Boat Education Monday: Buying from a Brokerage

If you’re in the market for a boat, odds are you’ll go to the used market because of the abundance of boats available and the cheaper prices compared to buying a new boat. After all, not everyone can drop $200,000+ for a new Sea Ray Sundancer 320 Coupe.

Enter POP Yachts, and other companies, that are boat brokerages. Wait a minute, though. What’s a boat brokerage and why should I buy through them rather than a dealership or private seller? Good question.

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As per Oxford Languages, a brokerage is “A company that buys or sells goods or assets for clients.” In the case of POP Yachts, the company acts as a “middleman” between buyers and sellers to sell boats. Buyers browse the POP Yachts website, find a boat they like, and they can then make an offer for a boat. There is a process involved, however, and it’s important for buyers to understand the process.

The advantages? An easy, transparent process. An expert team that helps throughout. Minimal closing costs. Thousands of boat listings. People with vast knowledge of the boating industry. Sales reps that care that you really do get the boat that you want, in the condition you expect, and to your full satisfaction.

As POP Yachts is a brokerage, there is a commission that is paid upon a boat sale. The great thing about POP Yachts is that they don’t get paid unless you get your boat and the sale goes through. No surprises. No unplanned expenses.

Now it’s time for the advice. Below are some pointers for people who have never used a brokerage and are unfamiliar with the process. This is your big chance to get a great boat, haggle a bit on the price, and have a great upcoming summer. I hope you find this useful.

  • Ask questions. Your POP rep is there to get you answers, so use the rep to get all of your questions answered about a boat. This will help to alleviate any doubts you have about the boat.
  • Don’t wait. In the brokerage business, boats often sell quickly. Once you are sure you want a particular boat, make an offer. (Contact your sales rep!)
  • Make a reasonable offer. Making an offer at half the asking price, or lower, will usually go nowhere. Sellers aren’t often in a position to sell far below the asking price.
  • Be ready to negotiate. That’s what a brokerage is all about. Don’t make an offer and expect it to be taken by the seller automatically. Be ready to haggle and compromise on the price.
  • Think about extra costs. You will likely conduct a survey of the boat. This is an extra cost. Do you need to transport the boat to your home or marina? What are the closing costs? Consider all of this when considering a boat purchase.
  • Attend a showing. Go see the boat, ask questions, learn the maintenance history, do a water trial, search for problems, and make sure the boat is exactly how it has been advertised.
  • Boat condition. How turnkey do you want your boat to be? Some people like to tinker, some don’t. Do you want a project boat that requires major work? Or do you want a boat that is ready to sail?
  • Read the contract! While relatively simple, it is very important to read the entire contract and understand what it all means. If anything is unclear, ask questions.
  • Don’t go out of contract. If you do, then someone else can make an offer and the seller can take it, leaving you high and dry. 
  • Communicate. Keep in close communication with your POP reps. Your sales rep, your deal manager, your closing coordinator. Ask questions, read all emails and texts, make phone calls, and just make sure you know and understand what is happening and why.
  • This list is not all-inclusive, but will help you navigate the waterways of boat-buying with a brokerage. The summer boating season is not far away, so … get lookin’ and happy boating!
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Published by Paul Hardersen

I am the CEO of a startup nautically-focused travel company, former associate professor and research scientist, traveler, lobster lover, and now doing what I can to help preserve the planet for future generations. The ocean is the key.

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