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Boat Broker or Not???

TikiHut2TikiHut2 Member Posts: 1,431 ✭✭✭✭✭

 The dilemma, broker vs sale by owner

Over the years I've sold many many boats, cars, tractors, real estate, etc along with just about anything else that mankind buys/sells. Some for myself, mostly for others. So it's starting to nag on me that if we aren't using the boat as much as we had, maybe it's time to sell the Tikihut (our sweet '04 270). So I have to wonder why would I start with a boat broker now if it's not a trade-in or an upgrade with no urgent time frame? 

Most small boat owners sell their own smaller boat rather easily but I also realize our 270 is right on that line of being a larger cruiser AND it was a long production run so there's a ton of them out there, not to mention similarly sized competition. In my situation as a pretty seasoned salesman myself should I list it with a broker or give it a good effort myself for a few months.....maybe even until late next spring?

Otherwise stated, any particularly obvious reason why I should pay somebody a $3500 commission to basically run a few internet ads? I don't mind culling through the bogus responses (most often just brokers wanting a new listing), I have a great list of marine contacts (surveyors etc) and an escrow agent. It also helps that after 30yrs and endless deals I can close a warm lead with confidence and gentle professionalism. Maybe I'm secretly afraid a broker might REALLY sell it, possibly too cheap, when I could take my time (aka: stall to use the upcoming boating season down here) and come up with excuses why the right buyer hasn't magically appeared. 



Opinions on your experience with a boat deal and brokers good/bad might help fill in the blanks. My psychological perturbation aside, maybe I just miss using the boat during our endless broiling season and I'm afflicted with a confusing case of lackahydrophobia. Admittedly i'm in turmoil. :#

 

Mike



2004 FV270, 300hp 5.7 350mag MPI Merc 305hrs, 2:20 Bravo3 OD w.22p props, 12v Lenco tabs, Kohler 5kw genset, A/C, etc.etc...
Regular weekender, Trailer stored indoors, M/V TikiHut, Sarasota, Fl

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    Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Member Posts: 5,439 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Brokers..real estate agents..all losing their purpose in life if you ask me.  They charge a lot for doing very little IMO.  They can be a help if you are the buyer and they scour the listings (which you can just as easy do yourself)..they don;t do boo for the seller besides take a lot of money.

     

    I think you have Lakhydraphobia BAD.  :)

    Past owner of a 2003 342FV
    PC BYC, Holland, MI
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    212rowboat212rowboat Member Posts: 2,591 ✭✭✭✭✭

    does the Admiral know your intentions yet?  Do you at least have a cot in that workshop of yours?

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    TikiHut2TikiHut2 Member Posts: 1,431 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yeah she knows. She's seen me wrestling with the decision and says she's ok if we sell. I've just been feeling kind of restless about the whole boat-sitting-too-long syndrome. That and the urge to simplify every time I see it wedged in my shop.


    If I wait any longer the market just gets flooded with Northern sellers moving out of theirs for the upcoming hibernation. Maybe it's already too late for this summer and I should hit it next March?

    2004 FV270, 300hp 5.7 350mag MPI Merc 305hrs, 2:20 Bravo3 OD w.22p props, 12v Lenco tabs, Kohler 5kw genset, A/C, etc.etc...
    Regular weekender, Trailer stored indoors, M/V TikiHut, Sarasota, Fl
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    Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Member Posts: 5,439 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Tiki..try letting it sit for 7 months at a crack  lol  Us northern guys do!  (Just to make you feel good: Lake Michigan was 42F yesterday afternoon near shore..the lake rolled over)

    I can feel for you on the 'simplify' side.  I see my day coming when my son hits HS and wants to to other things.  He's my boat buddy. :)

    Past owner of a 2003 342FV
    PC BYC, Holland, MI
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    TikiHut2TikiHut2 Member Posts: 1,431 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2014

    WTH.... the lake rolled over and it's 42* ?! I have an answer for both of us in need of simplifying and it involves a 270 in the tropics. lol :D

    Good luck with that boat buddy in high school. Been there and you just have to let them learn to fly. My now 22y/o boat buddy joined the Air Force last week and my middle one is a flight attendant for Delta who was actually on the tarmac in Amsterdam when that doomed Malaysian jet took off across the Ukraine. She didn't bother to return our calls for 3 days. Could've rung her neck. You'll always worry about 'em they say.

