How to Prepare Your Boat to Sell Quickly

How to prepare your boat for sale

Tips for Preparing Your Boat for Sale

December 28, 2018 by Charles Giambalvo, SYS Yacht Sales Associate

Ready to sell your boat and want to know more about how to get the best price? Overall there are two variables that sellers can adjust in order to have their boat sold in a timely manner. These variables are price and condition. As a yacht broker, one of the biggest mistakes I see is a seller asking for a price that is above what the market will pay. This simply makes comparable boats with lower prices look like bargains.

It’s important to research similar boat listings first, in order to determine the boat’s market value. This is one of the many reasons hiring a professional yacht broker is very advantageous, as your broker will help you come to an accurate asking price that will develop into timely leads.

In terms of condition, it can be difficult to know if you’re boat is ready and will appeal to a wide range of buyers, especially if it’s been owned for many years. It’s important to remember that it’s all about the first impression. Try to recall what made you fall in love with the boat when you initially bought it.

Below are some practical tips, that often go overlooked, to help you prepare your boat for sale and ensure you get a better price. This is not a comprehensive list of everything you can do, but rather an overview of our basic recommendations. Contact us to discuss the details of your vessel for a more personalized approach to preparing your boat for sale. Our experienced brokers will provide a market value analysis for your vessel in it's current state and well as provide detailed advice on how you can get the best price.

Check and Fix Mechanical Issues

First, you want to make sure the boat’s key systems are in proper working order. Test all functions and check wiring to make sure the boat will run optimally and fair well in a survey and sea trial. General maintenance to smaller, less significant systems is also very important. Be sure to thoroughly check the following:

-All mechanical, electrical, and navigation systems
-All cabin lights, navigation lights, window latches, water taps, etc
-Air conditioning and refrigeration systems
-The engine room to make sure there are no fuel, oil, or water leaks

De-clutter and Deep Clean Your Boat

Similar to selling a home, if your boat is cluttered with excessive personal items, it will be hard for buyers to see past them and picture their own outfitting of the boat. Make sure to remove as many personal items as possible, maximizing the boat's interior and exterior space.

In addition, have the boat’s exterior completely washed, compounded, and waxed. Polish all stainless and aluminum. Be sure to have the decks washed and tidy, removing any unused lines and deck equipment. The engine room should be bright and clean (removing any rust or corrosion), as well as removing mold buildup from any compartments or bilges. The interior should be de-cluttered and cleaned thoroughly, making sure all counter tops are clear.

Having your boat feel clean and orderly will minimize any uncertainty or doubt in the mind of the buyer, who is trying to determine if the boat has been well maintained. If the boat feels messy and dirty, the buyer will assume it’s been neglected and therefore, will be a high risk to purchase, with future problems due to lack of maintenance.

Stage Your Boat

Before any showing, the boat should be staged properly. This is usually done by your yacht broker, who will arrive beforehand to turn on the A/C, lights, and music prior to the buyer’s arrival. Setting up burgee and stern flags also has a nice affect. All of these small details will make the best first impression and ensure the showing goes as well as it possibly can.

There should also be marketing materials prepared for your boat, with high resolution photos, descriptions and specifications, so the buyer remembers all the important details. A video of the boat underway is also very effective.

Prepare All Paperwork

The boat’s maintenance records and recent survey are great sales tools, which help make the buyer feel confident in moving forward. Make sure to have all relevant paperwork prepared, including the title, registration, and loan information for when an offer is accepted and you’re ready to close the sale.

All of these tips are very useful in preparing your boat to go on the market. Remember, appearance and dock appeal is key, along with its maintenance history, and a knowledgeable and passionate broker to present your boat in the best light possible.

Contact us to learn more about our comprehensive yacht marketing services.

Charles Giambalvo

New and Brokerage Sales

Contact Charles

617-803-9662‬ | Email

Charles and his wife have lived aboard a 2010 50’ Jefferson Motor Yacht “Overseas Office” for the past 3 years, which they maintain themselves. Charles also holds a USCG Master 100 Ton license. In addition to his significant boating experience, Charles has over 30 years of experience in high tech international sales. He now applies his experience to assisting clients with their boat buying and selling needs. Charles combines his marine industry knowledge and sales know-how to provide clients the highest level of professional services. | View Full Bio

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