Why Use a Broker to List and Sell Your Boat
YachtWorld advertising services are only available to eligible yacht brokerage firms and dealerships representing multiple boats for sale on behalf of an owner/seller. We do not offer services directly to the individual owner/seller.
Yacht brokers work much like real estate agents; they work hard to facilitate the sale of their listings and to protect and promote the interest of their clients. Some countries (and US states like California and Florida) require licensing of their yacht sales professionals. Most brokers in the US and Canada prefer to sign a “Central Agency Listing” with the owner/seller, providing the most value to all parties. Many brokers work co-operatively with most other brokers on a co-brokerage basis. Yacht brokers charge a commission when the vessel is sold, and the commission amount will be set in writing when the seller signs a listing agreement with the broker. If another broker brings a buyer to the table on a co-brokerage arrangement, the total commission will normally be shared between the brokers.
Brokers often specialize in boat types, sizes and regions, so choose a broker who already represents boats similar to yours, and who operates his or her business close to where your boat is located.
The Brokers Role for the Seller
- Determining a fair asking price – To ensure a timely sale, it is essential to ask a fair price. A broker can help establish fair-market value for the boat through access to actual sold boat data in www.soldboats.com, as reported by YachtWorld.com brokerage firms. Soldboats.com is not available to the public.
- Preparing an Advertising Strategy – The professional broker will outline a plan of how a boat is to be advertised in the most appropriate media. For example, the best means to promote a 27′ Catalina is vastly different than the strategy for a 63′ Sunseeker. The broker’s objective is to devise a strategy with the best chances of reaching the most interested and qualified audience for your boat.
- Preparing the listing for the Public – The broker will prepare the listing for distribution in various electronic and print media, for print and email distribution to clients and other brokers, and for distribution to prospects at boat shows, open houses, and walk-in inquiries. Sellers who have listed their boat for sale with a YachtWorld.com broker will see their listing advertised in www.yachtworld.com, on the website of the YachtWorld broker, and in other partner sites selected by their broker.
- Prepare the listing for the broker-to-broker Multiple Listing Service – When you list your boat with a YachtWorld.com broker, your broker may also prepare the listing for co-brokerage by other brokers using the private BoatWizard MLS. YachtWorld has over 2000 member brokerage firms, with 3000 offices and 5,000 individual yacht brokers and salespeople, all of who have password access to this MLS system.
- E-brokers – YachtWorld members have multiple tools and services to help them promote your boat listings to buyers and other brokers. Interview several brokers by phone, email and in person before choosing a listing broker. View the presentation of their other listings in YachtWorld. Do they present their other listings as you would like them to present yours? Send them an email. Do they respond quickly to your email? Do they use the latest technology to answer your phone calls promptly? Do they subscribe to e-reports to find when competitive boats come onto the market? Do they track prospective buyers with online tools? Can they email professional purchase and sales agreements to you? Can they provide e-referrals? After you have chosen a broker, view your listing in YachtWorld. Could it be better?
- YachtWorld Member Policies – YW member brokers are bound by our member policies. For example, members agree to only advertise boats for which they have a current signed listing agreement from the owner of the boat. While listing agreements vary, they should contain the same elements you would expect to find in any legal agreement. Our members agree not to accept an advertising fee to promote their listings in YachtWorld. Members agree to only identify a boat as a “Central or Exclusive Listing” if it complies with the YachtWorld definition of a central/exclusive listing. All advertised boats must be accurately represented and identified.
- Prepare the boat – The broker will advise of any improvements that should be made to compete within today’s market, identify possible problems and solutions, and help organize upgrades & repairs. The broker may help locate easy-access moorings/storage for the duration of the listing.
- Professional Know-How – Professional brokers will understand the principals of the brokerage profession – such as certificates of ownership, security agreements, bills of sale and other documents needed to register and transfer titles to boats. They will understand maritime and admiralty liens for the type of vessels they represent, as well as mortgaging and transferring title to documented vessels. They will understand agency contracts, listing agreements, closing statements, deposit requirements and escrowed accounts to safeguard funds.
- Sea Trial and Survey – The buyer will usually request a sea trial and the services of a marine surveyor. Buyers pay for the surveys and for hauling the boat out of the water for inspection. Your yacht broker will usually attend the sea trial and marine survey and help you determine how any discovered deficiencies should be addressed in the purchase negotiations.
- The Art of Negotiating The Deal – The broker can use his position as a middleman to keep the negotiations between buyer and seller moving to a successful conclusion.