    2004 FV270, 300hp 5.7 350mag MPI Merc 305hrs, 2:20 Bravo3 OD w.22p props, 12v Lenco tabs, Kohler 5kw genset, A/C, etc.etc...
    Regular weekender, Trailer stored indoors, M/V TikiHut, Sarasota, Fl
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    Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Member Posts: 5,439 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yep, lake Michigan can roll over in the summer if it gets windy.  The lake water was probably mid 70's (very comfy!) 10 days ago...it flips and you get the cold stuff.  Then you get fog..then storms (Sunday afternoon..fun to watch people scrambling off the lake when you can see the anvil forming 50+ miles off shore and the roll cloud coming lol)..then the air cools..so you get mid-50's mornings like today.  Had the exact same thing happen at the same time last year..it was winter saying hello a bit early.

    http://uglos.mtu.edu/station_page.php?station=45029

     

    Past owner of a 2003 342FV
    PC BYC, Holland, MI
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    TikiHut2TikiHut2 Member Posts: 1,431 ✭✭✭✭✭

    50* degrees in the morning is dead of winter for us and our low water temp never gets down to 50* or fish start dying in droves. Yikes, I have to be careful what I wish for.


    RY, I'll just figure it as sold pending your sale :D . Send a deposit..... I own it free and clear so I'll get the title out for you. I'll use it in the mean time to keep her exercised. Man, that was easy. lol Good insight re a broker.

    2004 FV270, 300hp 5.7 350mag MPI Merc 305hrs, 2:20 Bravo3 OD w.22p props, 12v Lenco tabs, Kohler 5kw genset, A/C, etc.etc...
    Regular weekender, Trailer stored indoors, M/V TikiHut, Sarasota, Fl
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    Dream_InnDream_Inn Member, Moderator Posts: 7,594 mod

    Well, I know exactly what you mean by simplify. I will say, when our boat was out for 10 weeks last summer, I was lost. So that kind of answered my thought about simplifying (my daughter is going into HS and son into MS). I say list it for what you think is reasonable and if it goes, you can always buy again later. I sometimes admire the smaller boats that just put it in for skiing and simply take it home when done. Very easy to maintain and still really enjoy.


    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

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    JC290JC290 Member Posts: 706 ✭✭✭

    Tiki sell it yourself you don't sound like your in any hurry. I think at one time or another some of us have all thought about it, I know I have several times then when the snow is gone and I go for that first ride of the season. I truly find piece of mind and the reasons for my labor of love. Good luck in your decision 

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    LaReaLaRea Member, Moderator Posts: 7,626 mod

    Yeah, well.  Having sold a large cruiser this year, I'd ask you this question:  do you really want a part-time job selling boats?  

    Do you like showing your boat to time-wasting tire-kickers?  Making everything pretty and then waiting in the rain for a buyer who never shows up?  Do you like writing your own web ads, taking your own photos, writing your own sales agreement, dealing with banks and filling out USCG forms?  It's a real PITA, and not an easy way to save/make a few bucks.  

    For example, my closing consumed a full 12-hour day of my time, and that's after a long gestation period with many showings (each of which takes 2-3 hours).   I invested a lot of time, and I'm not sure it made any real difference in my net price.

    In retrospect, a broker might have worked better for me.


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    LaReaLaRea Member, Moderator Posts: 7,626 mod
    Not that I'm bitter.

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    TikiHut2TikiHut2 Member Posts: 1,431 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2014

    LaRea, DI and everyone else, thanks for the honest insight. I understand your point and the value of my time deducted from my potential expense to sell with each hour of time spent trying. It does add up in a way that most sellers don't honestly calculate.


