October 20th 2013. By Jeanne Craig.

Co-Brokerage: What the Yacht Buyer Needs to Know

If you've ever sold a house, you’re probably familiar with the concept of co-brokerage—and there are parallels between the role of co-brokers in the marine world.

In real estate, brokers often work cooperatively with other brokers on a co-brokerage basis. One will represent the listing brokerage to help sell a property. The other will usually bring the buyer. The listing broker will work with the other broker to help complete the transaction, and the two will split the commission. This enables real estate firms to sell each other’s listings, and makes it easier and faster to find buyers for properties. It also enables buyers to work with one agent at one company.


With co-brokerage, the total commission will usually be shared between the two brokers.

A yacht broker works much like a real estate agent. This person facilitates the sale of a listing and also protects and promotes the interests of his client. While a single broker may represent both the buyer and the seller of a yacht, often two brokers work cooperatively on a co-brokerage basis.

Yacht brokers charge a commission when a vessel is sold, and the commission amount will be specified in writing when the boat owner signs a listing agreement with the seller’s broker. If another broker brings a buyer to the table on a co-brokerage arrangement, the total commission will be shared between the two brokers. A commission on a yacht is typically not more than 10 percent. Often that’s split 50/50, or sometimes it’s 60/40. The boat owner/seller always pays the brokerage commission.

That’s a standard arrangement in the marine world, but there are times when a co-central arrangement is used. (It applies when brokers sign a central agency listing.) Here, the boat owner gives his exclusive listing to two brokers who represent the seller. “This is more common on the international market, when a seller can benefit from the marketing strategies of a broker in the U.S. and another overseas,” says Alex Clarke of Denison Yacht Sales in Ft. Lauderdale. “A seller can utilize the experience and contacts of both brokers to find a buyer for his yacht.” With a co-central arrangement, the commission is split another way. If the total commission is 10 percent of the yacht’s value, the broker who brings the buyer commonly gets 60 percent of that, while the two brokers representing the seller split the remaining 40 percent.

To understand more about yacht brokers and how brokerage works, read:
Yacht Brokers versus Boat Dealers: What’s the Difference?
How to Become a Yacht Broker
Choosing the Best Brokers for Mega Yachts, Super Yachts, and Luxury Yachts
Yachts Brokers Want to Sell: Finding the Buyer’s Market
The CPYB Designation: What Does it Mean?
Finances of Buying from a Yacht Broker: Commissions, Escrow Accounts, Taxes, and More

Jeanne Craig
Jeanne Craig has been covering powerboats since 1988. She spent ten years as a senior editor at Boating magazine and ten more as executive editor at Motor Boating. She’s now an independent writer based in Rowayton, Connecticut, where she’s close to the cruising grounds she most enjoys.