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Old 12-08-2022, 12:14 PM   #1
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Looking for a boat

Hello all!
We are finally in a position to look for a boat. Apart from scanning the classifieds in this forum, can anyone suggest great sources to look for available boats other than the typical, boat trader/.com Yachtworld etc..

Also, does it make sense to engage a broker for the search? My inclination is no, at this stage, but advise from others more knowledgeable on the benefits, or not, would be appreciated.

Many thanks, Clive & Monica C.
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Old 12-08-2022, 12:40 PM   #2
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Clive and Monica,

We went into the purchase of our current boat thinking a buyer's broker was unnecessary. However, we ended up meeting a broker we really liked and he helped us understand the benefits of a buyer's broker. A buyer's broker does not cost the buyer anything and they are working for you. The buyer's broker can arrange boat showings and surveys as well as typically having a very good pulse on the current market in the local area.

If you have a particular boat in mind, a broker can assist you in locating potential boats, and will at time hear about boats for sale before they hit the market.

It also seems like a good idea to seek out a broker that specializes in the type of boat you are looking for. For example, if you are looking for a Nordhavn or Selene, working directly with the local representatives of these brands will help you get access to boats before they hit the market.

The only potential downside would be how the broker might handle a private sale where the seller is attempting to avoid paying a commission - otherwise, I see no downsides for a buyer.

Our 2 cents...

Cheers,

Greg
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Old 12-08-2022, 12:57 PM   #3
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Greg, I suspected what you are saying might be the case. My sister in law is a buyers agent in real estate, and even though i spent most of my working life in home construction she was the first buyers agent I came across and her approach is much different than that of typical realtors I have worked with and met.

Unfortunately, as specific boats are hard to find, and time is running out continually, we may need to be somewhat open minded about a boat rather than searching for a particular make and model. having said that, we certainly have our top 5 so as to speak and mostly RPH with cockpit and room for a tender on top hit most buttons.
So, OA 486/510 Classico, Jefferson 50/52 SE RPH, McKenna/Vitesse 48 RPH, Symbol 50 RPH, being top choices and flush deck PH boats coming in second.
Any suggestions for a broker?
Cheers, Clive C.
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Old 12-08-2022, 12:59 PM   #4
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Greetings,

A good buyers broker, for sure!
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Old 12-08-2022, 01:09 PM   #5
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Suggestions?
Cheers RTF
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Old 12-08-2022, 01:39 PM   #6
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Where are you located (or maybe more importantly, where are you looking for a boat)?
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Old 12-08-2022, 01:47 PM   #7
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.... A buyer's broker does not cost the buyer anything and they are working for you....
A buyers broker does not work for free and there is only one source of funds in a boat purchase.

I am not disputing that they are not a good option, just that they are not free.
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Old 12-08-2022, 02:01 PM   #8
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I totally agree, all fees come out of the purchaser's funds leaving less room for negotiation.
But then the fee may be justified if they find the right boat, organize a thorough survey and deal with all the legalities efficiently. Thats the quandary. It's hard to know going in which is the best outcome.
At this point I was hoping forum members may have sourced out other initial avenues where boats are offered for sale to help our personal search.
Cheers GMS
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Old 12-08-2022, 02:10 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Clivepc View Post
At this point I was hoping forum members may have sourced out other initial avenues where boats are offered for sale to help our personal search.
Cheers GMS
Asking here is a decent start, you might also look for owner's groups associated with those boats and reaching out to express interest in purchasing, they tend to track who is planning to sell, where one may be sitting unloved in a boat yard or just underused.
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Old 12-08-2022, 02:17 PM   #10
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Gdavid,
Thats a dammed good idea Sir.
Cheers,
Clive C. TBW
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Old 12-08-2022, 02:19 PM   #11
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Clive,
I agree with the others about finding and utilizing a "buyer's broker", or at least a broker who is working on your behalf to help you find a good boat (for you, your needs and wants), and to guide you through the process. Many good reasons already given.
If you end up offering on a boat listed with a broker, in most cases, the commission is split and most often does not really increase your costs or reduce your negotiation room. The commission the seller is paying out of the proceeds is "set". Different story if it is a privately listed boat. In that case, (assuming you found the boat yourself), you could just not use the broker, or pay him/her a "fee" for his help and services (not necessarily the full "normal" commission (5%)). If the broker introduces you to the private sale, then I would suggest paying him/her for their services (and that could be negotiated (best done upfront so no unhappy surprises)).
Just be "upfront" with the broker about what you want both in a boat, and in your expectations in the services provided (eg. private boats or not) and "fee" wise. JMHO.

