Buying and selling a yacht can be a delicately personal experience. And it can be a high-value transaction. Who are you trusting to be your yacht broker?
Learn About the Company
Is the company a BC Yacht Brokers Association member?
The BCYBA has an established Code of Ethics that members are required to honour. Remember that with whatever company you chose to buy/sell a boat through, you will be trusting them to collect and remit all applicable taxes, register or license your vessel, check for liens or encumbrances, and anticipate any problems that may arise before the sale goes through.
Have you inquired about the company's place of business?
BCYBA members don't simply work from a website and cell phone. Yacht brokering is a full-time career and the place of business should demonstrate that commitment.
Did the company set up a trust account to hold payments?
BCYBA members are required to maintain a trust account for the purpose of holding payments until the sale has been closed. This is a security measure that can save you time and money if something goes wrong at the last minute. Everyone benefits from the proper handling of money.
Is your broker professionally certified?
The BC Yacht Brokers Association requires all applicants write an introductory exam to test basic skills and competencies in basic yacht transactions and in dealing with the public and fellow yacht brokers. The BC Yacht Brokers Association strongly supports and encourages each member to become a Certified Professional Yacht Broker upon that member's eligibility. Learn more about the Certification Program here.
Learn About the Boat
Do you know the vessel's history?
A conscientious broker will learn as much about the history of the vessel as possible, including information about liens, vessel registration and previous sales. This will give a prospective purchaser an advantage when it comes time to make the final decision. Racing successes, notable cruises, refits or modifications can provide worthwhile clues about the suitability of the vessel.
Does the broker know the strengths and weaknesses of the vessel?
With so many types and varieties of boats available, a broker should be informed about basic design and capability of most makes and models. Some models can show up under a different name, a technique used especially by manufacturers outside of North America. Having a broker who can recognize basic designs will go a long way in saving you time and money.
About the Offer
You've found the boat of your dreams...what now?
Remember that the broker is there to guide you through the purchase/sale of your boat and should advise whether the offer is fair, the deposit is secured and financing is approved and in place. The broker should also cover subject clauses that make the sale dependent on surveys, mechanical inspections and successful sea trials. Assuming everything goes well with the surveys, the broker should discuss the details about closing the transaction and delivering your new boat. It is in everyone's best interest that the sale go smoothly and that all parties, both the vendor and the purchaser, are treated fairly.
Find a CPYB Member
Click here to view a listing of Certified Professional Yacht Brokers associated with the BCYBA.