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Old 12-18-2012, 09:44 PM   #1
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How to find a good yacht broker

I am considering listing my boat for sale with a yacht broker. I have sold boats in the past through yacht brokers, but have not been satisfied with their performance. How does one find a good yacht broker? I know that part of the answer is to get references from other people, but it's not like I know people who have recently used a broker. How can I get information about the successful sales of a broker?
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:44 PM   #2
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1) There is no such thing as a good broker. Only brokers that tell you (and everyone they meet) they are good. (no offense guys!)

2) You probably have 100 PM's from all the brokers on this board by now.

3) Find someone local to your boat. Don't try and do it remotely. You and possible buyers usually want to have brokers around for showings and questions. They also know the local market and can guide people to your boat.

4) Read the listing agreement carefully.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:50 PM   #3
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..or just call this guy. Trawler Forum - View Profile: Woodsong

He'll give you the honest truth. And if he's not the best suited to help you, he can probably refer you to someone who is.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:23 PM   #4
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How does one find a good yacht broker?
Talking to people in your area who have bought or sold boats is, I think, the only practical way to get an idea of who's good and who's not. And even that's a bit chancy because some of the success or failure of the relationship between a broker and a client has to do with the nature of the client, too.

We were lucky. The broker who answered the phone when we first called the GB dealership to simply set up a meeting to talk about the possibility of getting a boat turned out to be one of the best brokers I've ever heard of. He is everything one could hope a broker could be and then some.

So today, on the rare occasions when we are asked for a recommendation of a good broker, we always give them his name.

There is always the "gut feel" thing, too, when you talk to a potential broker. Do they seem like they'll do an effective job for you or not?

IN the end it's largely a judgment call that depends on your ability to judge people.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:43 PM   #5
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Look on Yachtwold's website at perspective brokers listings. IMO, looking at how they list other boats will tell you a great deal about how they will represent yours. Cleaning the boat, removing personal items and properly staged photographs will make a huge difference in whether people will even look at your boat. Look at the pics of these 2 listings and tell me which one makes you want to go look at their boat.

Virginia Yacht brokers does one of the best jobs of prepping and listing boats that I have ever seen. They aren't in your area, so I wouldn't recommend them for you, but they do a great job!

Virginia Yacht Broker Listing

Nothing needs to be said about these guys other than this doesn't want to make you go look at their boat.

Doing it wrong

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Old 12-18-2012, 11:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Karl-FL View Post
I am considering listing my boat for sale with a yacht broker. I have sold boats in the past through yacht brokers, but have not been satisfied with their performance. How does one find a good yacht broker? I know that part of the answer is to get references from other people, but it's not like I know people who have recently used a broker. How can I get information about the successful sales of a broker?
Well let's see. I would call someone who has sold people's boats on this site. Who has cruised thousands of miles on their own trawler. One who has redesigned and rebuilt and sold their own trawlers for top prices. Has posted here oh say 700+ times. Maybe one who has a couple of hurricanes experience. One who is headed to FL in a week on their own trawler. I would ask Larry W or David Colvin for their advise. Just my two cents.
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:57 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
Look on Yachtwold's website at perspective brokers listings. IMO, looking at how they list other boats will tell you a great deal about how they will represent yours. Cleaning the boat, removing personal items and properly staged photographs will make a huge difference in whether people will even look at your boat. Look at the pics of these 2 listings and tell me which one makes you want to go look at their boat.

Virginia Yacht brokers does one of the best jobs of prepping and listing boats that I have ever seen. They aren't in your area, so I wouldn't recommend them for you, but they do a great job!

Virginia Yacht Broker Listing

Nothing needs to be said about these guys other than this doesn't want to make you go look at their boat.

Doing it wrong

Ted
That boat in the "doing it wrong" link is probably in worse shape now, following Hurricane Sandy. If I had a boat for sale, I cannot imagine allowing it to be listed with those photos. By the way, has anyone commented on the general issue of even looking at boats in the hurricane's path? How are brokers/sellers presenting boats that might have "issues"?

I have tied up at Great Bridge, kicked a few tires at Virginia Yacht Brokers; they seem to be pretty good people, and I agree their listings are first class. The boatyard there also has a pretty good reputation.
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:20 AM   #8
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Greetings,
All good advice thus far. Interview a number of potential brokers, trust your gut (as suggested) and go from there. There are several brokers who post on this site and they might be a good place to start. After all, they're our friends aren't they?
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:20 AM   #9
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Look for a broker with the following thoughts in mind:
  • Is the broker SELLING boats or just LISTING them.
  • If they don't have an active, easily accessed and continually updated website go to the next one.
  • Are their facilities and sales docks nice and clean or do they work out of their house expecting buyers to drive all over the place looking for hidden marinas?
  • Are they selling crappy looking vessels with the owners junk littering the drawers, floors and cupboards - or do they have nicely kept and thoroughly cleaned out vessels on their listings.
  • Last but not least, are you willing to empty out your boat, fix in advance the obvious issues that arise on survey, spit shine it and forego using it until it is sold?
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:44 AM   #10
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The brokers locations and boats location. It does not matter how good the broker is if he is not located where the potential buyers are. When we sell the Eagle I will definitely move it back on Lake Union that has majority of the brokers and potential buyers/foot traffic. I would not sell it a Everett as it does not have the traffic and 30 miles north of Seattle. Location Location Location.

However, I would not turn the boat over to a broker as brokers do not check/care for the boat as well as they should, so make sure you check on the boat and the brokers. You might want to spend the bucks to have the boat cleaned/detailed and window dress as looks/blink/shine does sell a boat. Most of the high end boats/brokers will show/window dress the boat.

