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Barquito
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Seems to me this comes down to a few factors:

1) The purchase price. In lower price ranges, the buyers broker just can't afford to do as much good work.
2) The quality of the broker. I'm sure there are some really good ones, and some really bad ones (will the boat economy make some of the former become some of the latter?).
3) How much work and skill the buyer can put into the deal.

Personally, if I were to be in the market for a boat much less than 50K, and could narrow the choices down to a few boats, I would go without a buyers broker.
 

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Old soul
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Question: What happens in the case of a buyer's broker managing a sale without a seller's broker involved? If the owner is acting directly, hence is NOT paying a selling commission, how does the buyer's broker get paid? In this case, there's no commission to split.
 

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It is a hard call when you are shopping at the low end of the market, but to me it certainly can't hurt to sit down and discuss what you are looking for with a broker, particularly if you know a good one. A good broker makes his reputation by building relationships. Many people buy more than one boat in their boating career, and if a broker treats you well when you are shopping on the lower end, there is a good chance you will go back to them when you have a little more cash in your pocket. Not only that, but good brokers have connections with other brokers, and if they put the word out they may be able to find a boat that isn't officially listed, and make a deal happen.
Our experience with a broker, albeit in a higher price range, was very positive. We already had a short list of boat models and features we wanted, and the broker we felt with had exactly the boat we wanted listed. We went in to look at the boat only to find out that it had a deal pending on it already. That same day he spent 5 hours with us, discussing boats, looking up historical sale prices on similar boats, pointing out boats we may not have considered, and even arranging a showing of a other boat at another marina that same day.

Keep in mind that he invested this time knowing we were under no obligation to buy through him. For all he knew we were just "tire kickers".

He then went on to gather information on a couple of boats we were interested in down in the USA, arranged showings, and met us down there to look at them.

The boat we eventually bought was not actually listed for sale. One of the other brokers had been talking to the owner who was contemplating upgrading, and contacted him saying they had a potential buyer for his old boat if he still wanted to upgrade, and the seller went for it! Granted we paid top dollar for the boat, although still a fair price based on historical sales data, (that only the brokers have access to), and we ended up getting a boat that was far nicer than the comparables that were on the market at the time.

Of course at the lower price point you probably won't get the same time investment we got, but you will still get access to good data and there is always a chance that you buying the cheaper boat will be instrumental in the seller upgrading to a much more expensive boat. You never know what kind of deals are made behind the scenes with other brokers to make it worthwhile for him to put the work in.

With all that said, as a buyer, caveat emptor still applies. You need to make sure the boat is the right one for you. Brokers are in business to make the sale, and you need to be able to resist pressure to buy a boat unless it is the one you want.

Sent from my SM-G960W using Tapatalk
 

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Dirt Free
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Knowledgeable, honest, fair brokers are rare. I've dealt with pretty much all of them in Ontario and there are four that I have unreserved respect for (Not unlike every other person in the marine business here). None of these four can afford to or are interested in dealing with boats worth less than 100k.
 

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I actually know a broker who was arrested. I think it was actually while showing a boat. He owns his own brokerage firm now. What an industry.

Most everything that needs to be said, has been above. The only adds I have are to be absolutely sure a broker is working for you, not the seller, if that's your expectation. Lots of brokers will come across as working for you, because they are showing you the boat, but contractually they are responsible only to the seller.

The only other factor, which I do not think will matter with a $40k boat, is commissions are split, when a seller's and buyer's broker are involved. If there is only a selling broker, they have room to lower their commission to get a deal done, if it's hung up over a few percent. It's not sure they would, but they might.

For example, I had one selling broker offer to buy me a used dinghy, because there was a problem with the one in the listing. In another deal, the selling broker was also trying to put the client into a bigger boat, so was expecting a commission on both deals. I'm all but certain he was negotiating his commission, with the seller, to get to a workable price on each end. That deal fell apart anyway.
 

