Best way to use a broker? I''m 0 for 2. - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 15 Old 11-16-2002 Thread Starter
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Best way to use a broker? I''''m 0 for 2.

Has anyone had any success using a broker to find a boat. I''m 0 for 2. The first I used was in Annapolis. His website was full of glowing testamonials. I talked to him by phone, and through email, and he was very interested and helpful. My wife an I flew to meet him and look at 4 boats he had selected for us to view based upon our intended sail area and needs. The first boat we viewed was advertised at $75k. After 5 minutes he said owner would take $70k. It soon dropped to $65 and then $60k. As we climbed out of the boat, he said "so, why don''t we make an offer of $60k, I think the owner will sell for that and we won''t need to look at anything else". This was a Beneteau. We had a Pearson, Tayana and Allmand left to see (hows that for understanding my needs). I told him I wasn''t going to make on offer on the first boat I saw for 15 minutes, and we proceeded to the others but it was obvious he had lost interest. Strike one. The only other broker I tried to work with was in FLorida. Again, I responded to an internet listing for a specific boat he had listed. He was very helpful and interested in selling me that specific listing. I threw a couple other boat models at him, and asked that we look for those as well. I never heard from him again. My limited experience has been that they don''t want to spend any time helping you find the right model, they just want to move their listings. Seems to me that I should ignore working with a broker, try to weed out the obvious bad boats, and rely on the survey to keep me from buying hidden problems.
Anyone had better results.
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post #2 of 15 Old 11-16-2002
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Best way to use a broker? I''''m 0 for 2.

Wife and I when we began looking for our boat had initally opted for a new boat and had been dealing with a broker in Annapolis. When we suggested the possibility of a used boat his interest went downhill.
We then decided to go it alone.
Searched sail mags., free publishings, internet. When we located something of interest we would make contact with person or broker and go it alone.
When we found the boat we wanted we dealt with two brokers. The one who showed us the boat and the one who the prior owner had been working with.
No major problems doing it that way.
During our search the brokers we dealt with always asked if they could contact us if they located something in the area we were looking for. All were freindly and helpful.
One suggestion, have an idea what you are looking for. Reason for this was at the outset we were shown everything and anything under the sun in a wide price range. We finally sat down and put down in writing what type of boat we were looking for and what we wanted on it if possible and an amount we wanted to spend. Also what we deemed important was the area to be traveled to seek out our boat. We realized that to travel to FL. or other points south or west to just look at one or two boats each time was cost prohibative.

Well good luck and hope this helps a little.
Ray & Joanne
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post #3 of 15 Old 11-16-2002
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Best way to use a broker? I''''m 0 for 2.

While I am not in the business, and do not act as a broker, people email me for advise and so in any given year I help maybe half a dozen people, or more, find the boat of their dreams and help them through the purchase. I really find that having a knowledgeable and interested broker involved helps a lot. The key is to find a broker willing to take time to listen to your goals, not just as to a make and model, and then help you shape a list of boats that meet that goal. It then becomes a matter of finding some of the boats on the market in your region and budget. Some of these may not be suitable to your taste when seen in the flesh and others may fall out with other kinds of problems.

A good broker will neither push you into something that does not work for you or which your are uncomfortable with. On the other hand a good broker will not let you walk away from a boat because of a misconception on your part. For example an acquantance of mine looked at a boat that had reasonably new upholstery in a wierd color and pattern. The price of the boat was quite good for what it was and in all other respects the boat was more or less perfect. My acquaintance was ready to walk away and keep looking until the broker suggested that he price reupholstering the boat. I believe the whole job was less than a couple grand which he factored into his offer. Deal done.

When I bought my current boat last year, I worked with the same broker for well over a year (actually nearly two years) as I focused in on what was available and what I could afford. In my case I had a very limited budget and wanted a a lot of performance, both heavy and light air, a boat that was optimized for cruising including offshore, as well as ideal racing and singlehanding. I had draft constraints as well. Your basic needle in a haystack. Pat was great in keeping his eyes peeled and making suggestions that were helpful and outside of ideas that had occurred. He was extremely helpful through negotiations finally finessing the seller into a fair price for the boat as surveyed.

I think that like anything else there are good brokers and bad but also it is a lot of what you are willing to put into your relationship with the broker. Brokers need time to learn your tastes and then find the right boats. Brokers are at the mercy of the listings in the marketplace but a good broker keeps thier ears out and will have wider resources than you or I.

Good hunting,
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post #4 of 15 Old 11-16-2002
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Best way to use a broker? I''''m 0 for 2.

Hi Doug,

Yes, I have had great results working with a carefully chosen broker.

As soon as you start calling on boats, all the brokers will offer to "send you what you''re looking for..." Don''t take any of them up on it. If a "buyers broker" sells a boat that his own brokerage listed, he won''t have to split the commision with anyone. $$$$$ Or he might only show you boats represented by brokers with whom he has a deal worked out.

You need to find someone you really, really trust to represent you.

We used a "buyers broker" for our last boat, and I''m glad we did. What she didn''t do: find the boat for us. What she did do: help us get it. i know for certain we would not have sealed the deal on this boat without her expertise.

She talked to us at length about what we were looking for. She''s extremely knowledgeable about just the type of boat we needed. She DID send us packets of printouts of suitable boats, but we found, over the course of our search, that WE were finding more boats on our own. That''s because we spent literally HOURS every day scouring the internet as well as magazines. She did a weekly, or so, search of the brokerage listings.

