Everyone has heard of hiring a yacht broker to help you sell your yacht, but what are the advantages of using the services of a broker to help you buy a boat? Most people start their search for the perfect boat by attending a boat show, reading up in the latest marine industry magazines, and looking at various websites on the internet. Searching for a boat like this can be a daunting task as there are literally hundreds of options on the market from all over the world. Depending on the year, condition, engine size, options, and brand, two yachts that are both 50 feet in length could be hundreds of thousands of dollars apart in value. A yacht broker can really help you focus on exactly what your needs are when it comes to boat ownership and realize what you need and don't need. Professional yacht brokers do this for a living and can take a lot of the stress out of making sure that you make the right decision.
The yacht brokerage industry is very similar in theory to real estate, albeit a few significant differences. One major difference is that the real estate industry is highly regulated and agents are made to attend a certain number of hours of education and pass a rigorous test. There is also mandatory continuing education for real estate agents that could result in the loss of their license if they do not attend. There is licensing for yacht brokers, but no such test exists today or continuing education. Make sure that the yacht broker you choose belongs to a professional brokerage firm and has the experience to advise you in the best possible way. At United, we have over 25 offices worldwide and over 150 brokers with an average tenure of 15-20 years in the business. Several new boat companies also entrusted United to represent them in certain markets including Hatteras Yachts, Gulfstream Center-Console Boats, Amer Yachts, among others.
Boat buyers often forget that it costs nothing to hire a yacht broker to help you find the right vessel. Commissions are 10% in the marine industry, all of which is paid by the seller unless special negotiations are made. That means as the buyer, your broker is working on your behalf, but at no cost to you.
Once you've found a reputable, professional yacht broker to assist you in your search, the next step is having a frank conversation about your budget and how you plan on using the boat. External costs like dockage, fuel, and maintenance are sometimes overlooked at the time of purchase and your broker can help make sure you are fully aware of everything that will go into your boat ownership. While it may seem like a lot, the memories you will make are priceless. Lean on your broker at this time to help make things easy on you. Where you boat, how many people you plan on taking on board, and whether or not you'll use it overnight are all considerations that go into selecting the right vessel. Your broker should be taking notes and will use this information to then scour the MLS system to find all of the best, available options. Your broker will review all of these listings while making sure your budget and boating requirements are met. After narrowing down the list, the broker you've hired will then begin to make contact with the other yacht brokers representing the available boats of interest and ask about their history, recent service information, and overall condition. Professional firms like United that have a vast network of brokers are also able to find boats that are not yet listed on the MLS, giving the buyer the first shot at the boat. This due diligence the broker has done on your behalf will take a lot of the work out of your search.
Yacht brokers are also useful when you are considering the purchase of a new yacht - whether that be a custom sportfishing boat, long-distance cruising trawler, or a luxury motor yacht. When purchasing a new yacht, buyers will often work with a specific representative from the dealer or the factory. It is their main objective to sell their yacht to you. Having a broker work on your behalf when buying a new yacht means that someone is in your corner, negotiating for you, and ensuring that your best interests are at heart. The team at United has countless examples where we have worked with clients on new yacht builds as their trusted advisor. This service is generally at no cost to the buyer while the commission is negotiated between the selling dealer or factory and the broker representing the buyer.
Once the search has narrowed down, it is recommended that the buyer and yacht broker jointly conduct a sea trial on the boat. You and your broker will look for both the positive and negative things about the boat that will go into your decision. Do the engines start while cold or do they need several turns to start? Do you notice any tears in the canvas enclosure or bimini? Does the boat run smoothly and to your expectations? Generally a prospective buyer will be able to tell after a sea trial as to whether or not they are interested in the boat. If not, your broker will move on to the next best option.
If the buyer likes the selected boat after the sea trial, whether you are buying a new or used yacht, a survey comes next. There is some debate as to whether new yachts need a survey at time of purchase and is completely up to the buyer and seller as to whether that happens. With pre-owned yachts, however, a survey can reveal all of the flaws in the boat. Just like hiring a professional yacht broker is in your best interest, so is hiring an experienced, reputable surveyor. After the survey is done, your yacht broker can not only help to explain any of the findings, but he can also advise you on how survey may affect the value and negotiations on the vessel. At United, our team is always up to speed on the current market conditions which proves invaluable when it comes time to determine whether or not a boat is worth the asking price. Together, you and your broker will begin negotiations with the selling broker or dealer to make sure a fair deal is reached and your best interests are well represented.
Professional brokerage firms can also assist you in the closing of your new boat or yacht. Closings can sometimes be tricky, particularly if a boat isn't available in U.S. waters or there is financing. The support team at United is one of the best in the industry and can take the stress out of the new boat purchase process by ensuring that all of the details are covered. Why put yourself through the stress of buying a boat without someone on your side? After the closing, your yacht broker and team can assist you with registration, maintenance, dockage, and even teach you how to use the boat until you’re comfortable.
Hiring a broker when looking for a yacht for sale may be the best decision you can make when it comes to buying a boat. The amount of joy that comes with boat ownership is something that can't be described and the memories you will make will be cherished by you and your loved ones forever. There is simply no better recreational pastime available today. So let the professional yacht brokerage team at United work on your behalf, so that you can enjoy the excitement of finding your new boat without the hassle that can come along with it.