7 Steps for Yacht Sellers
1. Yacht Selling PriceBuyers of a brokerage yacht are choosing price as the #1 priority – versus buying new – so competing on price is a must. Price leads to traffic and clean boats get sold! As we discuss in depth in “Price It Right,” the listed price you enter the market with goes a long way in determining your yacht’s length of time on the market.
2. Yacht Condition
Clean yachts trade well. Making sure your yacht shows to its maximum potential is worth the effort and investment. The topics covered in “Yacht Condition” give you the criteria to check off on your yacht’s condition. Making sure your yacht’s exterior, interior and mechanical spaces present as well as possible will be worth the effort and expense. Yacht detailers and boat management companies can assist or you can do it on your own. Clean Boats Priced Right SELL!
TRADE WHERE YACHT BUYERS ARE
3. Yacht Location
If you have a really clean boat–and price it right–all it will take is 1-3 showings to sell. Time and again we see super clean boats, priced right, struggle to sell because they are remotely located and hard to find. If you have the cleanest boat but no one is coming out to see it, you may have a location issue. Location absolutely plays a role in how much traffic you get and can make a big difference in selling your yacht. Placing your yacht for sale at a facility amongst other brokerage boats (think CarMax), at a marina located near an airport, or a hub of brokers/dealers, can greatly impact traffic to your yacht… It’s why certain roads have 6-8 car dealers all within a mile of each other!
The location of your boat can also impact the amount of time it stays on the market. Compare a yacht in Key West to a yacht in Fort Lauderdale for logistics of showings and the Fort Lauderdale boat will see 10x the amount of traffic from casual interest to other brokers showing the boat. Thousands of boats a year are sold to casual interest shoppers who don’t know the right boat until they walk on it. Locating your boat in markets or marinas – where buyers are more abundant and can easily see multiple yachts – is a smart strategy to selling your boat.
Flexibility can mean a lot of different things when selling a yacht. If you are using a broker who has educated you on competitive pricing for the market and your yacht’s condition shines, you stand the best chance of making a sale. With that said, flexing or changing strategy along the way–when not sold or shown after 60 days–is smart. Many sellers may want to test a higher price point when initially listed, but be prepared to flex on price. Listen to feedback from showings. Feedback may prompt you to have the boat waxed or improve a cosmetic negative (smell, stains, etc). Bottom line – Be Willing to Shift and Get Noticed – Instead of Sitting While Other Boats Get Sold Around You.
FIX ANY ISSUES
5. Be a Prepared Seller
There is never a bad time for a yacht seller to be prepared. Do your yacht’s engines and generator run (not at the slip but to specs at sea)? Do your electronics work? Are your lights all functioning? Water heaters running? Air conditioning cooling properly? Etcetera. Too many yachts fail survey because sellers either do not know systems don’t work or do not prepare the boat ahead of time. Ignoring these issues will not make them magically go away. “It’s a used boat” does not mean a buyer wants to buy a yacht that does not run properly. Preparing service records into a nice concise binder by date or systems is a simple way to show buyers your yacht has been cared for. All of these things can be done ahead of a contract or just after – but must be done BEFORE SURVEY. Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.
SURVEY & SEA TRIAL
6. Survey Process
Your yacht will get surveyed & sea trialed once under contract. If you’ve properly prepared, then hopefully the list of findings will be short and without any deal breakers. There will always be findings that show up. The surveyor is being paid to observe and report at a very detailed level. Cracked hoses, dirty AC filters and out-of-date safety and fire equipment are common. Post survey report, the buyer will need to supply a written acceptance of vessel indicating their position. They can accept, reject, or accept with conditions. Those conditions can be re-negotiated or agreed to and your broker should explain and advise. Until an agreed acceptance is in place, your yacht is not heading to closing. Let the process play out and remain flexible.
SALES CLOSING PROCESS
7. Finish Line
The closing of your yacht sale is the goal and finish line. Making sure your documents are in order ahead of time is smart preparation. The process is similar to a home purchase and includes lien, tax, and registration procedures that must be followed. The proper closing process may extend a few days after acceptance but you can avoid delays by being proactive. Providing copies of documentation and title to your broker ahead of time (tenders/trailers as well) will lessen the stress and ensure a smooth, clean closing loan. Documentation may include lien information, funds in place for negative equity, and banking info to receive your funds at the ready. A BOATERS TWO HAPPIEST DAYS – THE DAY YOU BUY YOUR BOAT AND THE DAY YOU SELL YOUR BOAT.