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Old 03-18-2013, 09:18 AM   #1
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Sorry Broker, Just Looking

Greetings All,
I recently started a thread on aft versus forward cabin. I got lots of great feedback. Since we will be retiring in a couple of years or less, several folks suggested we start looking at boats NOW.
I like the idea, in fact I want to look at a boat or two in Charleston when on vacation in April. My question for the forum is how do I play this? I dont want to mislead the broker. Should I tell him up front we are just looking (and wasting his time) or should I pretend we are serious buyers which we are not at this point. Im not going to ask for a sea trial, we just want to look and try to figure out what will work best for us.
Thank for any comments.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:20 AM   #2
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You need to be 100% upfront. If you are window shopping I would limit your viewings to boats on sales docks where you are not making a broker drive 30-45 minutes one way just to show the boat. People shop all the time, just be considerate about it.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:21 AM   #3
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Depending on the size/type of boat, you should consider that looking more seriously at this stage may make more sense. You indicate you are a couple of years from retirement. That is not very long in boat years!! First, you need to find THE boat. That could take quite a while even if you are serious. Second, you need to get the boat back to your home cruising area. Third, you need to get used to the boat's handling, maintenance and depending on the size etc., get to know your boat. It took us a couple of years to really get to know our boat's systems etc. and to be able to perform the required level of cruising maintenance/repairs. If you would like to start real cruising when you retire, better start doing the other stuff now!! Plus, I think most experienced brokers have been around long enough to know that most people are "transom kickers" - they just hope that you are not!!
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:23 AM   #4
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One thing you might want to try is find a broker you like. Talk to him or her about what you have in mind. Ask questions about things you already have investigated....see how what they say goes over with you. When you find the one you like, don't make appointments to see boats, but ask him that when he is showing a boat that you may also be interested in viewing, to give you a call and see if the timing works for you. That way, he already has a commitment to show the vessel, and you don't need to feel so obligated or guilty about time or transportation. Of course, you'll have questions, many of which you could ask here instead of using his time. Take a camera. Looking at boats is fun. If it isn't fun, find something else that is.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:46 AM   #5
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My advice would be to find a broker you like and sit down and tell him exactly what you just told us. Let HIM be the one to make the decisions on what kind of time he wants to spend with you. And let HIM be the one to get the commission when the time comes to buy. If you are talking about a fairly expensive boat, most brokers are more than willing to spend a significant amount of time with you. And in the end...BE 100% HONEST!!!!
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:47 AM   #6
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Or leave the broker out of the loop and just walk the docks of marinas and talk to people. Tell THEM you are just shopping and you'll get all the info you need... And more!
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:47 AM   #7
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In our business we do not discount anyone. We will show and be qualifying at the same time. Even if they are not interested or can't afford it, we will try to build a relationship. They may come back later, or refer someone who will buy. We have had people come back 3 years later when they could buy.

A good yacht broker should be interested in your needs. If he is qualified to help you, he should build your confidence in the broker's abilities. He could become a buyers broker, and assist you greatly in your search. If you find such a broker, work with him or her. It will cost you no more, and they can make your search a lot easier.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:55 AM   #8
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Also... you may find THE boat that will be the pace-setter for your retirement. I found mine (or it found me) and after reviewing the numbers I realized that it made great economic sense to buy the boat now (while employed), pay cash and use my remaining working years to get her outfitted and appointed the way we would like it to be for long-range cruising in the future (retirement) years. If you can keep emotions out of the mix, it's easy to get the numbers in front of you. Just don't fall in love with one that the numbers DON'T work in.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:11 AM   #9
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As the others have said just be up front, I think you will be amazed at how friendly and understanding most brokers are. Years ago when I first got the trawler bug I happen to be near the Felming dealership in Maryland so I stopped by, I said “I work for the government, I will never be able to afford a Fleming but I really like trawlers” the guy spent two hours with me showing me each boat in there line and gave me lots of good suggestions on boats I could afford and then he gave me his card and said if I ever had any questions he would be happy to help.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:16 AM   #10
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I found mine (or it found me) and after reviewing the numbers I realized that it made great economic sense to buy the boat now (while employed), pay cash and use my remaining working years to get her outfitted......
Why be so considerate on how much of a broker's time you take up?
How is the broker any different from a car salesman, real estate person, furniture sales person, etc? You need to look at boats and their job is to show them to you! Besides, you may end up as SomeSailor did & Just the fact that you ask the question is enough proof to me that you are not going to abuse the opportunity.

