How To Begin Your Boat Buying Process
If you want to buy a boat quickly then you must have a plan. Right off the bat, you should decide if this is something that you can afford or not. If you are worried about your credit score then while it may be difficult, try to make sure that you buy used boats only from individuals and stay away from boat dealerships.
How To Sell Your Boat
Selling a used boat? Here’s a step by step guide to make it happen quickly and easily.
If you’re reading this article, we have a pretty good idea of what you may be dealing with right now. As boat owners, we all love our boats but sometimes it’s time to let go and move on. Whether you’re buying a new boat and must first sell your old boat, or just ready to collect on your investment and take a break from the water, all of us here on the boats.com editorial staff have been there. However, the sell-my-boat process doesn’t have to be painful. This comprehensive for-sale-by-owner boat selling guide is intended to provide information to private sellers just like you to help get you through the steps.First, if you have the time take a look at our “How to sell your boat” video with Lenny Rudow for some great tips on selling your vessel.
Now that you’ve watched the video hopefully you have a good idea of the process for selling your boat. Let’s take a deeper dive into each step.
Want To Successfully Sell Your Boat On Your Own Heres How
Over the past decade, my husband and I have bought six sailboats and sold five of them . In our experience, boat ownership is a transition. On the day we bought each of our boats, we loved the vessel more than our firstborn. When weve been ready to sell, weve wanted each boat gone faster than that same beloved 18-year-old heading off to college.
Unfortunately, selling a boat is rarely an overnight affair. Fortunately, weve gained enough experience to minimize the amount of time a boat sits on the market and to get a fair price.
We have always bought and sold in the lower price range, from $6,000 to $36,000. At these price points, using a broker hasnt made sense for us. Brokers charge commissions, commonly 10 percent of the sale price with a $5,000 minimum. Selling on our own has proven a better option, and a successful one, because we stick to a strategy that weve honed.
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Clean It Properly Before Showing It To Buyers
Nobody wants a smelly boat. You want to keep any junk off the boat.
Hire professional detailers to clean, buff and wax everything to a bright luster.
Another reason to hire a detailer is that its always difficult to identify dirty places on your own boat.
But a detailer knows where to look because they are more objective while cleaning.
Its important that the vessel smells nice. Do a thorough cleaning and ensure there are no stray leftovers from parties.
You want as much free space on the boat as possible so clean and declutter it to make the vessel spacious in the eyes of potential buyers.
Dont forget to drain and clean the head. The bilge should also be clean and scrub all walking areas. Apply air fresheners or deodorants to places like the head and parts that can be moldy.
How To Advertise A Boat For Sale
With the boat fully prepped and an asking price in mind, its time to start generating some leads. In this day and age most people advertise their boat on a number of different internet sites that offer classifieds. Some are free, some are not, and all offer unpredictable results. You may also want to advertise in a local paper or boating magazine. And dont neglect the tried and true tactic of simply hanging a For Sale sign on the boat and placing it in a high-visibility area near a busy road or marina.
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Keep Your Monthly Payment Disclaimer
Your monthly payment data disclaimer is the most important tip you should know about. Make sure that your monthly payments will not exceed 30% of your take-home pay .
Paying a boat off in monthly installments is a great way to make sure that you will not overextend yourself. However, it can also pose a problem if you don`t have enough money. Before purchasing a boat, determine if your payment data presented monthly will be more than 30% of your take-home pay. If it does then reconsider the features of the boat and find another one that is within your budget.
Setting Expectations I Want To Sell My Boat But How Much Is My Boat Worth
Before we get started, lets get real about how much your boat is worth. There is no point in lying to yourself about its value, we all love our boat and are happy to look at it through rose-tinted glasses, but setting the price too high will only result in delays, expense, and disappointment. There isnt an easy tool that will value your boat for you , you need to be more objective and realistic about the process. What are your boats flaws and what are its advantages? What could you do to make it more appealing and more valuable to potential buyers? How does it stack up against other options on the market? Your boat is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it!
To get this right, you must take a data-driven approach and do some research. Get on to some brokerage websites and look for similar vessels and their prices. They should be similar in make, model, size, age, location, and condition! All these factors will affect the sale price. They should also be recent listings as the market for second-hand yachts fluctuates significantly. This is a big ask, and you arent likely to find an exact match, but do your best and see what your boat is really worth.
