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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am, sadly, selling my sailboat. I am doing so without a seller's broker, to save commission. I listed her on multiple websites for $27,000 and accepted what sounds like a serious offer of $25,000. However, the buyer is using a buyer's broker. My question is: Am I responsible for any part of the buyer's broker's commission? Since I have no contract, I suspect not and told the buyer so. On the other hand I don't want the deal to fall through either. Assuming the buyer's broker helps with completing the transaction, maybe some fee is appropriate. I would greatly appreciate input from knowledgable brokers or legal types.

Thanks, Peter
 

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If he placed an offer was the specifics of what he expected to go to his broker not in the deal? It would be on a house deal (6% - 3/3/split etc). Usually it comes out of the seller on a house but I am curious what folks say on a boat as well. About to be doing the buyer bit myself.
 

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The buyer hired the broker, the buyer is responsible for the brokers' fees. Pretty sure the buyer and broker executed a contract between the two before the broker spent one minute helping the buyer. If the broker tries to squeeze you for a fee, tell him to go piss up a rope.
 

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The buyer hired the broker, the buyer is responsible for the brokers' fees. Pretty sure the buyer and broker executed a contract between the two before the broker spent one minute helping the buyer. If the broker tries to squeeze you for a fee, tell him to go piss up a rope.
Uh, not sure you are correct on this. I have MANY brokers trying to be my broker out doing boat looking now. I have been VERY CLEAR with them that I am simply in the looking stage and will select an actual buyers broker later. All have said the fee would come out of the purchase price from the seller like a house deal. I have never executed a "contract" with a selling broker of any sort as a buyer.

Not attacking, just that I am very curious on this myself and wondering if this was your personal experience?

EDIT: And as a seller telling the buyers rep to "Go piss up a rope" might not result in your desired outcome. IE: selling the boat. The broker has they buyers ear. As soon as they are out of your hearing they broker advises against the boat for some reason. Lets see. 25K, likely a 3% fee. $750 out of the sale price. In this market I am not sure that would make me want to walk as a seller.
 

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Uh, not sure you are correct on this. I have MANY brokers trying to be my broker out doing boat looking now. I have been VERY CLEAR with them that I am simply in the looking stage and will select an actual buyers broker later. All have said the fee would come out of the purchase price from the seller like a house deal. I have never executed a "contract" with a selling broker of any sort as a buyer.

Not attacking, just that I am very curious on this myself and wondering if this was your personal experience?

EDIT: And as a seller telling the buyers rep to "Go piss up a rope" might not result in your desired outcome. IE: selling the boat. The broker has they buyers ear. As soon as they are out of your hearing they broker advises against the boat for some reason. Lets see. 25K, likely a 3% fee. $750 out of the sale price. In this market I am not sure that would make me want to walk as a seller.
I can't see that. How could a buyer broker "make" the private seller add his cost to the deal. I'd tell the broker and the prospective buyer to go jump in the river. That's just me. I do see what you're saying about a $750 fee loosing a sail because I'm a hard head. :eek: What if your'e selling a $70k boat?
 

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I was viewing this from an "after sale" perspective. Money and title exchange hands, then the broker says "Oh by the way seller, you owe me blah blah money." That is when I tell him to do that to the rope. On the other hand, if there is an understanding prior to the sale that I the seller will pay the brokers fee, then sure, I'll pay.
 

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I am using housing and other broker situations as a comparison.

You are using person to person sales as a comparison.

Anyone in the house ever sold a boat FSBO to a person with a buyer's broker? My thoughts are if it wasn't specified in the offer, then it is beside the point to the seller. That is the only "Contract" that will exist in the end (unless money is borrowed).

n the other hand, if I was the seller, had tried to sell the boat for months, and it was possibly going to cost the sale? Again, not sure I would play the "jump in the river" option. For some sellers this price difference could be one month of moorage.

And as to a $70K boat? What about a many 100s of K house? Happens with brokers everyday. In fact, I need more help on a boat purchase than a house. I can build one of them. It would be nice to have help on a large complex expensive boat purchase.
 

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I was viewing this from an "after sale" perspective. Money and title exchange hands, then the broker says "Oh by the way seller, you owe me blah blah money." That is when I tell him to do that to the rope. On the other hand, if there is an understanding prior to the sale that I the seller will pay the brokers fee, then sure, I'll pay.
I agree with you there. But that would just be plain silly for the broker to walk up to the seller after the transaction and start asking for money. I wasn't really considering that as something that might happen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Because I am basicly good hearted and believe in fee for service, I could see 3% or maybe a flat fee for help with the transaction. Since I'm doing the marketing, showing the boat and have no contractual agreement, it also makes sense I would not be responsible for 10% as to a seller's broker. Is there someone I could pay just to handle the paperwork?

