Originally Posted by Dave Montgomery
Lets say you are buying a boat from a yacht brokerage and the boat has a history of being in a bad underwater accident such that many thousands were spent to repair the boat. Does the broker have any responsibility to report this to a new buyer? If it was a car it would have a "salvaged" title and therein the value of the car would be dramatically reduced. Thoughts?
Yes, my thoughts are you should specifically ask about any such concerns in writing and receive a written response so you would have some grounds for a lawsuit for fraud or breach of contract. In other words, require a written disclosure of condition and warranties from the seller. BTW, I suspect such a written response will not be forthcoming from a broker, or a seller who has a listing broker. Further, many believe there is no obligation to reveal a former physical defect that was adequately repaired: what you see is what you get, as is, where is.
Don't rely on the forthrightness and honesty of the broker to volunteer information you might reasonably seek. After all, the listing broker represents the seller. He is not going to do anything to damage the principal or his prospects for earning a commission. Under the standard contract, you are assuming all the risk, which you need to resolve through a haul-out, survey, and sea trial at your own expense.
Your role as a buyer in the standard brokered deal is to be an emotional fool who is willing to spend some bucks in the hope the boat is as unrealistically portrayed in the ad. You might as well realize all used boats have problems - it is simply a matter of which ones you will accept.
Your best bet is to be knowledgeable and buy directly from a private owner, so you do not have a commissioned middleman in the process. If that is not possible, employ your own broker.