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Old 10-04-2016, 07:28 PM   #1
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Maybe it's just me...... Brokers don't respond or when they do and they're trashed

I'm looking forward to retirement, selling the house and moving on. I've been actively shopping for a trawler type MV for over a year; traveled a couple of hundred miles to a look at a couple. Walked the docks in New England and been invited on a few for a look. I've got my matrix refined - must haves / nice to have / cost benefit / condition - budget.

Anyway, just got off the phone with "Chuck" and it was like talking to a drunk Pops Yacht salesman. The YW ad for this trawler is minimal [it is low priced and will have deck / core issues]. I sent an email 5 days ago with a serious list of questions - without response. I sent a follow-up tonight saying I know decks are soft - and he responded to give him a call. So I did.

His opening spiel how many current inquiries and lot's of fast talk.

When I asked him what the tankage is - he responded "diesel".
Water - Oh yea - steel also
Capacity - oh.........500 fuel water ummmm
Waste..... Don't know

It has a generator, right? Yes. Does it work? Yes. What is it - hours? Don't know.

I see an AC unit. What is the HVAC? - Two. Two what, reverse cycle, capacity? Yes.

I've just done a little more investigation on that brokerage and it doesn't look good for boat buyers.

So far - every broker I've spoken to is a moron. Granted, that's less than 15 in a universe of millions - so I can't paint the whole industry... AND brokers I've seen here look up front.

Maybe it's time for a buyer broker? Feasible @< $125,000 ?
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Old 10-04-2016, 08:11 PM   #2
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If your lucky enough to see the name on the stern you can track down the owner, or from the USCG documentat data base, the previous owner(s). I've done that and had more good/bad information given without even asking. Owners love talking about their boats.
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Old 10-04-2016, 08:48 PM   #3
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^^^

Might be a diamond in the rough

Though I doubt it.

Have the above.
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Old 10-04-2016, 08:58 PM   #4
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Keep looking, it will show up. Take your matrix and spend time walking the docks at Yacht World. You may decide WHAT you want and can limit your search to those manufacturers that build what meets your desire. Took me (I am slow) about 3 years to find exactly what I wanted. Wasn't exactly what I started out looking for. My List began to make sense as I applied it to what is built.
Good Luck.
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Old 10-04-2016, 09:22 PM   #5
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If this is "Beats Working" walk away, actually run. see my previous post: Boat searching/Buying Disaster
Happy to share photos.
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Old 10-04-2016, 09:37 PM   #6
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^^^^

Thx Dave

I know what I want - even better - I know what I'll be satisfied with, I'm pretty sure..

Your Mainship, for example, wouldn't work for me. I like Mainship. But not for me.


I can buy now - and am ready to. Or I can buy later.. 2 years or so and still have transition time.

If the right boat comes up now I'll pull the trigger.
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Old 10-04-2016, 09:44 PM   #7
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@ Todd R

I read that. Appreciated. Those surprises suck.

I am well aware of potential pitfalls. I spent a long period of my life as a building inspector - private and government. I don't pretend to be a boat surveyor - but I will know a good one when I see him. And I will know a bad one when I see him also
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Old 10-04-2016, 10:59 PM   #8
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Some brokerages maintain an excellent sales staff, but sadly many have the equivalent of used care sales people. They know nothing, have no marine background, quick turn over, and so on.
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Old 10-04-2016, 11:15 PM   #9
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My experience with brokers, which has been primarily in the Seattle area, has been very good. I am a chronic looker, and although I will eventually buy a large trawler, it won't be soon. I have found the brokers from Ocean Alexander, Emerald Pacific Yachts, Outer Reef, Nordhavn, Selene, Krogen, and American Tug to be courteous, responsive, professional, and highly informative. Despite the fact that I am a long term play, they have been patient and pleasant. They know their product well, don't bash others, and usually follow up with emails.

Every profession has slackers and drunks, including law, medicine, politics, and clergy. But for the most part, the boat brokers I have dealt with have been classy and professional.
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Old 10-05-2016, 12:08 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by tkrfxrs View Post
My experience with brokers, which has been primarily in the Seattle area, has been very good. I am a chronic looker, and although I will eventually buy a large trawler, it won't be soon. I have found the brokers from Ocean Alexander, Emerald Pacific Yachts, Outer Reef, Nordhavn, Selene, Krogen, and American Tug to be courteous, responsive, professional, and highly informative. Despite the fact that I am a long term play, they have been patient and pleasant. They know their product well, don't bash others, and usually follow up with emails.

