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Old 09-16-2019, 05:56 PM   #1
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Sellers broker refuses to split commission

Is it normal for a listing broker to refuse to split his 10% commission with a buyers broker? We're interested in a boat, working with a buyers broker, but the seller's broker refuses to split commission with buyers broker. Buyer's broker wants 5% to represent us (the buyer) to the seller(understandable). Extra 5% commission to our buyers broker would have to come out of our pocket . . . for a total commission paid to broker(s) of 15%.

Some people will probably say not to be concerned, that we're not paying the seller's broker 10% commission anyway, as the seller is, but we consider that BS as the seller is paying the sellers broker out of the total sale price, which is our $$$ anyway.

Anyway, we told our buyers broker that we weren't interested in making the offer we were considering because we feel that, although the sellers broker is within his rights to set any conditions he wants that are legal, we consider it unethical and have no interest in purchasing a boat with him involved in the sale. It would be difficult to accept anything he says about the boat, especially as we've already noticed glaring discrepancies in what the sellers broker says, and what is obvious in the photo's on the website.

Boat is nice, and we feel that we would be happy with it pending successful survey and sea trial. However the price is on the high side, even considering what were considering offering.

Thoughts?
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Old 09-16-2019, 06:04 PM   #2
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Most brokers will cooperate with a buyers broker but some are buttheads and want all of nothing instead of half of something. Too bad you canít tell the seller that his broker is costing him a sale. Is the boat documented? If so you can look up the owners name and maybe contact him that way.
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Old 09-16-2019, 06:12 PM   #3
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Most brokers will cooperate with a buyers broker but some are buttheads and want all of nothing instead of half of something. Too bad you can’t tell the seller that his broker is costing him a sale. Is the boat documented? If so you can look up the owners name and maybe contact him that way.
In the real estate world, thats called "going behind the sign" Its not ethical either..
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Old 09-16-2019, 06:13 PM   #4
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Follow Comodave's advice.

It happens, but rarely. Sometimes it is a unique boat and the seller believes that only one person should show it and close the sale. Sometimes obstinance, a nicer word for butthead.

Sometimes the trick he speaks of: finding the seller through USCG records, and working with him directly will work if the listing broker doesn't have a valid exclusive sales agreement. There is nothing unethical about contacting an owner and asking if he wants to sell his boat to your buyer.


I saw much worse behavior in my short tenure as a yacht broker. The rules of ethics are very loose in that business.


Otherwise, find another boat.

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Old 09-16-2019, 06:16 PM   #5
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I am not suggesting that he go to the owner to buy the boat but just to let the owner know that his broker is costing him a sale. I donít see any ethical issues of telling the owner that his broker is refusing to split a commission in order to sell the boat. Now maybe the seller agrees that the selling broker should not split his commission and in that case I would move on. But I would guess that the owner does not know that his broker is costing him the sale of his boat and does not care if the selling broker has to split his commission. I would guess that the seller just wants the boat sold.
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Old 09-16-2019, 06:17 PM   #6
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Agree w others here...
I would do some detective work and let the buyer know the broker tactics essentially killing a potential sale.
Worth a try to make sure seller is aware.
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Old 09-16-2019, 06:18 PM   #7
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I would guess that the seller once he finds out that his broker may cost him a sale of the boat will either put pressure on the broker to cooperate or find another broker. But if the seller does not know what his broker is doing, the seller canít fix the problem.
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Old 09-16-2019, 06:22 PM   #8
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Why not make the offer with broker having to split commission and have it presented? If Boat sales are like RE (I don't know if they are or not), owner would have to sign off on a refusal of offer?

I think its skeavy of the broker but going to owner is no better in my opinion. Maybe reduce offer to reflect paying buyers broker his 5%?
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Old 09-16-2019, 06:22 PM   #9
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slowgoesit,you could make an offer reducing what you were prepared to pay by the 5% your buyers broker wants.
That said,a system where the seller pays the buyers broker makes no sense. In that scheme, your buyers broker ONLY gets a commission if you buy. If you don`t buy he gets nothing. I`m sure there are highly principled brokers among the many, but the lure of the $ could encourage some to encourage you to buy when you should not or at a price you should not pay. There is huge potential for a conflict of interest and breach of fiduciary duty.

Surely you are better off with a broker you pay whose sole duty is to you. Revolutionary to your system, but it makes sense.
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Old 09-16-2019, 06:29 PM   #10
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I'm not sure there is a 'normal' when it comes to how these things work. Some brokers are very resistant to sharing commissions.

