Blog | Selling Your Yacht Fast – How to Be a Good Negotiator

August 16, 2016

Selling Your Yacht Fast – How to Be a Good Negotiator

Knowing how to negotiate is essential to selling your yacht fast!

The essence of negotiating is that it has to be a two-way street. As the seller you want your boat to sell for as much as possible. Your buyer wants to pay as little as he or she can. Negotiation is all about determining a price that is fair to you both!

Next to selling your home, or business, selling your luxury motor yacht will probably be one of the biggest financial transactions in your adult life.

Understanding the art of negotiation, will help you get top dollar for your boat regardless of its condition, age, model, or the current market.

Remember just as when negotiating the sale of your home, car, or business, you will be in a better position as the seller when:

  • The market is strong and boats are selling well
  • If you are not in a hurry to sell
  • If you are entertaining several offers
  • If similar boats are selling at similar prices

By this point in this series of articles, I hope you have come to realize the value of using a professional yacht broker for designing and implementing your yacht sales strategy. However, if you are still working on your own, here on some tips on negotiating “from the pros.” Even if you are working with a yacht broker, knowing these strategies will still come in handy so you can make sure your broker is negotiating well on your behalf!

When The Offer is Made

  • The Counter Offer: You know that the initial offer made by a buyer will be lower than your list price. You also know it is lower than he is willing to pay. Both of you expect some offer/counter offer haggling. A mistake a lot of sellers make is coming back with an initial response to an offer with a price lower than the asking price, but still higher than theirs. That can work, but instead, counter first with your LIST price. This will see if your buyer is serious, and if he will bump up his initial offer, than you can start to go down.

If you are afraid that this strategy will make you seem too inflexible and turn your buyer off, try a counter just slightly below your list.

You must know your “rock bottom price” before you start any negotiations. As you go down the offer/counter offer road, consider also putting an expiration date on your counter offer, this can force your buyer’s hand.

 Other Negotiating Strategies

  • Set a Time and Date for Accepting Offers: You can list your yacht for sale, even entertain tours, however, you can put a date limit before which you will not accept any offers. This can get you a pool of interested buyers, who have to enter into a bidding war, once your date to accept offers arrives.
  • Detach Emotionally – As we mentioned in previous posts, you must detach yourself emotionally if you are going to successfully sell your boat. This really comes into play when you are in the negotiations stage. Do not allow yourself to reject good offers, because you are still too attached to your vessel!
  • Other Negotiable Points – Remember that your sales price may not be the only thing that is negotiable that can help you to seal the deal. For example, once the deal is closed, financing is negotiable. How the boat will be delivered and who covers delivery costs, can also all be points of negotiation.
  • Try not to delay – It can be very tempting once an offer is made, to just wait and see for a “better one” to come along. You must evaluate this tactic carefully. Often your first offer is your best offer. Knowing whether to act on your first offer will depend a lot on the market, and your knowledge of the true value of your boat.

role of yacht broker

Your Broker as Your Negotiator

Throughout the articles in this series, we have talked a lot about the value of your broker in setting up and managing your Sales Strategy. Now, as your negotiator when an offer is made, is the time for him or her to really prove his or her worth. The fine art of negotiation is one of the most important benefits of using a professional broker.

Besides the finesse and skills of your broker, a broker has the ultimate tactic that you could never pull off on your own. When an offer is made, only your broker can say these magic words: “I’ll discuss your offer with my client and get back to you.”

This element of time and insulation from an immediate answer is one of the biggest leverage factors having a broker brings into your negotiations. Beyond that, your broker will have the skills, and the creativity to negotiate a “win-win” for you and your buyer.


NEXT WEEK: We’ll start to take a closer look at what to do when you get an offer!


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 954-900-9988.

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