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HSH Yacht Articles

Preparing to sell your boat

Five key points to selling your boat as quickly, easily and for the highest price.

See also the article:Ugrading your boat

1. First impressions count most

When a buyer sees a clean and shiny boat with well finished woodwork they are keen to see more. When they see chalky, dull fiberglass, poorly finished woodwork with peeling varnish or damaged woodwork they see neglect and disinterest. If they want to see more they are already thinking of a bargain basement price for the boat!

Before you list your boat for sale:

  • Clean, buff and wax hull and deck
  • Repair any damaged wood and refinish if necessary
  • Make sure all lines are in good condition, coiled neatly and not green with algae
  • Wash all canvas and repair and reproof if necessary

2. Buyers look for a clean well maintained boat

Assuming the exterior of the boat persuades a buyer to go below, the interior needs to look homey and well cared for. Make sure everything is neat and tidy and the interior is as clean as possible. Pay special attention to areas where buyers will look such as the bilge areas, engine room and the bathroom(s).

Before you list your boat for sale:

  • Remove all floor boards, clean the bilges and wipe down the floorboards
  • Remove all cushions and clean in all storage areas
  • Clean the engine. Consider adding a bright engine room light
  • Clean the commodes and sinks. We all know that head hoses can cause odor. Consider replacing hoses or, at a minimum, flush all hoses with a strong cleaning solution
  • and then fill with fresh water (not salt).

3. Make sure everything works

If equipment is fitted aboard your boat make sure it works. If it doesnít, any potential buyer will assume the worst and want an allowance for new equipment. It is much easier and cheaper to fix everything before you list the boat for sale than to pay to have it done later. Plus, once your boat is surveyed by a potential buyer, if everything works your sale is virtually assured whereas a long list of non-functioning items can often cause a buyer to have second thoughts and then the best you can hope for is a much reduced sales price to not ;lose the sale!

Before you list your boat for sale:

  • Check all electronics to make sure everything works. Get fixed those that donít
  • Check all lights to make sure they work. These include all cabin lights and all navigation lights. Fix those that donít
  • Check air conditioning and refrigeration and get them fixed if they donít work correctly. Many owners never check the return air filters on their boatís a/c. Now is the time.
  • Check your engine room for fuel, oil or water leaks. If they are present a surveyor will certainly find them. You can almost certainly fix these now more cheaply than if you have to pay for it to be done after a survey.

4. Buyers want to imagine the boat as theirs

Potential buyers want to imagine their stuff aboard your boat. They want to see how much storage there is and how spacious it feels. If they open a locker and stuff falls out the message is that the boat does not have enough storage. If the quarter berth or v-berth is full of sails or cushions or other equipment the boat will seem smaller than it would otherwise. Maximize the opportunity to sell your boat by removing as much stuff as possible leaving only a few books or cushions to make it look homey and cared for.

Before you list your boat for sale:

  • Remove all personal non-essential items leaving only a few things to make the vessel look cared for
  • Remove all non-essential boat equipment even though it will be included in the sale. Renting a storage shed for additional sails, canvas, spinnaker poles etc will save money if it means your boat sells more quickly.

5. Keep the boat clean while it is listed

When owners list a boat for sale and especially when they move it to a brokerage dock they have mentally moved on. They are ready for their next boat or new home or whatever. Though it is hard to stay motivated about the vessel for sale, it is extremely important to keep the vessel in good shape once it is listed for sale. A buyer may see your boat at any time and it is important that it shows well. Those boats that are neglected take longest to sell and ehen they do sell it is for a lower amount than necessary.

Before you list your boat for sale:

  • Make a commitment to clean the vessel regularly or contract with someone do do it for you
  • Come down to the boat and check it regularly, run the engine, a/c refrigeration etc. Equipment that is not used will often fail to work later.

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HSH Yacht Sales - Waterford Harbor
300 Admiralty Way, Kemah TX 77565
Phone: 832 864 2030 - Fax: 832 864 2143
E-Mail: sales@hshyachts.com
HSH Yacht Sales
Corpus Christi, TX
Phone: 361 290 7552 - Fax: 832 864 2143
E-Mail: Don.Lemke@hshyachts.com
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Phone: (719) 641-8231
E-Mail: Jeff@hshyachts.com

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