To Broker or Not to Broker - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 37 Old 2 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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To Broker or Not to Broker

Hey all,

I'm kind of new to the forum and I hope I am posting this in the correct location!

Let me start with this... I have been planning my great escape from reality for a while now and have found a boat that I really want on Yacht World. (This will be a family live aboard) When I got a call back from the selling broker I asked tons of questions and requested more information. (Trying to get a better feel before I fly from Alaska to the east coast.) Toward the end of the phone call when I had decided to make the trip I told the selling broker that I may be bringing my own broker. In a round about way towards the end of the phone call he said that he would give me 2% of brokers fee back if I was my own broker. Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated especially when this boat costs twice as much as my first house.

Just want to say this is a GREAT forum!

Thanks,

Mike
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post #2 of 37 Old 2 Weeks Ago
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Re: To Broker or Not to Broker

I highly recommend you hire your own broker to be your agent on this, especially if it's a considerable sum. I'd been a professional sailor and captain for around half a century when I decided to buy this boat, but I still got a broker to help me. It didn't cost me a penny, except for lunch and running him from JFK (he paid his own air fare) to the boat and back. He took care of escrow, the paper work and did all the negotiating for me, which made the experience pretty painless.
Some will say that any broker will try to jack up the price to increase the commission, but that just isn't true. Reputation is everything in that business and only an idiot would destroy his for a few grand.
PM me if you want his info.

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post #3 of 37 Old 2 Weeks Ago
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Re: To Broker or Not to Broker

Having your own broker involved in seeing the boat is a little bit like getting an unofficial survey. It's another set of eyes and (hopefully) a lot of experience that could be very helpful. If it's worth it to you to fly to the East coast to see the boat it is probably worth the selling broker having to split his commission(2%?) with your guy. Who pays for your guy's plane ticket is the next question. If he's working for you as a buyer's broker is he billing you for time & travel?
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post #4 of 37 Old 2 Weeks Ago
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Re: To Broker or Not to Broker

Standard commission, paid by the seller, is 10%. If there are co-brokers (buyer and seller), they usually split it 50/50. So, he's offering you 2% of the 5% it would cost him. Nothing wrong with that, but consider he's not trying to do you a favor.

Unless you pay your broker independently, you must understand they still work for the seller. You'll get paperwork that says as much. However, if you bring your own broker in, they typically want a good reputation with you, as you'll be a reference and presumably buy more boats along the way.

Having that resource is valuable, as others have said, especially when the purchase is large and complex. The ideal buyers broker will be very knowledgeable in the specific brand or model you're looking at. If the manufacturer is still in business, I always suggest connecting with their nearest dealership, who almost always have a "used" guy. They may want to show you what they are listing directly, but if they don't have what you want, they're always willing to tag along on another deal.

Good luck.
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post #5 of 37 Old 2 Weeks Ago
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Re: To Broker or Not to Broker

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Originally Posted by AlaskanSailors View Post
Hey all,

I'm kind of new to the forum and I hope I am posting this in the correct location!

Let me start with this... I have been planning my great escape from reality for a while now and have found a boat that I really want on Yacht World. (This will be a family live aboard) When I got a call back from the selling broker I asked tons of questions and requested more information. (Trying to get a better feel before I fly from Alaska to the east coast.) Toward the end of the phone call when I had decided to make the trip I told the selling broker that I may be bringing my own broker. In a round about way towards the end of the phone call he said that he would give me 2% of brokers fee back if I was my own broker. Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated especially when this boat costs twice as much as my first house.

Just want to say this is a GREAT forum!

Thanks,

Mike
You are way off the reservation of reasonableness here. If you have a broker, where is he in the boat search? The selling broker doesn't want to spend a lot of time getting you up to speed on a listing then to be told you want to introduce another professional to the process. You should have asked all your question to your broker, if you had one, and not misused the time of the selling broker. I would not blame the selling broker if he tells you to talk a walk.

If you want to work with a broker, line him up and get him going. When you call a broker directly, he reasonably expects you are interested in buying the boat, from him, and gives you his time. If there's to be a second broker, then the selling broker expects you to use that broker's time, that's why there's a fee split, not his time.

