Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What Can The Seller Do To Expedite The Sell

As noted above, the most important thing the seller can do is price the boat realistically. Beyond that, it's critical that the boat show well.

You can't underestimate the importance of a sparkling boat! Purchasing a yacht is largely an emotional decision (who actually NEEDS a boat?!) and first impressions are important. Anything you can do to bolster this first impression will result in a faster sale at a better price.

The most common reason boats are put up for sale is that they're not being used, and often it's been quite some time since anyone was even on board. Under these circumstances, the boat probably won't sell quickly or for anywhere near top Euros. What you need is a plan of action:

1. First, get all your stuff off the boat! Most boats collect an amazing assortment of foul weather gear, toys, dirty clothes, supplies and just plain junk over time. While empty homes look stark, boats have smaller spaces and built in furniture; they look best empty and uncluttered. So GET RID OF EVERYTHING! What you can't get rid of, hide! Then...

2. Give her a good cleaning inside and out! Most sellers wouldn't dream of showing their house to prospective buyers without tidying and cleaning, and the same holds true with boats. Second only to setting a realistic asking price, this is the single most important thing you can do to ensure a quick sale for top Euros. Take extra care to...

3. Make sure the head is clean and the toilet works. The holding tank should be empty and the toilet and lines filled with FRESH WATER with a bit of chlorine bleach added. You'd be surprised at how often this seemingly common-sense advice is overlooked and the dire consequences thereof! Also...

4. Clean the bilges. The bilge is too often "out of sight, out of mind" to owners, but rest assured the surveyor and buyer will take notice.

5. Have you deferred maintenance for a couple--three years? More? Sorry, this is when your sins come home to roost! Deferred maintenance must now be addressed with a vengeance:

* Varnish the exterior bright work, oil the interior teak, refinish the teak and holly sole. If you don't have the time or inclination to do this, have your broker coordinate the project for you.

* Keep the batteries charged so the engine(s) start for the sea trial. It's a good investment to replace starting battery(s) if they're more than a year or so old--dead batteries can kill the sale.

* Service the machinery (engines and generator) by changing the fluids (oil and water) and filters. Aside from the hull, machinery is the most expensive component of a boat; any problem here will seriously jeopardize a sale (so now's the time to replace that old starting battery!).

* Keep the bottom clean and zincs fresh. You should have a diver scrub the bottom and check zincs regularly while your boat is for sale. A significant beard on the bottom says the boat has been ignored, and this isn't the message you want to send.

* Remove all canvas, covers and accessible lines and wash in a commercial front-loading washing machine.

* Have all safety equipment up to date. This includes flares, fire extinguishers and life jackets, as well as bilge pumps and blowers.

While sellers are often reluctant to spend money on a boat they're selling, money spent preparing her for market is well spent; the investment is usually more than recouped in a higher selling price. Also, most of the cosmetic items above can be accomplished with nothing more than a few hours and some elbow grease!


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