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Old 09-26-2014, 11:07 AM   #1
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Do We Need a Broker?

We are looking to buy our first trawler and have looked at several so far. Since we do not have a broker we call the listing broker. My question is should we have a broker representing us in all circumstances, or is ok to let the sellers broker handle everything?

Also, if we get a broker, does our broker and the seller's broker generally split the commission, or does our broker get a commission on top of the usual selling brokers commission?

Thanks!!
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Old 09-26-2014, 11:18 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by sammy999 View Post
We are looking to buy our first trawler and have looked at several so far. Since we do not have a broker we call the listing broker. My question is should we have a broker representing us in all circumstances, or is ok to let the sellers broker handle everything?

Also, if we get a broker, does our broker and the seller's broker generally split the commission, or does our broker get a commission on top of the usual selling brokers commission?

Thanks!!

Being a first time trawler buyer, I would find a broker to act on your behalf. Be a good consumer, and check out the broker to be certain of reputation and qualifications. We have some great brokers right here on this list. They will have a red bar with "commercial member" under their avatar.

Yes, the brokers will usually split the commission. It will cost you no more, but it would be good to have a knowledgable broker for trawlers and market values. They usually have access to actual selling prices (not asking prices) to help in making an offer.,
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Old 09-26-2014, 11:18 AM   #3
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I found it very helpful to have a broker represent me when buying. The brokers split the commission that's paid by the seller. What didn't make sense to me was that my broker would make less the more he negotiated the price down, so I offered to pay him a 10% bonus on the amount he saved me. Worked out just fine.
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Old 09-26-2014, 11:31 AM   #4
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I bought my boat without a broker or contract, hand shake and cash exchange. Everything worked out flawlessly and the previous owner and I have since become good friends.

Having said that, I will never do it again nor recommend it to others. I'll enlist the services of a good broker and similar to Mahal offer an incentive to represent me well. Take the time to research a good broker you can work with and STICK with that broker exclusively. As they work on split commission similar to real estate it costs you no more than buying from the listing broker.

The time savings alone on not chasing every wild goose in the flock will be worth it in my opinion.
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Old 09-26-2014, 11:53 AM   #5
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All good advice so far. I have bought boats both ways: worked with my so called "buyers broker" as well as called the listing broker and worked the deal with him.

If you are new to boat buying I would strongly recommend finding a local broker that you like and trust and let him handle all contact with the other brokers.

In many cases the buyers broker saved me money and headaches and in one case held a deal together that was about to fall apart.

David
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Old 09-26-2014, 01:12 PM   #6
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I am a first-time trawler buyer and I'm using a buyer's broker. I'm doing most of the searching and then seeking his opinion on the boats. My broker is approaching the buyers broker for courtesy visits. After hearing maritime attorney speak to our cruising club regarding this same topic (buyers and sellers brokers), I would never make purchase without one.
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Old 09-26-2014, 01:18 PM   #7
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I don't think there is any advantage to having your own broker. (this is a generally hotly debated topic here on TF). The reason I say this is that all brokers only get paid when you buy a boat.
Surveyors on the other hand, get paid regardless of a sale. Taking the findings of a surveyor to the selling broker with a 'demand' of your financial adjustments, should accomplish what you want.
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Old 09-26-2014, 01:45 PM   #8
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I bought my first "big boat" last year and found great value in having my own broker.

Previously I'd fallen in love with a boat, called the listing broker and scheduled a time to see it. Then I called an acquaintance of mine who is a broker to see if he could represent me. Wrong order. The listing broker said that since I called him first, he wouldn't work with another broker. After sending in an offer (all cash for 87% of asking price) and not getting a counter offer, we agreed to disagree and I continued my search with the help of my own broker. A few months later I ran into the owner of the boat on the dock and he offered to sell me the boat for less than I'd previously offered...apparently the listing broker hadn't thought I was a serious buyer and wouldn't negotiate with me.

Fast forward a couple months and I put in an offer on the boat I bought. The sellers naturally wanted more money. My broker wrote them a letter explaining why my offer was fair. Having two brokers explain the same thing to them seemed to work...we agreed on a price and the rest of the transaction went through without a hitch.

I found the broker was useful for a number of reasons. He helped determine what a fair price was. He helped legitimize me as a buyer (I'm 25 ...not exactly your average trawler owner). And he took care of much of the logistics and paperwork of the transaction.