Good luck!
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Old 12-08-2022, 02:25 PM   #12
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Posts pointing out that there is only one source of funds in a boat purchase are correct, and it is also correct to say that brokers don't work for free (nor should they, as they provide a valuable professional service).

That said, the vast majority of boat sales are conducted through brokers - with most boats being listed or put up for sale through a seller's broker. Once the owner enlists a seller's broker, representation by a buyer's broker is unlikely to "cost" the buyer anything.

In the end, if you can find a private sale and avoid brokers altogether - great! There will be more room for negotiation and both sides are likely to come out ahead. However, you will need to be prepared to handle a complex transaction on your own. In these situations, it would be wise to at least employ the services of a marine title company to ensure the transaction is handled properly (provide escrow services, etc...).

Just like real estate brokers, boat brokers can serve a valuable function - but you do need to find a good one.

If you enlist a Buyer's Broker, and then find a private sale (without involvement by the broker) you are typically under no obligation to involve the broker in the private sale.

Note, I am not a broker nor do I have any relationship with any brokers (in a business sense). I have just bought and sold a number of boats, and have found sufficient value in using a broker on both sides of the transactions.
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Old 12-08-2022, 02:42 PM   #13
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Tom, sound and reasonable advice, many thanks,
Clive C TBW
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Old 12-08-2022, 02:44 PM   #14
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If you are new to the boat buying process, then for sure get a broker so you don't get into something that you'll regret later. The seller pays for the commission for selling the boat, not the buyer but when 2 brokers are involved in the sale/purchase of a boat, it does take some negotiation room away (sometimes).
Bottom line: New/novice boat buyer - have a good broker represent you. If you are a seasoned veteran at boat buying, then you probably don't need one.
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Old 12-08-2022, 02:44 PM   #15
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GMS, all agreed, makes sense.. TBW
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Old 12-08-2022, 02:47 PM   #16
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Taras, very seasoned buyer of many things but not larger Motor boats.
While I think my many varied engineering and mechanical experiences will help find a good boat along with a survey, we3 are certainly novices at buying these things, many thanks, Clive C. TBW
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Old 12-08-2022, 02:56 PM   #17
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We were first time boat buyers this summer and did not use a broker. We bought our boat from a private seller. We found it advertised on the Nordic Tug Facebook page, so you might check out Facebook or forums for the particular boat you are interested -- if the boat is in high demand, you might find boats not listed using conventional sources that you mention.

As for the private buyer/private seller experience, it was totally fine. The seller was great to work with but if they hadn't been I could see where a broker could have been useful. If we were to do it all over again, I'd do the same thing. I'd locate the boat we wanted (ours had all the bells and whistles we desired) and then figure out how to proceed. I do think we paid a little less and that the seller was willing to negotiate a bit more because he wasn't paying a commission. We had a full inspection and a title company help us and it worked out just fine. The boat has worked out just as expected - really well!
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Old 12-08-2022, 03:12 PM   #18
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Thanks Huruta, as with all things I'm sure there are experiences at both ends of the spectrum for both broker and private purchases/sales.
Many thanks for your input,
Clive C. TBW
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Old 12-08-2022, 03:50 PM   #19
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Anyone know a buyers broker they would recommend? I might add we intend to purchase on the east coast. Somewhere.
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Old 12-08-2022, 07:51 PM   #20
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If there is a particular brand of boat you are after I'd suggest getting plugged into brokers that specialize/deal with that particular brand. The market has been so hot some boats don't even get listed and are sold without marketing.

huruta had a good example of watching the Nordic Tug facebook group as a source.
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