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Old 08-28-2018, 10:02 PM   #1
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List vs Sale Price? / Buyer's Agent?

1. Looked at a boat, and listing agent sent an agent he employed to do the showing. That agent informed me that he would be my buyers agent, and the listing agent (his boss) would represent the seller. Nice guy and not slick/salesman-ish at all, but I can't imagine him being worth anything to me as an impartial representative of MY best interests? I assume I'm not paying him anything, but what is the seller gonna owe him -- basically how much extra am I paying for this boat (indirectly) in exchange for this agents "help"?

2. Obviously it varies depending upon how aggressively priced, but how much below listing price of a $60-80k boat would one typically offer? And then is there likely a counter offer? In the end what percentage below list price is a typical accepted offer?
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Old 08-28-2018, 10:09 PM   #2
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Friend of mine just paid $56k for a boat listed at $90k. Divorce, had been on the market for a year, wife had control of the sale.....
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Old 08-28-2018, 10:14 PM   #3
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You need to send the agent a written note (with USPS tracking) clarifying the buyer/agent relationship. Expressly state he is acting as the sellers agent to your knowledge and you do not require the services of a buyers agent. Don't assume anything. Don't wait until the contract is typed out to discover you are paying two commissions.

List price isn't a factor. Your surveyor will tell you what the boat is worth. What you offer for it is another matter.
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Old 08-28-2018, 10:15 PM   #4
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The brokers are usually paid by the seller. I would question that one salesman from the listing brokerage could be a buyers broker. The listing brokerage usually represents the seller. I am not a broker but this seems unusual.
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Old 08-28-2018, 10:21 PM   #5
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Posted a couple brief Q's initially, but here's my situation in-depth:

1st time buying a big boat / diesel. Have my eye on a specific Marine Trader layout that is apparently rare (judging by listings). I don't think it's a hard to find model because they are particularly sought after, if anything probably slightly less appealing to most so likely just less of them made. But the layout is perfect for my specific needs, and there's not really a similar counterpart by a different builder. Anyway, the single solitary boat of that model for sale (on the entire internet) that's in my price range is within driving distance.

It's being sold by a major yacht broker. Upon calling the agent on the listing, he directed an agent that works for him to show me the boat (since that he lived nearby). Upon arrival, that agent says he'll be representing me, and the agent listed on YW ad (his employer) will represent the seller. He then says "since I'm not representing the seller, I'll just tell you straight away that IMO they're asking too much for this boat". He went on to say that he's shown it several times and that the seller's are extremely firm/stubborn on price despite it being on the market for over a year. When I viewed it, list price was $83k and agent told me someone several months prior had offered $73k and sellers would not even consider. Now I see the list price has dropped to $78k. The seller's live in another state and are paying slip/diver/etc to not even use the boat.

Meanwhile it's time for me to choose a boat to pull the trigger on in the next couple months. My normal instinct would be to offer something like $65k and see what they say. But the agent's comment about them stonewalling $73k previously makes me think they'd never take less than that -- maybe nothing less than the full $78k ask. Now since he's employed by the selling broker, it occurs to me that he possibly could have mentioned that they turned down $73k so that I basically offer full asking price. However he didn't seem like a slick/anxious salesman at all, so I'm inclined to believe he was just stating a fact.

As for the boat's condition, obviously nothing 30 years old is immaculate, but to my novice eye, it appeared quite good compared to the few somewhat less expensive trawlers I've viewed. And more importantly the layout instantly felt like "the one" (as I expected). With that said, I was initially aiming for something more in the $40-60k range. Now if I had it my way, I'd prefer a somewhat cheaper version that needs a little cosmetic TLC. But, if I'm paying more and getting more (better condition) -- then fair enough. However, the agent's statement about it being overpriced + the boat being on the market for 18 months makes me a bit wary of just going for it and offering them basically what they are asking. However, it's the only boat I've toured that instantly felt like "home", so I'm also loathe to let it slip thru my fingers over $5-$10k because there are no current alternatives on the market. My main concern is that because this boat is rare, there's not really a supply/demand market to infer the correct price from. I definitely want it (and though more $$ than initial target, can afford it) -- but I just don't wanna get caught chasing a boat and overpay.

