Selling a Yacht

What is the Best Way to Sell My Yacht?

The three rules to successfully selling a yacht are:

  • Location
  • Price
  • Condition

Selling a Yacht with a Broker

Naturally, engaging a yacht broker with market knowledge and good advertising practice is advisable when selling a yacht. We advise sellers to centrally list their yacht with a reputable yacht broker with the following attributes:

  • One with a marketing plan that work; covering print and internet advertising in an effective manner that reaches buyers.
  • One who interacts and promotes your yacht within the brokerage community.
  •  One who can qualify prospective buyers and impress the best qualities of the yacht for sale.
  • One who has time to pay attention and who does not have a conflict of interest (ie. Selling new boats using the brokerage boat as a stepping stone)
  • One with experience and legitimacy.
  • And one who can knowledgeably advise the seller in an objective manner with the seller’s best interests in mind.

An exclusive listing has a distinct advantage over an “open” listing in several ways.  More often than not, open listings for selling a yacht eventually convert to central listings.

  • The listing broker will strive to convey the best attributes of your yacht in a consistent manner and look out for the seller’s interests
  • Your boat will be actively marketed without gaps.
  • In some cases, a central agent can protect the seller against tax and duty liability by acting as a state authorized custodian.
  • Open listings are often used as ‘bait’ for buyers and can actually work against the seller.  Also, disinformation or inconsistent facts are counterproductive.
  • Several major MLS systems prohibit open listings from being displayed within the brokerage community.

We believe that keeping your yacht in show ready condition and in an area that is easy to access and located within a regional “cluster” of other yachts for sale; make it easier and thus increase chances for brokers and buyers to inspect and thus buy. It is a well-proven fact that moving a boat to a high profile area will stimulate showings and hopefully offers.

Actually, AK Yachts maintains an office with dockage on one of the most desirable and high visibility streets  in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with a large network of cooperating yacht brokers showing many boats here every day.  We can arrange for high visibility brokerage dockage from 40-120′.  Some brokers (such as our group) offer custodial services whereby the boat for sale is always cared for and ready to show at all times.

A knowledgeable yacht broker will strive to point out any defects which could affect the sale of the yacht and offer sensible and cost-effective remedies.  It makes sense to put on the buyers’ shoes (as you once did) and present your yacht in its best possible light.  Anything that you want to keep should be either removed from the yacht or excluded in the specification (note that people resent buying things with exclusions unless they are personal in nature).

Pricing your yacht outside of the market can also shut the door on potential buyers. Let’s face it, this is a competitive world and all buyers look for value.  Often, an overpriced yacht will not only get ignored, but work against selling a yacht. The market will always determine the value by offers.  No offers??? (Is your yacht in a good location and well presented?) – then plan on scheduled price reductions.

Trades are always going to be a consideration as most of us yachters are hooked for life and don’t want to be without a boat. It’s a catch 22. Sometimes it is possible to deal with trade possibilities in the following ways:

  • Consider offering a deferred payment at closing equal to the value of the trade yacht with a time limitation and no interest.  This will motivate the buyer to liquidate the trade in his best interests.
  • Have a “wholesaler” available who can liquidate the trade immediately
  • Donate the trade to a reputable charity

Let your broker sell the trade – often this works out just fine if it is a marketable yacht and both parties can agree to a trade-value.