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Old 09-20-2012, 07:46 AM   #41
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As a yacht broker, I have seen hundreds of boat deals over the years. But you must remember, every boat is only worth what the buyer will give and the seller will take. Yes, there are some fire sell deals to be had but thats rare. In most cases where the seller was not stressed, boats are selling for about 10-15% off asking prices.

I have access to soldboats.com (Yachtworld) that the public does not have access to. I can see what any model year, brand boat has been selling for off of asking prices so I can guide a buyer and a seller to arrive at a price that the market will bear.

Oh, and by the way, condition is the primary driver in asking prices. You will always pay more for an above average boat with upgrades than an average boat....always!
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:40 AM   #42
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I always have a rough idea in mind on what I want to spend and dont really concern myself with the asking price. I will make different offers on similar boats based on condition and "what it is worth to me".
Usually, I wont even look at a boat that is priced way higher than I intend to spend because I feel that I will be wasting my time. I found from experience that no matter how well maintained a 25 year old boat is, you will have issues after several months of ownership. Keeping this in mind, figure out how much it is worth to you and how much you estimate you will spend on it in the next year. Add that together and that should be equal to or less than the boat is valued at. Example, the boat I just bought was purchased based on the above idea. The price I paid + an estimated $25K in upgrades will bring the total investment to the approximate book value. My offer was based on that and the owner agreed to the price even though it was way under the asking price. To me, the asking price is somewhat irrellevent because I can always keep walking and find another.
Keep in mind that most boats for sale have been underused for the past several years. When you as the new owner start to use it for a few hundred hours, old dry seals will leak and corrosion will appear, etc. These rarely show up on a test run.
Some people get lucky and never have problems, I am not one of them.

By factoring in 'upgrade costs', the real difference would be is that now many of my systems will be new and the boat is valued on a boat in "Good Condition".
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:43 PM   #43
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Offered 17% less than asking price, Purchased for 12% less than asking price.

Next time I will cut out the Broker when purchasing.
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Old 09-21-2012, 05:49 AM   #44
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above average boat with upgrades than an average boat....always!

The problem here is what is an "upgrade"?

A superb noisemaker , refrigeration system and RO instalation is useless for the dock condo Gin Palace live aboard folks.

A sat TV receiver with 72 inch screens in every cabin including the heads , large ice maker fridge/freezer and loads of electric heaters is of ZERO value to a cruiser.

Like Beauty "upgrade" is in the eye of the beholder.

Paint always sells the boat!
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Old 09-21-2012, 07:05 AM   #45
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I have access to soldboats.com (Yachtworld) that the public does not have access to. I can see what any model year, brand boat has been selling for off of asking prices so I can guide a buyer and a seller to arrive at a price that the market will bear.

Oh, and by the way, condition is the primary driver in asking prices. You will always pay more for an above average boat with upgrades than an average boat....always!
Without trying to offend too many of the quality and ethical brokers we have here in this community. I am quite sure there are many great brokers out there. I just haven't found one yet. However, the above are two things that contradict each other and it's why, based on OUR experience, I currently consider brokers the fleas and ticks of the boat business.

My issue is that brokers will twist those numbers around to suit themselves. When it come to buying a boat, brokers will say, "Look at all the upgrades. This boat is worth more and you should make a higher offer. Oh, ignore what the selling price of other makes and models have been, this boat is much nicer."

On the other hand, when it comes to selling a boat, they will have no part of listing your boat at a value that includes all of your upgrades or what you THINK it's worth. Sighting a list of sold boats and values from Yachtworld of the exact same model regardless of their condition. Swearing that you'll never get anywhere near your asking price because other brokers with do the same search and come to the same conclusion.

It's frustrating and makes the entire industry look bad. I dread the day when I need to use another broker for this very reason.

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Old 09-21-2012, 11:09 AM   #46
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Without trying to offend too many of the quality and ethical brokers we have here in this community. I am quite sure there are many great brokers out there. I just haven't found one yet. However, the above are two things that contradict each other and it's why, based on OUR experience, I currently consider brokers the fleas and ticks of the boat business.

My issue is that brokers will twist those numbers around to suit themselves. When it come to buying a boat, brokers will say, "Look at all the upgrades. This boat is worth more and you should make a higher offer. Oh, ignore what the selling price of other makes and models have been, this boat is much nicer."

On the other hand, when it comes to selling a boat, they will have no part of listing your boat at a value that includes all of your upgrades or what you THINK it's worth. Sighting a list of sold boats and values from Yachtworld of the exact same model regardless of their condition. Swearing that you'll never get anywhere near your asking price because other brokers with do the same search and come to the same conclusion.

It's frustrating and makes the entire industry look bad. I dread the day when I need to use another broker for this very reason.

Tom-
I don't know, what you're describing is called salesmanship.

The broker is trying to get the most for the boat, thats his job. He works for the seller after all, thats who pays him.

