What Is a Yacht Broker and How Do You Use One?


A yacht broker is a trained professional, sometimes licensed, who is capable of helping sellers and buyers of yachts and boats with information, advice, and transaction management. But what exactly does a yacht broker do? Do you need one to buy or sell a boat? And is it usually worth hiring one?

Yacht Broker Basics

You can think of a yacht broker as similar to a real estate agent. This individual is usually professionally trained and highly knowledgeable about the dynamics of buying and selling yachts and boats, and their whole job is facilitating smoother, more mutually favourable boat transactions.

A yacht broker can help you with:

  • Listing your boat for sale. If you're not familiar with the ropes of selling a boat, you might not know where to list it, how to list it, or how to market it in a way that makes it appealing to potential buyers. A boat broker can take care of almost all of this on your behalf, making your life much easier.
  • Finding you a boat. Boat brokers can also represent you as a buyer, helping you find the right boat for your needs. If you've started browsing the markets and you're having trouble finding what you're looking for, a broker could be a huge advantage.
  • Fielding and evaluating enquiries from buyers. As you're selling a boat, your broker will take care of fielding and evaluating enquiries from buyers. They can filter out the tire-kickers, answer questions from legitimate buyers, provide tours, and move the process forward.
  • Negotiating. Brokers are excellent negotiators. If you hire a boat broker on your behalf, they'll be your emissary in negotiations, pushing for a price that works in your favour. Sellers try to sell the boat for as much as possible, while buyers push for lower prices.
  • Facilitating transactions. Yacht brokers are also beneficial for facilitating transactions. They've overseen hundreds of boat transactions already, so they're prepared for virtually any challenges that arise when trying to finalise the deal.
  • Attending inspections. Your broker may attend inspections, making sure that everything is done above board.
  • Attending delivery. Your broker may also attend delivery, making sure that the transaction is finalised successfully.

Typically, the yacht broker is paid a commission, as agreed by the seller.

You can hire a yacht broker to help you sell or buy a vessel. Accordingly, there may be a seller’s broker and a buyer’s broker present during a transaction. Buyers are typically not responsible for paying a broker commission; instead, like in real estate, the selling broker usually splits the commission with the buying broker.

The Benefits of Using a Broker

What are the benefits of using a yacht broker?

  • Expert advice. Many people choose to work with a boat broker so they can get access to expert advice. Even if you're a seasoned boat owner, there are nuances to buying and selling boats that you may not be aware of.
  • Pricing guidance. Choosing a list price for your boat can be a massive headache; if you sell for too low, you could end up losing money, but if you sell for too high, it might take you too long to sell the vessel. A broker can give you expert pricing guidance so you list it for the perfect price for your needs.
  • Better marketing. Yacht brokers are excellent marketers and advertisers. With their help, you can make your boat available to more people and sell your boat faster.
  • Easy negotiations. Negotiating can be difficult, but you won't have to deal with it if you hire a broker. They'll take care of just about everything on your behalf; all you need to do is sign off on the final number.
  • Higher sale prices. Often, brokers are able to help sellers fetch a higher sale price for their boat. In other words, they can more than pay for themselves.
  • Smoother final transactions. Occasionally, last-minute wrinkles can jeopardise the success of a boat transaction. Brokers can mitigate this possibility and facilitate smoother final transactions.
  • Peace of mind. Hiring a broker gives you more peace of mind that you’re handling this transaction appropriately.

Is a Broker Worth It?

Brokers can charge a commission in different ways. Sometimes, brokers charge a fixed commission. But more commonly, they charge a percent – usually, 10 percent of the purchase price in the USA, possibly a little lower in other parts of the world.

So, is a broker worth it? That partially depends on your goals and motivations, but in many cases, hiring a broker is more than worth it. They often pay for themselves by helping you get a higher sale price for your vessel, and they'll certainly make your life easier in the process.

How to Find a Broker

If you’re in the market for a broker, take advantage of our yacht broker directory. There, you can specifically look for brokers in your country or region, evaluate individual brokers, and choose the best fit for your needs.

You may also be able to find a broker by networking with other boat enthusiasts in your area. Chances are, if you have many contacts at the marina, someone you know already knows a reliable yacht broker.

Do You Really Need a Broker?

Is a broker truly necessary to buy or sell a yacht? The short answer is no. While brokers can provide you with a great deal of advantages and increase the convenience of buying or selling a vessel, we’re obligated to point out that selling or buying a boat totally on your own is possible. You'll just need to do more research and work on your own to do it – and you may end up seeing inferior results.

Regardless of whether or not you choose to work with a boat broker, TheYachtMarket is your home for everything boating. Browse our selection of new and used boats for sale, or list yours for sale today!

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