Re: buyer's broker payment questions
As has been mentioned before in this thread, most boat brokers are actually representing the seller, even if they are 'your' broker. This is because they are also working for a brokerage house that carries contracts with owners to sell their boats.
There are some ways around this, but it may cost a bit up front. I would recommend hiring a buyers agent. NOT a broker. Having worked in this capacity a number of times I can tell you how I have dealt with it.
1) I take a flat payment when a boat is purchased or 18 months after our contract is signed, whicever comes first. Regardless of the amount the boat cost. Typically this will be set at around 3% of the top of the expected range.
2) I may or may not get a bonus if the boat, after outfitting is below a certain amount. This has typically been in the 10% of the amount I am going to get paid in 1.
3) Any approved expenses (travel, air fare, hotels) are paid in addition. But I try to keep it to a minimum, and explain why I feel this particular trip is justified.
4) I may or may not oversea outfitting, it depends on the owner. But this is a seperate deal.
What this allows is the buyer to know that I really don't have a financial investment in trying to get them into a more expensive boat. There is a slight incentive for a cheaper on, but not a major one. And frankly I want happy customers way more than I want an extra 10%. One client begets another, and the real money here comes from finding a boat everyone is happy with.
There is another issue that really bothers me, and that is finding a truly good surveyor. Without knowing who is good locally, it isn't unusual to have a surveyor who gets a lot of business from just one or two brokerages. While they may be great, the conflict here is even worse than for a broker, since at least a brokers conflicts are above the table.