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Old 08-01-2017, 01:56 PM   #1
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Selling a boat with a broker questions

We are thinking of listing our Grand Banks 36 with a broker but know nothing about this process. What are some things we should be expecting in this process? I am aware of broker fees and moorage fees but don't know what else to expect.

Thank you for any info you can give us.
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Old 08-01-2017, 05:37 PM   #2
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Negotiate down from the standard 10%.

Tell them up front that you want regular weekly updates on marketing, contacts and showings.

Be careful agreeing an inflated price and then a big reduction after a few weeks - that is the boating equivalent to a bait and switch.
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Old 08-01-2017, 05:45 PM   #3
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Thanks Menzies. Looks like the standard agreement around here is 10%.
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Old 08-01-2017, 06:06 PM   #4
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Be careful agreeing an inflated price and then a big reduction after a few weeks - that is the boating equivalent to a bait and switch.
Nothing wrong with intentionally setting a high initial price to start in case there is a "heart"(very keen) buyer waiting for such a listing as yours,and if there is not, reverting to a more realistic price after a couple of weeks.
But, if the broker lied to you on price to "buy" the listing("biggest liar wins the listing") and then seeks to "condition" you down to the real value he knew all the time,you`ve got the wrong broker.
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Old 08-01-2017, 08:25 PM   #5
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Make a list of questions and concerns and interview brokers, preferably in person. If you have any personal references or referrals, that's great. Once you've chosen then move forward with them. I would only give a limited time in the first contract, not typically as long as they want, so if you feel they're not doing the job you can change. Don't try to negotiate the rate down, it's not much money and it puts the broker in a very bad position.

Find out exactly what you can expect from the broker. Require regular updates on all activity.

Don't set the price too low, but not too high either. Know up front what you'll take as a minimum. Price it 10-15% above that number. Don't tell the broker how much you'll come off the price. Best they not know plus you might change your mind. Fine to indicate you have a little wiggle room. Price it too high and it will quickly become a stale listing and all the price lowering after that does nothing to freshen it. It becomes a matter of "what's wrong with that boat."

Make sure the boat is in pristine condition for photos and showing. Gather maintenance records and logs. Don't allow a broker to take photos before you have it ready. You'll have a listing that looks like you haven't cared for the boat. While it's listed continue to take care of it, running it periodically, cleaning it, getting the bottom cleaned. Do everything to have it in condition for a great showing, sea trial and survey.

Check listings and ads on the boat to see if they're accurate and if they portray your boat well.

If you get an offer that's very close to your desired price then complete the deal, finding a way to compromise. Do not be stubborn. You might not have a second chance as well. I've seen people on a million dollar boat, $25,000 apart, common sense says meet in the middle and neither party would budge.

Make sure the broker knows you're serious about selling, but you're also expecting a decent deal. Do not let potential buyers string you along, having the boat on hold for an extended time. They'll do things like make an offer but say they can't schedule the survey for a month or six weeks. Then they'll stall on coming back to you after the survey. All those people are doing is keeping your deal alive while searching elsewhere for a better one.

Research the broker online and with people in the community. If in FL or California confirm their licenses.

As broker about his personal recent sales. See if they're consistent with your boat, finding out his specialty. Also look at his other listings. You don't want a broker who only has listings from $2 million up, representing your $100,000 boat. Where do you think their priority will be?
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Old 08-01-2017, 08:26 PM   #6
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Think about where the boat is moored and how close the broker is to the boat. Don't pick a broker in Florida who specializes in Trawlers and expect him to actively show a boat in Washington. Don't expect other brokers to go out of their way to view or show a boat that isn't their own listing. Your home port shows as Vashon Island in Washington, that is a long way from brokers in Seattle or Tacoma and it isn't real convenient for a broker and his client to sit in a line for a ferry boat to go and look at a candidate boat. Your best bet is finding a broker with moorage and an office overlooking his listings. Move the boat to Seattle, Tacoma, or Anacortes and pay the extra cost of getting moorage near the broker's office. Most brokers have slips they use for their listings but you will still pay for them.

