Why Use a Broker?

Why Use A Broker To Help You Buy A Boat?

Using a boat broker can simplify the boat-buying process, save you time, provide access to exclusive listings, and offer expert guidance throughout the transaction.

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or an experienced boater, a broker can be a valuable ally in finding the right boat for your needs and ensuring a smooth purchase experience.

Expertise and Knowledge: Boat brokers are professionals who specialize in the buying and selling of boats. They have an in-depth understanding of the boat market, including different boat types, brands, and their values. Their knowledge can help you make informed decisions.

Time Savings: Searching for the perfect boat can be time-consuming. Brokers have access to a wide network of listings and can quickly narrow down options based on your preferences, saving you hours of research.

Access to Exclusive Listings: Brokers often have access to exclusive listings that may not be publicly available. These listings can include well-maintained boats that fit your criteria perfectly.

Negotiation Skills: Brokers are skilled negotiators. They can help you secure the best possible deal by leveraging their experience and market knowledge. They can also assist in determining a fair market value for the boat you’re interested in.

Market Insight: Brokers stay updated on market trends and conditions. They can advise you on whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market, helping you strategize your purchase accordingly.

Boat History and Condition: Brokers can provide valuable information about a boat’s history and condition. They often have firsthand knowledge of the vessels they represent, ensuring transparency about any issues or maintenance needs.

Assistance with Financing and Insurance: Brokers can connect you with marine lenders and insurance providers, making it easier to secure financing and insurance for your boat purchase.

Streamlined Paperwork: Buying a boat involves a significant amount of paperwork. Brokers are well-versed in the necessary documentation, ensuring a smooth and legally compliant transaction.

Guidance Through Sea Trials and Surveys: Brokers can help arrange sea trials and surveys, crucial steps in evaluating a boat’s performance and condition. They can also assist in interpreting survey results and addressing any issues that may arise.

Protection of Funds: Brokers often use escrow accounts to safeguard your funds during the buying process. This ensures that your money is secure until all aspects of the transaction are complete.

Post-Purchase Support: After the sale, brokers can continue to be a valuable resource. They can recommend moorage options, maintenance and repair specialists, and even connect you with boating communities and events.

Understanding professional yacht brokers

Yacht Brokers work like real estate agents. They are agents whom people consult to find and purchase a boat, and whom people hire to list, represent, and sell boats for them. Traditionally, the seller pays the commissions that a yacht broker earns – not the buyer, yet brokers have a duty to both buyer and seller in every transaction.
Boat Dealers represent new boat lines. They often take “trade-ins” to facilitate the sale of a new boat. Dealers advertise their trade-ins, often at very good buys. Some dealers will refurbish the boat before putting it on the market. Some dealers offer a pre-owned boat warranty program, similar to the automotive industry, particularly in smaller craft.
The broker’s role for the buyer

* Most pre-owned boats advertised on YachtWorld are either a “central agency listing” of a yacht broker, or a trade-in from a new boat dealer. If you are viewing a broker listing or a trade-in, the listing broker or dealer is likely to know the vessel inside and out. They have been selected by the owner/seller to exclusively represent this vessel (or the dealership may now own the vessel) and all inquiries must go through this yacht broker or boat dealer. If you are not already working with a yacht broker, and if you find a boat on YachtWorld of interest, you may contact the listing broker directly. However a more rewarding option might be to select a yacht broker of your own, and consult with that broker about all of your boats of interest, and let that broker represent you in your inquiries and transactions.

* The Initial Inquiry – A professional broker will listen closely to your wants and needs and will help you determine if the boat you are calling on is the right boat for you at the best value. They can objectively tell you about the condition of the vessel before you decide whether or not to spend your time to look at the boat. They will help you determine if there are similar boats on (and off) the market, the history of the yacht, how long it has been on the market, and the motivation of the seller. Anyone can look up asking prices on boats, but it takes a professional broker to have an intimate knowledge of current market conditions, a familiarity of similar boats, and information on recent sale prices and time on the market through www.soldboats.com, an industry resource not available to the public.

* Getting a Boat Loan and Marine Insurance – You may want to pre-qualify for a boat loan before you shop. That will give you some extra leverage and breathing room when you’re negotiating prices. YachtWorld offers a variety of specialist 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 pre-owned boat for a fair and reasonable price, and with the necessary elements to protect your interests. Your broker prepares an Offer to Purchase for your signature. It should spell out the terms of the sale including obligations that you and the seller have agreed to, and when these obligations will be fulfilled. You also make a good-faith deposit on the boat, which is usually placed in escrow and subject to sea trial and survey.

* Making an Offer on a New Boat – Dealers taking trade-ins will inform you of tax issues and tax savings associated with the trade-in. Price negotiations may include making your new boat available to show to other dealership clients in the future. Depending on whether the vessel is custom built, semi-custom, or a production model, there is usually a basic cost, plus transportation expenses from the builder to the dealership, plus optional equipment and installation.

* Paperwork – Professional brokers and dealers are familiar with all the paper work requirements for their each country, state or province, from the initial Offer to Purchase and Bill of Sale to licensing and registration; or documentation and titling, to paying tax and other fees, as well as certificates of ownership, security agreements, and other documents needed to complete a sale. For example, 23 forms are needed at a closing of a brokerage boat in Florida (27 for foreign-flagged vessels). Professionals will understand maritime and admiralty liens for the type of vessels they represent, as well as agency contracts, listing agreements, closing statements, deposit requirements and escrowed accounts to safeguard funds.

