When It’s Time to Sell Your Used Boat: Tips and Tricks to Make It Quick
When it's time to upgrade your boat, you know what you have to do. Sell your existing used boat. Thousands of recreational boats and sailboats come on the market daily, especially at the end of boating season. You want your boat to be one stands out from the rest (for good reason). It's hard work to sell a used boat. But if done right, selling your boat quickly (and for top dollar) is right around the corner. Check out these tips to help you get the most bang for your buck.
Empty Out Your Used BoatIt's painful and often nostalgic, I know. But once you decide to sell, accept the boat's no longer yours. It's a mindset more than anything. I have a friend who has so much "stuff" in his boat, you can't really see the boat at all. (I think it's all the stuff his wife won't let him have at home.) Nevertheless, if he ever decides to sell his used boat, he's gonna need a supersized dock cart (check price on Amazon) to haul it all out. Actually, I highly recommend purchasing a dock cart anyway!
Remove Personal ItemsThis means you, yeah you, my dear friend with all that "stuff" in your boat. Get rid of all your personal items. Why? Because you want to allow the buyer the opportunity to envision the used boat as if they own it. Maybe even live in it. You want them to picture themselves there, not you. Put it in the dock cart and haul it home, recycle it or give it away to another fellow boater. But under no condition do you leave it in the boat!
Show Empty Stowage AreaMake sure the boat's stowage areas are empty and appear spacious. People want storage areas to stow their stuff. This means PFDs, galley storage, fridge and berths need to appear roomy, airy and clean.
Clean Your Used Boat Till It Shines Like NewA little elbow-grease = more $$$ in your pocket. More $$$ in your pocket = a bigger, newer boat for you. Make sure the boat runs well and works properly. There's nothing worse than looking at a boat and trying to lift up a hatch, only to find it's stuck. This goes for all the other details, hinges, cleats and pulleys. Make sure it doesn't smell. Mold is a killer and if you have a sniffer like me, you smell it a mile away. Mold is a sign of damage and potential problems for the buyer. Get rid of it, especially black mold that can cause illnesses. Pet odors? If you sail with a dog or cat (even a well-behaved cat that used the litter box), let's be honest,they stink. Especially cat urine!To remove our critters odors, use a pet deodorizer like Nature's Miracle (check price on Amazon).If you can still smell it,purchase an ozonator (check price on Amazon).
Clean and Scrub:
- Clean bilge pump and pump out the holding tanks
- Wax the hull and polish aluminum and chrome
- Clean the windows with a vinegar and water solution for a streak-free view
- Freshen carpet and cushions with a carpet cleaner
- Remove smells with an ozonator and follow directions carefully (these work great, especially if you had pets onboard)
- Engines should shine too. Wipe off the oil, grease, and make this area shine
Set Realistic Pricing to Sell a Used BoatThe name of the game is to sell your used boat quickly. Why? Empty of most your gear, you can't enjoy it. And you can't sink money into marina fees as it just sits, either. And buyer's don't want a stagnant boat. The longer it sits, the more questionable it becomes. Avoid using basic descriptions and buzzwords. Be specific with the accessories the boat has.Don't say the boat simply comes with trolling motor, instead,list the make and model number and any other identifying features. Have an engine inspection and marine survey completed and available to buyers. The Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS) and the National Association of Marine Surveyors (NAMS) both offer listed professional marine surveyors. that will separate your boat from the rest of the pack. Find comparable prices and locations online. NADA and BoatTrader, the go-to guides for researching selling prices. But don't forget about boat brokers either. Remember, the location of the boat often determines the selling price, so start a search within your area.
BrokersDon't forget to contact brokers. Most of the mare comparable in pricing and generally great to work with. They take the work out of it for you. Ask them about trade value as well. Remember, brokers work for you. Also, with so many boat brokerages around, keep location in mind when contacting them. Several brokers specialize in specific locations while others specialize in purchases and moving of boats and yachts worldwide. Some of my favorite brokerages are Yacht world and the Boat Broker (who specialize in RVs too). If you're in Alaska, contact Alaska Boat Brokers.
Great Photos Sell Used Boats FasterIt's no secret that great photos make a boat sell quicker. Just like selling a home, a professional photographer is worth their weight in film. It's not rocket science, but if you don't hire it out, at least make sure you have a wide-angle lens to get the best view of each cabin, galley and head onboard.
Tips for Taking Great Boat Photos:
- Clean house and declutter to show off your well-maintained boat
- Turn on all lights and remove curtains from window portholes avoid shadows and make the cabins appear spacious
- Use high-resolution,horizontal photos for better online viewing
- Take photos of your boat out of water (if possible) and get a fellow boater to take shots while cruising underway
- Show it all off! The more the better