Every profession has slackers and drunks, including law, medicine, politics, and clergy. But for the most part, the boat brokers I have dealt with have been classy and professional.
The brokers dealing with the brands you are looking at may be a different breed than those selling 1970 Marine Traders
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Old 10-05-2016, 12:23 AM   #11
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You don't have to deal with so many brokers nor be unimportant to them. Interview, get references, and find a good buyer's broker. Make them deal with all the myriad of other brokers. Buyer broker is always feasible, just be honest with your budget upfront. Will they do as much work on a $125k as a $3 million boat? No. But there are a lot more $125k boats sold than $3 million and they add up. Find one who deals with the price and age of boats you're looking for. Just like real estate there are a lot of good brokers in the lower price markets. For an independent broker (owns his own one man firm, not an agent for others), then there is still $6250 potential commission. For one working for a firm, there's $3125. But they know the other brokers and how to reach them and who to trust and how to get better information. Interview them carefully, but be willing to commit, to agree to work exclusively through them.

Contacting the way you have been, you're one of thousands of tire kickers, or in today's world, web browsers. They still should treat you more professionally but many don't. The problem is that you don't know them, haven't selected them, instead they just happen to have the boat listed. You have no relationship with them other than the email or phone call.

Be open and honest with them and insist on the same back. If they're interested in helping you, great. If not, find one who is. I'm sure there are some owners here who have had good relationships with brokers in your area.
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Old 10-05-2016, 06:25 AM   #12
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One of the issues with brokers (in any field), is that it's pretty easy to get into, has the potential of making a lot of money and has some time freedom. It requires minimal knowledge, minimal licensing or training. A lot of brokers work the business part time as a second income, and they are some of the worst.

They mostly work off commission so they have to be self starters, which most are not.

So, to find a good one is hard. Especially with much knowledge. I could argue to do a buyer's broker, but a good one is really needed. With the right one, they can save lots of time.

As far as being open and honest, I'd bet that most of the shoppers here do exactly that, but it's much harder to get the same from a broker. We go to the broker and tell them that we want a boat to do X. And we think that a M, P or Q boat would work best between 35 and 45 feet, and our budget is Y, plus or minus whatever. And we are ready to buy or just shopping. It's his job to have or find that boat. It's also his job to point out flaws in our thinking and explain why, and also his job to KNOW the boat he's selling. Most don't, and a lot have never seen the boat or run it and don't make the effort.

I really don't believe there are many "tire kickers" out there shopping. Why would anyone waste their time to just look at boats and have to listen to a salesperson?

It's no wonder buyers get frustrated with brokers.

PS: Yes there are some good ones out there... even used car salesmen.
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Old 10-05-2016, 07:09 AM   #13
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I really don't believe there are many "tire kickers" out there shopping. Why would anyone waste their time to just look at boats and have to listen to a salesperson?
There definitely are that many web browsers and callers or emailers though. Having all the descriptions and photos available and phone numbers has raised the number of contacts a broker receives on a listing dramatically . Many are people with no interest in buying. There are those who have called on dozens of boats and will never buy one. It's so easy if you see one online just to contact the broker. In prior periods a good broker assumed every call was a potential customer. Now they must do some qualifying. Some do it professionally, some don't.
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Old 10-05-2016, 07:28 AM   #14
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I happen to know a guy who knows a bit about boats (owned ten), cruising (thousand hours per year), brokers full time and owns his brokerage.
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Old 10-05-2016, 07:34 AM   #15
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Give Peter Ouellette a call at DiMillo's in Portland, ME (207) 773-7632. Tell him Peter Hayden sent you. Hopefully he won't run away. I've bought and sold multiple boats with him. If you like him, engage him as a buyer's broker. He's a go-getter and will work for your business, not just sit around and wait for a deal to fall into his lap. He works all over the east coast so don't let the Portland location dissuade you.
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:17 AM   #16
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I happen to know a guy who knows a bit about boats (owned ten), cruising (thousand hours per year), brokers full time and owns his brokerage.
I feel for brokers here who have to listen to the bashing. It would be helpful if from your perspective you could perhaps post some suggestions of how to go about selecting a buyer's broker and, not you specifically, but what services one should expect and should not expect from a good buyer's broker.
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:41 AM   #17
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I feel for brokers here who have to listen to the bashing. It would be helpful if from your perspective you could perhaps post some suggestions of how to go about selecting a buyer's broker and, not you specifically, but what services one should expect and should not expect from a good buyer's broker.
Good idea. I'll do a separate post.
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Old 10-05-2016, 10:28 AM   #18
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There definitely are that many web browsers and callers or emailers though. Having all the descriptions and photos available and phone numbers has raised the number of contacts a broker receives on a listing dramatically . Many are people with no interest in buying. There are those who have called on dozens of boats and will never buy one. It's so easy if you see one online just to contact the broker. In prior periods a good broker assumed every call was a potential customer. Now they must do some qualifying. Some do it professionally, some don't.
BandB,