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Old soul
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I'm still unclear how a buyer's broker gets paid in the case of a non-brokered sale.

If a seller is acting on his/her own to sell their boat, there is no commission being paid. Yet one of the reasons to use a buyer's broker is because "it doesn't cost the buyer anything." So, where does the money come from in these cases? Or does this mean your buyer's broker simply doesn't considered non-brokerage boats?

Having only operated in this range of the market, I know that a large percentage of boats for sale -- perhaps the majority -- are not being offered through a broker. They are being sold directly by the owners. Part of the calculus in choosing to sell directly, without a broker, is the cost of the commission. These sellers are not paying a sales commission.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Some more great thoughts!

I do share Mike's question of how the buyer's broker gets paid when there is no seller's broker, but I presume that the buyer ends up paying the commission equivalent to their broker? This leads to another question, does the buyer's broker get paid if the boat is found by the buyer and not the broker?

The other difficultly is going it alone, is how to value a boat in a buyer's market.

I will add that for the boat I am interested in, the are far more listed on YachtWorld than anyplace else.

Jim
 

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You can certainly agree to hire and pay a buyer’s broker yourself. I’ve not known it to be done, for boats, but it’s done for high end aircraft all the time. The fee is often fixed, not related to the purchase price and not contingent upon closing. They agree to source X number of airframes that meet your criteria. In each case I’m aware of, they deliver long before running out of contract runway. Aircraft may be easier to be explicit.
 

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We haven't used a boat broker for any purchase. I think of boat brokers much like real estate agents. We will probably use a buyers broker for our next purchase since we will be moving up. I want to make one thing clear, the buyer always pays the commission, its in the price of the boat. When the buyer makes an offer on a broker listed boat, the seller looks at his bottom line which is the offered amount minus the commission. You might be able to save yourself a few dollars by offering to pay the commission separate from the boat cost for two reasons, sales tax and commission calculated on the selling price. An example:
100k boat, 5% sales tax (Maryland) cost = 105K seller gets 90k after paying commission
100K boat, buyer offers 90k and to pay the commission, commission on 90k is 9k, sales tax on 90k is 4.5k, total cost 103.5k, savings 1500. This is based on the assumption that commissions are labor therefore not taxed in Maryland.

When we look at houses we will not drag the agent to every house, we do a drive by, checking the neighborhood, the house, do some research on price, decide if we want to go further on the house. If we do go then we get the agent to show us the house. This approach saves us and the agent time. We will do the same with a boat broker. Hopefully he/she will appreciate this time/expense saving approach.
 

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Some more great thoughts!



I do share Mike's question of how the buyer's broker gets paid when there is no seller's broker, but I presume that the buyer ends up paying the commission equivalent to their broker? This leads to another question, does the buyer's broker get paid if the boat is found by the buyer and not the broker?



The other difficultly is going it alone, is how to value a boat in a buyer's market.



I will add that for the boat I am interested in, the are far more listed on YachtWorld than anyplace else.



Jim
Yes, the commission is paid to the selling broker, and is split with the buyers broker if they have one. If the boat is not listed with a broker your broker may approach the private seller and tell them they have a potential buyer, and ask them to enter into a brokerage agreement before they introduce you to the seller. I actually had a broker contact me when I was selling my old boat that was in the $15k price range and listed on Craigslist! I politely declined since I already had plenty of interest from private buyers.

I think if you find a boat that is not listed with a brokerage, then you should approach that seller privately. Most private sellers have made a conscious decision not to use a broker, and likely will not appreciate being approached by one asking them to sign a contract!



Sent from my SM-G960W using Tapatalk
 

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Old soul
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Yes, the commission is paid to the selling broker, and is split with the buyers broker if they have one. If the boat is not listed with a broker your broker may approach the private seller and tell them they have a potential buyer, and ask them to enter into a brokerage agreement before they introduce you to the seller. I actually had a broker contact me when I was selling my old boat that was in the $15k price range and listed on Craigslist! I politely declined since I already had plenty of interest from private buyers.