To get this right, I would recommend jumping on a major brokerage website such as Boatshed. Get onto their website and make your way to the buying section where you can search for boats by all the criteria listed above.
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How Much Should I Sell My Boat For
For most people selling a boat, the priceIsnt Right. And what I mean by that is that they either set their price to low or too high .
What is essential when pricing anything, much less an item as expensive as a boat, is to research the heck out of it and then price it just a hair higher than you conclude. We will get to the why in a bit.
The most obvious starting points will be public listings. If you want to know the best places to look for boat sales try these websites first:
Signs That Its Time To Sell Your Boat
That beautiful yacht is a great investment, and looking at it probably still feels so good, but sometimes, the moment comes when you have to start considering whether or not to keep it. Everyone has their own reasons, but these are some of the signs that it might be time to start looking to sell your boat.
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Ask Yourself: Can I Sell My Boat For Free
The quick answer is, you can sell any boat for free. However, some boats may not sell quickly or for a good price unless you spend a little on advertising since you may not reach all the sellers you need to.
What boats sell well for free?
- Sailing dinghies, like Lasers, Optis, and other small day sailors. I’ve sold several this way.
- Canoes, kayaks, and rowboats
- Smaller sailboats
- Anything on a trailer
The key to whether you can sell it for free is finding out the market. Who is your buyer, and how far will they travel for your boat? Once you know that, you can figure out how to get your boat in front of the buyers and where it makes sense to advertise it.
One consideration on your market is portability of your boat. You can strap a Laser dinghy on a rooftop, but a Capri 22 keelboat needs to be on a trailer if it’s outside of cruising range. A forty foot cruising sailboat has takes commercial trucking or delivery on its own bottom.
Boats which are portable are easier to sell. If you try to sell that Capri 22 but don’t have a trailer, it will be harder to sell outside your home waters. Someone can drive two hundred miles to pick it up on a trailer, but they may not want to sail a small boat that far, so they won’t buy it if they can’t get it home.
Large and expensive boats which need to attract buyers from a distance are harder to sell for free.
Focus On The Cleanest Areas
To create that wow effect, capture the cleanest places on the boat. You want buyers to see it and start thinking of how to make it their own.
Highlighting the best parts gives prospective buyers the impression that you took great care of your boat.
If the aesthetics are excellent, they will expect the engine and other systems to be in top shape.
Take Pictures in Good Lighting Conditions
The best pictures are shot when the lighting is perfect. So even if you are planning to sell your boat offseason, wait for that perfect time when the photographer can capture the vessel in rich detail.
When people see pictures of your boat sparkling in the sun, they automatically envision themselves piloting it or having a party on the deck.
So help them visualize owning the boat and it will be easier to sell. Plus, premium-quality pictures propel you above the competition that used poor quality photos.
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Preparing A Boat For Sale
The amount of prep work you do to your boat will have a dramatic impact on how much someones willing to pay for it. Remember, no one needs to buy a boat and its usually an emotional purchase. So youre hoping for someone to fall in love with the boat at first sight.
That means cleaning the boat inside and out, and washing and waxing every inch of it. Even clean out those areas that are out of sight and out of mind, like stowage compartments under seats or the inside of a fishbox. If someone looks inside as they inspect the boat, you want them to see a neat, clean interior. Also remove any extra gear that amounts to clutter. This will help the boats deck, cabin, and/or stowage compartments seem larger at first glance.
Naturally, a potential buyer will also be interested in a boat that functions properly. Fix any broken or malfunctioning equipmentespecially powerplants prior to attempting to sell the boat, or you cant expect to get top dollar.
How To Sell A Boat: The Complete Guide
The process of selling your boat privately can be a daunting task. If youre interested in learning about the ins-and-outs of selling, then look no further! The experts at Boat Trader have compiled an extensive list of suggestions to ensure a quick sale. If youve done this before and are ready to list your boat for sale right away, then Boat Traders private sellers page is where you may want to navigate.
We begin with some basic steps to understand before you strike a deal with a buyer. It is best to review and understand each of these steps prior to listing your boat for sale. Think of it as studying for an exam. You want to know each of the steps very well prior to meeting with potential buyers. So, lets get started! Here are the seven steps to selling your boat online.
