BUYING A BROKERAGE BOAT FIRST TIME?

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1 BUYING A BROKERAGE BOAT FIRST TIME? THE PLAYERS Rarely, except in special circumstances should the Buyer s and Seller s Broker be the same person. This is like two lawyers going at it in a trial. One can t be expected to fairly represent both parties interests equally. THE BUYER S BROKER YOURS! Someone recommended or found who will be primarily responsible for: 1. Interviewing you to determine your priorities. 2. Finding boats for you to review first listings, and once narrowed down, some actual boats. 3. Negotiating a sales agreement on your behalf with your best interests primarily in mind. 4. Handling all of the details of the transaction and closing on your behalf. When you find a good one, treasure him like a good doctor. Let him know he s your guy, and he will dedicate his efforts, expertise and resources to achieving positive results for you. He should be able to help with: Setting up financing, insurance, finding a surveyor, finding a captain (if needed to move the boat), helping you find a slip. Also, have connections with a boat yard or service people to help you with repairs or upgrades that may be needed. Make sure he is licensed, or has access to someone who is, in the state where you want to operate out of. He should be able to help you with questions concerning local sales or use taxes as well as sate or Coast Guard titling/documenting procedures. WHY AN EXPERIENCED NEW BOAT BROKER, MIGHT BE A GOOD BET AS YOUR BUYER S BROKER 1. Might have access to potential trades and boats not yet listed elsewhere. 2. He s used to adding equipment, and is familiar with the newest equipment. He can make good recommendations for upgrades. 3. He is in position to compare the prices of a newly ordered boat so you can have a better idea as to whether there is enough of a savings to justify the lack of warranty, etc. by buying a used boat. THE SELLER S BROKER. 1. The broker who represents, primarily, the Seller s interests. 2. He should be your Buyer s Broker resource and conduit with the owner to get questions answered GETTING STARTED 1. Get comfortable with your broker. Be revealing, open and honest about your budget and interests. 2. Get him to get you pre approved for financing. This could make or break your chances for a good deal later! 3. Review the listings he sends you, and tell him what you like, and don t like so he can help narrow the search.

2 4. Ask your broker to recommend a couple of good surveyors, and then you interview them to see which one you re most comfortable with. It s ok to ask for references if you have any doubt. SEEING THE BOATS THIS IS WHAT IT S ALL ABOUT. 1. Bring a smart phone with good photo capability and voice recording capability. 2. Make sure your broker has as complete a list of inventory and specifications as possible, and check the boat against your list. 3. Take pictures to help remind yourself of the features, condition, and, importantly, what inventory is there. (A picture is worth a 1,000 words when you re discussing what s included and what s not.) Make a list of anything you see on the boat, such as a dinghy chances are, if it s not on the list, it s not included! When in doubt ask, and get the answers in writing. 4. Consult with your Broker about anything you have questions about, and, as necessary, get him to get answers from the Seller s broker. THE BROKERAGE AGREEMENT SO HERE ARE THE MAIN INGREDIENTS THAT MUST GO INTO YOUR OFFER. The price. Based on your total evaluation of the boat with your brokers input. The condition, inventory and it s condition. Have your Broker look up similar, recent boat sales (as much as is possible, anyway) using guides such as YachtWorld (He should have access to confidential list of sold boats). Contingencies: Financing (Hopefully you already have this out of the way), survey and sea trials typically. (More on the survey later) Any special notes for who will deliver the boat to the place of survey, your marina, etc. Sometimes you can get the owner to do this free of charge. Normally, the seller is responsible for the costs of getting the boat to the place of survey for instance, if the yard has to move other boats to move the boat being sold (This often happens in the winter when the boats are stacked up for retrieval in the spring. the Owner should be responsible ask these questions in advance. Optional: Pre negotiated survey clause. For instance (Just a suggestion, you could include) If survey findings/repairs are under 2%, Buyer will pay. Up to 5%, Seller pays over 2% and otherwise negotiable, except if estimated repairs exceed 10%, in which case Buyer may opt out, and Seller pays ½ of survey costs (including hauling) (This gives incentive for Seller to not over state the boats condition, or to reveal any major insurance claims or major repairs that have been made in advance! THE MONEY 1. Normally, the deposit is 10%. Typically, a buyer makes a signed check available to his broker to copy and include with the offer. The copy, or actual check is held in the file by the Broker. The Buyer should be prepared to deposit funds to cover the check, or wire funds to cover, within 72 (working hours) of acceptance of the offer. 2. At the time the offer is accepted, the Buyer s broker should deposit the funds to hold in his interim or escrow account nothing is given to the Seller at this time. 3. Once all contingencies are met, and Buyer accepts the boat with a written acceptance, the settlement should be conducted with cleared funds. Normally a wire is the best method of conveying funds from Buyer s Broker to Seller s broker. 4. Before the funds are released, all relevant paperwork should be executed by the Seller so Buyer can obtain a clear title. 5. Normally, you should expect to make arrangements to move the boat, or take over storage payments within about 24 hours of settlement talk to all parties in advance seller, yard, etc. 6. The Buyer s Broker, normally disperses appropriate funds to the Seller or his broker (Including, applying funds to pay off any maritime lien before paying the balance to the Seller), and paying any commission due, or sales or use taxes due and collected..