I think if you find a boat that is not listed with a brokerage, then you should approach that seller privately. Most private sellers have made a conscious decision not to use a broker, and likely will not appreciate being approached by one asking them to sign a contract!
Agreed. Which leads me back to the question about the use of buyer's brokers at this lower end of the market. They want to get paid for their work. If they aren't being paid by their client, and can't strike a deal with a owner-seller, then that effectively takes these boats off the market, even if the boat would be good for their client.

I'm in no way anti-broker, but at the lower end of the market (~$50k or less), it really makes little sense for almost anyone involved. What does makes sense to me is a buyer's consultant that is paid directly by the buyer.
 

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I wonder if selling brokers avoid working with prospects who use buyer's brokers?
As a broker, I can say that most selling brokers "co-operate" on their listings. There are a smaller percentage that don't on some listings, but not usually all of them. It's usually on new boats that are handled by a brokerage that are not co-op. Anyway, if I noticed a boat that fit a client's needs and there were to be no commission for me, I'd tell the client what I've found out about the boat and let them choose to see it on their own and if they should buy it then hope they might buy me a bottle of scotch for my overall efforts. Most brokers realize that a "bird in hand is better than none at all." When it comes to sailboats, there are far more dreamers/tire kickers than real buyers. We all need to keep the pipeline moving, at least with some cash in it!
 

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Old soul
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As a broker, I can say that most selling brokers "co-operate" on their listings. There are a smaller percentage that don't on some listings, but not usually all of them. It's usually on new boats that are handled by a brokerage that are not co-op. Anyway, if I noticed a boat that fit a client's needs and there were to be no commission for me, I'd tell the client what I've found out about the boat and let them choose to see it on their own and if they should buy it then hope they might buy me a bottle of scotch for my overall efforts. Most brokers realize that a "bird in hand is better than none at all." When it comes to sailboats, there are far more dreamers/tire kickers than real buyers. We all need to keep the pipeline moving, at least with some cash in it!
Good on you. I commend you for this approach. I hope most of your professional colleagues would do the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
As a broker, I can say that most selling brokers "co-operate" on their listings. There are a smaller percentage that don't on some listings, but not usually all of them. It's usually on new boats that are handled by a brokerage that are not co-op. Anyway, if I noticed a boat that fit a client's needs and there were to be no commission for me, I'd tell the client what I've found out about the boat and let them choose to see it on their own and if they should buy it then hope they might buy me a bottle of scotch for my overall efforts. Most brokers realize that a "bird in hand is better than none at all." When it comes to sailboats, there are far more dreamers/tire kickers than real buyers. We all need to keep the pipeline moving, at least with some cash in it!
Thank you for posting to this thread.

As a recap:

- let's presume that I have already decided on the make/model of the boat to purchase. Hypothetically, lets say a large production boat like a 2004-2011 Hunter 33. Could also move up/down one model for the right boat.
- With this Hunter example, I see that there are currently 32 boats listed on YachtWorld including 16 boats at 47K - 60K and 12 boats at 60K - 70K.

I guess that my biggest want would be:

1) help valuing a specific make/model of boat in a buyer's market that correctly reflects values in a recessionary time.
2) help is separating the higher quality boats from the lower quality boats.
3) help in the negotiating and purchasing process.

Are these activities that might be done by a buyer's broker in the 40K - 50K purchase price range?

Do brokers maybe offer some of these services on a consulting basis?

Thanks for any insights as I have never dealt with brokering a boat, and I'm trying to figure out if it's worth my, and a brokers, time to consider having my own broker in this scenario.

Jim
 

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Dirt Free
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Thank you for posting to this thread.

