The selling of a luxury motor yacht can be a complicated process. But, your “selling strategy” really comes down to three things:
- Setting the Price
- Advertising and Exposure
- Your “Sell to Sold” Plan of Action
Setting the Price
Determining your list price can be a challenge. You want to “price your boat to sell,” but of course, you also want to maximize your return.
The biggest mistake sellers make is pricing too high. If you set your sale price too high, you will get few offers. The longer the yacht sits on the market, the harder it will be to sell – at any price!
To set the right price, you need to really do some research and get a feel for the market in general, and for the make and model of your boat specifically. Find detailed sales figures on boats that have sold similar to yours, and at what prices. Find out why the prices differed, and what was unique about those that sold for more money than the others.
Remember that the right retail price for your boat is not only based on the current market, but also on:
- Her condition
- How well she is equipped
- The model year and model type
- Where she is located
Do not assume that every upgrade you have made will add value to your selling price. It is ill-advisable to make upgrades just to pump up the sales price, because they rarely get you back in your final sale price what they cost you to make.
Chasing the market in the hopes of a buyer presenting an offer does NOT work in the current environment anymore. Your asking price must show people that you are a serious seller ready to sell. Do not go under the assumption that “if they’re interested they will make an offer.”
Advertising and Exposure
Getting your boat seen is key to getting her sold. There are so many avenues to advertise your yacht for sale these days, and if you want to keep up with the competition, that means leveraging all of them.
Places to advertise/show your yacht for sale include:
- MLS listing websites such as Yachtworld.com and YachtCouncil.com.
- Major yachting magazines such as Yachting and Boat International.
- At major boat shows
- Considering charter as a way to introduce potential buyers to your yacht
No matter where your list your boat for sale, you need to be as honest and descriptive in the listings as possible. Today’s buyers want to know everything they can about your boat before they will even consider coming to see her, let alone make an offer!
You want to disclose engine hours, what kind of electronics you have aboard, and when were they last upgraded. Has there been any recent refit history? Any damage that has been repaired? It is also a good idea to include where you have been taking her – this might strike a note with potential buyers that want to cruise to those same areas. Serious buyers are hungry for information, so give them all you can!
Of course you will need high-resolution pictures of your vessel, inside and out. A professional video will also help her to sell.
Sell to Sold Plan
Your “selling to sold plan” is your detailed start to finish strategy of what you will need to commit to in order to get your boat sold for your price, in the least amount of time. Details of your plan should include:
- Location – You need to position your yacht where she can be seen. A yacht in Fort Lauderdale will not only sell faster, but will sell for more money than a yacht in a remote location like Grenada.
- Access – If you are not working with a broker you need to make sure you, or some qualified representative is ready willing and able to show your yacht on short notice. Although ideally several days’ notice is preferred this is not always the case. The crew must be ready.
- Condition – Curbside appeal applies to yachts just as it does to homes. Your yacht should be in excellent showing condition and have been recently detailed.
- Agreements – Even before a buyer comes along, prepare and have ready a Purchase and Sale Agreement – so there are no surprises when it’s game time.
Should I Hire a Broker?
Perhaps the most important aspect of your selling strategy is whether or not to hire a professional broker. There are many things in your life that can make for wonderful “Do-it-yourself” projects, but given my years of experience in and around the yachting world, I can tell you that selling a high-end yacht really is not one of them!
Sailors are a bit of an independent lot, and I can understand the desire to want to do it on your own. However, chances are you have gotten into a position to afford a luxury motor yacht by being very good at what you do for a living. As a successful business person you know the value of expertise and core competencies.
When it comes to such a complex business transaction as the sale of an upscale yacht, you certainly want to rely on the advice of an expert.
The bottom line is good brokers sell boats, weak ones can and will draw out the process, and can make the whole selling experience a bad one. In our next chapters we will explore not only the advantages of using a professional yacht broker, but also how to tell a good broker from a weak one.
NEXT WEEK: We’ll take a closer look at how the right broker can be the key to the success of your selling strategy.
It’s not always easy to stay on top of what’s new in motor yachts. If you would like to benefit from our expertise in these areas, or if you have any questions or comments about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact our Sales Specialists, or call us at (855) 318-6328.