If you are ready to sell your yacht, the biggest question on your mind is probably:
Should I try to sell it myself or should I hire someone who knows what they are doing?
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of each way of selling your yacht.
5 Considerations Before Choosing A Yacht Broker (Or Not)
Selling your boat is something that is not going to happen overnight, this is a transaction that can take time. But the question is, how much time?
One advantage of using a yacht broker is that selling your boat will likely take less time than if you were to do it yourself.
This is because the yacht broker will be able to utilize more advertising strategies that you might have access to yourself.
This advertising is also going to be more tailored to your particular boat. Each boat needs to be presented and advertised differently so that it reaches the correct market and the most interested parties.
Some advertising strategies include various electronic and print media and will distribute at boat shows, open houses, and help all walk-in inquiries.
This saves you time by not having to go out and meet with every potential buyer that is interested in your listing.
With all this advertising and much more availability to take meetings, you can be sure your boat will sell more quickly than if you had to handle the process yourself with limited marketing.
1. Prepping for Sale
It is likely that you cannot just sell your boat without doing minor work on it.
This could be as simple as cleaning the boat, or as complicated as fixing any issues that the boat has.
One way that a broker can help with this process is by advising you of which improvements should be made. This will help you fix only what needs to be fixed and will help you avoid sinking money into improvements that will not help with the sale.
They accomplish this using their knowledge of the market and by determining what will make your boat competitive in the market.
Some brokers will even go so far as to organize the upgrades, repairs, and temporary storage while your boat is being listed.
2. It’s A Complex Task
Selling a boat can be a complex process that requires a lot of research if you plan to sell the boat yourself.
If you choose to hire a professional broker, they can provide professional know-how and previous experience to help you navigate all aspects of the sale of your boat.
Brokers often follow the proper policies and procedures for the transfer of ownership from one party to the other.
They also know how to navigate the release of liens and other financing procedures that comes with the purchase or sale of a yacht.
They will also have knowledge about listing agreements, closing statements, deposit requirements, and possible escrow accounts.
3. Paperwork and Legality
Brokers also have a working knowledge of the necessary legal steps and paperwork needed for the sale of a yacht.
The paperwork can include:
- Certificate of Ownership
- Security Agreements
- Bills of Sale or Purchase Agreements
- Registration paperwork
- Title Transfer paperwork or Applications for Titles
- Agency Contracts
It can be beneficial for you to get a broker if you are not sure what these documents are, how to get them, or how to fill them out.
4. Do You Have Enough Connections?
In addition to marketing and other methods of getting the word out, most brokers have a client network and might even have potential buyers in mind right away.
This can also be a factor in getting your yacht sold more quickly.
5. Setting The Value Correctly
Your boat is worth something. This is a fact. When selling your boat, you will want to make sure you sell it for what it is worth.
Often a broker is better at doing this than an individual might be.
Individuals often sell their boat for less than its worth, either because they don’t know what it is worth, or because they don’t think that they can get an offer for what it is worth.
A broker will be able to tell you exactly what to start asking for and can negotiate deals for you from there. They even have access to non-public information that will give out an estimated value for your boat.
They are also less likely to ask for too much. When it comes to trying to sell a piece of your property, you are likely to have an unrealistic idea of what it is worth.
Much in the way that homeowners overvalue their home, individuals are likely to overvalue their yacht.
A broker will prevent this and help you to be more realistic with your asking price. This also goes back to the issue of time. An overvalued boat will not sell in a timely manner because often people will not want to overpay for your vessel.
How to Choose a Broker
There are many choices for yacht brokers, and it can be tough to know which one to go with.
You can find a broker using search methods or by going through word of mouth. Word of mouth is often very powerful as you can get real and honest reviews from people you know about the effectiveness of the broker. If you are simply going off their advertisement or website, of course, they will say they are the best.
When you are presented with an option of different brokers, it is often a good idea to go with one who is a yacht broker for a profession.
Some brokers will only take on certain clients, and it becomes a side job for them. This means they will have less of a client base and that being a yacht broker is not their primary focus.
You will want someone who is going to work for you and who gives all their attention to the facilitation of yacht sales.
Another thing to look at when choosing a yacht broker is for someone who might specialize in your particular type of vessel.
They can often get you more money the more familiar they are with your specific market, instead of a broker who deals with boats of all types.
How to Hire a Broker
As a seller, hiring a broker is not very difficult. Once you meet with one and choose to go forward, your part is pretty much done.
You will, however, be paying the brokerage fee so you will want to know ahead of time what that will be.
Much like in real estate, the seller pays a percentage of the sale to the broker who helped to facilitate the sale.
Most brokers work in the buyer and seller’s best interests, but sometimes there are two brokers involved.
In this scenario, they often split the commission, which is still paid out by the seller from the proceeds of the sale.
So, Should I Use a Broker?
If you do not feel comfortable with any portion of the above process when it comes to selling your boat, I suggest you utilize a yacht broker.
The yacht broker helps you from listing the vessel all the way to closing the deal. This can save you time, effort, and headaches throughout the entire process.
If you have a small boat, you will likely not use a broker.
With small boats, you will make less money and the money that is made from the deal is most likely not worth the commission of using a broker.
Should I Work With a Dealer?
If you do not want to go with a broker but are also not sure that you can find a buyer on your own, you can go work with a local boat dealer.
This means that you would store your boat on a boat dealership’s property instead of trying to display it in your own front yard.
This is an easier way to generate traffic and interest in your boat than just leaving it in your own space or worrying about taking out an advertisement. Since most people who go to a boat dealership are already taking the first steps towards boat purchase, you will be more likely to find potential buyers this way.
This might come with a cost depending on the dealership. This is because you are using their floor space that they could be used for their own inventory.
However, dealerships are willing to do this to help deepen their relationship with you in hopes that your next boat purchase will be through them.
Selling your boat can be a daunting task, but just know that there are options out there, and one is sure to fit your needs!
Shelby Sullivan is a freelance journalist who specializes in boating and recreational watercraft. She captains her family pontoon boat in her spare time with her fiancee and dog on the freshwater lakes of the United States. Shelby prefers swimming to suntanning, and you can most likely find her reading in the shade of the pontoon awning.