BTW, I'm no broker. I just understand their relationship with the buyer and seller. That understanding makes their actions very predictable.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:33 AM   #47
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I've found a rather simple solution - Don't Deal with Brokers! There are plenty of boats for sale by owner. And, if you are selling... it's not too difficult with phone and email confabs to separate the wheat from the chaff regarding persons actually interested in your boat and the "lookie lous" who simply want a free tour and maybe a free ride too! I tell the obvious lookie lous to search else ware and those that seem really interested to do a drive-by. I can usually accurately figure out an inquirer's interest level with a phone call and maybe an email or two.

Then if still interested we can go for a ride with $50 of their money into fuel... to be discounted on the agreed price upon purchase. If a buyer is truly interested in your boat the $50 fuel cost is not a problem. If $50 is a stumbling block for them, then it is their loss of opportunity - NOT your loss of $$$ or time spent on a lookie lou!
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:42 PM   #48
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I am going to come to the defense of brokers a bit here. I just sold my boat and our broker, Joe Hamilton, was a really big help to us. I am also using him as a buyer's broker. We had the boat in a slip about 6 hours from our home, he helped keep an eye on it, lined up divers etc. He also negotiated a fair deal for us and for the buyer (who is a member on this forum). He helped us to set the correct price, and was there for all of the paperwork. Though we didn't go through a survey, I have no doubts he would have helped with that as well.

As far as the new boat search goes, he has already previewed two boats for us, driving more than two hours each way for each of them, a big help as the boats are a long way from where we live.

Like all things, I'm sure there are plenty of bad brokers out there, but don't tar them all with the same brush.
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Old 09-21-2012, 01:04 PM   #49
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I'm with Art. Broker is not necessary. Gonzo, you could do it without a broker. If you can change the oil in your motors then you can certainly buy a boat without a broker.
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Old 09-21-2012, 01:29 PM   #50
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I am going to come to the defense of brokers a bit here. I just sold my boat and our broker, Joe Hamilton, was a really big help to us. I am also using him as a buyer's broker. We had the boat in a slip about 6 hours from our home, he helped keep an eye on it, lined up divers etc. He also negotiated a fair deal for us and for the buyer (who is a member on this forum). He helped us to set the correct price, and was there for all of the paperwork. Though we didn't go through a survey, I have no doubts he would have helped with that as well.

As far as the new boat search goes, he has already previewed two boats for us, driving more than two hours each way for each of them, a big help as the boats are a long way from where we live.

Like all things, I'm sure there are plenty of bad brokers out there, but don't tar them all with the same brush.
I agree - There must be good brokers such as you fortuntunatly deal with. And, long jaunts of many hours to show/sell/purchase a boat precludes self-sales/purchase, wherein an honest broker would be a BIG plus! Not having long jaunt necessary... I have little need to research brokers in hopes of locating a good one.
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Old 09-21-2012, 01:37 PM   #51
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My take on selling and buying with or without a broker is maybe...

Some people(not all) can sell a boat without one.

Some people(not all) can buy without one.

There are some that will never sell their boat without a broker. I've talked to more than a few of them. These are people extremely passionate about either their boat or their asking price. They also tend to fly off the handle and are easily offended.

An old saying states that "An agent that represents themself often has a fool for a client", rings quite true for some folks.YMMV
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Old 09-21-2012, 03:24 PM   #52
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I'm with Art. Broker is not necessary. Gonzo, you could do it without a broker. If you can change the oil in your motors then you can certainly buy a boat without a broker.
Not true at all for many boat buyers. If you have a lot of experience with boats of this type, that's one thing. But how many newbies post here saying they are switching from sail to cruiser and have no experience with cruisers, or who want to get into cruiser boats for the first time? A lot. And it's apparent from their questions that they are in no position whatsoever to accurately judge the condition of this type of boat.

My wife and I were like this. We had a lot of experience boating the area in our small Arima fishing boat. We had tons of experience flying throughout the entire region from here through SE Alaska in our floatplane. So we certainly knew the area we'd be boating in. We'd been running narrowboats in the UK for years. I'd fished and sailed on other people's boats in Hawaii. So we were very comfortable being on the water.

But in terms of knowing the engines, systems, structure, etc. of a diesel cruiser we knew virtually nothing. We chartered a GB36 to see if we liked the experience but that certainly didn't give us any sort of background with which to judge the condition of a similar boat.

So we were in no position whatsoever to look over a boat we were interested in with any degree of competence in judging the condition of the boat, its systems, and equipment. Unless an electrical panel was actually on fire we wouldn't have been able to determine if the wiring was good, bad, or indifferent.

So when we decided to get into the cruising thing we enlisted the aid of a broker to find a boat for us. He was (and still is) extremely good, he knows GBs inside and out, and he deals with his customers with the utmost integrity. And he found us a boat that fit our budget and does what we want it to do.

There is no way we would have found this boat on our own. It was out of state and it had not even been listed for sale yet. But like real estate agents, brokers have an unofficial "network" and often find out about boats that are coming onto the market before they actually do.