I gotta say attempting to buy a boat across the continent is pretty wild. You may have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a prince. Either find an competent broker and commit your boat searh to him/her, or dont play games with selling brokers by dealing directly and then saying, "do you mind if I bring a stranger into the deal for half your fee...? Do you expect some broker to fly across the country on a bet, then if you dont buy that boat, who pays this travel expenses and time value?

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Last edited by sailingfool; 2 Weeks Ago at 09:04 PM.
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post #6 of 37 Old 2 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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Re: To Broker or Not to Broker

Thank you guys for the responses! I can tell that you guys have been around the block for a while and know your stuff.

Minnewaska you are correct, The sellers broker was offering me 2% so he still gets 8% and doesn't have to do a 50/50 split if I didn't bring a sellers broker into the mix.

I always considered using a broker to find me a boat. But over the last year I have dialed into the exact boat and model that I want for me and my family and watched the many sailboat listing sites very closely. My wife would come across an Amel and I would have already looked at it and researched it and would know the hours on the engine amongst other things. So I researched quite a bit on my own and decided not use a broker for this process. I will shoot a few CYB brokers in the area and see if any have experience with the Amel brand. If I find one that is extremely knowledgeable then I most likely won't hesitate to hire him. But on the other hand has anyone ever heard of negotiating for a percentages with the sellers broker? He offered 2% what if I were to negotiate 3-4% with the sellers broker. He still gets more then 5% if I had brought my own broker and I would save 6-8K. I'm not trying to be cheap and I agree that a buyers broker could save me a world of hurt. I have put off the flight for a few days to give it some thought and most likely not fly out till a survey and sea trial were set up.

Thanks again for your input on this. The whole process is a little nerve racking!
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post #7 of 37 Old 2 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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Re: To Broker or Not to Broker

Sorry don' know how to use the quote thing yet so Ill just respond to "Sailingfool" this way.

Sailingfool... Maybe some lines got crossed. I'm not asking anyone to fly anywhere. (besides myself) I got the brokers number when I clicked the link on Yachtworld. I asked him quite a few questions over the phone and decided to make the flight east.

I DON'T HAVE A BROKER hence my original question. Should I get my own broker. (I would most likely search for one in the area) The sellers broker is the one that offered me 2% if I didn't hire my own. I think for the commission he would get on this sail that I'm ok wasting some of his time. The sellers broker is in the process of sending me all the info that I requested along with more photos.

Oh yah and it isn't the first time I've been accused of being off the reservation )
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post #8 of 37 Old 2 Weeks Ago
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Re: To Broker or Not to Broker

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You are way off the reservation of reasonableness here.
I believe if I was in Ak and was interested in a boat in the lower 48, then I'd contact the selling broker to see if that boat was of interest enough to fly down.
I use a buyer's broker to facilitate the deal, [B]not[B] to find the boat. It's the selling broker's job to answer any questions a prospective buyer may have. Why include a third party before you've even decided on a boat?
If the selling broker doesn't want a buyer's broker in the deal, then I'd think him a little shady. What's he hiding? There's plenty and enough commission for all.

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post #9 of 37 Old 2 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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Re: To Broker or Not to Broker

Thanks Capta,

You pretty much summed it up.

My plan is to leave AK here by summers end (so in about a month) Just kidding we get about 2-2 1/2 months of summer and head south. I've sailed north of the 60 degree latitude now its time to go somewhere that I will not die after just 4 minutes in the water!

Thanks All,

Mike
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post #10 of 37 Old 2 Weeks Ago
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Re: To Broker or Not to Broker

When I purchased my current boat I had a broker that was looking for a boat for me. He found one and we we went for a look. The deal was in motion when the seller backed out. Then he found a 5 year old boat that was on the east coast. We had it surveyed on the hard. Survey was good so my broker and I flew to NC to see the boat. We found little things that the surveyor did not see but mostly cosmetic. A deal was struck. The boat was purchased through my broker. They paid the sellers broker their half. It did help that they were both Beneteau dealers. They handled everything and handled the commissioning when the boat arrived. I have been doing boats all my life and could even do the survey but you need the survey for insurance so why not have another set of eyes on the boat. A good broker is also another set of eyes.
Fine a good broker that knows the boat that you are looking for as they can be worth every penny that the seller is paying them.

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Last edited by overbored; 2 Weeks Ago at 11:39 PM.
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