However, every time we found something vaguely interesting, we called her and she got the full info on it for us immediately. She checked about and found what recent boats like it had sold for, asked the selling broker what the ''scoop'' on it was, etc. If we were interested, she set up the viewing for us. And, when it came time to make the offer, her advice was utterly invaluable. Like I said, we wouldn''t have the boat if we had not been working with her. There was another couple "bidding" on it and her timing (after work hours!!) is all that got us in at the right time. She was in constant contact with the other broker, monitoring the situation for us. if we''d been on our own we''d have hesitated and lost the boat. For her trouble, she split the 10% commision with the selling broker. We paid nothing extra.

When we found a "for sale by owner" boat, it was understood that we''d do everything hard feelings.

So, yeah, all of the opportunistic, shark-like brokers who get a whiff that you''re really gonna buy a boat will be begging you to let them search for you. But pick ONE that you trust and respect, and deal ONLY with that person. (Do NOT make the mistake of dealing with several at a time. This is just not how it''s done, and there can be major hard feelings....)

Have fun looking! Boat shopping is so much fun!

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post #5 of 15 Old 11-16-2002
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I am extremely new to sail boats as well as saling. Took my ASA certification last weekend and lok for a boat to buy for a live aboard. Reading of your problem I have often wondered weather to trust a borker or not. And now you have reassured me a little more faith in mine.

Do not know if you have found any boats in the Clear Lake / League City / Kemah / Galveston, Texas area or not. But I a working with a broker named Perry Lazer. Is a broker for Ship and Sail here. (of course since I am looking for a used boat he can help me to find any boat anywhere to buy). If you are looking at new boats then of course you are more limited to dealing with that type of brokerage.

When I first met hm I had three boats I wanted to look at. I only made through two. My handicap had me going pretty slow and getting tired. He was a nice guy taking time with no huryy. Gave him my time frame to buy which would be around next September and that I am wanting to look at as many boat in a certain price range as well as others as long as they are within a certian foot range. Well he had a boat come in, trade and called me down to look at it as well as a couple of others so I could atleast see what they all offered.

He has not been pushy or over bearing, nor seemed to have a lack of intrest. So you may wish to give him a call or even e-mail him (usually checks e-mail once a day around 1pm though) if you are interested in talking with someone that will look out for what you ask them to look out for.

Good luck in your search. Lord knows I am overwhelmed with info out the wazoo looking and asking and going ina nd out LOL.

Talk again later.

almost forgot the numbers he he.

Office: 281-334-0573
Cell: 713-303-9444
e-mail: [email protected]
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post #6 of 15 Old 11-17-2002
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Like others I have a good broker working for me.
Annapolis has millions of boats, Most are not for sale. It would take forever to sift through the marinas and creeks to find the ones that are. Using a broker just makes sense. Marty Ward, with Interyacht, has taken the time to learn what it is that I want, my budget constraints, and so on. She is a sailor herself, and knows boats inside and out. We drove half an hour to one boat. It was not right, and off we went, no loss. Each time I come down she has a list, of maybe three or four boats for me to see. That is enough, and takes a full day. Its her job to sift through the bad deals, and bad boats. A broker''s experieance can save you a lot of leg work, and can match boat and buyer. Start with a broker, then look for a boat. If you find a boat, then find a surveyor you can work with. That might be more important then the broker! In hindsight it was good to focus on Annapolis, because there are so many boats. Marty was the third broker I worked with over the last three years, but we clicked and that is the key. Boats are like cars, if your neighbor has one for sale you can check it out, otherwise its not a bad idea to go to one of the sailing centers around the country, either East of West, and the great lakes. With great numbers of boats, they become more of a commodity and the prices can be better. Good luck in your search, hope to see you on the high seas this winter!
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post #7 of 15 Old 11-17-2002
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Best way to use a broker? I''''m 0 for 2.

Having just purchased a boat through a broker I can say that he made the difference in making the deal.
Brokers are looking to sell boats and in the early stages of our search we were in the "let''s see what is out there" stage and brokers, being human, showed less interest in us. We were upfront about this when looking. Towards the end we knew more what we were looking for and the broker was able to keep the deal together through some bumps of survey etc.
About doing it yourself. First, most boats are offered only through a broker and my experience is that boats for sale by owner are that way because the owner may be too cheap to pay a commission - not a position I had any success negotiating with...
If I were doing it again I would buy a moisture meter - would have saved a survey or two - really good brokers have used them on the boats before they take them on - but this is rare - especially in our price range. However meters do take some knowing how to use them . final point after going to the $ and trouble to get a survey be willing to let it all go if you are headed down a path you are not happy with. I had to do that twice and have no regrets.
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post #8 of 15 Old 11-17-2002
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Best way to use a broker? I''''m 0 for 2. has a great list of boats for sale. There is even a broker listing.
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post #9 of 15 Old 11-18-2002
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I had a very good experience with a broker in annapolis,Todd Duff from martin bird made three trips up a he was more than helpful
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post #10 of 15 Old 11-18-2002
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Best way to use a broker? I''''m 0 for 2.

I hear ya my Brudda. I''ve yet to have a good experience with a broker. Many bad experiences. Whether they don''t actually give my offers to the owners, which were never unreasonable, or openly lying about the boat in question, I gave up on them and now go alone when buying boats.
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