Whether you are a buyer or a seller working through a yacht broker provides a number of benefits that ensure a stress-free, secure transaction without the likelihood of the other party carrying out a scam on you.

Let’s look first at the owner of a yacht who wants to sell. Firstly he needs to put the boat onto the market at a price that attracts offers that will result in a profitable sale. Yacht brokers are privy to the prices at which sales have actually been made and not just the price at which a boat is advertised. Secondly if you work with a broker with strong brand and a global distribution network you can be sure that your yacht will be advertised to the right people, in the right places, at the right price. The broker filters out the dozens of people offering rock-bottom prices, “guaranteed” funds and requests for test sails to see the dolphins etc.

Often boat owners – especially on the Costas - leave their boats in the marinas at the end of the season so make sure your global broker has a strong local presence. A local yacht broker is your man on the pontoon available to do physical viewings, sea trials and negotiation on your behalf. He will also produce all the contractual documentation for a safe sale without the impasse of whether the money or the Bill of Sale is at risk.

More importantly a yacht broker makes use of a client account to protect the buyer and seller. There are many scammers out there posing as bona fide buyers offering excellent prices for transactions involving bankers’ drafts. You have been warned! A yacht broker will make sure that there are properly cleared funds in the client account before the boat or its documentation is handed to any buyer.

As far as the buyer is concerned there are also many benefits to working through a broker. For a start a broker, especially one who belongs to a global franchise network will provide the widest range of boats and prices. A buyer working without a broker may be asked to make a deposit to back up an agreed offer. To whom is this deposit to be handed? What guarantees does the buyer have to have his deposit will be returned if the deal fails to complete? Once a deposit is made if a survey shows up material defects how can this be negotiated without loss of the deposit? A good broker provides a clear, fair and safe transaction process for both parties with the deposit returned if a survey indicates previously unknown problems – although it is more usual to re-negotiate and agree altered terms.

If the buyer is new to boating the broker will provide advice and guidance on all aspects of yacht ownership from berthing, insurance, tax, registration and training – often for many years if there has been a good relationship!

How much does it cost to use a broker? Nothing if you are a buyer. So any buyer not making use of a yacht broker is not making a rational economic decision. As far as the seller is concerned he pays a small commission (a percentage of the agreed price) but only if the yacht is sold. There are very few businesses that have the confidence to bill on the basis of success. So next time you want to buy or sell a yacht in the local area find yourself a reputable broker. A good place to start the process would be at www.boatshedgibraltar.com. Boatshed Gibraltar is local to Gibraltar and the Costa area and as well as being truly on-the-spot are part of the global Boatshed network.