Do you know the biggest question boat owners have when they are ready to put their boat on the market? It’s how do I sell my boat? Followed by what is the best way to even market a boat?
Many boat owners find themselves overwhelmed with when faced with selling their boat. While it is similar to selling a house or a car, selling a boat requires different skills and knowledge. There is a much smaller market for boats and many people don’t really know how to tap into that market. Simply put they don’t know where to find the potential buyers.
After years of selling boats, we have identified these common goals of our clients:
First, owners usually like to sell their boats fast and at the highest price point.
Second, they often want to hire a trusted and reliable broker to find them a buyer.
Third, sellers desire the process be easy and convenient for themselves.
Fourth, they want the process completed in a reliable manner.
Fifth, the owners need to know that the transaction will close safely.
And lastly, they refuse to pay a fortune in fees.
So whether you a boat owner with only one, or all, of these goals in mind, this article will help you understand your options. We will show you how each method will help you achieve your objective by weighing the pros and cons.
THE FOUR MOST COMMON WAYS TO SELL A BOAT
1. Do-It-Yourself (DIY).
2. Appoint an Agent.
3. List with a Traditional Boat Broker.
4. List with a Digital Boat Brokerage that provides Enhanced Brokerage.
Let’s begin by breaking down each of your options.
Sell Your Boat Yourself (DIY)
Selling it yourself is most suitable for boats that are:
– Lower value boats, under USD100k.
– Easy to sell or likely to sell quickly.
– Less complex and propose less risk.
And for boat owners that have:
– Boatloads of time and inclination to do the ground work.
– The sales experience or closing skills to make the sale.
– No desire to pay commissions to brokers.
Conversely, do it yourself isn’t well suited for boats that are:
– Higher value with more complexity and risk.
– Hard to sell, e.g., limited demand or niche, very old, run-down, or is a “project boat.”
– Suffering because they have been on the market for a long time.
Or for boat owners that:
– Are busy or pressed for time.
– Don’t have a large network of people.
– May lose the sale if they speak with the buyer!
– Low cost, no fees or commission payable.
– Labor intensive for the boat owner.
– Higher risk of boat deal falling apart at the 11th hour.
– Risks from inexperience with paperwork, agreements, or post survey negotiations.
– Boat owner loses the sale due to sales inexperience.
Appoint an Agent to Sell Your Boat
Some owners appoint people that they know as their agent. Many times, the agent has no boat experience or network so the agent reaches out to many boat brokers, hoping one of the brokers has a buyer. Typically, there is a co-brokerage agreement where the agent splits the commission with the boat broker who brings a buyer.
– Boat owners know and trust the agent.
– Agent might have little to no experience selling boats.
– Commission split may prevent brokers from bringing a buyer to the table.
List with a Traditional Boat Broker
The help of a traditional boat broker is fitting for boats that are:
– Over USD100k.
– Easy to sell or likely to sell quickly.
– In the 10% of boats that sell fast, even in a buyers’ market.
And for boat owners who:
– Don’t have the time, inclination, or deal closing skills.
– Have exhausted their own network of buyers.
– Are OK to go with the flow and it sells when it sells.
Using a traditional boat broker isn’t as suitable for boats that:
– Are hard to sell.
– Have been on the market for a long time.
– Require niche marketing.
Or for boat owners who want:
– Certainty and a tight timeline to sell.
– A fast sale, right now, at the highest price.
– You don’t pay for their time so you can change your mind and pay nothing.
– If you’re in a sellers’ market, with a popular boat, it may sell quickly.
– The boat owner has to put in little effort.
– Unless your boat sells quickly, it will sit with little broker initiative.
– Brokers typically only are proactive with the 10% of boats that sell quickly.
– Quality of service may feel low for the 10% commission paid.
– The only plan to stimulate inquiries is reducing the price.
– Boats that don’t sell quickly begin to depreciate, deteriorate and continue to incur holding costs.
