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Questions for your broker before you decide to list your boat/yacht with them, by Andre Ganton, Toronto Yacht Sales

Questions for your broker before you decide to list your boat/yacht with them, by Andre Ganton, Toronto Yacht Sales

A prospective client presented me with some questions to decide if they would list with me  and my brokerage. I have responded and posted here because I think that they are good ones, and should be asked before making the commitment to list with any broker. Here they are:

Q: How long have you been selling boats with this company?  Are you a boater?  What do you know about boating and what have you experienced over the years?

A: I have been selling boats with Toronto Yacht Sales since I started the business back in 2008. I am a boater. I grew up on Toronto Island, and in boats of all types. I was a CYA certified sailing instructor, then purchased a small sailboat in my early 20's and sailed it down to the Bahamas. Since then I have owned different sailboats and powerboats, most recently a twin diesel trawler that I cruised the East coast and Bahamas. Being in the business allows me the opportunity to get behind the helm all kinds of boats, from 1000HP+ cigarette boats to large motoryachts to sailboats of all sizes - Certainly a perk of the job! More importantly, it helps me to relate to many types of boaters, from racers to daysailers to long distance cruisers, and to be able to share insight with newer boaters.


Q:Tell me about the boat sales market today vs. a year ago? What does the future boat market look like to you?  What is the supply and demand ratio currently?

A:The big difference right now is the USD/CAD rate. We have been selling a lot of boats to the US, which is great, because we direct a substantial amount of our marketing efforts to them. We have  a page on our website that is specifically targeted to US buyers and email campaigns to around a thousand other brokers, mostly in the states, that invites them to bring their US buyers to our Canadian boats for sale.

This spring was one of the busiest we have ever had - when we are talking about clean, newer, modern boats, the inventory is certainly thinned out - that is now, and likely through the season this year.


Q: Tell me about an interesting boat deal you closed on. What is your sales style and technique?

A: So many stories...  Last year I had a boat listed over on Toronto Island that was in rough shape.  We keep a  client water shuttle at our office at the Outer Harbour Marina that we use to bring buyers over to our listings on Toronto Island. I had a prospect scheduled to come see the boat, but he decided to cancel when it began pouring rain (I don't blame him). I headed over anyway, got a bunch of videos of the boat (they always look better wet anyway), sent them over, and we discussed it and made a list of everything that was in need of repair/replacement, assigned a dollar figure to them, then added a 15% "hassle fee". His offer worked and he ended up tuning the boat into a beauty, ALMOST within the budget! He ended up also selling his boat through us. The lesson for me? Go the extra mile, it's usually worth it in the end.


Q: How often will you be updating us on progress? Email updates or phone calls?

A: This is totally up to you. Unless you specify otherwise, I will generally ask if I may show the boat before scheduling a showing, follow up with you if I think anything needs to be done to the  boat (cleaning/detailing, etc). The team here regularly reviews prices of on market comparable boats and if the price of your boat is too high, or low, we will reach out to discuss a possible price adjustment. Other than that, the best call that I get to make is when we have a deposit in hand and an offer on the table.

Q: Price is critical to us—we want the best price and won’t simply give it away.  In January the $XXX quoted was too low a number to list at given any offer would be under that!   Would like to list at $XXX which allows for a price reduction if need be. 

A: My approach to pricing is simple, I can recommend a price that I believe is the fair market value, one that I think will attract prospects to view the vessel and bring offers, and not give it away. I use a number of tools and factors to decide on price, including on-market comps, "soldboats database" which shows me selling prices of similar vessels, the expertise and experience of the team here, and more. It's important to remember that a) It is your boat, and what it is worth to you may be more important than my estimate of fair market value, and b) selling boats is not an exact science. Sometimes boats do sell for more than what brokers think their fair market value is. There is generally no harm in listing at a price, within reason, that you are comfortable getting. It may take longer to sell, but we can always adjust the price later on.

Q: Back to closing the deal….  What is your commission?  Will you discount your commission?

A:We charge an industry standard of 10% of the sale price and our policy is to stick to it. Why? Because we pride ourselves on being able to offer the best possible service to our clients. The best marketing, in print, online, at boatshows, and at our offices. We invest in offering our listings for co-brokerage with hundreds of other brokers, in which case we split the commission (and in order to interest the other broker, there needs to be enough of it). All of these efforts cost money, and make for a faster sale for your boat, usually at a higher price. It's the old "you get what you pay for". If you go with a cut-rate broker, expect to get cut rate services, and then consider what it would cost to keep the boat for another year.

Q: Do we have a signed listing agreement between us? For how long?

A: Yes, this is pretty standard in the industry and it is for a minimum of 180 days and can be cancelled by either party thereafter. If we price the boat right, it will sell before that time comes.


For more information on listing with us, please see the "Sell your Yacht" section of our website here: http://torontoyachtsales.com/sell-your-yacht.php

Thanks for reading

Andre Ganton

Toronto - Georgian Bay - Lake Simcoe - Kingston - Montreal - International Large Yacht

At Outer Harbour Marina

475 Unwin Ave. Toronto M4M 3M2

416-469-BOAT (2628) Office

416-820-3840 Cell - Anytime





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