By the way, my buyer is probably a fraud. She's sending me a check I'm supposed to take as a deposit AND forward the remainder to pay her broker. I'm sure that check will bounce like a rubber ball. I told her no thanks. But the discussion is still very helpful.

Peter
 

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Because I am basicly good hearted and believe in fee for service, I could see 3% or maybe a flat fee for help with the transaction. Since I'm doing the marketing, showing the boat and have no contractual agreement, it also makes sense I would not be responsible for 10% as to a seller's broker. Is there someone I could pay just to handle the paperwork?

By the way, my buyer is probably a fraud. She's sending me a check I'm supposed to take as a deposit AND forward the remainder to pay her broker. I'm sure that check will bounce like a rubber ball. I told her no thanks. But the discussion is still very helpful.

Peter
OOhh, Nigerian overpay scam if ever I heard of it, run the opposite direction and don't look back. The check is pure rubber and they HOPE you will have the funds and the trust to send them their cut of the money before their fake check clears your account.
 

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The buyer and the broker may have a deal, but unless part of the purchase agreement is that you pay the brokers fee...the buyer will have to eat the brokers fee. Careful what you sign.

Kicking around the 6%/3% is a real estate norm. Boat brokers norm is 10%, and that would be split if both are represented by a broker. Otherwise, the listing broker gets the whole nut if the seller finds the boat through them.
 

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I've sold three houses over the years.. all my principal (OK, ONLY) residences as we relocated due to jobs or increasing family size. For one of them, we listed it w/ real estate agencies and paid commission. The other two of them I advertised and sold on my own, and I received the price the buyers and I agreed upon, less the usual legal fees required of the seller upon closing. No commission. In my experience and opinion, whether it's boats or real estate, if you do not hire a broker, you are not responsible for paying the broker. If the buyer uses one, that's their business.. financially and personally. In one of the two instances where I advertised and sold the house myself, the buyer DID use a broker, and the broker DID attempt to collect commission from me too. I asked him if he had provided any services that I had asked or hired him to perform. After tap dancing around that for a while with self-serving platitudes .. "I made the process easier on everyone.. blah blah blah...".. he finally admitted that I had never asked him to do anything, nor hired him in any way. His commission was covered in full by the buyer, since I had not hired him nor entered into any legal agreement with him. "Industry Standard" or "Common Practice" be damned... I will pay the people I hire.. end of story.

Another hard head.. and proud of it.. :)

Barry
 

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Sounds like you are going to have to ask the buyer and his agent, work out a
deal or not. Good luck and tell us how it goes.
 

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I've sold three houses over the years.. all my principal (OK, ONLY) residences as we relocated due to jobs or increasing family size. For one of them, we listed it w/ real estate agencies and paid commission. The other two of them I advertised and sold on my own, and I received the price the buyers and I agreed upon, less the usual legal fees required of the seller upon closing. No commission. In my experience and opinion, whether it's boats or real estate, if you do not hire a broker, you are not responsible for paying the broker. If the buyer uses one, that's their business.. financially and personally. In one of the two instances where I advertised and sold the house myself, the buyer DID use a broker, and the broker DID attempt to collect commission from me too. I asked him if he had provided any services that I had asked or hired him to perform. After tap dancing around that for a while with self-serving platitudes .. "I made the process easier on everyone.. blah blah blah...".. he finally admitted that I had never asked him to do anything, nor hired him in any way. His commission was covered in full by the buyer, since I had not hired him nor entered into any legal agreement with him. "Industry Standard" or "Common Practice" be damned... I will pay the people I hire.. end of story.

Another hard head.. and proud of it.. :)

Barry
Wow. What nerve. I have bought and sold many houses in many combinations and let me say that took real guts to ask you for commission. My parents owned a real estate company and my wife's family is all in the business, that is not "Industry Standard". It is in the purchase contract and is signed by both buyer and seller. If not, then there is no commission. Side letters are extremely frowned upon in real estate so brokers would be brave to work on them. Sounds like more con man than broker to me. I guess I shouldn't be surprised at what some people try these days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks, all for the advice and support. Seems the law is clear: I owe the broker squat. Buyer pays whatever commission they contracted for. If the buyer threatens to back out, my options are to negotiate or walk away. In this instance it's moot as the buyer is clearly a fraud, running what DGA identified as the Nigerian overpay scam. Negotions have been broken off and I'll await a legit offer. Be careful out there!

Peter
 
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