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Tips on Selling your Boat!

By, Capt. George East

What boosts a buyer's interest in a particular boat?

1. Clean, dry and uncluttered engine rooms. Clean engine rooms reflect the seller's care and commitment to keeping the boat in great shape.

2. Things work! ....and work as they should. It makes no sense to promote the many features and amenities of the boat, if it is found that too many of those options and amenities are not functional. The more that does not work, the lower the sales price the buyer is willing to pay.

3. Clutterless. We know this is true with real estate, and perhaps it is even more so with boats. Clutter creates smaller spaces, makes living areas and bedrooms feel small. Take a tip from all of the "fix-up-your-house-to-sell-TV-shows" and take out the clutter, and have your boat have that showroom look. Less is more. Less is more. Less is more.

4. "All it just needs a bath and wax" NO! Buyers don't want to hear this. Buyers prefer to purchase their boat and immediately enjoy it. When you're selling your home and have a showing, everyone knows to mow and trim yard and clean the house! This holds true for boating. Sellers would be surprised how much buyers interest is elevated, by the boat being shiny and clean.

You CAN distinguish your boat in a sea of vessels on the market!

Brokers are frequently asked how sellers could distinguish themselves in the market and they are quick to reply, "Have your boat surveyed and fix key desired items on the survey that need attention, before you list the boat". Having a survey is like having a "certified or preferred used car". The buyer provides an independent source of the condition and value of the boat - and his many questions can be answered with a few minutes of reading. Having that survey in hand is huge from a selling perspective. Brokers all agree: "Sellers have no idea how effective a recent survey can be for the sale of their boat."

At the same time, the asking price must be in a reasonable range of other boats on the market. A Market Based selling price is vital to stimulating phone and e-mail inquiries. Your broker has resources available only to marine professionals that can aid in the pricing decisions.

Let's assume that there are 10 boats for sale of the same year, brand and model in the mid 200K range. If one is advertised to be "perfect and pristine" priced at 305K and another that is stated as "needing some TLC" priced at 190K, the higher priced boat will get no calls and the low one will get all the calls but won't sell because of condition.

To sell a boat, a buyer be must interested enough to inquire about it and ultimately arrange to see it - and the asking price of the boat is key to the buyer taking the step to view the boat. With respect to the showing of the boat?: Condition, Condition, Condition. Condition is why boats sell - if the price is matched to the market. NOTE WELL! YOU ONLY GET ONE CHANCE TO MAKE A FIRST IMPRESSION! SHINEY BOATS SELL!!!

Less is more. But think of that concept this way: The less the boat needs, the more likely it is to sell!

You can increase the demand for your boat, which impacts her selling price.
Condition, condition, condition!

How can you distinguish your boat today's market?

Have a recent survey!

Because owners of boats were once buyers of boats, we know that a recent survey on the boat can help the buyer become comfortable with the condition of the boat - and answer all of those many, many questions that a buyer has.

If a boat is in great condition, the survey will confirm it - and gives the buyer added confidence that they are making the right choice. BoatData, a California based marine marketing firm, believes that having a recent survey of the boat can significantly promote a higher selling price- which could more than cover the cost of a survey.

Having a suvery conveys to the buyer that the seller has confidence in the boat and willing to have an independent 3rd party professional be the judge.

Very few boats on the market today have a recent survey that can be applicable to the sale and marketing of the boat. By getting that survey you will distinguish your boat in the market

A 30% increase in offers??

It only makes sense....and cents for the seller

A west coast brokerage firm reports a 30% improvement in the number of offers made on a used vessel when:
When the service and maintenance records were available for review on the vessel at the showing
A copy of a recent survey was available for review
The boat was washed and waxed
The boat was free of clutter and was neat, organized and tidy

Fall/winter lay-up is a great time to ready your boat for the upcoming sales season.

When cold weather creeps into the Ohio River valley, the market slows, and becomes a great time to address needs, repairs or improvements for your boat -- all focused on enhancing her sale. TIP: HAVE AN EXPERIENCED BOATING FRIEND TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR BOAT FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A BUYER AND GIVE YOU SOME FEED BACK. Our Paradigm Staff can provide this assessment too! Getting objective, candid feedback is in your best interest!

Less is more! The less needs and repairs your boat requires, means the more interest you will have from prospective buyers!

Marine Service Centers and Yards are always looking for winter work, and often times you can get great pricing, with plenty of time to ready the boat for the spring market. On those mild winter days, it can be fun to identify a project or two and putter around your boat!

As always I'll look for you outside the inlet.

-Capt George


Capt. George East

George East has been boating since he was seventeen, has had other interests including flying (FAA licensed pilot) car racing, and snow skiing, but he has always remained an ardent boater. After earning a USCG captain's license some 25 years ago, George spent time as a delivery and demonstration captain for one of the major motoryacht manufacturers.

During this same period, while he was building a successful construction and ready mix concrete company, George still found time to own and operate several boats including two Chris-Crafts, a Gulfstar, and two Hatterases.

Fast forward to the present to find George retired from his businesses, devoting all of his energy to boats and the boating industry. George currently holds a 100 Ton USCG Master's license. His specialties are classic Chris-Craft and Hatteras yachts. George instructed with the U.S. Power Squadron for 15 years, and is now a broker with Paradigm Yacht Sales in Louisville, Kentucky and Cape Coral, Florida.


This article was contributed to this site by Paradigm Yacht Sales, Louisville's largest brokerage.

Whether you're looking to buy or sell a boat, you can reach them at:

Paradigm Yacht Sales
P.O. Box 1043
US Highway 42
Prospect, KY 40059

877-468-7594 Toll Free
Fax: 502-292-0442








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