A bit of a conundrum... Any further guidance?
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Old 08-28-2018, 10:28 PM   #6
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That`s utter crap. The selling agent employs the "buyers" (your) agent and he`s independent. C`mon, pull the other leg.
Sometimes in real estate there are agents in a business who are way better working with buyers than they are getting listings. But they are always serving the business, not the buyer.
You didn`t even ask for this "service",it was imposed on you. Could be a way to avoid you using a real buyers broker and them having to split the commission, which is paid by the seller. And/or the broker is too busy and sent you an underling.
By all means clear up the uncertainties, but remember, if you deal with this guy you are dealing the someone representing the seller, not you. That`s no bad thing, provided you understand the guy is not on your side.
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Edit: Typed before the Op`s post above. "Admissions against interest", like "too dear, offer less, offer this" sounds like a con to me to gain confidence, a sales tactic. Represent yourself, offer what you think you should, not what he suggests, unless it coincides.
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Old 08-28-2018, 10:35 PM   #7
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Yeah I'm not naive. Although -- no disrespect to any buyers agent (marine or real estate) -- despite ostensibly working for you, the incentive system is setup so it's always in their best interest that you buy the first thing you see / pay the most possible -- even if they aren't employed by the selling agent.
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Old 08-28-2018, 10:57 PM   #8
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Don’t over think this. The selling broker probably read you as a reasonable buyer who is going to buy a boat. He probably has an unreasonable seller. True buyers have value and he knows he can find you a boat, that is why he set you up with your own buyers broker, so when his seller screws everything up he can still rescue it by directing you to a different boat ethically. Meaning he can’t but the other broker can. Now your broker sounds honest, he is preparing you for negotiating with an unreasonable seller, he’s ready to take your offer or find you another boat, he is not trying to work you into a full price offer.

Brokers try to price boats fairly but, some sellers think to highly of their boats, also boats might have been priced fair at first and then better more urgent to sell boats may have come on the market. There is no set amount of anticipated discount.

So now we come down to desire. If you want a boat NOW, are convinced that this is the only boat for you and it’s only higher than your desired price because it’s newer but you can still afford it, the just make the offer.

On the other hand, the broker never said “don’t low ball them”. He was just preparing you for a difficult negotiation. If the boat is only worth 65k to you then make the offer and when rejected tell the broker to find you another boat.

If you want this boat and you just want to negotiate the best deal start with 72k. That’s 1k less than the seller turned down. You can always up it to full price if he doesn’t counter you.
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Old 08-28-2018, 11:01 PM   #9
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Is the broker trying to keep all the commission in house, yes, but he is also trying to keep you as a customer. Sellers pay the commission so take advantage of the free service.
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Old 08-28-2018, 11:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by tiltrider1 View Post
If you want a boat NOW, are convinced that this is the only boat for you and it’s only higher than your desired price because it’s newer but you can still afford it, the just make the offer.
It's not newer. I looked at another Marine Trader of the same LOA, but different layout, that I know for a fact I could have for at least half the price. Now yes that one is in slightly rougher cosmetic condition and would need a few upgrades, but it's certainly not HALF as valuable. What I was getting at is the I reason want that specific boat is because the layout -- but I think it's listed for twice as much simply because the sellers want an optimistic price for it, where as the other seller just wants/needs it gone (which seems to be fairly common).
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Old 08-28-2018, 11:17 PM   #11
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Isn`t there an old saying, "He who pays the piper calls the tune"? The "buyers broker" whether he is within the Sellers brokerage office or outside it in a separate brokerage, gets paid by the Seller. Paid if,and only if, there is a sale.

I know there are individuals who are exceptions, but the US system, where the buyers broker is paid by the seller but is claimed to dutifully serve the Buyer, is just plain odd to me, or more precisely, raises a gross conflict of interest.
Were I the OP, I would listen carefully to "my broker" to gain insight and info,and make my own decisions. I`d likely go in hard and low, but that`s me, not necessarily you.
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Old 08-28-2018, 11:47 PM   #12
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It's not newer. I looked at another Marine Trader of the same LOA, but different layout, that I know for a fact I could have for at least half the price. Now yes that one is in slightly rougher cosmetic condition and would need a few upgrades, but it's certainly not HALF as valuable. What I was getting at is the I reason want that specific boat is because the layout -- but I think it's listed for twice as much simply because the sellers want an optimistic price for it, where as the other seller just wants/needs it gone (which seems to be fairly common).
Here we have a conundrum. The boats are almost the same. Dose the change in layout make one boat twice as valuable. It might or it might only to the right person. Itís no longer a question of what the boat is worth but a question of what itís worth to you. Iíve been there, my wife found a layout she wanted and it was so rare it took me 4 years to find one on the market. The seller was unreasonable but I had to have the boat. We negotiated going mostly no where. Finally my wife reminded me that a happy wife was worth more than $50,000, so I paid the price I wanted and donated the rest to my happy wife fund. Iív never regretted making here happy.
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Old 08-29-2018, 12:26 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by tiltrider1 View Post
Here we have a conundrum. The boats are almost the same. Dose the change in layout make one boat twice as valuable. It might or it might only to the right person. It’s no longer a question of what the boat is worth but a question of what it’s worth to you.
Yup. It's nearly impossible to settle for the much cheaper boat that I don't particularly want. But the otherside of the coin is paying twice as much for the one I REALLY want doesn't decrease my risk of buying a 30 year old boat and unluckily end up facing an unforseen major overhaul right away, or worse: have it sink.
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Old 08-29-2018, 06:31 AM   #14
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"I'll just tell you straight away that IMO they're asking too much for this boat"