    On the other hand we all hope for the guy that I actually bumped into at the gas pump one day while fueling my then new to me 270. He was a local rancher/farmer I recognized who had JUST brought in a record harvest with cash burning a hole in his pocket. I also quickly recognized it as an easy sale as he drooled all over the boat and offered me about $5000 more than I'd just paid. Couldn't bring myself to trade my new toy for a quick profit (and in hind sight, glad I didn't). Wish I'd have kept his contact info. I'll keep my fingers crossed for another lucky encounter like that.......as every boat seller does. :D


    TikiHut will probably show up as casually available over the next few weeks. Sure hope I don't regret it. Like JC said above, we sure love it when we're out on this boat. Maybe I just need therapy...... aquatherapy.  :D  Mike

    2004 FV270, 300hp 5.7 350mag MPI Merc 305hrs, 2:20 Bravo3 OD w.22p props, 12v Lenco tabs, Kohler 5kw genset, A/C, etc.etc...
    Regular weekender, Trailer stored indoors, M/V TikiHut, Sarasota, Fl
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    TikiHut2TikiHut2 Member Posts: 1,431 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2014


    I'm really not the guy who is ever very happy when I sell a boat especially those that I had great memories with(and they all do for me). I guess like most toys, boats sure have a seasonal use. I just happen to be in my off season down here when the broiler/steamer is just unbearable for me on the water until Oct. I'm probably just letting off some steam, not unlike my ice bound bretheren who I patiently hear fussing/cussing their questionable maritime vices during their off-season from Nov-April.


    No toys?? What would life be without a box full of toys to preoccupy our few moments of relaxation between days at the salt mine. :D  It's all good and I got nothing to complain about really except maybe for the saltwater that runs through my veins calling me to mess about in boats. The same affliction that drives many of us slightly nuts when we can't find that peace usually found underway or at anchor somewhere. Mike 

    2004 FV270, 300hp 5.7 350mag MPI Merc 305hrs, 2:20 Bravo3 OD w.22p props, 12v Lenco tabs, Kohler 5kw genset, A/C, etc.etc...
    Regular weekender, Trailer stored indoors, M/V TikiHut, Sarasota, Fl
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    Capt RonCapt Ron Member Posts: 217 ✭✭✭

    There are good brokers and there are lousy brokers. I guess it's a personal decision about using a broker or not, will be based on how far you live from the boat and are you willing to drop everything for a possible sale and rush to the boat. In my case I would use a good broker and let them deal with all the buyers and etc. Yes it costs money, however a good broker will do more than put a few internet ads out there and make the selling process much easier on the seller. The season is about half over so your decision to sell should be actioned immediately to beat all the people who don't want to winterize or store boats this year.

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    JC290JC290 Member Posts: 706 ✭✭✭

    Tiki you're more then welcome to come on up for a little therapy. The toy is full if fuel as is the liquor cabinet. Last time I started to wonder about boating jumped on a plane and flew into Bradenton and found a boat to ride. Best thing I ever did

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    TikiHut2TikiHut2 Member Posts: 1,431 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Ron, sage advice that's certainly well thought out. I'm aiming that way.

    JC, That's a very generous offer. Thanks for the insight too. That offer goes both ways when you start jonesin' next winter.


    I have another 2mths to endure the broiler and after some soul searching and insight from the RBOC crew I'm leaning toward doing a casual fsbo until next spring (April/May) when I'll definately put her with a broker unless something major changes.

    Thanks, Mike

    2004 FV270, 300hp 5.7 350mag MPI Merc 305hrs, 2:20 Bravo3 OD w.22p props, 12v Lenco tabs, Kohler 5kw genset, A/C, etc.etc...
    Regular weekender, Trailer stored indoors, M/V TikiHut, Sarasota, Fl
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    raybo3raybo3 Administrator Posts: 5,469 admin

    Tiki I have a better idea.................. Why not just keep the freaking boat and then you wont have to worry about a broker...............

    2002 342 Fiesta Vee PC Point Of Pines YC Revere MA. popyc.org     raybo3@live.com
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    wm61356wm61356 Member Posts: 201 ✭✭✭

    Hi Mike, I've sold boats that I have owned with and without the assistance of a broker. Financial considerations aside (commission cost) listed below is my list of "pros and con's" for using a broker, based on my experience.

