As brokers of luxury motor yachts, we are often asked, “when is the best time to sell your yacht?”
That is not such an easy question to answer. While it is true that trends in the market place can influence when, or when not to put your yacht on the market, and that there could be times of the year when it is better to sell than others, in our experience, the real answer to “when is the best time to sell your boat,” is “when you are ready to sell your boat.”
Once you have decided it is time to sell your boat, then, the only really important question is, “what do I do to sell her quickly?”
In my years in the business I have seen both yacht owners, and yacht brokers make the same stupid mistakes that can make the sales process far longer than it needs to be. Here, in no particular order, are my “Top Ten” tips for selling your motor yacht as quickly as possible.
Prepare your boat – This may seem obvious, but there is a right way, and a wrong way to prepare your boat to sell quickly. If your yacht broker is doing their job right, a lot of people will be coming to see your yacht. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of that first impression. Make sure your boat is waxed, cleaned and detailed to the nines – inside and out. Makes sure all systems work, the engines fire up right away, and sound smooth, check for any oil leaks, water leaks, etc. This is another advantage of signing on with a professional yacht management company when you first purchase your boat. When it comes time to sell, you can be sure she will be “ship-shape.”
The right price – Of course you want to price your boat to sell, but how do you find the right listing price? First up, look on the internet for similar yachts, and see what they are selling for. Call those brokers, tell them you have a similar model, ask them what they would list it at, ask them why they think the boat listed hasn’t sold, is it the price? Then once you have done all your research, take a serious look at how much it is going to cost you every month that you boat does not sell, and come up with the lowest price that you are comfortable with. The big mistake I see a lot of owners make, is they over-price to allow for “haggling,” but, you will not have to negotiate, if no one comes to see your boat if it is priced to high!
Exposure – In selling real estate they say it is “location, location, location” – in yachts, it is “exposure, exposure, exposure.” If you want your yacht to sell quickly, she has to be seen. Beyond advertising, making your yacht available to charter is an excellent way to introduce her to potential buyers.
Declutter – Having some of your stuff around to make your boat looked “lived-in” gives a bit of a human touch, but, minimize your personal gear and stuff on board. Empty closets and stowage areas will make the boat look more spacious.
Paper work – Of course, have your title, registration, and all other relevant paper work in order. It may sound like a no-brainer, but I have seen missing, or poor paperwork, hold up the best deals.
Are you really ready to sell? – Make sure you are emotionally ready to sell your boat. I have seen owners list their boats, and then, do not take the right steps to have it sell. Even worse, I have seen owners intentionally, or even subconsciously, shoot the deal in the foot, because they really aren’t ready to let go of their “baby.”
Upgrades – Upgrades are a tricky thing. Upgrading your boat’s interior amenities, and systems to the latest styles or models, may not raise the total value of your boat. Upgrading may not even allow you to recoup the cost of the upgrade in the selling price. However, when you are competing with other boats on the market, upgrades can help your boat sell.
Redoing Your Yacht’s Interior, May, or May Not Help Her Sell Faster
Why are you selling? – This question will inevitably come up. Have a good answer. A potential buyer does not want to think that you are only selling for the money. You want to appeal to them emotionally. I suggest “lifestyle changes” are the best answer, such as, “our kids are all on their own now, and we do not take family vacations any more,” or, “I need to do more corporate entertaining for my business, and need a larger vessel,” etc., etc.
Have a professional marine survey – A professional marine survey of your boat before you sell will save you a lot of hassles. Any serious buyer is going to have a survey done. It is better you do one first, and find and fix any problems. Repairs that may cost only hundreds, could cost you thousands off of your selling price if they are found later on.
Listen to your broker – Finally, the best tip I can give you to sell your boat quickly is to hire a trustworthy yacht broker, and listen to his or her advice!
Understanding the best ways to sell your motor yacht can be confusing. 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.