Above: Boat Traders Lenny Rudow walks through the steps to sell your boat online in this helpful video.
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How Much Does A Boat Broker Charge
Typically a Boat or Yacht broker is going to charge a commission fee of between 5% and 10%. Thats typically and the factor that is usually going to affect what you will pay is the size of the boat. A broker selling an 80ft Yacht can and should charge more for their services than someone who is simply listing your 20ft center console for you.
Can I Buy A Boat With Cash
Generally, purchasing your boat outright with cash will be the best option for you if you have a lot of money and do not want to be bothered with monthly payments. Rich people that have busy lives may not want to deal with lenders and sometimes, it is just easier for the rich to pay upfront as it will save them time.
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Advertising The Boat For Sale
Creating a great listing can be just as important as preparing the actual boat for sale. Great listings start with excellent photography and even video assets depending on the potential sale price. Ensuring all the details are included in the listing is important as well. This includes things such as specifications, dimensions and all the features you believe will be crucial to communicate to possible buyers. Other things to consider are things such as services completed, upgrades done on the boat and any warranty information that might be relevant.
Brokers have a great deal of experience creating listings to sell boats. A good broker can guide and take care of all the important elements of preparing and creating a quality listing that will attract buyers. This includes getting appropriate photography done and knowing what information should be included.
The Benefits Of Online Advertising
The top sites for online boat sales:
- boats.com has more than 120,000 global listingsthe biggest collection of boats online, periodnot to mention thousands of boat reviews to attract buyers.
- Boat Trader, which lists approximately 108,000 boats for sale, can attract more than 2 million unique visitors in a single month .
- On YachtWorld, where you can list and sell your boat through a yacht broker and larger boats are common, nearly 3,000 international brokerages list more than 80,000 boats.
Editor’s Note: This article was first published in 2018 and last updated in June 2021.
Sell your boat fast with a boats.com listing!
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Maintaining The Boat Takes Too Much Time And Effort
Boat maintenance requires both time, energy and money, even if you like putting your own elbow grease into your boat or prefer to hire the work out to someone. Even if you, like many boat owners, do some of the tasks yourself and leave other tasks to the professionals, boat maintenance to keep it truly in great condition is costly. When you no longer are spending the kind of time on the boat that would make the maintenance needs worthwhile, that is the right time to start considering your options as a yacht owner in the sales market.
Where To Sell Your Boat Online
Once upon a time, placing newspaper and magazine classified advertisements was by far the best way to sell your boat. If that were still the case, you wouldnt be searching the internet today for a better solution, and you wouldnt be reading this article. If you want to sell your boat quickly, safely, and for the best price, then you should sell your boat online.More specifically, you should list it for sale on boats.com, Boat Trader, or YachtWorld. Yes, full disclosure, our company owns these sites, but that isnt the only reason were advocating for them.
A site like boats.com attracts a high volume of visitors because it features hundreds if not thousands of models in popular boat types such as bowriders.
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Paperwork Needed To Sell A Boat
You wont get far without paperwork, with or without a brokerage assisting you. Having all the paperwork in order will impress potential buyers, and may prove essential when it comes to the final transaction.
The main documents you should have to hand are:
- Builder certificate
- Bill of sale
- Evidence of VAT status
- Registration documentation
- Evidence of RCD compliance
- Service information for the engine, generator, sails, and any other applicable equipment
- Receipts of any larger repairs
- And any other documentation you might have.
Dont worry if you are confused by or missing anything from this list , contact a brokerage and they will likely help you rectify the issue in exchange for your custom.
Contact Us For A Free Appraisal
Whether you want us to sell your boat for you or sell it to us out right, we are here to make the process simple, painless, and worry-free. Fill out our form and tell us about your boat or yacht and one of our trained staff will get in touch with you. Let us use our expertise to make the process easy for you.
We buy hundreds of boats a year from individuals, businesses, banks, and even other dealers.
- No Need for Expensive Classified Advertising
- No Strangers Knocking At Your Door
- No Late Night Phone Calls or Texts
- No Annoying Emails
- No Title or Tax Worries
- We Offer Fair Market Value
- We Handle All Payoff Paperwork
- Its All Quick and Easy
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