Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Choosing The Right Broker

There is no shortage of salespeople who would like your business. To a first time Buyer, many of them can be pretty convincing that they have plenty of knowledge and experience. But take note: there are relatively few “career professionals” in the industry. While most salespersons may share a sincere love of yachting, many have nominal “yacht brokerage” sales experience. There are also some with excellent sales skills, who know relatively little about boats and yachts, who can fool you into thinking that they do.

Buying a Gulet or a sail yacht is a major purchase…probably your largest expenditure, with the exception of you home. Don’t choose someone who will be learning their trade at your expense! If you’re not sure about what to buy, at least be sure of your Broker.

The number of types and models of yachts to choose from is overwhelming. There are good choices and poor choices…endless compromises and trade- offs. One person can’t possibly know it all. But clearly, the more experience your Broker has, the more likely he or she will provide you with sound, reliable advice. Since you don’t go through the buying process everyday, it makes sense to work with someone who does.

There are generally two ways to shop for a Gulet: You can look at ten Gulets with ten different brokers; or choose a single Broker, and evaluate them together, to determine the best choice. In the former, each salesperson is simply trying to make a sale, and will try to convince you that “this is the one”. You get pulled ten different directions. You might buy the right Gulet, or you may buy the most convincing sales pitch.

Why not select a knowledgeable broker whom you can trust…like choosing a Realtor to work with in buying a home? Yacht brokers work co-operatively, just like in real estate. The Seller ultimately pays the commission, so it costs you no more. Your own Broker will have your best interests at heart, and should help you throughout the entire purchase: before, during, and after.

An ethical Broker can point out the positives and negatives in comparing one boat to another, BUT ONLY as long as they possess a broad scope of knowledge! There is so much to know about boat builder’s reputations, engine reliability, design features…quality, performance and value.

Most boaters are quite opinionated. Boating friends may tell you what you should do…and their input should be considered, since they know you. But do bear in mind that their scope of knowledge is probably limited to the few boats they have purchased in their lifetime, not hundreds of boats. Unless one has many years of experience as a Marine Surveyor, general repair person, a Yacht Broker, or a Professional Captain, one cannot really give reliable opinions. There is simply too much to know. Experience makes the difference, and with the right Broker, all that knowledge can go to work for you.


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