Selling a Boat


Top ten tips for selling your boat

It is vitally important that in today’s market that your yacht or powerboat is well presented and has all of the appropriate documentation and is easily accessible if you wish to achieve a quick sale. The following is a list of the top ten things to consider when selling your boat.

1. Leave it tidy
A neat, clean and tidy boat will always sell quicker and for more money than a tatty sistership. The impression that a purchaser gets in the first five minutes on board usually decides if he or she is going to make an offer. Therefore, when selling your boat, make sure that you either remove your personal belongings or place them in cupboards. There is nothing like a full forepeak or quarter berth to quench any impression of space below

2. Make it look clean
Make sure that as well as cleaning the exterior of the boat that the interior is clean particularly the fridge and cooker. There is nothing worse than a prospective buyer finding the remains of last weeks supper in the fridge or thick grease in the oven

3. Make it smell good
Make sure that when cleaning the interior of the vessel that you also clean the bilges and the engine bay. There is nothing more off putting, particularly for someone buying a boat for the first time, than to open the hatch of your vessel and be knocked back buy the smell of stale water in the bilges and oil and diesel in the engine bay.

4. Maximise your advertising
There are many different locations to advertise your boat, from the local post office window, local newspapers, yacht clubs, yachting magazines, numerous paid and free web sites or through a professional broker. The cost of advertising varies depending upon the size of your advert and the number of words. Advertising through a professional broker will mean that your boat will normally be seen in the yachting press and through their membership of different agencies on numerous websites both in the UK and abroad. Remember advertising your boat for sale with a broker normally costs nothing until it is sold, when you pay them a commission on the final selling price.

5. Get the sale price right
We all think that our pride and joy is worth more than what it actually is. The key to selling your boat is to make sure that it is priced correctly. An over priced boat will sit on the market for a long period of time and will only cost you money to store. If you are serious about selling your boat make sure that the price is right. A good broker will be able to give you advice on not only what price to advertise your boat at but will be able to tell you what has sold and at what price recently.

6. Check you have proof of ownership
Any buyer will want to make sure that you are the legal owner of the vessel and have the authority to sell the boat. Therefore, before you advertise your boat for sale make sure that you have all of the appropriate title documents available to prove ownership. If they are not available, it can not only hold up completion of the sale but in some cases can cause the sale not to complete. A good broker will always provide advice and guidance on what documentation is required.

7. Do you know the Vat status of your boat
It is important that you know and have proof of the VAT status of your boat. We are seeing an increasing number of buyers coming from Europe to buy boats based in the UK. When they return to there home country they will be required to prove the VAT status of the vessel if it was built post 1985. The best way to show this is to have the original VAT paid invoice. If you are not sure always speak to a professional broker who will be able to give you advice on the documentation require. Remember if you cannot confirm the VAT status of your vessel, it can not only hold up completion of the sale but in some cases can cause the sale not to complete.

8. Engine
Make sure that your engine has recently been serviced and is visually clean. Keep a copy of the service history, record or copies of the relevant invoices onboard the boat for prospective buyers to see. Knowing that the boat has been well maintained and in particular the engine serviced in line with manufacturers recommendations will give the prospective buyer confidence to make an offer.

9. Hull
If you have taken your boat out of the water to sell and will be storing it ashore we would recommend that you invest the time and a small amount of money cleaning the topsides and anti-fouling the hull. There is nothing worse than seeing a boat with weed and barnacles hanging from it. If the boat is presented in a clean condition and ready to sail away for the start of the season this will make your boat stand out against others and hopefully encourage the prospective buyer to make an increased offer knowing that they can get on the water sooner.

10. Offers
Remember that prospective buyers will always expect to make an offer less than the asking price. Some buyers will start off with a very low offer in the hope to grab a bargain whilst others will make a realistic offer. Therefore, it is worth thinking before you place your boat on the market what monies you really want to achieve from selling your boat. A professional broker will always help in the negations and give advice on what he feels the buyer can afford. In the current market it is worth giving every offer serious consideration.