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  #11  
Old 09-19-2011
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I tried working with a buyer broker once and he steered me towards the boats he was representing as the seller broker. Completely ignored my criteria. He also advised me not to purchase privately and would not help me with any brokerage boats I found. He actually told me the Dufor 27 he was selling(on the market for 3 years) was a better boat than the Pearson 28 that I found that just came on the market.

I have since spent a lot of time better educating myself on boats.

I have had similar experiences with an RE broker.
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Last edited by Tim R.; 09-19-2011 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 09-19-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fowlerpb View Post
In the case of the real estate example, I bought my last house with a broker in 2005 that saw our finances and decided we needed a bigger house x2. We hesitated, but we were eventually convinced by our broker in spite of our original instructions. Because of that, this housing crisis hit us harder and impacted our cruising plans to a far greater extent than if we had stuck to our guns and fought our broker.
Fowler, not to be too harsh, but it almost sounds as if you would walk into a Chevy dealership looking for a used Town and Country, walk out with a new Corvette and blame the salesperson.

You don't need a buyers broker. Go to Yachtworld.com and start doing searches for boats that do meet your criterion. If you find a boat you like, then contact that broker and look at the boat. The advantage to you is that you would have no relationship with these brokers so it may be easier for you to tell them "no". Ultimately, it is you that has to make the decision.

If you really don't want to deal with brokers at all, then just search for private sales. In this economy I would think there would be plenty. You also could use the technique of wandering the marinas and identifying boats that look abandoned then contacting their owners to make an offer. There are may be boat owners out there that would like to unload their boats but never bother because they don't trust brokers and don't know how to go about it themselves.

If you have any good friends who are knowledgeable about boats, then it may be a good idea to take them along with you to help. If you don't know anyone, then you might try and find a marine surveyor who you might be able to negotiate a deal where they can accompany you to look at the boats. These won't be surveys, and it would cost you a fair bit, but you could get some more objective advice that way.

Good luck.

Dave
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  #13  
Old 09-19-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fowlerpb View Post
In the case of the real estate example, I bought my last house with a broker in 2005 that saw our finances and decided we needed a bigger house x2. We hesitated, but we were eventually convinced by our broker... [I] was too polite. I felt this way with every broker I talked to.
I hope you don't take offense at this, but you need to learn how to handle a business negotiation. Your broker is not your friend. You need to learn the difference between being "polite" and being a patsy, between being "rude" and being firm in a negotiation.

Whether we're talking about boats or houses, you tell the broker what you are looking for and what your price range is. If he/she does not show you boats/houses in your price range then you walk away and find a different broker. If they ask why, tell them. If they try to apologize and plead with you for another chance you say, "Nope, I've moved on, time for you to do the same." Period. End of discussion.

There are lots of good brokers out there and it is worth the time to find one. Wasting time with a bad broker because you don't want to hurt his feelings is just DUMB! This is NOT being rude. This is simply insisting that you get what you pay for. Nothing the least bit impolite in that.

Now, having said that I will point out that, just like with houses, boats usually sell for less than their asking price. So if you say your limit is $50,000 the broker may want to show you boats with an asking price of $60-, $70-, or even $80,000. This is because, with some aggressive negotiation, these boats may end up going for $50,000. If he is trying to convince you that you can spend more than $50,000 though, walk away.

Also, there is absolutely no need to share any of your finances with the broker before the time comes to negotiate a purchase contract. It helps to tell him if you will be paying cash, or financing, because then he will know if a purchase offer will require a financing contingency. But even then, you don't need to tell him what sort of loan you have been approved for. Only that you have a pre-approval and that you want to spend about $X as your total price.

I grew up in the Midwest and was taught to be polite. I understand that sometimes it goes against your grain to negotiate aggressively and to keep saying to yourself, "it's not personal, it's just business." You need to do that, though, unless you are willing to spend more than you should to get less than you deserve. Remain friendly, remain polite, but remember that it is not rude to say "no" and it is not rude to say "you are not serving my needs, I am taking my business elsewhere."
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Last edited by denverd0n; 09-19-2011 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 09-19-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
I grew up in the Midwest and was taught to be polite. I understand that sometimes it goes against your grain to negotiate aggressively and to keep saying to yourself, "it's not personal, it's just business." You need to do that, though, unless you are willing to spend more than you should to get less than you deserve. Remain friendly, remain polite, but remember that it is not rude to say "no" and it is not rude to say "you are not serving my needs, I am taking my business elsewhere."
Yeah, but a true Midwesterner (or Canadian) would say "Thank you, you are not serving my needs, I am taking my business elsewhere. Would you like a beer?"

Great advice.