Still the 10% commission does seem a bit steep...
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Old 09-26-2014, 01:55 PM   #9
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An answer can depend on your knowledge of the condition and values of all the boats you're considering. Those with extensive knowledge can go it alone, but since the commissions are split, a buyer isn't incurring any additional cost so there's one plus. The buyer's broker's incentive is the sale of a boat so he'll work to make that happen and even if he negotiates a lower price, he still gets paid. Another incentive is a recommendation from the seller for other boat sales (word gets around) and when this seller is ready to trade up or retire from boating, he'll want a selling broker. I was a first time buyer and the broker I used filled in a lot of blanks. If he did nothing else, the paper work nightmare was all neatly packaged. I've recommended him numerous times. As others have advised, research brokers and "word of mouth" can be a good source of information - both positive and negative. BTW, the first broker I spoke with deserved to be keel hauled.
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Old 09-26-2014, 02:21 PM   #10
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Why not find a good surveyor first and explain what you are looking for and how you will use it. Get his view on good construction and reliable systems. The brokers still have one main mission, sell you a vessel. Do you homework and know what you are looking for. Use Yacht World to see asking price and differences of many brands of vessels out there. Walk the docks and ask owners the good and bad points about their boat. Look at the clubs like GrandBanks Owners Assoc. and get opinions. Do not rush. Good Luck.
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Old 09-26-2014, 04:27 PM   #11
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Having a buyer's agent broker is probably the best way to go for someone without confidence in their ability to handle all the important aspects of purchasing an expensive, large boat. A good boat can be hard to find and a GOOD broker is harder! Take the time to get recommendations and perhaps ask a broker that seems to specialize in the general type of boat that you are seeking to give you contact with previous customers that love him! It will make your final choice easier with a professional in your corner.
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Old 09-26-2014, 04:53 PM   #12
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It all depends on the broker. We used a broker to find a boat for us and he did a fantastic job on our behalf. But... he is a terrific guy and does a fantastic job for all his customers, be they selling or buying.

Good broker, good experience. Not so good broker, bad experience. I think it's as important to evaluate brokers as it is to evaluate boats.
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Old 09-27-2014, 06:38 AM   #13
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or is ok to let the sellers broker handle everything?

NO! The surveyor he gets may be BLIND!
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Old 09-27-2014, 07:17 AM   #14
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Friends don't let friends buy trawlers without a broker I happen to know one who knows a few things about trawlers
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Old 09-27-2014, 07:51 AM   #15
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The listing broker is being paid a commission by the seller and should be representing the sellers best interest. Be very cautious of broker's that say words like "I think you can offer XXXX amounts of dollars less than the list price or words to that effect. I think the best advise is to find a surveyor that has a reputation amongst the brokers of being a "deal breaker" meaning that they will give you who are paying them for there expertise a honest opinion of the condition of the vessel. That should include a market value and based on that and local information from other boaters say at the same marina who some times can tell you about the owners maintenance and operating skills or lack of. Don't forget to inquire about maintenance logs and operating logs, a prudent skipper will be glad to share them with you.
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Old 09-27-2014, 09:12 AM   #16
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We looked at over 40 boats before purchase. We hired a broker to sell our sailboat. We worked with several brokers looking at their beauties. We had been in the automotive business for over 30 years even owning a dealership so we understand sales people. What we found was very few people of integrity, a few that were painfully honest so much it cost them sales. And some that were downright crooks. There needs to be an Angie's list of brokers. The key person as some here have mentioned is the surveyor. Befriend a good one and ask for his/her recommendations and advisement. With today's technology I could video the boat in Marathon we were looking at and he could comment via his cell. On the final purchase survey he and his wife (both Captains) were wonderful and saved us $$$$. The listing broker was a joke. There are a lot of good boats and bargains out there. be careful!
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Old 09-27-2014, 09:16 AM   #17
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Hi Sammy 999, a good buyers broker can preview trawlers for you. This will save you time and money from having to travel to distant places to see a piece of crap boat.
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Old 09-27-2014, 10:01 AM   #18
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Just another pile on recommending finding a GOOD buyer's broker in the area you will be buying/using the boat. Worth doing the homework and getting references for someone who has deep experience with the style of boat (in this case "trawler") you are looking for. The good ones understand that it is not about this sale, it is about having you become a word of mouth marketer for them, and about getting your listing when you eventually sell the boat and move up. Have them do the "curating" (I am beginning to hate that word) of potential boats for you after they have spent some time listening to your needs and looking at a couple of boats with you.
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Old 09-27-2014, 10:20 AM   #19
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Hi Sammy 999, a good buyers broker can preview trawlers for you. This will save you time and money from having to travel to distant places to see a piece of crap boat.
Dotty aboard Cool Beans
To me, this was the most important benefit to having a buyers broker. You're not being charged for it either so I really don't see any reason to be against it.
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Old 09-28-2014, 07:04 AM   #20
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I think the best advise is to find a surveyor that has a reputation amongst the brokers of being a "deal breaker" meaning that they will give you who are paying them for there expertise a honest opinion of the condition of the vessel.


Perhaps , but many will attempt to >earn back< their cost to the purchaser by gigging absolute nothings on a good boat.

The survey should be realistic , not a got you exercise
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