Considering the ample boating opportunities in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, boat brokering agencies are standard in these three states. Boaters enjoy extended summers to spend time aboard watercraft on lakes, rivers, reservoirs, inland coastal waters, and the ocean. Brokers play a critical role in the sales process. Here is what to know about boat brokers’ duties when selling your vessel. 

What Does A Boat Broker Do

A broker and the broker’s agency provide a complete services package to represent the seller and transfer possession to a new owner. The ultimate goal of the broker is to transition the boat from one owner to the next owner. Check out the duties performed by a boat broker.

Study The Market And Appraise The Value

Extensive research is required before the boat finds its way on the market. The broker must locate comparable vessels for sale and determine the true market value based comparables in similar conditions. 

The failure to perform research and a survey leads to under or overvaluing the vessel. Sellers risk leaving money on the table or decreasing the likelihood of selling the boat. 

Generating Listing Literature

Writing the listing document requires detailed and thorough explanations to describe the vessel for interested parties located across the country. Yes, brokers sell boats to buyers on opposite coasts or other countries. 

The listing details include a complete description, in addition to:

Measurements, including speed, distance, vessel size, and tank capacities.

Details on the vessel’s source of propulsion, including fuel type, size, and more. 

A complete listing of the accommodation space, navigation electronics, onboard mechanical equipment, deck and hull details, and interior galley accessories. 

Considering the number of details required to describe the vessel accurately, the broker must study and concisely explain the features. 


Considerable efforts made to create an appealing listing with ample photos, marketing is necessary. Brokerage agencies spread the word of the new listing via the internet to attract as many interested parties as possible. 

Meeting With Interested Parties

The broker is obligated to meet with each interested person via phone and in-person during showings. Brokers arrive early, inspect the vessel’s condition, and ensure it is pristine when the prospective buyer comes. Lastly, they present the vessel’s features to pique the prospect’s interests. 

Sea Trials

After a showing, the most interested parties request a sea trial. The current owner performs a sea trial.  The owner runs the vessel in open water. Not only is the prospect and broker aboard but also a mechanic. The mechanic runs diagnostic testing to ensure the vessel does not present serious flaws. 

Negotiating Final Sales Prices

Watercrafts seldom sell for the asking price. The seller’s broker plays a crucial role in maximizing the amount of money received in the transaction. 

The diagnostic testing significantly impacts the final sale price when mechanical issues become apparent. More times than not, necessary repairs are taken off the top. Negotiations can last for extended periods. 

Completing Final Paperwork And Transitioning Ownership

Once both parties agree on a price, the contract is written. The contract defines the amount of money transferred in the sale. 

Once the contract is complete, and both parties are on the same page, the buyer and the seller sign the agreement. Once the deal is signed and the money is transferred, the prospect takes ownership. 

What Percentage Do Boat Brokers Get

The standard commission is ten percent when selling a vessel via a boat broker. When a broker represents the buyer, the commission is split between the sellers and buyers brokers at a sixty forty split or fifty-fifty split. 

Who Owns The Biggest Yacht Broker In The World

The largest yacht brokerage agency globally is United Yacht Sales, whose main office is in Stuart, Florida. 

United Yacht Sales boasts over 100 locations worldwide with 200 brokers to assist sellers and buyers. 

How Many Yacht Brokers Are In The US

The exact figures on how many yacht brokers are in the US is unclear. It is estimated that there are somewhere in the ballpark of 5,000 agencies scattered about the United States but primarily in Florida. Sellers won’t be challenged to find a broker willing to represent the boat they would like to list on the market. Keep in mind that a boat broker differs from a boat dealer

Now You Know The Role Of A Boat Broker

Boat brokers play a fundamental role in assisting both sellers and buyers in the transaction of vessels across Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Brokers represent fresh and saltwater boat owners and prospective boat owners. When you are looking to buy or sell and vessel more than twenty-six feet, consider the services of a boat broker.