Brokers do not give a hoot about the price , only that there IS a sale.

$90,000 for an unsold boat vs $45,000 for a sale that gives a commission.

EZ choice , cash in the hand is always king.
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Old 08-29-2018, 07:09 AM   #15
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I would deal with the listing broker, I believe that's where the leverage is. These sleeze bags do not like to split / share commissions ! Know what you are buying and under NO circumstances show that you are emotionally attached to the boat ! Case in point: I was selling my sailboat a few years ago, the buyer went with a sales guy from my listing brokerage .... Shortly after listing, I got an offer 15% below my asking and the buyers guy says to me: " sign it back at just below asking, my client really likes the boat and will come up " ... LOL ( I did and it went ) Can you believe this sh*t ? ! ..... They are ONLY there for the deal, don't trust any of em' ..... f
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Old 08-29-2018, 07:21 AM   #16
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Could be a way to avoid you using a real buyers broker and them having to split the commission...
DING! DING! DING! We have a winner!


I have no doubt that this is the intent in this guy telling the OP that he is now "his" agent. They're just trying to be sure that he doesn't engage a real buyers broker that they have to share the commission with.


I think my response to him would have been along the lines of, "I don't really need a buyers broker, thank you, but if I decide I want one I'll be sure you get a chance to meet him."
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Old 08-29-2018, 07:49 AM   #17
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IMO there is no such thing as a buyer's agent. Even if you hire your own agent (and pay yourself), the motivation of both the buyer and seller agents is the same - sell a boat (house) and get a commission. That is not to say that a buyer's agent can not be helpful in lining up several suitable boats for viewing and helping with paperwork etc during and after the sale. I think typically when 2 agents are involved the commission is paid by the seller and the agents split the commission, though not necessarily 50/50. Best advice is to believe half what you hear from the broker and get a good surveyor. Even better get 2 good surveyors - one for the boat and one for engines, etc. Also, on a $50K boat sale the seller will typically pay only $5K which split 2 ways does not get you a lot of service.
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:56 AM   #18
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If you are sure this is the boat for you, make an offer that you feel would be accepted. When you have the boat surveyed, most likely with a vessel this age the surveyor will find thousands of dollars worth of discrepancies, some may be show stoppers others not... but the findings are a very persuasive bargaining chip. If there are few issues with the survey you just found a great boat.
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Old 08-29-2018, 09:20 AM   #19
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IMO there are multiple values to a boat.
Two of them are the "value" to the existing owner and the "value" to you.


If this really is "the boat" you have lusted after then go buy it. Even if you over pay a little (of course within limits) it is better than paying a little less for a different boat that you will never like.


Make an offer and even if rejected or countered. tell your "buyers broker" to just let the offer sit until canceled by you, while you continue to search. After the seller makes another slip payment or repair and receives no other offers they may reconsider.
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Old 08-29-2018, 09:25 AM   #20
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DING! DING! DING! We have a winner!


I have no doubt that this is the intent in this guy telling the OP that he is now "his" agent. They're just trying to be sure that he doesn't engage a real buyers broker that they have to share the commission with.

."
I canít say for your region but on the west coast if a buyer shows up with out a broker he/she has given up the right to bring in a buyerís broker. Since the OP approached the selling broker first that broker gets the full commission.

Brokers only get paid if there is a sale, they most likely read the OP as a real buyer and maneuvered them selves in position to be his buyers broker because they felt this boat isnít the one the OP is going to buy.

What we donít know is the value of the rare layout of this boat. Maybe it is worth twice as much, supply and demand, who knows?
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