I have to expose now some “secrets” about assessing brokers and boat owners, when approaching them to buy your first boat. Doesn’t matter at this stage if you buy a motor boat or a sailing one. Let’s presume you don’t have the minimum budget for a brand boat, like the samples exposed in my previous posts. They can be “custom” made, definitely no name brands, like the one that I’m going to show you here.
This is the boat, as real as it could be. Seeing the name is no help in a better society.
This is what you got. No name. You depend exclusively on the broker. Please look carefully at each picture to see the difference. In a better organized society, if the broker spoke beforehand with the boat owner, they’ll have at least an agreement, if not a “concrete molded” contract, so he will not start negotiating with you, the client, to “cut off” the broker. What is happening when there are no brand names involved? For example, in a country like Turkey, a foreign customer, and believe me, the farther away he is, the “better” he’ll be “treated”, there is no way for him to find the real price a boat owner will be happy with. That is the “not written law”. If you act alone, you will be told a bunch of lies. The broker has his own price, not even the owner knows. Of course, the owner “agreed”, verbally agreed to an asking price when contacted by the broker, but if you, as a customer, try to contact directly the owner, you’ll be told a different price, maybe bigger than what the broker will tell you.
In Turkey, this is called pazarlik, and they, the Turks think of themselves as “good” traders. If you accept the asking price, you’re done. It is always more than he expects, because he expects from you to try to down the price automatically. If you come from a highly civilized country, you’ll accept maybe just a little reduction from the initial price, a 2% perhaps, which is actually with something between 40 to 50% more than what the owner told the broker. And it’s done.
If a broker is not experimented, he won’t have an answer for any question. He’ll lie, and lie, and lie some more, just to close the agreement, to have some 10% of almost any price, (as advance payment, or deposit, or whatever it’s called) money you’ll lose in any good designed contract if you change your mind to buy. If he has some experience, he’ll know the real price of the boat (the owner will be happy with any sum close to the real price), he’ll put separately the commission and start negotiating with the boat owner exactly in your name, because he represents you. In reality? There is no such a broker in Turkey. Also, the bunches of owners dream to big money for their boats, even if they worked them up to more than their value, sometimes without refitting, but pretending the contrary.
In Turkey, you will be advised from the beginning to not survey the boat. “It’s not necessary” you will be told. And it’s right, in a way. The greater majority of the boats for sale in Turkey, don’t have what is called Class Certification. If the surveyor is Turkish, he’ll be in an agreement with the broker, 99%.
If he’s foreigner, he’ll advise to not buy that peculiar boat, but if you made your mind, he’ll know of another one, with a “positive” survey as recent as possible done, so you “will save the money for surveying this one”. If this is the case (and I’ve seen plenty), he’ll absolutely have a commission from that deal, even greater then the broker’s, from the surveyed one. The difference between the two boats is minimum, the second one maybe dearer, being “freshly surveyed” and all.
Unfortunately, I’ve seen brokers in other countries who are the same. Check this:
“Part of our offer will be to have a marine survey completed with the findings to your satisfaction. I know many certified surveyors and I’ll recommend several that are “top shelf” and ask that you interview and select the one you prefer”- this is part of an American broker presentation. It continues with some Q & A style : “I’ve heard that surveyors and Brokers team up just to sell a boat?” “I’ve heard of that happening but I do nothing of the sort. I know surveyors from a professional standpoint”. That is a lie. It is better for you to come to buy with a specialist you know from before, a guy you trust, and it is not a local, that of course, if you are new to anything related to yachts, boats, and the stuff… To be continued…
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