3 DATES: 1. Acceptance Date for Seller to accept your offer. Make this as short a time as possible so he has less time to get more or better offers too short, though, and your offer may be rejected 2. Acceptance Date for Buyer to accept. You need time to arrange for the contingencies, especially the survey which might take the longest days is not uncommon. In winter seasons, you might need to allow more time in case weather causes an issue. 3. Settlement date generally a few days after acceptance date. Coordinate with your broker and the bank. THE SURVEY AND SURVEYOR Your surveyor will spend anywhere from 1 to two days or more checking out your boat. At the end of the process he will give you a verbal and then a written report (Your bank may require the written report before they will settle so be sure to allow enough time from acceptance to settlement date to allow for this some surveyors are famous for being slow!) Your surveyor is vitally important. Here are some of the issues he will be checking. How far he goes with some of these depends on how elaborate the systems are: 1. In the water, he will evaluate the proper working of equipment, this will include: plumbing and water systems, electrical systems including chargers or inverters, electronics, A/C, and other comfort equipment, rigging and sails on deck, perhaps the mast and rigging (depending on age he may do some sort of tests on rigging looking for microscopic cracks. He will check for voids in the deck and fiberglass components, or inconsistencies, for major damage that may have been repaired. He will check the engine and or generator for normal operation. Depending on age, he may send oil samples for a particle test. 2. Out of the water he will inspect the hull, generally tapping it or using a water content meter to look for voids, or water infiltration. He ll check the appendages, keel(s), rudder(s) and underwater legs or appendages for the engine. Check of through hulls and the condition of the bottom paint unless freshly done, this is often a good time to save money. Once you accept the surveyors verbal results, arrange with the yard to paint the bottom, while it s out you should talk about this with your broker in advance in case there s a time issue at the yard. 3. Who pays? What does it cost? Generally the seller pays to deliver the boat to the hauling yard for the out of water portion. (Sea trial should be planned on the way to the hauling yard if possible, so all that s left is the survey because you will be paying for this no matter what. The costs run anywhere from $12 or so a foot, to $20 or more, depending on the complication of the boat. In addition, you pay all yard charges and for any work you ask to have done. You will also pay for any traveling or related expenses of the surveyor if he travels more than, say 50 miles, or whatever you negotiate. (Note: You pay these expenses whether you go forward or not so use your Broker to help make your decision to examine the vessel further in the first place.) CHECK LIST OF QUESTIONS BEFORE YOU RE THROUGH 1. Do you have a complete inventory list that accurately reflects what conveys. 2. What repairs or upgrades do you want to do? In most cases this expense can be added to the financing. (Your Broker and Surveyor can help with thisl 3. Financing in place 4. How is the boat titled? State registered? U.S. Coast Guard registered (flagged). What liens, are recorded. If there are any doubts, especially if the boat has been sitting in a particular yard for a while, you might want your broker to check with the yard to see if there are any yard liens. (The liens follow the boat, not the owner you could get stuck with them if you don t research this in advance!) 5. Assuming the boat is C.G. registered (preferred by far), who is going to do the Title search for liens? Generally the bank or their agent will do this,.

4 6. Are there any warranties that convey? After market warranties available? SO, WHAT COSTS SHOULD YOU BE PREPARED FOR? Brokers commission, normally paid out of the proceeds by seller. Typically 10%. $ Documenting or titling. Typically about $550 for C.G. Documentation. Generally arranged by the bank. $ Insurance. Generally paid up front. Can be paid quarterly. As low as 1% or so in protected waters like the Chesapeake, 2% or more for All Ocean insurance $ Dockage? You might pay daily, weekly, monthly or annual. The longer period, the less per day. $ Costs of upgrades or repairs. Generally, repairs can be negotiated (especially if serious) and incorporated in the contract. Get a feel for this from your broker in advance. Ask about a pre negotiated survey clause. Get your Broker to get these costs included in the financing. $ Sales or use taxes varies by State. (In MD. The tax is 5% for boats staying in MD. With a recently enacted cap of $15,000. If there is a trade in, it s value is deducted from the total boat price to reduce the tax. If the boat is leaving MD, and not going to reside in MD a majority of the time, the tax is not due, and instead a simple affidavit form is signed specifying where the boat will be delivered. Many other states have similar provisions, and there is generally a reciprocal agreement that if you pay the tax in one state, you do not have to pay it in another or you only pay the difference if the tax is more in the second state.) There are generally no closing costs like you may be familiar with in real estate transactions. Just the Documentation fee, and any State sales or excise tax. Documentation generally costs around $ and can generally be included in the financing. So that s Brokerage boat buying 101. I m sure you ve figured out by now, success depends largely on your Buyer s Broker, and your Surveyor so choose them wisely. We are pleased to represent Buyer s interests for boats over $150,000. Atlantic Cruising Yachts, 312 Third St. #102, Annapolis, MD On the Harbor, Annapolis America s Yachting capital! cruising.com cruising.com B e sure to also look at our New vs Used article: cruising.com/news/2013/10/24/new vs used comparing business yacht ownership program Get pre approved for financing, information and application here: cruising.com/financing/ Download your personal Requirement check sheet: Boat.pdf DON T EVER Buy a boat from a private owner and give him any kind of deposit get your own Broker or an Attorney to hold it. Expect to make an offer without a deposit You won t be taken seriously and might lose out on a good opportunity. Expect to try a boat out without a deposit Buy an X charter boat in the Islands because you think it s such a good deal Yes, the low price reflects what it s really worth! If you re looking for a project, have at it! If you re looking for exciting surprises this could be your cup of tea! DO Get your own Buyer s Broker and work with him to find a great surveyor.

5 Arrange financing as early in the process as possible. Be realistic. Your Broker should be able to give a good estimate on carrying expenses (Loan costs, dockage, insurance and maintenance). Survey expenses and the like. If not go elsewhere! Have fun with the process! Be sure to download your check sheet here: Boat.pdf

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