In our case the owner had bought a newer and larger GB and simply didn't want to own two boats. So he told a broker in Alameda to "get rid of" his older GB for him. The broker called the GB dealer in Bellingham with whom he'd done business in the past and asked if they knew anyone looking for an old but decent GB36. He did this an hour or so before my wife and I walked into the building. We later learned that had the SFO broker not found a buyer right away he would have listed the boat for some $20,000 more than we paid for it.

In some cases and for some people a broker may not be needed. They have the experience, the time, and the resources to find and evaluate boats on their own. For others a broker can really aid the boat-buying process. In our case we decided we wanted a boat but I didn't have the time to read ads, walk docks, and look at lots of boats even if I had had the experience and knowledge to accurately judge them.

And frankly, I didn't have the interest. We wanted a boat and we wanted one that would suit us but neither one of us are interested enough in boats that we were willing to spend a ton of time finding one. Better to find a good broker, tell him what we wanted in a boat, and let him do the searching and initial evaluating.

If we decide to replace the boat we have now we will do exactly the same thing. We have learned a ton by owning, operating, and working on the boat we have for the last 14 years. We're in a much better position to evaluate a boat of this type now than we were in 1998. But I still don't have the time and more important, I still don't have the interest. I have other things to do that are far more important to me than pore over boat ads and walk docks. So I'll happily pay someone to do that for me. "When you find one you think will work for us, give us a call."

Brokers are like any other professionals. There are good, bad, and indifferent ones. So in my book, one doesn't need to be able to evaluate boats, one needs to be able to evaluate people. Determine who's good, bad, or indifferent. Select a good broker, as we did, and the rest of the boat-buying process is a snap. Miss on your evaluation and select a bad broker, and the process can be a nightmare.

I'm talking about a buyer's broker here. You've got no control over who the selling broker is but if you have a good person working for you, the seller's broker is irrelevant, as he was in our case. His sole contribution to the process-- other than letting the Bellingham GB dealer know the boat was available--- was giving us the keys to it when we got to Alameda.
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Old 09-21-2012, 03:43 PM   #53
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I'm curious, what is the normal commission for a broker if he gets both sides of the deal ? 10% ?
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Old 09-21-2012, 03:46 PM   #54
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Hey... The old Marin is back! I miss the long posts of old.

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Old 09-21-2012, 05:02 PM   #55
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There are plenty of reasons some people do better with a broker, geography being one. We used a broker to sell our sailboat, which was on the market for 3 months (the check cleared last week). I live about 750 miles from the boat, so using a broker was a no-brainer. He was thoroughly ethical throughout, while clearly representing my (and his) interests. The price he guided us to was higher than I expected in this market and his 10% commission was money well spent IMHO.

If I lived closer, would I have tried to sell it myself? Yes. But there are times when using a pro makes sense.
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Old 09-21-2012, 05:18 PM   #56
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I am a surveyor and smart clients call me ahead of time, to discuss what boats they are looking at. Normally, of course, advise is free, and many times I may steer a client away from a boat that I either have already surveyed and is not good, or is one that has industry known "issues".
If you manage to work out a trusting relationship with a surveyor, he can even advise you of what to offer on a listed vessel to get things going.
Eventually, you will be paying for services, so a well established and experienced marine surveyor will always be eager to work with people to narrow the search and make intelligent decisions.
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Old 09-21-2012, 07:21 PM   #57
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I am a surveyor and smart clients call me ahead of time, to discuss what boats they are looking at. Normally, of course, advise is free, and many times I may steer a client away from a boat that I either have already surveyed and is not good, or is one that has industry known "issues".
If you manage to work out a trusting relationship with a surveyor, he can even advise you of what to offer on a listed vessel to get things going.
Eventually, you will be paying for services, so a well established and experienced marine surveyor will always be eager to work with people to narrow the search and make intelligent decisions.
Capt Joe - You are so correct!

Honest, thorough, and experienced surveyors are worth their weight in Lobsters and Prawns!... err Gold and Silver too! Same with knowledgeable marine mechanics for checking and certifying all power equipment. Because... A well checked good condition boat with good equipment is worth every penny of a mutually agreed price - - > that should lead to years of new owner enjoyment!

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Old 09-22-2012, 02:45 PM   #58
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"My issue is that brokers will twist those numbers around to suit themselves. When it come to buying a boat, brokers will say, "Look at all the upgrades. This boat is worth more and you should make a higher offer. Oh, ignore what the selling price of other makes and models have been, this boat is much nicer."

An informed buyer will always be able to see through the "salesmanship". Often times a boat that is much nicer or has lots of upgrades really is worth more. When we purchased our Defever, it was the highest priced 49 on the West Coast market. At first I dismissed it because of price. Many months later (after looking at ALL of the 49's) I bought it for about 3% less than asking price precisely because of it's condition and upgrades compared to everything else on the market. Additionally, our broker (Dan at Crowsnest) provided me with one of the best buying experiences I ever had. He worked hard to get me everything I asked for, was honest, reliable, always available and never tired of answering my questions. After handing over the check, I even asked for a couple more perks (including 3 months free moorage on Lake Union) and got that too. It's a relationship that continues many years later, and for sure he will get our listing when we decide to sell...............Arctic Traveller
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