In the last three years we listed and sold two boats that were moored on Whidbey island and I realise now how remote we really are from the mainland and other brokers. We are only a thirty minute drive from Anacortes but in those three years we had zero showings by other brokers than my own. I'm convinced we would have had much better results if the boat was located closer to civilization!
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Old 08-01-2017, 08:37 PM   #7
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Think about where the boat is moored and how close the broker is to the boat. Don't pick a broker in Florida who specializes in Trawlers and expect him to actively show a boat in Washington. Don't expect other brokers to go out of their way to view or show a boat that isn't their own listing. Your home port shows as Vashon Island in Washington, that is a long way from brokers in Seattle or Tacoma and it isn't real convenient for a broker and his client to sit in a line for a ferry boat to go and look at a candidate boat. Your best bet is finding a broker with moorage and an office overlooking his listings. Move the boat to Seattle, Tacoma, or Anacortes and pay the extra cost of getting moorage near the broker's office. Most brokers have slips they use for their listings but you will still pay for them.

In the last three years we listed and sold two boats that were moored on Whidbey island and I realise now how remote we really are from the mainland and other brokers. We are only a thirty minute drive from Anacortes but in those three years we had zero showings by other brokers than my own. I'm convinced we would have had much better results if the boat was located closer to civilization!
Great points on location of the boat. In South Florida we tend to take it for granted. Also, on location of broker. Location location location. Convenience is very valuable.
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Old 08-01-2017, 08:57 PM   #8
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Be careful about how long the listing is for. Don't get committed to a long listing if you're not happy with the broker's performance. Try for a six month term, renewable at your option.

Ask around about the broker's reputation in the area.
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Old 08-01-2017, 11:22 PM   #9
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I'll be selling mine soon and have similar questions so I hope you don't mind me adding to the thread. I'm constantly amazed at how many listings say "just listed - details and more pictures to come". And then the ads still say that 6 months later. What do you as a seller do about that?
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Old 08-02-2017, 09:36 AM   #10
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I'll be selling mine soon and have similar questions so I hope you don't mind me adding to the thread. I'm constantly amazed at how many listings say "just listed - details and more pictures to come". And then the ads still say that 6 months later. What do you as a seller do about that?
I don't allow my broker to do that. Go out with a complete listing, professional all the way. If you don't have time to put my listing together, then you don't have time to do the job I need. Photos must also be professional and well lighted and show the entire boat including ER. And don't list until all those areas are presentable. People are looking for new listings all the time and their impression is formed by what they see when they first come up. They heaviest number of calls comes in the first 30 days.

Look carefully at your agreement and make sure it indicates what the broker will do. What you describe above should be in breach of a well written agreement and cause to pull the listing. Also, another reason not to give a listing for more than 6 months, and shorter is even better. Broker should have to earn extra time, not by selling but by indications they've been working the listing.
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Old 08-02-2017, 10:41 AM   #11
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The structure of the deal is all wrong.

Lets say a boat is worth about $100k. If that's so if he advertises it for 75k it probably will sell quick. Don't need any help to do that. Just post up an add on CL w a reasonably good presentation and poof it's gone and the owner's got 75k.

But the owner's sick about the 60k he's dumped into the boat and he paid 90k for the boat so he wants the best deal he can get. A broker says the boat's only worth 90k (which it is) but wants the listing so he prices the boat at 125k. The boat dosn't sell of course and the broker knows it won't so he invests little tome and money to the deal. The boat sits.

In the end it becomes obvious it's going to sell only for about 75k and eventially it does. The owner gets less than that by 5 to 10%. But the owner could have saved all that moorage and extra maintenance and stress plus 5 to $10,000 if he'd just listed it on CL.

Seems to me the broker got paied too much for too little. He or she basically just sits until the boat sells. So the broker gets $7500k for next to nothing. If the broker was a good salesman and sold the boat for 110k he would have earned his commission, done a good job and the owner would be happy as the broker worked for him.

When it comes time (and it could be soon) I'll want/need to sell and I'm thinking of a fair deal for both the broker and the owner. A sliding scale commission working like this may be close to a better arrangement.
Re the above boat and owner he could sell the boat fairly quickly on CL for $75. So the sliding scale starts here. There's no point in paying the broker a considerable sum for doing what an owner can do himself. If the broker worked hard he could sell the boat for 120k. Well worth the 10% commission. Lets say he gets 12%. If he can only get 80k for the boat he's not much of a salesman and despite his work (if any) he should get maybe $1000. Everything inbetween would be calculated on the scale. If the broker sold the boat for 100k he should get half the maximum possible com ... or $5000.

