Buying a yacht is a huge decision and one that you should have professional guidance with, similar to how home buyers utilize a realtor’s services. There are many steps to buying a yacht including finding the right style, getting financing, and working out taxes and escrow. You might not know you can hire a professional to help you without costing you anything. Finding a boat on your own and then deciding to call the broker responsible for the listing can put you at a disadvantage.
When a seller lists a boat, they hire a broker to look out for their interests for a fee. If you contact them first, you’re already at a disadvantage. Hiring a buyer’s broker can make the process easier to understand.
Finding a broker
Start looking for a broker who is a Certified Professional Yacht Broker (CPYB). The acronym follows their name and proves that they’re knowledgeable about the process of buying and selling boats, have completed an exam, and receive regular training for recertification. They’re bound by a code of ethics and focus on customer satisfaction. Interview a few different brokers to find someone who fits with you.
The broker offers multiple services for no fee because the payments come from a seller in an arrangement with the seller’s broker. The first thing they should help you with is finding the right yacht for your needs and budget. Once you see the one you want, your broker should propose a written offer referred to as the Purchase and Sale Agreement. Your broker will submit this to the listing agent along with a 10 percent deposit, which should be held in an escrow account.
The seller can accept, reject, or counter your offer. Once you’ve reached an agreement, it’s time to set up a sea trial and hire a surveyor to perform an inspection, preferably someone who belongs to the National Association of Marine Surveyors (NAMS) or Society of American Marine Surveyors (SAMS).
If any problems come up during the inspection, your San Diego yacht broker will offer you several options. Buyers have the option to:
- Ask the seller to fix the issue before the sale
- Reject the original offer and walk away
- Renegotiate the price to compensate for issues.
Ensure your broker includes a re-negotiation clause in the agreement before submitting it to the seller’s broker. After you make the deal, your broker should assist with taxes, financing, and ensuring the title is free from liens. Be a smart buyer and hire a buyer’s broker to look out for your interests.