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Boat buying ethical question

Old 08-07-2015, 12:23 PM
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Default Boat buying ethical question

So I see a boat I like on Yachtworld, and it is listed by a broker....I exchange a couple of emails with the broker asking questions about the boat, but I don't schedule a visit to view the boat with him or anything like that.

A week or two later I see what I come to realize is the very same boat on another site where it is listed as for sale by owner. I assume I might be able to negotiate a better price if I deal directly with the owner, since he doesn't have a commission to pay in that case.

My question is, am I morally obligated to pursue the boat through the broker where I saw it first? Would it be a dickhead move to now deal directly with the owner? Or because the listing is an open one, since the owner retained the right to sell the boat himself, is it cool the sidestep the broker?

Appreciate any comments.....looking more for what is right here than what is legal.
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:26 PM
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Personally I think that is for the owner and broker to work out.
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:27 PM
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If it's not an exclusive listing, I don't see any problem in dealing with whoever gives you the best deal.
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:28 PM
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If it is listed at another, valid site and is indeed the very same boat I don't see an issue here. Any ethical issues are between the broker and the owner.

It would seem wise to get all of this out in the open to prevent you from getting into legal hissy fits between third parties.
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:29 PM
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was the broker POP yachts?
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:29 PM
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I see no problem dealing with the owner if he has it listed.

If it is Pop's Yachts, then I would highly recommend you not dealing with them.



Will add some online brokers like Angler's Edge charge and upfront fee to list the boat for sale, and no commission when sold. With them you deal with the owner anyway.
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:40 PM
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Definitely deal directly with the owner. Most brokers charge the owner fees for them to list your boat. PopYachts is 10% or $2,500, whichever is greater....thus the owner will have those broker fees to have to deal with in price negotiations. Also, I see brokers dinging buyers and sellers on document fees, admin. fees, etc. Dealing directly with the buyer would allow you best price negotiations and no broker fees.
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:48 PM
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That is how I bought my boat. Pop Yachts had it advertised all over the place and locally I noticed that there were 2 ads with 2 different prices - one from the owner and one from Pop Yachts. You don't have any responsibility to the broker at all, even if you wasted a few minutes of their time on the phone.
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Old 08-07-2015, 01:01 PM
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I'll take the other side. While I don't think you have any legal/ethical need to go through the broker I think as a buyer you may get better protection if you do so, and there is no saying the broker can't get you a better deal. Remember, he doesn't get paid if the sale doesn't go through so he may push the seller to do a deal. It also helps to have someone looking out to make sure the paperwork is done properly, survey is completed, etc.

Don't assume you will get the best deal on your own. Of course a lot depends on the value of what you are looking at. If it is an inexpensive boat, no big deal; if it is yacht you might want the broker.

Just my $.02.
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Old 08-07-2015, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Trayder View Post
was the broker POP yachts?
If it is Pop Yachts avoid them at all costs.
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Old 08-07-2015, 01:12 PM
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Just get a survey.
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Old 08-07-2015, 01:13 PM
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It seems to have become common practice for some brokers to "hijack" ads without the consent of the owner, and then when they come up with a buyer, contact the owner to wiggle into the deal. You'll notice most of the time the broker increases the asking price over the owners price to build in their profit.

I think it should be illegal.
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Old 08-07-2015, 01:19 PM
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Why you be obligated to go through the broker? You don't any contract with him and that's between the owner and seller.
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Old 08-07-2015, 01:20 PM
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Broker works for seller. The only obligations are between them
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Old 08-07-2015, 01:50 PM
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To me, two different ads might as well be two different boats. If you haven't signed anything with the broker you have no obligation. IF you spoke with the broker then tracked down the owner there might be issues but as you have described the situation (imo) you are free to purchase the boat from either one as you see fit.
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Old 08-07-2015, 02:06 PM
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If all else fails, say three Hail Mary's and your sin will be absolved....

In all seriousness, this is not a question to ask others....it is a question to ask yourself and if in doubt, do to others what you would want others to do to you.....over and out!
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Old 08-07-2015, 02:52 PM
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POP yachts will sometimes call the owner and ask the owner if I sell the boat for enough to cover the commission will you do it. That seems to be their MO. Not a fan of theres.
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Old 08-07-2015, 03:34 PM
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Yea, it is an issue for the seller to woory about getting into hot water with the broker. You, as buyer, should have no worries.
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Old 08-07-2015, 04:51 PM
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Main thing is if you see the boat listed by broker and then covertly go after the owner directly, that is wrong. The seller does however pay the broker if the broker finds out that the reason you saw it was because of the brokers ad. Brokers web sites can track who has visited their site, like POP making you sign in to see additional info, then the seller is on the hook.
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Old 08-07-2015, 05:17 PM
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Go straight to the owner. Tell him that you are aware a brokerage has it listed. Offer him 10% less than what you think is a rock bottom deal. Prepare to negotiate from there.
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