Well, I’m not sure that we may all think alike. When buying a boat, there are many considerations to take in, and the purchase of a boat to suite your needs may be a very expensive endeavor.
I myself think that when purchasing a boat, a boat of substance… not something that you need ores for! A boat broker may be a good friend to have on your side.
When to have a broker
Like I mentioned earlier, I don’t think that I would hire a boat broker to find my next seventeen foot power boat. Unless of course, I was looking for that one-of-a-kind boat, custom made, and there are only two in the world.
If you’re like me, and you want a boat that meets a group of specific requirements, a boat broker can help you find the best options. By all means, this doesn’t assume you don’t have to stop looking yourself. I think that it is important that you keep looking. However, for many of us who are looking through all the online brokerage listings, dozens of websites, and countless craigslist ads, it can be daunting.
Not to mention that you might be on a bit site, and there are thousands of boats listed, and you just found the right one. You get excited, fire off a message, and either don’t hear back, or get a message back that the boat you want was sold months ago. Trust me it happens.
This is were the broker can reduce the stress you have. He (or she) may have countless contacts of people who have boats not listed on major sites. This itself can be a big help. They often know who is interested in selling a boat, long before it gets listed, and that can be advantageous in your search.
Brokers can do another good thing for you. Once you’ve sat with them and unfolded all your dreams on the table, they can offer you advice and options that you probably have not thought of.
Here in Florida, boat brokers are licensed agents by the state. They are much like realtors in that sense. With that in mind, you can rest assured that at least you’re not dealing with someone who is a complete and utter failure.
I think that when buying a boat, the biggest advantage is that the buyer doesn’t pay the commission on the boat sale, the seller does. This is were you get to take advantage of the brokers knowledge, and I think that you should.
On The Hunt!
When you start looking, as I mentions, you will probably sit down with your computer or tablet and browse.
Like I said earlier, your broker will have much more up to date information available to him than you’ll ever imagine. At least the first time you do this.
A broker can search for boats that are actually still available for sale. This is something that you and I can’t do. The data we get is always somehow delayed just long enough, so that we will miss out on the good stuff. (I personally think this is done on purpose to give brokers an advantage, but, who cares).
Your broker will also be able to sit with you and go over financial statistics. I’m not just talking about financing your purchase, but they can tell you how many boats like the one you’re looking for sold, the sales price, and the days/weeks/months on the market. When making a purchase like as large as a boat, this makes sense.
So, let’s say that you’re looking for a 44 foot power cruiser, or something that falls into that size. Maybe a specific brand and model. The boat you’re going to see is listed for $200,000.00. It is a bit older than the average in its class, and it is a bit higher priced than boats in its class. Wouldn’t you not want to know that going in? Of course.
This doesn’t mean that the boat isn’t worth it, but apples to apples, this is information you need. Your broker is good for that.
We Found our boat! What next?
You’re broker and you worked hard, searched the globe, and you’ve found your boat. The next things your broker can help you with are invaluable amounts of information and resources! No, they won’t do all the work for you. They found you the boat.
The next step for your broker, write up an offer, present it, and negotiate on your behalf. No, you’re not giving up power of attorney. You’ll be in the loop the entire time. Sometimes, like when purchasing a new home, the best thing to do is distance yourself from the seller. Thats where the broker can be your friend again. They will be the in-between working with you to come to a purchase price.
GREAT! Accepted Offer! Get on the phone with your broker, this is the time to get as many resources from them you can, before they’re off on another hunt!
You’ll need to know who does boat financing, and they should have a list of recommended banks and lenders who provide these services. If you’re paying cash, then don’t worry.
Boat Inspection! This is a big one guys. If you’re buying a boat that is more then twenty feet long, you had better get it inspected. The broker will be able to give you a list of inspectors they work with. They will even have lists of other inspectors they are very good, but that they don’t use often. What ever you do however, once you’ve contacted an inspector, get some references, and check.
Where to keep it?
Your broker helped you get through all these steps. You’re about ready to sign the paperwork. If your boat didn’t already come with a slip (Dock for the rest of us), then ask the broker for some recommendations based on your needs. Most brokers know or have a good idea where the best marinas are, and which ones have open slips for rent.
With all this said, yes, I think that when buying a boat, and even selling a boat, it is a good idea to get yourself a broker. The knowledge that they bring to the table will out-way the knowledge that you think you have about this entire process. You’re inevitably going to miss some things on the list, and that is why they can help. Use them for their skills, and let them help you.
This is exactly what I’m doing on my hunt!
Good luck guys, and happy boating!