the typical margin is for offers and counteroffers. They can steer you away from frustrating interactions with buyers and sellers before they happen and they can keep small obstacles from becoming deal-breakers.
4. Uses a Central Listing Agreement. To maximize your exposure, you want a broker who has an incentive to sell your boat. A Central Listing Agreement establishes a one-on-one relationship with your broker, and outline’s the broker’s commitment to advertising, promoting, and co-brokering the sale of your boat.
5. Has a solid network of brokerage contacts. Good brokers establish and maintain positive working relationships with other reputable brokers to give you the maximum exposure to potential buyers. They enlist other brokers to show your boat, no matter where it’s located, to facilitate a quick sale.
6. Has long-term, established connections with boaters. Boaters like personal relationships. They like buying boats from people they know, trust, and respect. The more boaters your broker knows, the larger your pool of potential buyers. The best brokers have a lifetime of industry contacts, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Look for a broker who has established contacts in the boating industry. These contacts may come from a wide range of places: teaching classes, owning and operating a sailing school, being active in boating-related charitable activities, crewing for racing teams, being active in Olympic-related boating events, etc.
7. Has hands-on boating experience. A broker who has spent time aboard sailboats and yachts can more easily point out to potential buyers how the benefits of your boat match their desires. They can also give you quick and easy pointers for minor “fix-ups” on your boat that will create enormous additional value for a buyer.
8. Has a history of going “above and beyond.” Being a good broker takes more than sharp sales skills. Good brokers have a history of going that extra mile for their customers. But don’t just take a broker’s word for their commitment to you. Select a broker who has gone “above and beyond” in their personal life and you’re guaranteed to find a broker who will do the same for you.
9. Is driven to succeed and to support the success of others. A competitive edge is important in a boat broker. It’s equally important that your broker has a desire to create a win-win situation so both the seller and the buyer come away from the transaction feeling valued and satisfied. Look for evidence that your boat broker is both competitive and a team player, such as taking part in racing events, as both crew and support personnel.
10. Is willing to point out the strengths of your boat and offers possible solutions to any problem areas. The best brokers won’t sugar coat the condition of your boat, just to get your listing. They’ll be the first to point out areas that might be “stoppers” for a potential buyer. They will also work with you to design a strategy that includes possible solutions you’re comfortable with so these “stoppers” don’t become deal breakers. This way, your broker can help you sell your boat more quickly, in a manner that makes financial sense to you.