Buying a yacht is a significant investment that requires time and expertise. If you lack the knowledge and time, you may need a yacht broker to help you through the process. However, many people confuse the role of a yacht broker with that of a real estate broker. This article explores the role of a yacht broker and the fees associated with buying a yacht.
The Role of a Yacht Broker
Yacht brokers play a crucial role in yacht buying and selling transactions. They have the necessary knowledge and experience to guide clients through the process. Unlike real estate brokers, yacht brokers offer specialized services tailored to the unique needs of their clients. They help with yacht search, brand recommendation, market pricing analysis, condition checks, advertising, and transaction support.
The commission paid to a yacht broker is typically around 10% of the transaction value. However, for yachts costing more than $10 million, the commission is not more than 10%. The commission is usually shared between the buyer’s representative and the seller’s representative on a 60/40 or 50/50 basis. The commission is specified in the agreement between the boat owner and the broker and is paid after the transaction is complete. This motivates the broker to invest in the sale, knowing that their reward depends on it.
Payment and Transaction Process
The payment process for buying a yacht involves two payments. The first payment, usually 10% of the vessel’s cost, is made at the time of purchase. The second payment, which is 90% of the vessel’s cost, is made when all the transaction documents are ready, and the boat is complete. The boat is then removed from the register (if it is a secondary market), and a Bill of Sale is issued. The Bill of Sale is the main document indicating ownership of the yacht, and it is used to register the yacht in the owner’s country or a charter company.
MOA Yacht Purchase Agreement
The MOA contract is the primary contract used in yacht purchases. This contract fully protects the buyer’s rights. It cannot be found or downloaded from the internet, but a broker can provide it upon request. It is essential to read the contract’s terms since it may contain clauses requiring payment of a commission, even if the yacht is not sold.
Brokerage Fees and Negotiation
Large brokerage firms have fixed rates, and negotiation is not usually possible. Small brokers may be more open to negotiation, but this rarely happens since the brokerage community frowns upon it. A drop in one broker’s percentage can lead to a general drop in the market percentage, which is not desirable. Regular clients may receive preferential terms, but becoming a regular client requires owning several yachts.
Choosing and buying a yacht can be an overwhelming task. Working with a yacht broker can simplify the process and ensure a smooth transaction. The brokerage fees are usually around 10% of the yacht’s cost, and they cover a wide range of services, including advertising, condition checks, and transaction support. Before signing any contracts, it is crucial to read and understand the terms, including any clauses requiring payment of a commission, regardless of whether the yacht is sold or not.