Sell, Sell, Sell! – Having completed our six-part series on buying a boat courtesy of the “Informative Broker,” Chris Simpson, we now take a look at the flipside, offering you the best tips and advice on how to sell your yacht.  When undertaking such a sale, it’s important to realize that you are essentially dealing with an asset in a marketplace, so it’s imperative to keep a level head and be as realistic as humanly possible!

There are a variety of different factors and catalysts that may prompt you to want to sell your yacht.  Your motivation can be as simple as an upgrade, but when selling, someone is buying, so the advice, as always, is to consider everything through each step along the way.  If you have reached the absolute threshold of your enjoyment of your current yacht and find yourself saying “been there, done that” and still aspiring for that bigger, better, faster vessel docked opposite you, then it may be time to start trading up.  Alternatively, circumstances can arise that suggest you should ditch the old girl and downsize.  What were once your ideal cabin specifications, boat size and cruising capabilities can change, as can your geographical commitment. It may be simply that you never get to sail the boat and the running costs are making you question the entire venture.  It is a good rule of thumb to expect 10% of the total value of the boat to be its annual running cost.  Regardless of your reasons for selling, think back to when you bought and remember that it is a lot easier if a good broker is involved.

To secure a broker’s agreement to list, realism and commitment are required. Good brokers will use every marketing asset at their disposal to sell your boat for you, but it is not as simple as merely naming your price and listing it for sale.  The current market, as in realty, will be one of your biggest selling considerations.  This is good news for the BVI, where brokers are few and boats are plentiful. Certainly the BVI arena is not as cutthroat as bigger, faster markets.  Bear in mind that everything you considered in buying and running your boat will be a factor for your potential buyer as well.  Under no circumstances should you expect your broker to initiate an unrealistic price hike and shoot for a higher than attainable commission.  Their brokerage is their livelihood and, before you enter into a commitment with the broker to list, extensive market research will be done on your vessel along with a survey to establish a realistic selling price.  If your boat has become rundown while in your possession and no general maintenance or upkeep has been undertaken, expect a considerable depreciation in the price of your asset.  Selling is going to involve a combination of many factors; there is no point in trying to cover anything up, as a good surveyor will find it all anyway. Remember, as well as your own listing broker, a buyer’s broker will be involved, too!

Think of the listing and sale in terms of a partnership with your broker.  To market and sell your boat, he or she will need you to be as open-minded as possible. Do factor in that big name-brand yachts have a worldwide appeal, and therefore a higher selling and buying price.  An obsolete, unknown brand of vessel, with all the love and pride in its construction and upkeep, may still only appeal to a very small market.

Yachting is more mainstream than ever, and the big name brands are better known internationally, thus holding market value.  Your broker also has a list of clients who are eager to buy yachts—don’t think of him or her as your fairy godmother, but more as your ideal matchmaker!  Get your ship together!