    Pro's

    A good, qualified broker...

    • can provide nation-wide as well as international advertising for your boat which is something that is difficult for an individual to do.

     

    • is well equipped to advise you as to the selling price of boats similar or the same as the one you are selling. This is helpful in determining a realistic price. Anyone can look up what boats are "listed for" (asking price), but a far more realistic estimation of the dollars a boat will bring if sold can be determined from the actual sold price of like boats in the same listing region.

     

    • will likely have a list of customers who are looking for a particular model boat, which could result in a quick sale.

     

    • has the capability to fully qualify a customer prior to the sale (things like determining eligibility for loans etc.).

     

    • can assist buyers with the loan process and in many cases have financing partners that can provide boat loans to prospective buyers.

     

    • can take the hassle out of dealing with tire-kickers and prospective customers alike. In my case, I work during the day making it difficult to take calls from people inquiring about the boat I was selling, for example.

    Con's

    • Many brokers do not have representation outside of the area local to their office and as such offer no advantage over the advertising the seller can do on his/her own
    • You will most likely have to "relinquish" custody and control of your boat to someone else (this is the biggest concern I have had using a broker) Most brokers are not careful about who has access to your boat and when. This leads to people tracking on and off the boat unescorted, often with little regard or respect for your boat. I've seen instances where in a few days, the boat becomes soiled, scratched and otherwise damaged by people climbing on and off wearing inappropriate or dirty shoes, or they step on upholstery, hatch covers and any number of surfaces that are not meant to be walked on. Additionally, covers/hatches are usually not replaced after being opened leaving the inside of the boat open to rain, dirt, critters and bugs. Lastly, unless the broker has the means to secure the boat (most do not) theft of valuable accessories, sound systems and even outdrive and engine parts can occur.
    • Brokers are "coin operated" (no offense intended to anyone by this remark, we all have to make a living) so the boat that will fetch the highest profit is usually the one that receives the most effort to sell. That may not be your boat.

    If you aren't certain if you want to sell, don't list it. Nothing is more frustrating to a broker than an owner who requires unrealistic expectations, or will balk at every offer because they actually hope the boat won't sell. Obviously, some can be successful with the sale of a boat without the services of a broker, some cannot. If you do decide to use a broker, ask for a list of references from buyers as well as sellers and inquire of their experience with the broker before you sign the contract. What you find out could save you time and money.  

     

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    LaReaLaRea Member, Moderator Posts: 7,626 mod
    Also, FWIW - brokers can list on yachtworld.  Owners can't.

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    Dream_InnDream_Inn Member, Moderator Posts: 7,594 mod

    Some more thoughts on this (as if there wasn't enough yet).  I'd be way more likely to buy a boat when I can meet the owner, and then be able to tell if they were likely to take care of it.  I also believe I can get my best deal without buying thru a broker, cause you know the owner is thinking about how much they then have to pay the broker - so a bit more in that price. 

    I've been a 2-boat owner twice (I never wanted to be without one I guess).  Both times was no more than a month.  Also both times, the buyers said they knew they were getting a fantastic boat because I was so helpful and honest going over the boat with them.  To me, that goes a long ways.  I was fortunate that I didn't have those that just wanted to go for a ride, maybe I was lucky.  I also heard from both owners after buying the boat and they were very happy (the 310 owner joined the RBO site after I sold it).  Tiki, to me, I'd think someone would buy the boat from you personally easier than thru the broker.

    WM, you have good points for both sides.

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

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    TikiHut2TikiHut2 Member Posts: 1,431 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2014

    Well we're all over the place on this as I sort of assumed but it's all helpful to me and everyone else who may be thinking this way. Great pro/cons WM. And leave it to Ray to hold my hand over the proverbial 3rd rail :D  lol. WTH, it's an honest statement from someone I respect (as with all my friends here) and certainly an option that I shouldn't rule out.


