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  #1  
Old 05-03-2006
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Dealing Directly w/ the Listing Broker

I have been looking at boats for the last month or so and using a broker (we will call him Joe..) I had dealt w/ in the past. He's a nice guy but deep down I know his interest is in his commission and not my getting a good value for my money.

Joe and I have talked about a couple of his own listings and he freely tells me the owners thots on price / motives etc.. I take it w/ a grain of salt but I suspect I am getting at least some truth which leads me to wonder why not dump Joe and just deal directly w/ the broker that represents any other boat that I might go look at... let the listing broker show me the boat and if I make an offer then he can represent both of us.. Its a win for the Listing Broker and frankly its in his interest to have me as opposed to others buy the boat..

Have any of you gone straight to the the listing broker?

Whats the downfall here?
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Old 05-03-2006
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The downfall is that the listing broker doesn't represent you and never will - they have a contract with the seller to represent the seller. Don't confuse yourself about the listing broker's loyalties.

You certainly can deal directly with listing brokers, you owe Joe nothing. Just make your own phone calls and do your own footwork. However, you arn;t likely to save any money by not having joe in the loop, if he participates in the sale the listing broker shares his fee with Joe.

If Joe is good at what he does he can save you time, effort and money by pre-qualifying boat types and specific candidates so you don't spend time tire-kicking boats that won't fit your needs or expectations. Even if you use Joe, remember he's being paid by the seller, so take any advice with a grain of salt...I personnaly think working through one broker you trust (with care) is the way to go.
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Old 05-03-2006
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I recently purchased a boat, and used a broker with the same firm as the listing broker. Throughout the process, his actions seemed to be definitely in getting me the best deal as he could on the purchase. When I handed over the check, I felt like I has gotten a good deal. I'm not much of a barginner, but I did complete the purchase for $5,000 less than the surveryor valued the boat at. I doubt I would have done as well on my own, or working directly with the listing broker.

That's my experience, take it for what it's worth.

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Old 05-03-2006
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I'd agree with Sailingfool, that the broker will probably not have your interests at heart. PBzeer's experience may have been good, but it is very unlikely to be the norm.
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Old 05-04-2006
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In this "phone-tag" world I think I'd be reluctant to get too many "middlemen" involved. In our latest sale/purchase we were lucky to sell privately and then buy through the listing broker in what was really quite a positive experience. In the process of searching out the next boat, we always approached the listing brokers (more direct and quicker access to information). We certainly ran into some "used car salesmen" along the way but also dealt with sincere, knowledgable individuals as well. It's really the luck of the draw as to the boat which interests you being listed with a decent broker.
Actually engaging a broker to search for you is not common practice in our area, but we have let local brokers know what we are looking for, and did get some callbacks a time or two when a new listing arrived. I don't think there is a lot of MLS type of cooperation between brokers as a rule.
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Old 05-04-2006
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Prior to the emergence of mainstream internet sites like www.yachtworld.com , searching & locating boats to fit a buyer's specific budget, tastes and desires may have been easier with the assistance of a broker. Today, if a prospective boat owner knows what he wants and has done the necessary research on potential problems with specific boats, I see no need to clutter up the process with a middle broker.

Before my last purchase, I knew exactly what model boat I wanted. This came after much research of various boat types and from my experience of owning several boats through the years. We located (4) NC33s - all along the east coast, and after contacting the 4 different listing brokers, arranged to inspect each one. Taking our time, this was an excellent education into the various layouts & conditions of available boats on the market.

We ended up buying the 5th Nauticat we saw and knew immediately it was the right one. The broker was of course representing his client's interests, but being the original US importer of Nauticats back in the '70s, he shared his wealth of knowledge with us and was very forthright with what to look for. This shared info has never proven to be one-sided, confirmed by my experience in viewing the 4 prior NC33s and after 18 months of ownership.

Of course, it is important to hire a highly qualified surveyor, knowledgable with the model boat you're buying, to represent you during the final inspection - AFTER an offer has been accepted by the seller & his listing broker. In my situation, the surveyor enabled me to reduce the offer by an additional $8,000.

Although my experience is probably a unique exception, I would think that if I had a middle broker working for me, my direct relationship with the listing broker would have been compromised.
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Thanks for the responses..
w/ the advent of Yachtworld ... I know the boats I want to look at and were there are.. What amazes me is the number of listing brokers too lazy to fill out the most basic information when listing the boat such as type or hours on a diesel .. In those cases the fewer middle men the better it seems in trying to learn about the listing.

Thanks again ..
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Using A Broker

The listing broker represents the seller and has no legal responsibility to the buyer. I bought boats using both methods (dealing directly with the selling broker and with a broker that I chose to represent me). The advantage of using your own broker is that you have an experienced person representing you in the purchase, who can often stand back from an objective point of view and steer you along the straight and narrow. They also have experience in who the best surveyors are and negotiation with the selling broker (which could result in a reduction in price that you may not be able to achieve yourself). Your broker (the buying broker) normally gets half the commission from the sale so it should not cost you anything (some will charge incremental costs if they have to travel etc.).

John
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Since his fee is based upon a percentage of the contract price, "your" representing broker has little incentive to negotiate a lower price with the seller, or his listing broker. By doing so, his fee is proportionately reduced.
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TrueBlue:

While technically true, in practice I expect the broker is more interested in getting a satisfactory deal done and moving on than trying to get a few hundred dollars extra in commission. At least that’s they way real estate agents (or their brokers) approach it.
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