Posted August 2, 2018
Ready to buy a boat and want to know more about the advantages of working with a yacht broker? One of our yacht sales specialists, Doug Ward explains how a yacht broker can help you find the boat that is right for you.
Yacht Brokers are consultants who can be an extremely helpful resource when buying your next boat. Their goal is to protect your interests throughout the purchasing process, from the initial consult to taking delivery of your vessel.
If you are looking to buy a boat, there are many resources available to search online, such as YachtWorld.com or BoatTrader.com, which will put you in contact directly with the listing broker. However, a more rewarding option is to select a yacht broker initially to discuss the type of boat you are looking for. They will help narrow down the type of boat that will best meet your needs. They will facilitate the search online as well as communicate with other brokers on your behalf. They can also access private information about a boat's history through internal industry resources.
An important point to note is that there is no cost or risk involved in hiring a broker as the the seller pays for the commission. Because there is no charge for their service, it is a much better strategy than searching on your own.
The Search – After this meeting, your broker will begin narrowing down the boats matching your criteria that are currently on (and off) the market. Using industry resources, they can find out the history of the vessel, how long it has been on the market, and the motivation of the current owner. Although some of this information is available online, your professional yacht broker has an intimate knowledge of current market conditions, a familiarity with similar boats, information on recent sale prices and time on the market through www.soldboats.com (an industry resource not available to the public). For no cost!
Arranging Marine Finance and Marine Insurance – You may want to pre-qualify for a boat loan before you shop. This will give you some extra leverage and breathing room when you’re negotiating prices. Your broker will be able to offer a variety of trusted marine lenders.
Making an Offer on a Pre-Owned Boat – A professional broker can help you decide on a realistic offer that increases the chances of buying a vessel for a fair and reasonable price, and with the necessary elements in place to protect your interests. Your broker prepares the offer for your signature, stating the terms of the sale and the obligations that you and the seller have agreed to. A timeline for these obligations to be fulfilled is also put in place. You then make a good-faith deposit on the boat, which is placed in your broker’s client account, subject to a satisfactory sea trial and survey.
Paperwork – Brokers are familiar with all the paper work needed to check whether the vessel has a clean and unencumbered title, including the paper trail to show payment of VAT where appropriate, and will check that there is no outstanding marine mortgage secured on the boat.
Sea Trial and Survey – The buyer of a used vessel will usually request to have a sea trial and marine survey carried out. Buyers pay for the survey and for hauling the boat out of the water for inspection. Your broker will attend the sea trial and survey to help you determine how to address the surveyor’s recommendations. They will help put into context any survey issues as well as estimate the time and costs associated with fixing them. They can also suggest trusted professionals to carry out any maintenance needed.
The Art of Negotiating The Deal – Your broker can use their position as an intermediary to help negotiations between the buyer and seller move to a successful conclusion, even in the event of unforeseen problems.
Safeguard Funds – Your broker should use a client account for your funds, and ensure that on completion of the purchase, any existing loan or other encumbrances are paid off. This safeguard is of critical importance to the buyer and seller, and can be a potentially serious hazard in a private transaction that does not involve a broker.
After the Sale – Your broker can help you find moorings and maintenance specialists as well as recommend local training centers if you need to increase your boating knowledge.