* Sea Trial and Survey – The buyer of a pre-owned vessel will usually request a sea trial and the services of a marine surveyor. Buyers pay for the surveys and for hauling the boat out of the water for inspection. Your yacht broker will usually attend the sea trial and marine survey with you, and help you determine how to properly address the nearly inevitable yacht survey issues and put the problems in context. They can help estimate time and cost of correcting, and where to obtain accurate quotes for items that are unfamiliar. Your lender and insurance carrier will usually require a copy of the survey.

* The Art of Negotiating The Deal – The broker can use his position as a middleman to keep the negotiations between buyer and seller moving to a successful conclusion.

* Safeguard Funds – A professional broker will use an escrow account for clients’ funds, and ensure that at closing, any existing loan or other encumbrances is paid off. This safeguard is of critical importance to the buyer and seller, and can be a potentially serious hazard in a private transaction not involving a broker.

* After the Sale – Your broker and dealer can help you find moorage and yacht maintenance and repair specialists or facilities. They can refer you to classes on sailing, boathandling, and seamanship, Their experience in local waters can help you chart a course for great day, weekend or longer trips. They can connect you with boat clubs, races and rendevous sponsored by builders and dealerships. Plus, you’ve got a new boating friend for life.




The broker has a lot of overhead and must cover costs but may be negotiable on commission on more expensive boats ( not likely on a $4k fixer upper). You never know unless you ask.

What if the survey report scares you and you want your deposit back. How easy is that going to be. Let the broker worry about it.

How do you know a seller has the right to sell a boat. Many boats have changed hands over the years without ever changing the license or registration so provenance may be difficult to show. Let the broker worry about it.

Is there a lien on the vessel or not ? This should be part of the brokers due diligence. I suppose you could re-invent the wheel and do your own lien search if you have the patience to deal with the provincial government or you could … Let the broker worry about it.

How much time are you going to spend showing unqualified buyers through your boat. Let the broker worry about it.

How many “beautifully maintained” junkers are you going to drive all over hell’s half acre to look at. Be frank with the broker about what you want and how much you have to spend and let him pull the early weeds. A good broker will have already inspected the vessel prior to listing it and know if its close to what you are looking for.

A forward looking broker will help narrow the field to find the right boat for you and not just make the quick sale. A professional wants you to come back when you upgrade while the flybynighters will be off selling aluminum siding.

Anyone can post a boat for sale on-line these days and more and more are doing so. This has had a negative effect on many brokers in a tough business to begin with, as is any when your livelihood depends on commission. One of the upsides is that the fly-by-nighters who also sell cars, real estate and TV satellite systems are slowly dripping (not a spelling error) out of the business.

Given a choice between surveying a boat in a brokerage deal and a private sale, I’ll take the brokerage deal every time. Given that there are often substantial sums of money involved and even more precious dreams. Discussions between buyer and seller can become quite heated. Disputes are not uncommon in private deals and I am sometimes used as a foil. No thanks that’s not my job. My client (buyer) is more than welcome to hang over my shoulder as I poke through a boat. The seller however, is not. My job is to find the flaws and the seller often disagrees with my findings.. I long ago decided that if the seller was present I would politely inform him that I cannot discuss the boat with him and go about my job. Many people have to be told more than once. Many private buyer/seller interactions need a referee and expect that of the surveyor, not a chance in hell ! Let the broker do that.

A knowledgeable broker will have a standard offer to purchase that will cover most contingencies and will be prepared for whatever comes up … he has seen it all before.

Much like those in the surveying business, no qualifications or license are required to be a yacht broker. The Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors has educational and ethics standards for surveyors, so to does the CPYB require educational and ethical standards for Certified Professional Yacht Brokers and gives you a place to make a complaint.

Use a CPYB or a broker from an established house. Not all brokers are created equal, well maybe they were but shortly thereafter many took a different path. Using a broker from a well established company or a CPYB is certainly not a guarantee of a smooth sale/purchase but it certainly raises the bar. Just like plumbers, orthopedists and surveyors, someone graduated at the bottom of the class but you have much better odds with someone who at least graduated. Yacht brokers operate much as realtors in that you do not have to buy through the broker that has the boat listed. You can use any broker you feel comfortable with. Even if the boat is south of the border you can still go through a Canadian broker, if fact I think that is a wise thing to do for all the reasons listed above. It may be even more important than if the boat is south of the border.

I’ve had dealings with most of the brokers in Ontario at one time or another and found that like any other endeavor; 80% are average, 10% should be selling swampland and 10% are knowledgeable, ethical business people with a love of boats/ yachts. Your job is to find one in that second 10% just like you would if you were hiring a doctor, contractor or surveyor.
Of course if you already know everything there is to know about boats and the intricacies of their sale/purchase, you don’t need either a surveyor or broker. But just as your a professional in your field, we specialize in maritime sale and marketing.

Why Use A Broker To Help you Buy A Boat

Using a broker, when purchasing, a boat is a wise choice for several reasons, Your broker represents you! And your best interest. Sometimes it’s even possible to find out what the seller paid for their boat… we compare it with others currently listed and recently sold. A broker can pull a history report for you. Collect loss documentation. Check for any liens encumbrances. Help with importation, duty and Tax. Foreign flag registration is something that has become common practice .. the pros and cons of federal registration compared with provincial registration. Our expertise could be invaluable. We bring a lot to the table.

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