Yacht Broker Agent Fees Explained

luxury yacht for sale, yacht broker agent fees explained

Yacht brokers are a valuable resource to help you buy or sell the yacht or boat of your dreams. As seasoned industry experts, they protect your interests and ensure the successful delivery of your vessel or will help you find a buyer for your yacht. 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. If the yacht or boat broker is helping you find a buyer to sell your yacht to, this is known as the broker representing the seller who will act as your central yacht agent; whereas a certified professional yacht broker that is helping you purchase a yacht is known as the buyer’s representative who will keep an eye on sale prices that suit your budget, as well as consider all of the requirements needed to find the perfect yacht for you. 

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 and boat buying process. 

What Is a Boat Broker Commission? 

A boat broker commission is what the boat or yacht broker takes from the sale or purchase of your boat or yacht. This will be an agreed upon sum with the boat broker commission being earned from the help to sell or buy your boat. Boat brokers are incredibly knowledgeable in their field and work very hard to ensure your boat or yacht looks its best before selling (or purchasing). Boat brokers are also able to guide you throughout the entire process – including recommendations or referrals for legal queries, paperwork, surveyors, etc. 

For these services, certified professional yacht brokers earn yacht broker fees as part of their boat broker commission. 

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 from the United States to Europe, Australia, Asia and all around the world. We support central yacht agents 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 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 boat broker will work for your best interests, and they operate on a commission. If you’re wondering how much do yacht brokers make, you can read more about that below. A seasoned central yacht agent or boat broker 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 broker representing you means they will be there to advise you on the ins and outs of the yachts for sale and their market knowledge is of the utmost value. 

What are the 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 and will act as your central yacht agent during the process. 

  • He or she works to determine the best sale 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 broker representing the seller will also work hard to properly market the yacht by assuring that there are top-notch photographs and videos of the yacht. 
  • He or she will place the yacht on the appropriate multiple listing sites (such as YATCO) for maximum exposure to other consumers and other boat brokers who may find a buyer to bring 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 broker representing the buyer 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? 
  • Is the sale price competitive and appropriate for the condition of the yacht? 
  • If based in the United States, will the buyer pay for the yacht to be shipped if found overseas? Or equally, if based anywhere, are you willing to have the yacht delivered to you or do you prefer to search locally? 

Yacht Charter Broker

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 yacht charter brokers who can help with this aspect of yacht ownership. 

If you are the buyer, you will need to decide if you’d like to offer your new yacht for charter. In this case, you will work with another certified professional yacht broker that specializes in yacht charters. It’s important to bear in mind that when chartering, you will have more wear and tear on the yacht, as well as needing to consider salary for a yacht crew, yacht broker fees for charter bookings, and the average salary you could afford to pay out annually for your crew and yacht charter management company. 

Yacht Broker Fees & Commission: What Is the Boat Broker 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 to help find a buyer. 

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.  

If purchasing a brand-new yacht, your certified professional broker will help to introduce you to various shipyards that fit your vision. Often, buyers will also want a project manager from their brokerage team to help oversee the building of the yacht. In this case, the average salary would change based on the services offered. 

The seller’s broker also has the duty of showing the yacht to prospective buyers. Keep in mind that yacht brokers represent 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 vessel’s owner will not sell to anyone other than the person brought by the intermediary. During the period of the contract, the person entering into 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 
  • 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 will they 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 yacht industry and do they have a solid reputation for selling your type of yacht? 

All of these questions are important to ask before entering into 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 and all represent Central Agent Listings. 

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. 

Working with a certified yacht broker will ensure your best interests will be considered, both as the buyer and the seller. While there are commission rates to consider, just as in real estate, these are experts in their field who work hard to ensure your life on the water is everything you imagine it to be.  

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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