As a recap:

- let's presume that I have already decided on the make/model of the boat to purchase. Hypothetically, lets say a large production boat like a 2004-2011 Hunter 33. Could also move up/down one model for the right boat.
- With this Hunter example, I see that there are currently 32 boats listed on YachtWorld including 16 boats at 47K - 60K and 12 boats at 60K - 70K.

I guess that my biggest want would be:

1) help valuing a specific make/model of boat in a buyer's market that correctly reflects values in a recessionary time.
2) help is separating the higher quality boats from the lower quality boats.
3) help in the negotiating and purchasing process.

Are these activities that might be done by a buyer's broker in the 40K - 50K purchase price range?

Do brokers maybe offer some of these services on a consulting basis?

Thanks for any insights as I have never dealt with brokering a boat, and I'm trying to figure out if it's worth my, and a brokers, time to consider having my own broker in this scenario.

Jim
A broker (the right broker) can do all that and whatever else you can negotiate.
 

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I'd tell the client what I've found out about the boat and let them choose to see it on their own and if they should buy it then hope they might buy me a bottle of scotch for my overall efforts.
Great attitude. Careful the word does not get out you accept scotch as payment.:grin
 

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Anyone know of a reputable buyers broker in Kemah, TX? I live in the midwest (landlocked) and will need to begin my search somewhere. Kemah seems a reasonable starting place. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Anyone know of a reputable buyers broker in Kemah, TX? I live in the midwest (landlocked) and will need to begin my search somewhere. Kemah seems a reasonable starting place. Thanks!
I guess that I would ask why Kemah?

Yes, I know there are a lot of boats on Clear Lake/Galveston Bay (as I use to sail there many years ago), but I'm wondering why not the east coast, maybe Annapolis, MD, instead?

Where do you intend the keep the boat you buy?

Jim
 

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Jim, great question and I guess more info is always better. Just didn't want to bog down the discussion with unnecessary details. But since you asked: I live in far Southern Illinois, not too far from Kentucky Lake. The general plan is to deliver a boat there while we refit, learn the systems and get comfortable with the boat before heading back out to the Big Blue. Gives us a chance to sell the house, cars, boats, and sundry other toys, tools and gizmos. We obvioulsy plan on living on the boat full time in retirement. I am open to a boat anywhere in the world, IF I can afford to bring it to Kentucky.

I would like, however, to get on a few more boats (we went to Annapolis in 2018 but our budget does not include a new 45 foot $1M vessel) and get a "feel" for what we really want. The choices are limited on KY Lake, though we did look at one boat there. We will be looking for something -again skipping unnecessary details- in the 42 to 45 foot range, so once it is on KY Lake and the mast stepped we will be "stuck" until we dismast and head south again. I could easily drive to Kemah, Alabama, Mississippi, North Florida but there seems to be quite a few boats in Kemah currently. I am not against going to see "the boat" anywhere I need to fly, but to just browse it seems silly to spend a zillion dollars flying all over the world.

Thanks very much for the response, any insight from anyone is much appreciated!

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Dave,

Galveston Bay is a great place to sail and when I lived there many years ago it was only second to Annapolis in terms of the number of sailboats. That said, I think there are a lot more boats for sale on the East Coast (Massachusetts to Florida) then can be found on the Gulf Coast.

Just my opinion, but Texas weather (heat/sun/humidity), much like Florida's, can be brutal on a boat. And while I have seen some beautifully maintained Texas boats, I have seen some that have really taken a beating.

Unless you find a boat on the Great Lakes, I think you will end up trucking it back to Kentucky Lake. You could possibly motor down the Mississippi River and up the Tennessee River, but I don't think (and someone please correct me if I am wrong) that you can reasonably motor UP the Mississippi River.

You have probably thought of this already, but another alternative to hauling such a large boat back to Kentucky Lake, would be to leave it in Texas, or where-ever you bought it, and just travel back and forth for the refit. You could probably buy a lot of airline tickets for the cost of hauling the boat and in an area like Kemah, there would likely be a lot more vendors to chose from to help with the refit.

Jim
 
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