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What Does A Yacht Broker Do?

By Robert Bowman | Posted On Jun 07, 2022
Updated On Apr 16, 2024

Whether you are in the market to purchase a boat or sell your yacht, choosing a professional, experienced yacht broker can not only alleviate stress during the process, but also save you time and money. A yacht broker, similar to a real estate agent, is someone who works on your behalf during the selling or buying process of a luxury boat, negotiating on your behalf, and ensures the entire transaction is completed smoothly. While a yacht broker might be thought of as the "middle man" in the transaction, a good agent will provide an exceptional amount of value throughout the experience.

Take a stroll around any major boat show and it becomes apparent that there are thousands of yacht brokers from all over the world, all with varying degrees of experience, distinctive areas of focus, and with uncertain levels of support from the brokerage firm they represent. United Yacht Sales has more than 250 yacht brokers on our team alone that are all over the world. So how do you pick the right one for you? And if you know a broker already, is he or she the right one for your specific situation? Choosing the wrong broker can result in missing out on the perfect boat or prolonging the sale of your current one, both devaluing the final sale price and costing you more in maintenance. Hiring a reputable, knowledgeable broker can make a world of difference in your experience and how successful your search for a buyer or seller becomes.

At United Yacht Sales, we will match you up with the perfect yacht broker near you that specializes in selling your type of vessel. We have a phenomenal sales record of nearly 8,000 sold vessels and a robust database to help you find the right boat or the right buyer quickly. If you want to be connected with a professional broker right now, please call our main office at 1-772-463-3131 and we will find the right fit for your boat.

We have compiled a list of 8 questions to ask when choosing a yacht broker:


1.) Ask The Broker For Examples Of Similar Boats They Have Sold And Referrals

yacht broker fishing with clients

(Seen above: Broker Mordy Miltz had a successful day fishing with one of his longtime customers.)

"I've found that I often become friends with my clients after working on multiple transactions with them," says Mordy Miltz, a broker with UYS in both Florida and the Northeast. "When you spend hours with a client, looking at boats, working with them on the best scenario, you develop a level of trust and understanding with each other. That client knows that I am going to put them first and work as hard as I can to make sure they have a positive experience."

"Whether a potential client is interested in buying or selling a sportfish or a motor yacht, I have a list of referrals I can give them," he continued.

Don't be shy about asking for a broker's history. A reputable broker that has experience with a lot of different clients will undoubtedly have some testimonials or referrals to provide.


2.) Is The Broker Affiliated With Any Professional Organizations Or Have a CPYB Certification?

There are several organizations that exist in the yachting industry that don't necessarily guarantee you a successful selling experience, but they do require a particular level of ethical adherence to be members. The Certified Professional Yacht Broker program, also known as the CPYB program, requires thorough training of the broker and sets a benchmark of ethical standards. "A Certified Professional Yacht Broker (CPYB) is recognized as having achieved the highest level of industry accreditation, available to qualified yacht sales professionals," says a mission statement on their website.

Other regional organizations in the industry offer similar training, ongoing education, code of ethics, and support system. The International Yacht Brokers Association (IYBA) has grown substantially in membership as brokers all over the country join to have access to their MLS system and online tools. The Yacht Brokers Association of America (YBAA) is similar in its standards and holds its members accountable. Ask your broker what professional organizations he or she  belongs to!


3.) Ask Your Broker For a Market Analysis And Advertising Plan Before Signing An Agreement.

Is this asking price your broker suggested really in line with what boats are selling for in this market? Is the asking price set for a quick sale or to achieve the highest possible amount for you? How does the broker, and the brokerage firm that represents them, going to advertise your listing? These are all legitimate questions that can easily be answered at the beginning of the relationship by asking your yacht broker for a market analysis of your yacht and an advertising plan. Here are the things to look for:

  • Did your broker compare your boat against any recent sales in the marketplace?
  • When comparing your boat against other boats that previously sold, were there any major differences like engine power or equipment?
  • What current listings has the broker compared your boat against and are they "apples to apples"?
  • Did the broker check with anyone else in the organization that may have sold a similar boat recently?
  • Will the broker and their firm adequately market the vessel? Or is there plan to simply list on Yachtworld and send an email to other brokers?


4.) Will Your Broker Create A Professional Presentation For Your Yacht?

Yes, iPhones do take amazing pictures, but do you really want your yacht represented online to thousands of buyers with amateur photos? "Good professional photography of a yacht you are trying to sell is a must," says John Blumenthal, United Yacht Sales broker. "My clients deserve an excellent presentation of their boat through both images and video, so that potential buyers can see themselves cruising in it, enjoying their free time. Good video really paints the picture."

United Yacht Sales has a network of professional photographers and videographers all around the country that have vast experience working on yachts. We also have an excellent distribution method of getting those pictures and videos out to as many people as possible. For our sportfishing boat clients, for example, we heavily advertise with Sportfish Trader, which has become a leader in getting the latest listings out to potential clients.


5.) Will The Brokerage Firm Send Your Boat To Other Websites Owned By Competitors?

yacht mls systems

United Yacht Sales utilizes all three major industry MLS services to list your yacht in every place possible. All three of these MLS services can send your boat for sale to places like,,, and others. But did you know that your broker can also opt-in to sending your boat to other competitor broker websites?

At UYS, we believe in getting the most visibility possible to your listing so we send all of our yachts for sale to our competitors so that they too might have a chance to find a buyer. Not everyone does this and is a good question to ask your potential broker.


6.) When It Comes Time To Close, Whether Buying Or Selling A Yacht, Does Your Broker Have a Support Team?

Nothing is worse when you have spent weeks looking for a boat or waiting on a buyer, the survey has completed, you're ready to close, and your broker drops the call on the paperwork. Or worse, there's a problem after closing and attorneys need to get involved. The United Yacht Sales closing team is one of the best in the industry with decades of experience. They've seen it all and they've dealt with it all. It's one of the benefits that our clients appreciate when it comes to selling or purchasing a boat. Whether it's a straight forward closing or a tricky offshore deal, our support team will ensure everything is clearly communicated to your broker and you.


We hope that you consider selecting a United Yacht Sales professional broker for your yacht purchase or selling needs. We pride ourselves on putting our clients first and continually work at educating our team, as well as staying up-to-date with the latest technology. Our marketing budget is 100% committed to assisting our clients with helping to sell their boats, not put towards new boats in inventory or trade-ins. We invite you to experience the benefits of working with a true professional yacht brokerage firm, where our efforts are entirely focused on your experience.


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