Lots of folks are buying and selling their boats as summer has set upon us; so I figured it might be time to publish a quicky list of simple things you can do to buy and sell a boat…faster and smarter. I’ve bought and sold a boat or two and I’ve explored hundreds of boats of all sizes and shapes; my advice will do the same whether you’re looking at a sailboat or a powerboat. Here goes:
5 Quick Tips to Sell Your Boat Faster and For MORE money:
- Use a Broker: For those of you who are rolling your eyes and saying “Duh, that’s obvious advice”, you would be very surprised at how many folks want to sell their boat all by themselves because they KNOW they can do it…and don’t think through the time it takes to do everything involved with selling a boat. Professional Brokers help prep your boat, market your boat on various forms of social media, personally take clients on your boat (so they’re there ALONE), arrange for money to be transferred if there will be an offer, help to accept an offer, arrange for survey’s and haul-outs and do a myriad of other things.
- Do Your Own Survey: We had our own survey done ahead of time by a professional surveyer when we were selling Tulum IV and it paid dividends. This survey also helped to GREATLY justify the price of the boat…as we had priced her to sell and the survey supported this.
- Continue to Improve the Boat: While Tulum IV was for sale, we wanted folks to go through our broker so they were told about all the recent improvements we were doing on the boat. This was because we worked hard to prep her and wanted to continue to improve her as we went, keeping her in museum shape as much as possible.
- Fair Price: If the boat needs some work and you know it, I suggest you either get it done before showing the boat or you price the work into your asking price, admitting up front that you know it needs to be done and taken off the asking price.
- Verbal or Written Offers: Decide ahead of time if you’ll take verbal offers on the sale of your boat or if you’ll only accept them via a broker.
5 Quick Tips to Buy a Boat Faster And Cheaper:
- Use a Broker: Yep, here it is once again. I highly and strongly suggest folks use a seasoned broker to buy a large purchase such as a boat. There’s myriads of reasons why that will go on for too long, but a broker will help you find what you need and guide you in so many different ways. You can even use the same broker as the folks selling the boat, but get everything in writing first.
- Demand time during the purchase process for an in-water and out of water survey. Hire your OWN surveyer and have the boat hauled out during the survey.
- Hire a mechanic who knows how to do (thorough) non-destructive engine survey (diesel mechanics don’t always know how to do an engine and drive train survey- Don’t assume your normal diesel mechanic knows how to do this). Hire your own Rigger for a Rig Survey.
- Have financing in-place and lined up before you make an offer as much as possible. Most banks won’t do financing on boats older than 20 years old, so before you go buying a 1977 sailboat…make sure your bank will cooperate. Once you get ready to make an offer, be ready to fork over 10% of purchase price to get the offer in place, this is normal business in the marine world.
- Written or Verbal Offers: I recommend not making verbal offers. I like written offers done by the broker so they know I’m serious about buying the boat. It doesn’t always work but it always gets a reply.
Whether you liked, loved or hated my 5 Quick Tips For Buying and Selling A Boat in this post, the tips come from real experience and observations as well as numerous conversations with some of the best boat brokers in the country. I love my work as a travel, sail and adventure blogger/writer and hope you’ll continue to follow this website, our Patreon site and our YouTube Site, with the new Kids Corner Video coming out on YouTube Friday.