Good points, but how do we really know that the caller didn't eventually buy a boat? We don't. And yes, the internet has made information MUCH more available so a buyer most likely makes a lot more contacts per boat than in the past, and a prudent buyer would.

I'd suspect that a good broker would have his ducks in a row so when he gets a call he can respond efficiently and easily, preferably with one call and provide all the info that the buyer needs. A good broker should do a mini survey himself to know the things about the boat, but few do, so you end up with a lot of back and forth incomplete info. I know a lot of brokers that I would have loved to do business with that have just made it impossible trying to drag info from them.

I can't imagine spending time shopping for a boat without some intention of buying.
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Old 10-05-2016, 11:50 AM   #19
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I'm going to point out some truths that are not going to make some buyers and some sellers very happy.

The simple truth is that if a broker is not making contact with you it is because he doesn't think he is going to make any money either off of you or off of the boat you are interested in. It's that simple. People that sell boats are doing it to make a living. If they think that it is unlikely they will consummate a sale they are unlikely to spend much time. That's not bad, its just human nature.

The reason they do not think that they will consummate a sale, (and thus provide for their families) is either because of the boat, or the buyer, or both.

If the boat is realistically unmarketable then is will not sell in the traditional sense. It could be that the boat has issues and will not pass survey. It could be that the boat is not presentable to be looked at. It could be that the boat is not priced at a point where it will realistically sell. Any of these things make the boat essentially unsellable, so no broker is going to spend allot of time on it.

Then you have the buyer issues. Are the buyers expectations not inline with their budget? Is financing required, and is it a realistic probability? Is this a remote buyer calling about a bottom of the barrel boat? Lots of buyer issues out there, I'm sure.

Lets be real folks. There are allot of unrealistic expectations out there. Owners that think their old tired boat is a gem. Buyers that think if they look enough the mythical unicorn 50' $100,000 great condition boat will magically appear before their eyes.Buyers with big dreams, and wallets that do not match those dreams. Buyers that are trying to finance a boat that is very difficult to finance. Buyers that are wannabe boat owners, but who will never actually buy any boat.

I'm no broker, but I will guarantee that if a broker thinks your enquiery will result in a sale, they will be happy to help facilitate that sale.
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Old 10-05-2016, 12:28 PM   #20
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When I asked him what the tankage is - he responded "diesel".
Water - Oh yea - steel also
Capacity - oh.........500 fuel water ummmm
Waste..... Don't know

It has a generator, right? Yes. Does it work? Yes. What is it - hours? Don't know.

I see an AC unit. What is the HVAC? - Two. Two what, reverse cycle, capacity? Yes.
No offense, I would be put off by you as well. You're opening gambit is "I know the decks are soft". My first thought would be 'Oh boy', then if I had 10 calls to return you would be number 11, after I slipped a call home in there as well.

Your first question "Tankage". Fuel, holding, water, material, state? What exactly are you asking?

Capacities: Out of the hundred boats on this guys register, he can't remember the specs for all of them. Maybe just ask for an updated spec. sheet. Same applies to hours on Genny.

You stated you saw an AC unit, then used the generic term for "Heating, Ventalation and Air Conditioning". Again, not clear on your question here.

Reverse Cycle: Now I'm thinking WTF?? Yes, two units (not avacado's) It's not a window unit.

Consider how you sound on the other end of the phone. These guys get a lot of looky-lou tire kickers. I would bet he had the same comments about you when he hung up the phone.
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