If you're seriously interested in the boat make an offer, and in that offer specify that the seller cover the 5% buyer's agent commission from the purchase price. Then let the seller and the listing broker have a discussion on how they will respond.
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Old 09-16-2019, 06:31 PM   #11
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Make your offer with the stipulation that the seller pay the 5% to buyer broker. I believe the sellers broker has to present any and all offers to the seller.

The seller either figures out what their broker is up to and corrects it, agrees and pays the 5% to the buyer broker or turns down your offer and you walk away.
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Old 09-16-2019, 06:55 PM   #12
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On the previous broker commission thread over the past couple of days there were a few members who are boat brokers/agents responding.

I would like to hear their take on this?
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Old 09-16-2019, 07:00 PM   #13
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In the real estate world, thats called "going behind the sign" Its not ethical either..
There is nothing unethical about the parties to a transaction, proposed or actual,talking to each other direct. If they communicate via agents, it`s still them talking to each other,via the conduit of an agent.
What is not permissible is a broker/agent approaching the principal/client of the other party. That`s a no no.
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Old 09-16-2019, 07:08 PM   #14
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In the real estate world, thats called "going behind the sign" Its not ethical either..
If the aim is to cut the agent out of the deal by talking directly to the seller, I agree. But if the aim is to let the seller know how his agent is behaving, and that he may be losing a sale because of the agents position, while still willing to work through the agent, I don't think that is unethical at all. The seller may agree with his agent's position, or look to change it if he was not aware.
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Old 09-16-2019, 07:21 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Comodave View Post
Most brokers will cooperate with a buyers broker but some are buttheads and want all of nothing instead of half of something. Too bad you can’t tell the seller that his broker is costing him a sale. Is the boat documented? If so you can look up the owners name and maybe contact him that way.

I agree with Dave here. You don't have any relationship with seller nor the seller's broker. So if you wanted to let the seller know that you were not going to make an offer because of the agents refusal to split commission with a buyers broker, I don't see any ethical problems. Now, your broker can't do that, but nothing to stop you from doing it. Likewise, the seller can't make a deal with you cutting out their broker during the term of the listing agreement.
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:20 PM   #16
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I appreciate all the input this has received. Thanks to all who shared their knowledge, however we've already decided not to pursue this particular boat. Some of the issues we had with the sellers agent (not just the issue discussed) just came across as sleazy, and we don't want anything to do with him, or the boat now. I was just wondering if not sharing the commission was typical. Except for our recent experience, as well as another recent thread here on the forum of a member running into a similar situation, I've not run into it before.
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:29 PM   #17
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The selling broker of a boat I was interested in had minimal information on the listing, was hard to get a hold of and took several days with answers to my questions.

I obtained the sellers information from the state licensing dept. and contacted the seller. The seller and I worked out a deal. The seller felt the broker listed the boat at too high of a price and we settled on a price significantly lower than the listed price. We agreed the broker should be paid his commission for locating a buyer - me. The seller and I contacted the broker and directed him to complete the paperwork for our signatures. The broker was livid about the agreed to selling price. He tried to talk the seller out of the sale.

We completed the sale and the broker was paid his commission.

Contact the seller.
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:43 PM   #18
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I believe the sellers broker has to present any and all offers to the seller.

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That's true in Real Estate but I don't think that boat brokers have similar requirements.
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:58 PM   #19
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I would write in on the offer your buyers brokers commission and request that the seller sign off on the offer with either an acceptance or rejection. Then if you don't get it back send it direct to the seller.
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Old 09-16-2019, 10:03 PM   #20
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.... Thanks to all who shared their knowledge, however we've already decided not to pursue this particular boat. Some of the issues we had with the sellers agent (not just the issue discussed) just came across as sleazy, and we don't want anything to do with him, or the boat now....
What an appalling position for a seller,having a broker so sleazy a clearly genuine buyer decides it is too risky to deal with the broker or buy the boat. Worse still, the poor seller won`t even know why the buyer went away, and may be doomed to have it happen again.
The rule in real estate was to choose a broker agent you like. I you like him the buyers probably will too. Though some sellers like a broker "with a bit of mongrel in him".
I`ve just dealt with an interstate boat broker whose representations were almost never consistent and fortunately, in a way, rejected my offer in an instant. Boat still unsold a month later,even with 2 price drops. A difficult scenario arises if he ever comes back.
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