As previously suggested, I would walk the docks, looking at everything and if I saw one that begs for further investigation, I would write the phone number down, call them & if they are 45 minutes away I would call someone else! If they ask what your time frame for buying is, be honest and let them decide if they want to invest some time with you. I've done this and have had a few brokers say "no, see me when you're ready." When the right deal came up, I didn't call them and they know why.

We're in a buyer's market, don't squander the opportunity.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:21 AM   #11
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You are never 'Just Looking'.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:26 AM   #12
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"You are never 'Just Looking"

And any good salesman knows that.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:42 AM   #13
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"you are never 'just looking"

and any good salesman knows that.
the end
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:43 AM   #14
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An example though, I found a boat in an estate situation that the family was looking at the options of their inheritance dwindling away on another winter of moorage, diver costs, haul-out that was due, etc... just because their broker was using the boat as a loss-leader. They were frustrated and I had cash. They fired the broker and I brought my checkbook down. Even better, since my big concern was going to be selling my other boat, they agreed to sign over on a promissory note contingent on my boat's sale (no interest, $5K down) for a year. I only needed two months of that, but went from a 28' Bayliner to a 42' CHB Europa for essentially that $5K.

I believe their are bargains out there every day, so looking is the only way you're going to see them. Plus it's a fun way to spend a weekend.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:58 AM   #15
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Why be so considerate on how much of a broker's time you take up?
NO! the brokers first responsibility to to pay for a roof over his head and feed his kids.

He does that by selling boats, He spends money on office space, utilities, business insurance, advertising, business taxes, vehicle and maintenance and fuel. He does not have a pension, gets no vacation pay, sick days or dental plan. and you want to waste his time !
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:25 PM   #16
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Showing a boat to a potential client is never a waste of time for me. If I want to waste some time I can spend it on Trawler Forum!!!
Trawler buyers are like their boats, slow and steady and I have learned to ask what their time frame is, buy now, buy maybe in six months, or six years from now. I will be glad to show boats to a potential client who might not buy until a few years so that I can start a relationship, to possibly become their broker.
So call the listing brokers of these boats and tell them what your plans are. You get to meet a couple of brokers not too far from you and they can learn your likes, dislikes and your needs in a boat. Then they can let you know in the future when a boat comes on the market that might work for you. You get to meet some brokers and learn their style, learn how they interact with you.
Over 80 percent of the people I talk to do not buy a boat within two years. However here in Fort Lauderdale it is a different boat market with buyers coming here from all over the US and other countries. I can tell when someone is just using some time because their airplane does not leave for a few hours, but I meet create a relationship and get a referral for a new client. Yes go look at those boats when you are on vacation.
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:42 PM   #17
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I have met a few brokers that did not tolerate (or really acted irked) me being a first-time buyer that asked them a lot of questions and had trouble making up our mind about what direction we wanted to go with our purchase. Acting like we were wasting their time having them come up with lists of potential boats only for us to ask about a completely different category of boats. One even asked us not to be their customer any longer.

And you wonder why I really despise the industry. This is why.
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:53 PM   #18
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.... and you want to waste his time !
Who said anything about wasting his time? If I'm looking for a boat I want all the help I can get. Don't burden me with all your responsibilities, Just show me boats that meet my requirements. That's the profession you chose!
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:57 PM   #19
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Showing a boat to a potential client is never a waste of time for me. .....

I will be glad to show boats to a potential client who might not buy until a few years so that I can start a relationship, to possibly become their broker......

Yes go look at those boats when you are on vacation.
Now this is the kind of broker I'd want to do business with!

Thank, Tucker!
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:23 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Tom.B View Post
I have met a few brokers that did not tolerate (or really acted irked) me being a first-time buyer that asked them a lot of questions and had trouble making up our mind about what direction we wanted to go with our purchase. Acting like we were wasting their time having them come up with lists of potential boats only for us to ask about a completely different category of boats. One even asked us not to be their customer any longer.

And you wonder why I really despise the industry. This is why.
Tom, you're pretty handy with boat and mechanical work, you probably just rapid-fired too many questions the broker was not equipped to answer. Most brokers I've met are pretty chill when you lay out your expectations for looking and we just had fun looking for a decade before we bought. Looking was and still is our hobby.

Ultimately I set out our size and configuration boundaries and we looked at several boats in a range of those. It helps to see some bad boats too because it trains you what to look out for. In our case, we kind of cheated because my cousin was our broker, and we talk boats just for fun.

The best thing as was said earlier is walk the docks and talk to owners!!! People love to talk about their boats good and bad. Plus they tell you what to watch for in engines and systems on particular boats. Collect a ton of data before committing.
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