“More than anything else, we want the boat that’s best for you!” It’s not just a quote from Houseboats Buy Terry, it’s a philosophy the popular houseboat broker has adhered to since the company first began selling boats.
What does this all really mean? Well, it means to owner Terry Miller that whether you are selling a boat with her, or buying a boat from her, in the end, she wants what’s best for you.
I was recently reminded that not all brokers operate with this mindset and some brokers simply put profit above the customer. When you sign a contract with a broker to sell your boat, be sure to read what the exit clause is if they fail to sell your boat in a reasonable amount of time. You may find that you are tied into a contract with them for as long as an entire busy summer selling season. This could result in you having to wait another year to have the prime boat selling season working in your favor.
Sometimes when customers put their houseboats up for sale it’s not just because they have “two-foot itis” and want a bigger or better boat. Sometimes children are selling their parent’s boat because Alzheimer’s has affected their family. Sometimes both parents are now deceased. Sometimes a serious illness has caused the boat to be put on the market. Over the past 10 years, when the economy was struggling, we have all seen houseboaters forced to sell their boat because of lost jobs or income. These are all instances that cause brokers such as Houseboats Buy Terry to take extra care and extra compassion, to help the customer through their difficult time, and come out with the best result possible.
“One of our new listings has learned they are tied into one of these contracts that they cannot get out of, even though the brokerage has not had any success, or kept in contact with them throughout the time their boat was listed,” says Tom Miller, Jr. “This particular customer recently had a family tragedy related to tornadoes that have affected parts of the country. They were threatened with a lawsuit by a brokerage that lacked compassion, and did not adhere to the, ‘What’s best for the customer’ philosophy.”
Worth noting, Houseboats Buy Terry has also experienced recent hardships including the Conley Bottom Marina fire earlier this summer on Lake Cumberland. In the fire they lost their office as well as the pontoon boat they use to show boats to their customers. They were also threatened with a lawsuit when they tried to help a customer, and were unaware of a contract the new client had signed, and how it was worded.
These are issues Houseboats Buy Terry assured me they can handle, but their hope is to prevent customers from entering into these type contracts without their full knowledge of what they are signing.
“Just be careful when you list your boat,” says Terry. “Do your homework and get references. Ask them if they have ever brought or threatened a customer with a lawsuit before. If they are the type of business that would rather ‘lawyer up’ than help you, please beware.”
There are plenty of trustworthy houseboat brokers available to help and this is still the best way to buy a used boat or to sell your current one. When you’re doing your shopping, just make sure they’re the type of company who believes the customer comes first.