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Old 01-18-2016, 09:53 PM   #1
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Buyer's broker - Anacortes/Bellingham?

I would like to get recommendations for buyer's brokers. I don't want them to do all of the finding/research for me. I browse yachtworld, boattrader, craigslist, etc. myself and there's no need to duplicate that effort. But, I would like someone who could assist with evaluations and making sure I don't offer more than I should (if they're honest and not looking for the increased commission). I have a monthly BUC Value Pro subscription and can get PNW pricing, but asking prices on some boats can be 30-40% over that. I'm just not qualified to determine if that is worth any of that increase in asking price, while a broker could help with that. I also don't have access to the soldboat data. For getting my feet wet in the PNW waters, I'm looking for a boat probably in the 50K (preferably under) price range for use by a couple. It will get us some exposure to see if we like it without too large of an investment. I would like a broker in Bellingham for that area and over the border into Canada. Since I am in Anacortes and there are quite a few boats here, a local broker may be helpful for this area and a bit south of here.

Just to confirm... Given the price range I'm looking at, I don't expect most brokers to want to travel too far. If I'm doing most of the searches myself and only need them after I find something, would it be okay to work with different buyer's brokers this way to cover different geographic areas or should I just pick one and plan to have them cover a wider area?



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Old 01-18-2016, 10:27 PM   #2
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I think it would be okay to work with a broker in this manner. BUT, you have to be honest up front and you have to be tactful. You can't just say..."This is all I need you for" and ask him to stand back for other things in the deal. There are proper procedures involved and there are also ethics involved. You can't be making the phone calls and then expect your broker to step in to do all the specified stuff you want to do. I am not sure if I am making myself clear. One of the best angles/tact you could take in this price range is to tell him exactly what you are saying here. Less than $50k is not a big commission for the broker. But tell him you are just testing the waters and that there might be another purchase down the road...if in fact, that is the truth. What I am trying to say is establish a relationship where he may be able to profit down the line by helping you now. Again, I am not saying you lie to him. I am saying be honest. One of the best things for a buyer's broker is the relationship....just like anything else in sales. If you think you might be getting something bigger after this, let him know and don't cut him out when the time comes.

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Old 01-18-2016, 11:46 PM   #3
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Old 01-18-2016, 11:59 PM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback. I agree. An honest relationship is highly valued. I will be; I hope they will be also. If I had my preferences, I would be getting a liveaboard. But, for now, this will be primarily for day use with some weekends and an occasional longer period. Whether we would do something larger/newer later is an unknown. I would not want to imply such as, right now, it is only a remote possibility. It would not be fair to the selling broker for me to make direct contact and create an assumption of a full commission and then switch to using a buyer's broker after that. So, I would certainly have my broker make any initial contact to schedule a look at any boat. If I were to make direct contact, I would let the broker do both roles, understanding the caveats of my doing that. For this price range, I'm not sure it's worth it for a Bellingham broker to cross the border. An Anacortes broker might have more local options they could accompany me to see. If a broker from either location might not put eyes on a boat out of their immediate vicinity and would only make the phone contact, I guess just the one might suffice. I would expect eyes on local boats with me. I'm not sure how far I could expect them to travel in this price range. I'm more likely to get a Bellingham broker over the border than one from Anacortes. I'm not sure if they would want to put eyes on an Anacortes boat, though. I do understand my price range might be a lower priority than one with an extra zero or two. In addition to finding recommended brokers, I want to learn the expectations so I can do my end of managing them.

Thanks again.

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Old 01-19-2016, 03:42 AM   #5
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We have bought two boats and sold one boat in three years through the same broker. I can say it was a very good experience all the way. The first was an inexpensive boat we bought to see if we liked long range cruising. Once we decided yes we jumped in much bigger. Remember brokers just like buyers and sellers aren't all knowing, but they are working for you and can find out. The first boat we bought from the listing broker so there was no commission split. To some extent we were representing ourselves but the broker was definitely a help as we continued to look at other listings before making the final decision. On the second boat our broker was crucial in closing the deal working with the listing broker. His reward was the split commission, listing our first boat and closing that sale 90 days later. I still owe him a week in SE Alaska as a friend and not a broker. It's the relationship.

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Old 01-19-2016, 08:56 PM   #6
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We had occasion to meet Mr. Frank Durksen of AAA Yacht Finders International (800-704-2628) a few months ago. It was a Saturday morning, and we went to his business to look at any posted listings. We did not expect anyone to be there. We met Frank, and chatted about our intentions.

We were interested in looking at one of his boats, and we were clear about our extended timeline. Frank stopped what he was doing, spent some quality time with us and showed us the boat we wanted to see. He offered to spend additional time looking at some similar boats on the dock, which we declined out of respect for his time. Frank was very professional, asked the right questions, and offered no pressure. He offered to essentially consult for us if we had any questions in the future. I got the impression that his ethics are high, that he enjoys his work, and he will not push folks into the wrong deal.

Admittedly this was a brief encounter. We meet many brokers and have extended conversations with them at the shows, and we have relationships with a select few. I feel we made a friend that day in Anacortes - we will return to see Frank.

Good Luck,

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Old 01-19-2016, 09:16 PM   #7
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Thanks, Tom and Jeff, for the additional info. I think I talked with Frank some time ago. He called me back on his cell from one of the islands other than Fidalgo where his office is. From what I remember from that brief conversation, I don't think he handles sales within my budget. I don't know if that is always true or just at that time. When looking at brokers, I check their listings to see what the prices start at. The lowest price listing Frank has right now is $249K, way above my budget. I did receive a PM about another broker (Thanks). Their listings started at half my budget. That one might work.

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