Normally the broker would get 10% of the sale at $10000 and do little for it. His effort is on the bigger high end boats that the owner just wants gone like a popular boat like a Nordhavn. The broker would be stupid to spend his time on an old 35k boat on a flat commission. But he's not exactly cheating the 35k boat owner. How could the 35k boat owner expect a salesman to spend 2hrs trying to sell his old boat for a very small (comparatively speaking) commission or two hrs selling a boat that will probably net him $30,000 to take to his bank account?

A good broker should earn what he's worth but should'nt get paid money for posting a pic of some guys old boat on his wall or window for a few months. But what structure of payment for services will render good service to the boat owner and good money to the broker? My sliding scale is a thought to that end.

I notice however it leaves out the difference between big expensive boat and small older boat. It would probably be complicated to devise a fair commission pay scale for all boats and owners. But once figured out it should be like plugging the numbers into a formula and doing the math.
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Old 08-02-2017, 10:43 AM   #12
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BandB,

Great points, thanks. The broker we are considering will have the boat on the hard next to their office.

Ah, if Craigslist were that easy and efficient she would already be sold.
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Old 08-02-2017, 11:59 AM   #13
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Additional points: a broker has access to "Soldboats", which hopefully will have several recent sales numbers for boats of your model and close to the year and condition. Just like realestate, data from recently sold similar boats can be very helpful in setting your asking price.
A potential buyer will likely want to see maintenance logs so it would be good to either have it electronic or scan or copy those logs if you have them. A discerning buyer will also ask about oil samples.
Good luck!
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Old 08-02-2017, 12:04 PM   #14
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Hamrow,

Thanks for the feedback. We talked with a broker that did the sold boats search already. Maintainence records will be scanned for the next owner and potential buyers.

Keith
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Old 08-02-2017, 12:06 PM   #15
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Oh and must echo comments about the appearance when showing the boat and ditto on having professional photos.
When we were on the hunt I was shocked many times at the deplorable condition of some boats; like having a bilge full of black or oily liquid under the engine, or having a helm station where there is papers and crap and maybe jury-rigged wiring laying all over the place. Those kind of boats were very easy to eliminate right away.
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Old 08-02-2017, 12:14 PM   #16
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Hamrow,

Thanks for the feedback. We talked with a broker that did the sold boats search already. Maintainence records will be scanned for the next owner and potential buyers.

Keith
I'd go on and scan the records and give a file copy to the broker. That way if he has a serious prospect asking about maintenance history he can quickly impress them with the records. Immediately, he has the prospect more comfortable.
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Old 08-02-2017, 06:21 PM   #17
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Sounds like you are using "banana boats". They are very professional in their pictures and write ups. They sell boats. Twice they have gotten me to drive from Seattle to Anacortes to look at a boat.
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Old 08-02-2017, 06:54 PM   #18
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....Look carefully at your agreement and make sure it indicates what the broker will do. What you describe above should be in breach of a well written agreement and cause to pull the listing. Also, another reason not to give a listing for more than 6 months, and shorter is even better. Broker should have to earn extra time, not by selling but by indications they've been working the listing.
He who drafts the agreement usually does so in his own interests. "He" is likely to be the broker.
As B&B says, you need to read it carefully. Does it require the broker to use his best endeavors to actively market the boat to achieve a prompt sale at the best price reasonably available? Or something along those lines. Are all the obligations on the seller? Does the agreement really just protect the broker? Can you sack him for non performance before the term of the agreement expires?
Don`t be afraid to ask for changes.
If the broker has "buyers waiting" he doesn`t need an advertising budget, and only needs a brief listing period, as short as a week, to introduce the "buyers waiting". If he wants 6 months and advertising, there are probably no "buyers waiting",it`s a bad start,consider walking, not signing.
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Old 08-02-2017, 08:49 PM   #19
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tiltrider1, yes that is who we are considering. I have been at their yard several times throughout the years. I like the on the hard for visibility and also cheaper "moorage fees", writeups and their selling record. Just making sure we have all our bases covered to our satisfaction.

I appreciate everyone's replies and will continue getting our boat ready to list.

Maybe someone from the forum will see it and decide it should be their next boat and we both can come out ahead.
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Old 08-02-2017, 09:28 PM   #20
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It all comes down to dollars above what you could do otherwise.

The broker does a lot of administrivia you could do yourself or hire someone else to do.

They best be selling your boat at a higher amount than what you think is a reasonable hourly rate for that administrivia.
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