10 important tips for selling your used boat

5 September 2018
10 important tips for selling your used boat

Selling a boat: child’s play?
Before using your talents to create a FOR SALE sign, you probably want to ask a few questions about the best way to sell your boat. Band of Boats gives you advice on selling your boat:

What is the market value of my boat?

The selling price is the most important element. Even before it becomes a selling criterion, the offer price will be decisive for the visibility of your boat on the Internet. Even if selling points are described in the main body of the ad, a boat that is too expensive will not be clicked on in the first place.
Band of Boats advises you to focus on the “market value” of your used boat.
To do this, the most reliable clues are the estimates obtained from the stakeholders who are closest to the reality of the transactions: professionals in the second-hand market, dealers, or the expertise of Band of Boats with its SmartValue tool, based on sale prices collected over the course of almost 20 years.

Am I the best person to sell my boat?

As the owner, you know the qualities and the faults of your boat! It is still very subjective. Are the qualities that seem essential or secondary to you seen the same way by your future buyer?
Objectivity and considering the expectations of buyers remains a major advantage of professionals. Do not hesitate to ask them, especially when your planned sale is connected to an intention to purchase.
Availability: changes in consumer habits and the widespread use of the internet as a boat search tool mean that the seller must be more responsive than ever before, whether the response is related to a request for information or availability to schedule a viewing of the boat.
Your availability and the distance between your home and the boat’s location can be accelerators or brakes to the completion of a deal.

Should I use the services of a professional? What kind?

Evaluating the boat, scheduling viewings, taking it out of the water, communication, guarantees, financing solutions, insurance, transportation, administrative aspects, etc. These are all points that could make you seek professional assistance.
There are different types of professional: a dealer, a broker dealing exclusively in second-hand boats, organisations with national or international networks.
Band of Boats advice: When you put your boat in the hands of a professional, choose carefully, and just choose one! This sole agent will be far more efficient, and the buyer will not be able to set different agents up in competition against each other.

Should I get an expert evaluation?

An expert evaluation is not mandatory in order to sell your boat. But it could reassure the future buyer concerning the technical condition of the boat, rather than its value.
If you decide to offer your boat for sale without a prior expert evaluation, the future buyer could ask for one at his or her own expense.

Would I have better chances on an international market?

With the rise of the internet, borders are disappearing. This density of the offering and choice are now more important criteria than the size of the boat.
Choosing international specialist sites is therefore a major advantage that can reduce your selling time.
If a different language or worries about foreign transactions are obstacles, a professional agent can be reassuring. Band of Boats also offers a tool to secure financial transactions in certain European countries.

How to handle the administrative side?

Ask for the necessary information from your home port. There are different procedures in different countries.

Should I renovate my boat before selling it?

There is no single correct answer to this question.
Prior renovation depends on the boat’s condition and age and the cost of the repairs.
Obviously, with a few exceptions, the better the boat’s condition, the better the chances of selling it. This principle holds true even more strongly for recent boats.
Note that for older boats that would have very high repair costs compared to their market value, customers in the know might be interested in buying a boat for renovation, and this could be an important negotiating point.

Am I selling because I have stopped sailing, or do I plan to buy another boat?

If you want to change boats, the sale of your current one usually provides a deposit for your future purchase.
Whatever the estimated value of your boat, Band of Boats recommends that you consider a trade-in offer from a dealer. You might be pleasantly surprised!

Maintenance log

This is a very important point to reassure the buyer. An up-to-date maintenance log is your best asset. However, if you don’t have that document, any supporting evidence of maintenance will be welcome (preferably originals).

Advice on presenting the boat

The presentation of your boat is essential. First impressions are crucial!
To maximise the chances of your boat being seen, pay attention to the quality of your photos. Band of Boats advises you to choose an exterior shot of your boat as the first picture. Bright photographs of the interior and of the engine(s) will reassure potential buyers.
If you have a video, that will be an additional advantage. In that case, you can copy the video link when you place the ad.
The quality of the inventory is also important. The more information you give, the greater your chances of being contacted.