The Complete Guide to Selling Your Sailboat

How To Sell A Sailboat

Many events can mean you need to sell your boat, whether it's because your sailing days are over or because you need some cash to fund your next nautical upgrade. Whatever the reason, though, it's still important to understand the ways to make your sale quick, painless, and the best deal for you. If you need to know how to sell a sailboat, you're in the right place.

Pricing a Sailboat

Before you get into the process of putting your sailboat on the market, you need first to take care of some prep work. Aside from cleaning up your boat and taking care of significant repairs and upgrades, you'll need to set a starting sales price, which can be a tricky process.

Naturally, the cost of your used sailboat will differ from new boat prices on the market, but determining fair value is essential for both you and any interested buyers. Price too low, and you'll lose out on the deal. Price too high, and you'll have a hard time selling your sailboat in the first place, which increases the risk of your boat falling into disrepair and losing more value.

You can start by looking up your boat's value online, both by looking at expected value and by comparing to similar boats that are on sale. However, remember that many factors can make sailboat prices fluctuate, such as:

●  Working condition of the sailboat

●  How the ship looks aesthetically

●  Accessories you plan to sell with the boat

For sailboats, you should ensure that mast and sales are in working condition, as well as clean any gear and areas that will be in regular use. The better the shape that your boat looks, the better your chances of not only selling the boat but also getting a better price.

You can use the value guides to help determine your starting price, and then adjust the number based on the condition of your boat. You should also determine the lowest price you are willing to accept in advance to help when it comes to negotiating with potential buyers. If you feel unsure about your asking price, you can also have the help of a broker to assist with determining the best value.

Once you have determined the starting price for your boat, it's also helpful to include a note such as "Or best offer" so that buyers know that you're willing to negotiate and they don't feel immediately turned off by what you're asking.

Where to Place Your Boat

If anyone is going to buy your boat, they first need to know it's available. Advertising your boat online is an excellent resource, but don't forget to take advantage of the space around you. Rather than keeping your sailboat in the backyard, you need to place it somewhere that's visible to people.

At the bare minimum, you want to have your sailboat in the front yard or the driveway. However, you can go beyond that. It's possible to rent a spot alongside the highway where hundreds of people will be able to see it, rather than those who pass by your neighborhood. Wherever you choose to place your sailboat, make sure that the pricing and contact info is clear and readable from a distance.

If you don't have a space like that available, you should at least take advantage of different advertising options, which can include online boat listings and newspaper publications. Whenever possible, include pictures of your boat, as they're more eye-catching than simple text options.

Hiring the Right Broker

As mentioned, a boat broker can help you determine the value of your sailboat, but that's not all they can do. Hiring a broker can mean that you have someone to help represent your sale, which helps assure buyers that your sailboat is worth their money, as well as handle other essential tasks like preparing listings, paperwork, and price negotiation.

Since a broker will pay a substantial role in the selling process (and will also cost you, the seller, money for their services), you want to have a good one on your side. Some factors you should consider are:

●  Knowledge of the market. Boat brokers can have different specialties, from larger yachts to power boat prices and more. Make sure that the broker you consider working with knows how to handle your sailboat and understands the market climate thoroughly.

●  Knows the entire sale process. A broker should fully understand what selling your boat will look like from start to finish. This factor is always important, but it's especially so if this is your first time selling a boat. Your broker should know how to answer whatever questions you have about the process.

●  Responsiveness. No matter how much knowledge a broker has, you won't be able to take advantage of it if they don't respond to your requests and questions promptly. Don't compromise when it comes to communication, as it can impact the success of your sale.

As you look for a broker to help with selling your sailboat, check customer reviews online from both the buyer and seller perspectives to ensure both ends of the process will go smoothly.

How to Sell Without a Broker

While boat brokers can be a valuable resource, you don't necessarily need one to make a successful sale. Instead, you can handle the work on your own, though it will take more of your time than letting a broker take care of the process, you also won't have to pay them any fees if you do the work yourself.

We've mentioned these steps above, but you'll naturally need to determine the price of your boat, take care of any repairs that can help boost the value of your sailboat, and set up your advertising options in both local and online environments. If you're unsure of where to start, consider selling your sailboat on the same platform where you originally purchased it.

As mentioned with advertising, you want to have photos of your boat and any equipment you're selling with it. Recording a video with your smartphone can also be a powerful tool in making a sale. Other helpful files to have on hand are organized maintenance records.

Preparing for Survey and Sea Trial

Any smart buyer will survey the boat to determine its value and give them points to negotiate the price. You can give yourself the same advantage by conducting a pre-listing survey (and completing any necessary repairs), whether it's on your own or by hiring a professional.

While you can save money by doing a DIY survey, it can be hard to stay objective about your boat, especially if you've had it for a long time. If you're unsure that you can remain subjective, hire someone to do the job for you.

Sea trials can also make or break a sale, so you want this stage to go as smoothly as possible. Make sure you charge any batteries, check that the engine starts the day before, clean the bottom of the boat and any messes inside, and empty whatever tanks you possibly can. The lighter your boat is on the water, the faster it will go, which can make it more appealing.

Understand the Sales Timeline

A boat can quickly sell within a few months, or it can take several years to complete. Part of that will depend on your marketing, but it can also just be circumstantial. Understand how long you may need to maintain your sailboat and pay storage costs and be realistic about your expectations.

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