Should You Use a Yacht Broker?
Here is something that a lot of people overlook when declaring they will not buy through a broker. It's been our experience that yacht brokers are like real estate agents. They often become aware of what's coming onto the market long before it's actually listed and its availability becomes widespread knowledge.
We most likely would not have the boat we have were it not for the fact we used a broker to help us find it. The day we went in to talk to him (Scott Blake of the then-Grand Yachts Northwest, now Northwest Explorations) he showed us the GBs they had in their inventory. He was carrying a sheet of paper that I assumed was an office memo or something.* After determining that we were not in the market for the newer boats they had in stock he held up the piece of paper and said (more or less), "Here's a fax we just got today from a broker we know in California. He has a customer who just bought a GB46 in Vancouver and is right now taking it down the coast to Alameda. He currently owns a GB36 and he doesn't want to own two boats. So he's going to put the GB36 on the market, and his broker faxed us today to see if we might have anyone interested in this boat before he lists it. Based on the spec sheet here, it sounds like this might be the sort of boat that will meet your requirements."
The California broker knew the folks at Grand Yachts Northwest, knew they had a pretty good turnover of used GBs, so before he went to the effort and expense of listing and advertising the boat he figured he'd see if GYN had a potential buyer.
The potenial buyer turned out to be us. We made an offer that day contingent on the boat being what the spec sheet said it was and that it passed sea trial, *hull and engine surveys. The offer was relayed to the owner out at sea in his GB46, he accepted it, we flew down to California to check out the boat, sea trialed it, had it hull and engine surveyed, and in the end, bought it and trucked it north.**
Even with the trucking cost, we paid thousands of dollars less than we would have paid for the same boat in the PNW because at that time this type of boat did not command the kind of prices in California as they did--- and perhaps still do--- in the PNW where*their popularity allowed sellers to ask premium prices.* We very likely would never have learned of the availability of this boat had it not been for the relationship between the brokers in Alameda and Bellingham.
-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 8th of April 2009 07:05:54 PM