IT'S TIME TO
SELL YOUR BOAT
By Captain JAY WILLIAMS
This guide will help you understand the process and avoid common mistakes.
By Captain JAY WILLIAMS
We all have a difficult time selling things we love, even when their departure makes room for something else we’ll like even more. You have made the decision to list your yacht, which is the first and most important step; now it’s time to give your boat the best chance of selling quickly, and as close to your asking price as possible.
As a yacht broker, I get a front-row seat to the presentation of various boats. Sometimes I see people turn away on the dock before even getting aboard because a seller didn’t correct something that was easily fixed. Other sellers do a great job of presenting their boat, and their listings don’t hang around for long.
The 90-second Rule
Research says that for any high-end purchase, the buyer makes the purchase decision within 90 seconds of seeing the boat for the first time.
This means that you, the owner, and I as your broker have a minute and a half to make the best impression.
This is the single most important thing you can do: Make sure that the boat looks fabulous while we are forming that critical first impression. In this guide, we’ll dig deeper.
Marketing & Showings
- Sign a listing that allows co-op.
- Do not Open List your boat.
- Be ready to show short notice.
- Review your listing for accuracy.
- Consider a boat show appearance.
- Allow trusted outside brokers access.
- Always counter an offer.
- Take the comps into consideration.
- Expect a survey allowance.
- Maintenance records are key.
- Don’t get mad. Stay cool.
- It’s your decision. Your boat.
- Listen to your broker.
- Think about carrying costs.
How NOT TO SELL your Yacht
FIVE Things commonly said by people who end up listing their yacht for a LONG TIME.
“My price is my price. No negotiation.”
Every boat buyer expects some degree of negotiation in the deal. Make sure you set the price to reflect at least a 10% drop in price from asking.
“I want to be there for showings and survey to make sure everything goes well.”
Please don’t do this. It intimidates buyers and can destroy the deal.
“It’s for sale as is. The buyer can fix that.”
In almost every case, it is cheaper for you to buff and wax, fix an engine, replace cushions or detail the boat than it is for you to discount it to a buyer. The buyer will negotiate on the highest possible price for these services.
“I’ll take my stuff off once it sells.”
The closer to new and ready to go your boat looks, the faster it will sell.
“Let’s shoot for a high number first, then reduce it.”
Price it to sell from the start. Historically, the best offer you get will come in within 45 days of listing. Think hard about accepting this offer. Many, many sellers turn down a good offer early, then a year later accept far less after carrying the costs of the boat for a whole year. This is a common scenario.