Since 85 percent of North American yacht brokers advertise their wares on YachtWorld.com (owned by Soundings’ parent company Dominion Enterprises), this could be one way to screen prospective brokerage firms when selling a boat.
Whether you’re selling or buying, there are some warning signals that, taken individually or together, might suggest you’d be better off with another broker.
For example, if the broker:
- doesn’t answer e-mail promptly
- doesn’t answer voice mail promptly
- doesn’t have much of a description of a particular boat
- provides few details or has no photographs — or poor ones — of the boat
- doesn’t have much to say on the Web site, either about the firm or individual boats
- doesn’t know the boat, its name or location, the owners, and every detail when asked
- doesn’t use a multiple listing service
As a buyer, it’s worth your while to ask a broker the last time he or she was actually on the boat in question. If it’s been awhile — or never — you might be wise to move on. Brokers should be as familiar with their boats as they are with their best friends.
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This article originally appeared in the March 2010 issue.