If you’re planning to sell your yacht, look no further. The process can be daunting, and you want to ensure your yacht will be owned by someone who cherishes it as much as you have. Luckily, resources and experts with the information necessary to sell your boat for the highest amount possible are available.
Selling a yacht is similar to selling anything else — you want to make sure you get a reasonable price for it and complete the process without any hiccups. Whether you choose to have a broker place your yacht up for sale and handle the entire process for you (for a fee) or decide to sell your yacht privately, there are some things to know before getting started.
What Are the Steps to Selling Your Yacht?
Read on for a step-by-step guide on the best ways to sell your boat.
- How to List Your Yacht
- Preparing Your Yacht
- Yacht Evaluation
- Marketing and Advertising Your Yacht
- Be Prepared to Wait
- Time to Sell: Negotiation and Purchase Agreement
- Sea Trials and Completing the Final Paperwork
1. How to List Your Yacht
Choosing how to list your yacht is an important decision. Naturally, you want to select a professional with experience selling yachts, as it’s a specialty industry. Of course, you can list your boat yourself, but we recommend using an experienced broker to list it, market it to the right audience, handle the negotiations and help you complete the sale.
Choosing an Experienced Broker
Experienced brokers understand the ins and outs of the yacht sales process. They often have years of experience preparing yachts for sale and know the steps necessary to complete the sale. Hiring a broker will cost you some money, like selling your home with a real estate agent would, but it may also save you money.
Brokers possess the knowledge needed to answer your questions about the yacht market and marketing your boat. They have expertise in the yacht sales process and have the connections with other brokers to market your boat in every possible place. They also know how to sell your yacht quickly for top dollar.
They handle the process from start to finish, including vetting potential buyers, marketing, communication with potential buyers, viewings, negotiations, sea trials and final paperwork. Selling a boat yourself can be time-consuming and possibly confusing, so hiring a broker to assist you is priceless.
If you have knowledge of selling yachts or want to save any money you would spend on commission to a broker, you can privately sell your boat. If you choose to sell privately, be sure to properly vet any potential buyers because the last thing you want to do is spend time working with someone who cannot afford your boat, wasting both your time and money.
You also want to make sure that you choose a lawyer familiar with yacht sales so they can write up a safe contract and bill of sale for you. A safe contract can protect you from any potential issues like money laundering and other scams.
2. Preparing Your Yacht
Showcasing your yacht is paramount to a successful sale. You want to make sure it looks as appealing as possible to entice the most significant number of buyers. Your yacht may be in perfect shape, but if it isn’t, there are things you can do to prepare it for potential buyers.
Clean Your Yacht
You should begin by cleaning your yacht. Having a clean, tidy boat will immediately make a difference in the eyes of potential buyers. If your yacht has up-to-date, trendy features, a quick clean may be all it needs to increase its value and increase the interest in it. For the exterior, washing and waxing are essential. You want to take special care to address places that might usually be hidden, like compartments under seats.
You don’t want to give a prospective buyer any reason not to want to buy your yacht. You should also declutter your boat as much as you can. Decluttering it should help increase its look and value. If your yacht doesn’t currently have a crew, you might want to consider hiring workers to clean it regularly and have it ready for a showing at any time.
Give Your Yacht a Makeover
If your boat’s interior or exterior is outdated, you may want to consider giving it a makeover in a more updated style. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money, and investing some money into updating your outdated yacht is a great choice. Old linens, dingy-looking paint colors, peeling paint and outdated cabinets and furniture can both decrease the value of your yacht and its desirability.
If you plan to work with a broker to sell your yacht, they can guide you in deciding which option is best for you. For example, they might recommend a simple cleaning of your yacht. However, if more extensive updates and improvements are suggested, they can show you how to update your yacht to sell it for the most amount of money.
3. Yacht Valuation
Ensuring your yacht is valued appropriately is vital to both you and any potential buyers. If your boat is undervalued, you may lose money. Conversely, if your yacht is overvalued, you may never get any offers on it and lose the money you’ve spent on marketing it.
To accurately value your yacht, your broker will closely examine the market for all yacht sales but also for your boat model in particular. They will also go over any special features your yacht has and any included accessories, as each detail is important in determining a fair price.
The location where you plan to place your boat up for sale can have an impact on what you can sell it for, much like when you sell a home. Location matters, as your boat may be worth more in a place where they are less common. In a location saturated with other yacht sales, you may need to price your boat more competitively, which may affect the value.
Don’t be surprised if your broker recommends lowering the price of your yacht if there has been little to no interest after it’s been listed. The price may only need to be reduced slightly to garner interest from potential buyers. Any interest is better than none in a market like yacht sales.
