Preparation is key when selling your boat. Buyers are a finicky lot. Most get a sense of your boat’s value (or lack thereof), before you even open your mouth.
Help prospective buyers form a positive initial perception by showing your boat in its best possible light.
- Remove the unused items you’ve stored on your boat over the years.
- Stow or remove unsightly gear and personal items.
- Replace ratty cushions; they are one of the first things buyers see.
- Wash, wax and detail the boat.
- Fix crunch marks, and repair dock rash. These things give buyers a clue as to the loving attention you’ve given your boat over the years.
- Good housekeeping and organization give the impression of a bigger, roomier vessel.
A boat with just one item not working presents a huge obstacle for buyers, who may assume more surprises are lurking. Have a professional surveyor examine your boat. Be prepared to pay several hundred dollars for the surveyor’s advice and probably thousands more for the recommended fixes. The survey will help you with negotiations, whether you make the repairs or not.
Be prepared to answer all a buyer’s obvious questions, such as your motivation for selling. Have your boat’s statistics ready: year, make, model, and engine hours as well as a list of the extras, upgrades and improvements you have made.
Know what separates your boat from the competition, and be ready to speak about it at every opportunity. Be familiar with your boat’s unique features. Find an article or two promoting them. You can tell a buyer that your boat is the best, but reviews and documentation help support your claim.
When pricing your boat, don’t get visions of sugarplums. Talk to brokers, a dealer that sells your model or any other trusted source to get realistic pricing information. Pricing to sell must make sense to the seller as well as the buyer.