List with a Digital Boat Brokerage that provides Enhanced Brokerage
There is an elite service called Enhanced Brokerage offered by Digital Boat Brokers. Digital Brokers are specialists in marketing boats. Especially global internet marketing that has more depth and breadth of reach to potential buyers. Different packages are designed to meet your specific goals, as described below. Commission structures are disrupting the traditional boat brokerage model and are driving transaction costs down.
Employing the services of an Digital Boat Brokerage is highly recommended for boats that are:
– High ticket, fast sale at a good price
– Languishing on the market for a long time or requiring niche marketing to reach their buyer.
– Hard to sell, e.g., older boat or run-down, or is a “project boat.”
And for select boat owners who:
– Demand results in a specific time frame.
– Are serious about having an elite boat broker sell their boat.
– Need a project manager to get the deal closed.
Employing a Digital Boat Broker is NOT advised for boat owners who:
– Aren’t serious about selling.
– Want to test the market.
– Don’t mind how long it takes for their boat to sell.
– Are okay going with the flow.
– Guaranteed outcomes and results depending on the selected package.
– Certainty in the timeline to a sale.
– Best commission structure.
– Maximum marketing exposure for your boat.
– No exclusive brokerage agreement.
– Project manager directing a team according to your specific marketing plan.
– Fees paid are 100% offset against eventual sales commission.
– There is a monthly fee for the exclusive service you receive.
– There’s no refund if an owner changes their mind and decides not to sell.
Choosing the best option
Occasionally the stars align and a boat owner finds a buyer that wants to pay top dollar to buy their boat yesterday and doesn’t have to pay a commission. We call these unicorn deals the “OMG, that’s amazing!!!” boat sale. However, reality is that boat owners are at a loss to know where to find potential buyers. Moreover, many boat owners have an emotional attachment to their boat. This clouds their ability to properly estimate the market value of their boat and the length of time to close the deal. Finally, the process of selling a boat overwhelms some boat owners: the endless calls, enquiries, social media messages, showings, sea trials, regulations, paperwork, etc.
So, whether you go DIY or employ a full-service elite broker to handle every aspect of the deal, this is what everyone would love to happen. Happy seller, happy buyer, happy broker. That said, a seller needs to know what the next steps are if they don’t get to enjoy an immediate sale. A savvy boat seller needs to ask their broker, “what is the plan to keep the sale project on track?”
A Quick Quiz
We advise boat sellers to answer three questions to get clear on the best strategy for selling their boat. The combination of answers will highlight the best option in your situation.
1. What kind of boat sale are you expecting?
a. OMG that amazing!
b. As fast as possible.
c. Whenever it happens.
2. Which statement best describes you?
a. I’m in a hurry to sell at the high price possible.
b. If someone offers the right price, I’m ready to sell.
c. I know what my boat’s worth so that’s what I expect to get for it.
3. There are different levels of service available so which level is right for you?
a. High — I want someone to handle all the details and get the results.
b. Mid — I’ll get an agent or list with a traditional broker.
c. Low — I’ll do it myself.
By answering these three questions and understanding your goals and objectives you will be able to select the perfect option. If you want help understanding the next steps to take to put a sold sign on your boat, book a Strategy Call today.
About BASCO Boating
We provide a Boat Sale Strategy Session (free of charge) to help you understand the exact three things that you should be doing right now to sell your boat faster at a good price. If you want to find out how to triple your boat enquiries, viewings and offers in 90 days, click HERE to make a time to Zoom.
BASCO is the most reliable and effective boating platform in Asia-Pacific. We strive to address issues faced by the boating community in the traditional boat brokerage by investing our time to understand our clients and their needs so as to provide accurate information and present our best practices to help them achieve their innermost dreams about life at sea.
BASCO consists of 3 divisions, BASCO Connect, BASCO Advise and BASCO Trade.
Here’s some of the services we provide
1/ We educate boat deciders/searchers about boating and boat buying
2/ We help buyers buy boats
3/ We help boat owners sell and maintain their boats and
4/ We help boat service providers get more work and grow their businesses.