Yacht Broker Agent Fees Explained

luxury yacht for sale, yacht broker agent fees explained

Yacht Brokers are a valuable resource to help you buy the yacht or boat of your dreams. As seasoned industry experts, they protect your interests and ensure the successful delivery of your vessel. Use the information below to better understand yacht broker agent fees when purchasing a new or used boat through a yacht broker.

What Is a Yacht Broker?

A yacht broker is an expert consultant who will assist you when buying and selling a boat. A broker offers market insight and a deep understanding of the yacht industry, as well as an extensive network of professionals needed during the boat sales process.

Should I Use a Yacht Broker to Buy a Boat?

YATCO, the Official MLS of Yachting™, works with the professional members of the yachting industry. We support yacht brokers and their effort to secure the industry’s future, which, in turn, provides buyers worldwide with the highest-quality yachts for sale on the market. 

You should most definitely use an agent to represent you in the purchase or selling of your luxury yacht.

“Yachting professionals have defined their careers in helping potential buyers and sellers of luxury yachts or boats to better and more accurately get what is fair for the buyer’s asset such as a motor yacht or a sailing yacht.

Much like in real estate, a broker will work for your best interests, and they operate on a commission. You can read more about that below. A seasoned representative will have years of experience in the purchase and selling of yachts, and will bring that expertise to the negotiating table, when it comes time. 

Buying a boat is a serious consideration, and one that can be fun if done right. Having a representative there to advise you on the ins and outs of the yachts for sale market is of utmost value. 

Functions of a Professional Yacht Representative

Selling Broker

A selling broker will make sure that you get the best price for your yacht and will help market the asset to be seen in its best light.

The seller’s representative does his or her share of research.

  • He or she works to determine the best price for the yacht based on its history and market value compared to other yachts of its caliber, pedigree, and size – just as in real estate.
  • The seller’s broker will also work hard to properly market the yacht by assuring that there are top-notch photographs and video of the yacht.
  • He or she will place the yacht on the appropriate multiple listing site (such as YATCO) for maximum exposure to other consumers and other brokers who may bring a buyer to the table. 

Buyer’s Broker

A buyer’s broker will ensure that research is done to properly ascertain what the best yacht is for that buyer’s lifestyle

Much like in the real estate market, your representative will help determine the value and worth of the asset based on market conditions and the condition of the asset itself.”

He or she will appraise the condition of the boat or yacht. They will also seek out all the vessel’s paperwork to determine the maintenance schedule and if any updates and upgrades were made to the yacht. 

The buyer’s representative will research all possibilities for the potential buyer, and will first ask questions about what the intentions are with the vessel.

  • Is the vessel to be used for day-time usage only, or will the buyer want to spend many nights aboard?
  • Who will the buyer be bringing on the yacht with him or her and how often does he or she plan to cruise?
  • Will the vessel be put out for yacht charter?

Yacht Charter

Yacht charters are an important part of yacht ownership, should the owner choose to offset some of the cost involved in owning a vessel. Some prefer to keep the vessel private, even if they don’t use it year-round. A good representative will know some charter brokers who can help with this aspect of yacht ownership. 

Yacht Broker Agent Fees & Commission: What Is the Commission for Selling a Boat?

For their dedication, yacht brokers receive a yacht broker agent fee or commission after the yacht sale is completed, which is typically 10%. The distribution of commission between the yacht buyer representative and yacht owner representative is usually 60/40. However, on certain occasions, the yacht broker commission split is 50/50.”

These representatives work very hard to ensure their yacht broker agent fee or commission. As read above, a seller’s representative will market the yacht and advertise it to interested parties as well as other brokers.

A buyer’s broker will assure that the right yacht is

  • Found
  • Researched
  • Sea trialed
  • Surveyed
  • Updated

This takes a lot of work, as they have to sort through the yacht’s maintenance program, and much more. They will work alongside the captain and crew to determine how much care has gone into the care of the vessel over the years, if purchasing a brokerage yacht. 

The seller’s broker also has the duty of showing the yacht to prospective buyers.

Keep in mind that the representative represents many yachts at once – so they are keeping tabs on multiple assets, ensuring they earn their commission. 

Yacht Broker Commissions in the Central Agreement (CA)

“Yacht broker commissions are mentioned on the Central Agreement (CA) signed by the yacht owner and the yacht broker. By signing such an agreement, the yacht buyer not only has clear expectations for the purchase, but also builds rapport with the yacht broker.”

The central agreement is between an owner and the intermediary, stating that the owner of the vessel will not sell to any other person other than the person brought by the intermediary. During the period of the contract, the person entering the exclusive agreement cannot sell his or her vessel to others. 

Ensuring that you work with the right yacht brokerage firm is tantamount.

The reputation of the brokerage firm should speak for itself, and anyone can research this online as well as speak to other yacht owners about their experiences.

The right brokerage house typically will do three things when getting a new listing:

  • they add the yacht to their website and database,
  • they share the yacht with other brokers, and
  • they place the yacht on a multiple listing site.

These are JUST the basics.

To ensure you are entering a central agreement with the right brokerage house, be sure ask questions such as

  • What they will do in addition to the three basics?
  • Will they be taking professional photos?
  • Will they video the yacht with a thorough walk-through?
  • Are they well-connected in the yachting industry and do they have a solid reputation for selling your type of yacht?

All of these questions are important to ask before entering a central agreement. 

Open Listing Agreements When Selling a Yacht

“Open listing agreements are not an option you should consider. Since these agreements do not guarantee a broker’s efforts will be rewarded, they may not be as motivated to help you as with a signed Central Agreement.”

As with any contract, it is essential you read all the conditions carefully before you sign. In some cases, under a Central Agreement, the yacht broker may receive a commission even if the yacht is not sold.

Professional yacht brokers, especially those who are members of YATCO, work very hard for their 10% commission.

Yacht owner representatives use their yacht broker commission to cover digital advertising campaigns, ongoing marketing, promotions, and other efforts focused on selling the vessel. Trust-worthy yacht brokers who are buyer representatives lead you to the best deal possible where all parties are happy.

Click here to read more reasons why you should use a professional yacht broker to buy or sell your yacht.

Contact us today to get in touch with one of our seasoned yacht experts.


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