Might share some of the cost for advertizing, front slip and/or something to will catch the eye of a buyer. I mean that how my wife noticed the Eagle as it was 20 ft longer than the rest of the boats, so she could not miss it. Anyway selling is getting the boat noticed and potential buyers location.


Also do not give the broker a large advance payment, and not let the broker handle the transaction as many brokers live hand to mouth, so make sure the broker has a long history. Brokers come and go!

Being a live aboard for 15+ years and moored on aBrokers dock for 11+ years, we hear and seen a lot of shady deals and brokers that have failed.
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:35 PM   #11
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I know everyone likes to take shots at brokers and surveyors but I almost fell out of my chair when I saw this little video of a prospective seller talking to a broker.
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:46 PM   #12
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Yachtbrokerguy is on this forum.

I would trust him to set you in the right direction.
I don't know how to find him but you should be able to look him up here somewhere.

A little help???
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:59 PM   #13
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How your boat is presented online is critical to getting buyers from 3 states over to call and inquire about your boat. Utilize a broker that has the absolute best presentation online for their listings you've ever seen. Are they on all the important listing websites, particularly yachtworld? Do they utilize social media and alternative marketing suited for today's market? Ask your broker what they do different than the 10,000,000 other brokers out there.

when talking with brokers, investigate their ratio of # of sold boats to total # of listings. This will help tell you who is actually selling and who is not. Anybody can list boats- you don't need that- you want it sold and that is a big difference in today's market.

What is your broker's background and personal reputation? Do they have experience in your type of boat? Do they have the people skills and communication skills in person, over the phone, and online to effectively communicate? What were they doing 6 months ago or 1 year ago- used tire salesman. Are they honest, do they tell you the truth about the market? have they provided you with comprehensive market research? Do they help you determine what you need to do to prep the boat for marketing?

I could go on and on but essentially the buying public continues to change and evolve and make no doubt about it- you can't just throw the boat on yachtworld and cross your fingers and get a deal closed.
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:38 PM   #14
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Yachtbrokerguy is on this forum.

I would trust him to set you in the right direction.
I don't know how to find him but you should be able to look him up here somewhere.

A little help???
SD
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:07 PM   #15
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Greetings,
Don't forget about JWY (Judy). Look her up on the member's list under "community" at the top of the page.
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:36 PM   #16
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May I recommend:

Paradise Yacht Sales

http://www.paradiseyachtsales.net/CruisingCenter32.html

Mike Dickens – Phone: 904.556.9431 / Fax: 866.846.2389 / paradiseyachtsales@gmail.com

Paradise Yachts, LLC, Organized Under the Laws of the State of Florida

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Fernandina Beach, Florida 32034
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:40 AM   #17
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A couple of things to think about no matter who is selling your boat.

When you really decide to sell the boat make it look like it is for sale. Empty the boat of all personal effects that do not go with the boat. Everything! Look on line and you will see boats with junk strewn all over the inside. What's that say about the care the boat was given.

Clean the boat. Wash and wax it. Will this get you anymore money? Probably not but it will make the boat attractive to the prospective buyer.

Do not use the boat if possible. It needs to be available to show at a moments notice. Besides you can't remove all personal items and use the boat at the same time. Nor can you keep it as clean as possible when using it.

Fix anything that is broken or looks bad. Would you buy a car with the seat torn or an oil leak? Not a $500 car, that's different but a $25k car. Again this goes to the care the boat was given.

Be realistic about what it will sale for. If over the last year your model boat has sold for $70 - 80k. Yours isn't worth $105k. No matter what you paid, no matter what you owe and no matter what you have added to the boat. You may get $85 or $87 because yours is unique in some way but that same uniqueness may allow you only to get $65k. A lot of brokers will take the boat at any price just to get the listing. They figure that after four or five months you will lower your price and they will get a sale. Or at least when they get a looker at your boat they can show yours then show the client what else they can get for that same amount of money. Don't fall into that trap. When we were buying we knew how long the boat had been on the market and what price it started out at and if it had been reduced at all form the first asking price or not. All of these indicate the willingness of the sellers desire to really sell the boat. Some of the boats had been on the market for 15 months and had been reduce none or very little. I looked at a few that way just to get a feel of what was out there but they fell by the way side quickly. One is still for sell after three or more years. Same price, third broker.

If your boat is for sale for three months, its been shown several times and you haven't had an offer of any kind, it is over priced for what it is. See above. Houses, cars and boats are the same as far as sell price. They are only worth what someone will write the check for. Not a dime more. And that value is affected by the perceived value that the buyer sees. In real estate it is Location, Location, Location. In a boat it is drive up appeal and first impression.

It is much like being in a Bar at night. The well dressed well presented product leaves first. It takes a bit of Makers Mark to get the rest out the door.
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:14 AM   #18
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...Virginia Yacht brokers does one of the best jobs of prepping and listing boats that I have ever seen. They aren't in your area, so I wouldn't recommend them for you, but they do a great job!

Virginia Yacht Broker Listing

Ted
Agree as a recent VA Yacht Broker customer/buyer. Which is also important to you as a seller regardless of which broker you choose. I would use them to sell my sailboat, but they specialize in power only. Mike
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:51 AM   #19
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Agree as a recent VA Yacht Broker customer/buyer. Which is also important to you as a seller regardless of which broker you choose. I would use them to sell my sailboat, but they specialize in power only. Mike
I looked at your boat a at VYB last summer, nice boat!

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Old 12-20-2012, 10:59 AM   #20
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Thanks Ted. As a transitioning sailor, it took me many months of soul searching and power boat research to figure out what would work for me. Mike
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