Do you remember when you were looking to buy a boat? What affected your decision? What made you choose this boat over the others you looked at? Put yourself in the Buyer's shoes!
- Address the exterior elements that are seen first.
First impressions are very important and they can make or break the sale of your boat.
Waxing your boat can be some of the best money you will spend.
Give your yacht a thorough cleaning from stem to stern.
Make sure that you clean and varnish bright-work as needed.
Paint the bottom and keep it clean with a professional bottom cleaning service.
Black anti-foul bottom paint shows best.
Tidy up your dock lines, sheets, and halyards.
- Address the interior
Make sure the heads are spotless, smell good and have no mildew or mold.
Store away personal items that make it difficult for potential buyers to imagine their items in your yacht.
"Kill the clutter" by cleaning out over-stuffed lockers and removing any inventory not intended to be sold with the boat.
Remove all your personal books and take the "junk" out of the chart table.
Cover up any holes in the bulkheads remaining after pictures were removed.
Clean the bilges and ensure that they are dry, clean and odor-free.
- Perform Basic Maintenance
Change your oil!
Replace all of your oil and fuel filters.
Top off all of your fluids.
Top up your batteries
- Repair anything you already know is broken or defective.
There is no greater disappointment to a buyer than to find that equipment onboard is not in working order. The fact that you may not necessarily get much value for an upgrade on your boat does not mean that the Buyer has not put a value on it. We have seen time and time again a deal fall apart because a piece of equipment did not work and the seller knew in advance and did not tell his broker. If your watermaker does not work, do not put the watermaker on your equipment list. This means that the surveyor does not need to test it and the Buyer cannot complain that it does not work when it was never included in the sale in the first place.
Check and repair inoperative equipment or remove it from the equipment list.
Check for leaks and repair them in advance as a good surveyor will find them anyway.
Check if your dinghy is stored onboard and position it so it drains properly.
Make sure it does not have to be removed or inhibit looking into lockers.
Try not to embellish things as the vessel will be surveyed and sailed on a sea trial and it may cause you to lose a sale when any details are verified.
- Get your paperwork in order
If your yacht was built in 1993 but wasn't launched until 1994, it is still a 1993 and should be listed as such. However a boat built in 2007 may be either a 2007 or a 2008 model so ensure you get this correct in your listing agreement. Many deals have been lost at the last hurdle when a buyer suddenly thinks that his new boat is actually a year older than he thought.
Your dinghy needs ownership paperwork too!
An engine that has a new alternator and injection pump is not a "completely rebuilt engine". Accuracy is important and builds credibility with your listing and the broker representing you and always try to remember that your Listing broker is on your side. You and he have exactly the same objective, namely to SELL your yacht. If it does not sell, he does not get paid so be upfront about what you know about your yacht.
Check for liens on the boat as buyers hate to discover this after they have decided to buy your boat.
If your ownership is corporately held, ensure your company is in good standing and you have approval in writing from the company to sell the vessel.
Keep all of your repair and purchase receipts and maintenance records. Buyers love to see good records to increase confidence in the yacht they are planning to own.
- Location of your Boat for sale
A boat docked behind an owner's home in West Palm Beach will not sell nearly as quickly as a boat docked in Ft. Lauderdale. Similarly, a boat sitting behind a home in downtown Ft. Lauderdale will not sell as quickly as a boat sitting at a dealer's location where there are 10 or more other cats for sale. A broker with a buyer in tow will go to the location where there are the most boats to show at the same time. He is very unlikely to take a buyer on a 1 hour drive out of town to see one specific boat until he has taken him to the local location where the buyer can see a broad selection of what is available. In addition, if your boat is the value that you think it is, what better scenario than having it sitting next to it's competition and attracting those potential buyers.
- Ex-Charter Yachts for Sale
If your yacht is in a charter management program, list your yacht for sale between 6 and 9 months before your phase-out date. This will mean that you will not have to pay dockage, insurance, maintenance and mortgage payment while your yacht is listed for sale.
Verify with your charter company what will happen on "phase out" of your vessel. In most guaranteed management programs, the charter company will pay for defects that are determined in the buyer's survey but in some cases the charter company may apply the "fair wear and tear" rules and therefore you will be responsible to pay for the repair.
If you follow these rules and price your yacht at a realistic figure then it will only be a matter of time before you have a buyer ready to purchase.