4. Marketing and Advertising Your Yacht
Getting the word out about your yacht is imperative to its successful sale. After cleaning, preparing and valuing your boat, the next step is to place your yacht up for sale, market and advertise it.
Your broker likely has their own website where they can list your yacht. They should also know of other brokerages with websites that can add your listing to increase the number of people learning about your boat. Another option is for you to ask them to create a website dedicated solely to your yacht. The price for each listing can vary, so you want to make sure you communicate with your broker about spending your money effectively.
For any listings, you want to make sure there are plenty of photographs and videos available for prospective viewers to get an idea about your yacht. Of course, these should all be of professional quality. You should check with your broker to see if they offer photography services or if you need to seek out your own photographer and videographer. You also want to make sure that any listings are optimized for maximum search engine results. Your broker should know what search terms to include in any listings.
You can place a “For Sale” sign on your boat in an easily visible location. Using word of mouth is another free way to advertise the sale of your yacht. You never know if someone who docks their boat in the same place as you is thinking about purchasing a new yacht or if they know someone who might be interested. Your broker may also have a list of clients interested in buying a yacht like yours. In this case, they should contact them and explain the value of your yacht.
If possible, attending a yacht show to display your boat is a great way to show it off and speak with other yacht owners or those interested in owning one. Your broker may know of some in your area, or you may have even attended some in the past.
Boat shows usually garner a lot of press, which is excellent for gaining interest in your yacht. You may not get any offers on your boat specifically at the show, but you will get a lot of eyes on it, leading to possible offers in the future. In Florida, you can attend the Palm Beach Boat Show, the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show and the Miami Beach Boat Show.
5. Be Prepared to Wait
When placing your yacht up for sale, you need to be prepared to wait for it to sell. In the case where it takes a while for your yacht sale to be completed, you can still use it and enjoy it. Be careful not to go too far from where you have the boat listed, though, because you want to be close by if someone shows interest in it and wants to view it.
It’s important not to wait until you absolutely need to sell your yacht, as chances are very high that it won’t immediately sell. If you are in a situation where you need to sell your yacht quickly, one option is to sell it to a yacht or boat store. You will probably not get the price you are asking for or expecting, but you will be able to get some money for your boat. If you plan to buy another boat, you may want to consider trading your old yacht in and putting that money toward your new purchase.
6. Time to Sell: Negotiation and Purchase Agreement
Any negotiations regarding price need to be discussed before any payment can be issued to you. After you find someone wanting to purchase your yacht, it’s time to talk negotiations and finalize their purchase. The prospective buyer should have already reached out to tour your boat, ask any questions about its condition and verify that you own the yacht. Don’t be surprised if they request proof of ownership. Asking about that is only to protect them from any legal battles over ownership in the future.
If the potential buyer has any issues regarding your yacht’s condition, they may wish to have it inspected. They will usually pay for the inspection unless you and your broker have made other arrangements with them. If applicable, warranties for the yacht may also be discussed during the negotiation period. Your broker should fight to have the tightest negotiation possible so that you can walk away happy and with the most money in your pocket.
After the negotiations have been completed, a deposit should be paid and a purchase agreement will be drawn up to be reviewed by the buyer and their lawyer.
7. Sea Trials and Completing the Final Paperwork
After you have a serious buyer and a deposit from them, they may request a sea trial. Your buyer may request this to ensure that the yacht runs according to their liking, they are comfortable with it and it will suit their needs. A sea trial can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
After the sea trial, and once your buyer, you and your broker have come to an agreement, the final paperwork can begin. Your broker typically handles this part of the process, as it can be difficult without specialized knowledge of the legal and financial nuances involved. At the very least, you will need to sign over the title of your yacht to the new owner.
Sell Your Yacht With Flagler Yachts
When it’s time to sell your yacht, Flagler Yachts can help. We have years of experience in selling yachts and have perfected our process in preparation to help you sell your boat. We have a highly experienced team ready to organize and market our listings. Our website is specially optimized for mobile searches, which is important because 60% of searches for yachts and boats are conducted on mobile devices.
However, we use more than online resources to market your yacht. We take advantage of print advertising to make sure your boat gets the most views possible. You know how important it is to have specialized knowledge in the yacht and boat market, the knowledge to successfully market your boat and familiarity with the legal aspects of yacht sales. At Flagler Yachts, you get all of these things, all in a team you can trust.
We will guide you and your prospective buyer in every step of yacht purchasing and transferring. Contact us to start the process of selling your yacht today!