Dave
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Last edited by dhays; 09-20-2011 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 09-19-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fowlerpb View Post
In the case of the real estate example, I bought my last house with a broker in 2005 that saw our finances and decided we needed a bigger house x2. We hesitated, but we were eventually convinced by our broker in spite of our original instructions.
Given what seems to be the typical business dealing, I suspect I am a bit of an odd duck. My approach with nearly every purchase and most certainly the big purchases (houses, cars, boats, etc...) is to decide what I need, what I want, and what I can afford. I then research to see how all of this comes together. Yes, this research always takes time but I would rather invest the time now rather than wasted money or broken hopes/dreams later.

I think we (US citizens, at least) have completely lost the ability to differentiate between needs and wants. I watch people house hunting on HGTV and listen to them say some of the craziest things - the two of us need 5000 sq. ft., need four bathrooms, need a pool, need a six burner stove, etc... Really??

I would encourage you to list your needs, list your wants, and decide on your finances. With some time on the Internet, you can do a reasonable job determining how well they all align. Don't get sucked into the marketing hype - "it's only $5k over your budget", "you really need a watermaker", "you need a boat that is less than 3 years old", or whatever. Stick to your lists/budget. Hmmm... now that I think of it, I believe this is described as fact-based versus emotional buying.

Another little tidbit that I always avoid - do not let yourself get drawn into looking at that which is not possible. Ya, it may be fun to look at the million dollar home, the 100' yacht, the high-end car, etc... but all it seems to accomplish is further blurring the line between need/want and makes us unsatisfied with the things that are possible.

JD
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  #16  
Old 10-26-2012
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Re: buyer's broker payment questions

I know this thread is a little old. But I would like to update.

Generally, a lot of the advise on the thread is good.

I finally gave in and decided to get a buyer broker, because there is simply too much to do on my own.

He has shown me a boat that meets my criteria (but on the high price range.)

I put an offer in on the boat. HOWEVER, my broker has also tried to get me to buy quicker than I can really research the boat (less time = more money) AND he has even tried to negotiate us UP in asking price beyond 120% the amount the bank is willing to loan us... I am also suspect that he appears to be downplaying problems with the boat concerning a fire and a spongey deck.

It had been too long since I last looked at this thread. Looking back over the last few weeks, three pieces of advice in the thread I should have followed but can't take back are as follows:
  • Do not reveal finances to any broker
  • Spend extra time finding brokers that other people have been pleased with. If you search 200 hours looking at boats, at least spend 1 hour searching for a broker that has made clients happy. (People will say I am just biased, but when I first talked to the broker I was happy that I found someone to help me get past the searching. That happiness was short lived when he started talking me up in my asking price beyond what I had declared as my top limit.)
  • Practice negotiation

Boat brokers do not work for a buyer. However, some brokers might make you much happier than other brokers. My new stance is that an ability for a broker to make you happy for a long time with the purchase is the differentiator. I wish I could just find that broker. I don't go back on my word, and now I have a broker who I looked in the eye and promised to use. I just have to get real good real quick at negotiating boat prices against 2 seller brokers (one of which knows my finances.)
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Old 10-26-2012
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Re: buyer's broker payment questions

Based on what you just stated, he is not acting as your Buyer Broker, he is acting as sub-agent (maybe the wrong term, SN lawyer members could clarify) of the Seller. If he knows your confidential info there is a very good chance he is revealing that info to the Seller Broker 'to put a deal together'. I was a yacht broker, I'm now a REALTOR and saw/see this action regularly - Agents forgetting who they owe confidence, confidentiality and fuduciary duty to, all just for another buck. No wonder my wife calls them pimps and whores.
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Old 10-26-2012
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Re: buyer's broker payment questions

Rugosa,

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.
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  #19  
Old 10-26-2012
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Re: buyer's broker payment questions

find honest marina look over boats for sale sail one find honest surveyer
that is most of the battle
start low
broker will sell you most expensive boat
boat you sail good fittings good sail everything works
clean taken car of
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Old 10-26-2012
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Re: buyer's broker payment questions

Stumble - a refreshing outlook for sure. That scenario didn't exist here 18 years ago when I quit yacht brokerage after 22 years. That's one of the primary reasons I quit, disappointment with an industry I equated to the wild west. There was a broker in Vancouver, one in Halifax & a couple in Great Lakes area I held in high esteem. The rest were kinda status quo people. Sadly, real estate has turned out to be similar. Although regulated (self-regulating) in Ontario, when you get on the street there are too many agents working part time and not focused on their careers, eeking it out from deal to deal, and either unfamiliar with their duties to clients or not overly concerned about them.
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