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  #1  
Old 03-06-2011
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Broker ??

We are anticipating buying a 40 ft sailboat next year at this time. We are new to all this and learning as fast as we can. Now, I've read one should have a broker to help you buy a boat.. They supposedly help with legalities, etc. So, how does one get a reliable broker ? How much might one cost and are they really necessary ? Any info, would be appreciated. Thank you,
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Old 03-06-2011
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Since you are SO new, an experienced,Honest yacht broker that has your interests in mind could be very helpful. But, broker is earning off of your purchase. Since it your 1st sailboat it may be difficult to Know what you really want and need for your purposes. Depending on your budget, you might try the "Personal Shopper" approach like Mahina web site. You take seminars and --pay someone- to help you purchase a sailboat. A broker may have a more limited amount of boats for purchase.... EVERYBODY who helps you will be an Expert (in their own mind) and will have opinions exactly opposite of the other Experts. Extreme Self-education,test sails and paid or unpaid help is good. (as you will see others on sailnet will tell you I'm all wrong)
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Old 03-06-2011
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Get a Broker

Would you buy a house without a real estate agent? I suppose some might, but I wouldn't. And the same goes for brokers with me.

We met out broker 3 years before we actually used him to buy a boat. I would go to all the boat shows in my area (still do even though we just boat a new boat). After a couple of times talking to the brokers at the shows, you get the impression as to who are the good guys and who are the used car salesmen.

This guy spent a lot of time with me talking about the boats he represents. He also talked about the boats he didn't represent but not in a negative way. He represents Island Packets, Catalina and Juneau. But he had some good things to say about Hunters and Beneteaus. So I came to value his opinion because he didn't just try to talk up his product.

I told him upfront that I wasn't looking to buy anytime soon. He was fine with that, still spent time going over the different boats, talking about sailing, etc.

So when it came time to buy, we went to him and talked about what we were looking for. He helped locate some boats to look at (I was obsessed with surfing Yatchworld and the other sites almost nightly). He went with us to look at the boats and helped point out good and bad points of the various boats.

When we found a boat we liked, he was able to talk broker to broker with the listing guy and get some information that helped us either pass on that boat or make an offer. He was also able to recommend surveyors, insurance agents, finance agents, etc. that ended up giving way better prices then what we had going in.

All of this and it cost us nothing out of pocket. Boat brokers are just like real estate agents. They take a percentage from the seller and if there is a buyer broker and seller broker, they split the commission.

Hope this helps.

What area of the country are you looking in by the way?
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Old 03-06-2011
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I do think you can find a good, honest broker, but be careful. They are typically paid by splitting the commission with the seller's broker.

If you can do enough research to narrow your desire down to a particular manufacturer, I recommend find a broker at your local dealer for that make. They may be the most knowledgeable, both in terms of what to analyze and what is available, and you've established a good relationship for when you own the boat.
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Old 03-06-2011
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"So, how does one get a reliable broker ? "
Easy, just like buy fine spouse!

Brokers are not necessary, however, a good one will work their *ss off finding the boat you want, making sure the correct taxes are paid, helping you with paperwork, setting up an escrow account against problems if need be.

Normally the SELLER pays a commission to their broker, and the broker works for the SELLER, make no mistake about that. If you wish to engage a buyer's broker, you do it in writing with a contract, and they'll get a piece of the commission on the sale.

It is not common to use a buyer's broker, but you get one the same way you get that fine spouse: Ask around for recomendations in your area. Check the BBB listings for complaints on them.

And ber in mind, most brokers don't ask a lot of questions, and guaranty nothing about a boat. You'll also be needing recommendations for a good surveyor, wherever the boat is. Preferably one that the selling broker doesn't like, because he takes a hard look at problems.
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Old 03-06-2011
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Boat brokers get paid when you buy a boat. This goes for buyer's brokers, as well as seller's brokers.

I worked with a lot of brokers, and looked at some FSBO boats too. I always took what the brokers said with a grain (or two) of salt, and considered their motivation.

One of the best places to check your facts is right here. Post questions, and pictures of boats (or components of boats), and you will get opinions from a lot of very knowledgeable people.

But, be very careful not to post info that is too specific, or you may end up offending someone that you don't want to offend, or worse, having the boat bought out from under you. I always tried to write my posts so that they did not include specific information about a specific potential deal.
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Old 03-06-2011
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Here is an example of such a post.
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Old 03-06-2011
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Hello and Welcome.

Where are you located? Perhaps one of the members who is located near you will be able to recommend a good broker. Personally, since I am a DIY kind of guy, I didn't bother with a buyers broker but just used the seller's broker. IMHO, don't bother trying to buy a boat from a bad broker, too much heart ache. Deal with a good broker (you'll be able to tell the difference after you meet with a few brokers) and you will be happy.

Good luck,
Barry
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Old 03-06-2011
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Broker Info

We live in S.C. and hope to find boat along East Coat. We lust after all the postings on various sites, but timing not right yet. We will be getting a used boat. Thank you all for the info.
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Old 03-06-2011
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I was in your shoes one year ago. Following the advice of a friend/boat owner I use a buyer's broker. In the end that's a fine plan if you need your hand held. If however you are reasonably self sufficient there is little that you cannot do better than a broker if you are smart, diligent, and have a computer connection. The problem with a broker is that their job is to get you to buy a boat or else they don't get paid. Think what you want but it is a conflict of interest should your desire be getting the best boat for you.

I liked our broker but once I released him our boat search dramatically improved. I would not use a broker again.

Chris
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