A Look Ahead

The August issue of Sea typically includes a story about brokers or brokerages, and this year is no different. Past stories have explored the characteristics that make up good brokers, the services and benefits buyers and sellers can expect from a modern brokerage, and how to look for and find a solid broker. For next month’s issue, Doug Thompson took a look at the reasons it can be pennywise but pound-foolish to try to sell or buy a boat without a broker’s help.

One nugget Thompson uncovered was a story about a seller who priced his boat below market value, thinking he could afford to do so since he was cutting out the broker’s commission. When the boat failed to sell, however, and the owner had to enlist a broker, he found that he couldn’t raise the price on the boat, because a “value” had already been determined in the public’s eye.

Another more general example deals with buyers who try to go it alone. A survey, typically paid for by the potential buyer, can uncover structural, mechanical, operational and other issues. A broker understands which party should pay for what and why; someone going it alone might not know the nuances, which could cost him money or undermine a deal. Also, brokers are typically better at negotiating than the average buyer.

In yet another example, a buyer sent a deposit directly to the seller’s bank account. When the deal went sideways because the boat was not what it was represented to be, the buyer went to court to reclaim his deposit — and lost. A broker knows deposits are held in a broker’s trust account and the seller and buyer sign an agreement as to the deposit’s handling.

Find out more next month when Thompson’s feature will appear in full.

Previous Findings

In our August 2015 feature, we find a couple of worthy tidbits.
  • Promotion done properly is crucial. Yacht brokerage houses know how to cut through the “noise” of ads and keyword searches.
    • Clear title means smooth sailing. Various liens and encumbrances can be placed on vessels, yet such impediments to a clear title might not be discovered until the end of the sales process. A yacht sales professional works diligently to make sure the buyer get a clear title.
Our 2014 feature yielded the following.
  • You should meet and talk with several brokers. See who you feel comfortable with and see how that person follows through and communicates with you.
  • Do your due diligence and stay informed and up to date on the type of boat, size, price, condition and the use of the boat you’re looking to buy or sell.
  • One boater told us, “I wanted a broker who would be able to say to me, ‘It’s time to walk away from this deal,’ meaning someone who was more invested in me making a smart purchase.”