    Brokers certainly expand the exposure for unique or hard to sell boats and a good one will pre-qualify the masses, both valuable time savers. The art of closing the deal is certainly worth something but I've spent a lifetime doing just that. I feel pretty sure that when the time comes that, through the net, a few signs, and a busy street location I can generate adequate exposure to find a buyer in a reasonable timeframe. If I can't then I'll know when it's time to let it go to a broker, become a semi-boatless contributor here and just bum a ride with generous souls. :) . Yikes.


    Thanks for all the great input. Not-boatless-yet, probably afflicted with a curable case of hyperactive mid-off-season malaise. I hear it gets around with the changing seasons. Inoculations with rum and airfare are rumored to be reliable antidotes :D Mike

    2004 FV270, 300hp 5.7 350mag MPI Merc 305hrs, 2:20 Bravo3 OD w.22p props, 12v Lenco tabs, Kohler 5kw genset, A/C, etc.etc...
    Regular weekender, Trailer stored indoors, M/V TikiHut, Sarasota, Fl
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    wm61356wm61356 Member Posts: 201 ✭✭✭

    RinkerYan, I'm honestly not a broker, but I've sold boats with and without brokers. Just wanted to share some points based on my experiences. If I ever decide to sell my present boat I probably wouldn't hire a broker, but that's just me...everyone has different circumstances.
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    TikiHut2TikiHut2 Member Posts: 1,431 ✭✭✭✭✭


    Therein lays the rub......finding a "good" broker which was in WMs opening statement. Tough to discern from an interview and possibly a list in itself. "How to qualify a good broker?".

    2004 FV270, 300hp 5.7 350mag MPI Merc 305hrs, 2:20 Bravo3 OD w.22p props, 12v Lenco tabs, Kohler 5kw genset, A/C, etc.etc...
    Regular weekender, Trailer stored indoors, M/V TikiHut, Sarasota, Fl
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    raybo3raybo3 Administrator Posts: 5,469 admin

    Tiki I would never hold your hand over the 3rd rail even though I hold my own hand over it everyday....lol That was a great play on words bro...... However it just seems to me that you love your boat and you post some of the most awesome pictures of you and your family boating. I know this is a big choice you have to make and only you and Mrs Tiki can make it. But just imagine a beautiful sunny afternoon and guess what???????? No boat!!!! What to do?????? Cut the grass????? Paint the house?????? Watch TV???????? No way bro, float the good ole Rinker and have din din with the Mrs and enjoy........... Ahhh life is good...... 

    2002 342 Fiesta Vee PC Point Of Pines YC Revere MA. popyc.org     raybo3@live.com
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    TikiHut2TikiHut2 Member Posts: 1,431 ✭✭✭✭✭

    LOL You had me at ........ no boat. That's almost impossible to imagine. Working over the 3rd rail....... no frikken way fearless train guy. :D


    We just had the "discussion" and based on everyones input and the Admiral it looks like we'll give it another season. No fsbo, just boating. If we aren't using it regularly or with gusto then we pass it on to someone else next spring.


    Thanks for the therapy, it was all helpful and I'll pull out pieces of wisdom from it next spring if needed.

    Aloha, Mike

    2004 FV270, 300hp 5.7 350mag MPI Merc 305hrs, 2:20 Bravo3 OD w.22p props, 12v Lenco tabs, Kohler 5kw genset, A/C, etc.etc...
    Regular weekender, Trailer stored indoors, M/V TikiHut, Sarasota, Fl
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    raybo3raybo3 Administrator Posts: 5,469 admin

    Good choice Mike. You love it to much brother..... :)  

    2002 342 Fiesta Vee PC Point Of Pines YC Revere MA. popyc.org     raybo3@live.com
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    craigswardmtbcraigswardmtb Member Posts: 1,015 ✭✭✭

    I suppose I lucked out. I listed my 06 270 in November (end of season) and sold it in January.    I listed on Craigslist and Boattrader. I received some quality leads from Boattrader and a lot of hagglers that knew very little about boats from craigslist. The boat was low hours, in pristine shape, and priced right, so I had that going for me.  I still never would have guessed it would sell that fast. 

    I recommend pouring a rum, dropping the boat in the water, and sitting and gazing at a beautiful island sunset. I think this will yield a profound answer to your present conundrum. 

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