Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Boat

It’s been months – your boat has seen a lot of action but still hasn’t sold. What’s going on? You may ask yourself…why hasn’t my boat sold?

We’ve all head the phrase, “if the walls could talk,” but do you ever wonder what your boat’s bulkheads would say about the people looking at your boat for sale? Well, we are not the boat whisperer, but if your boat is not selling, here are the top reasons why, and how to avoid them!

1. “What are the heads made of? Gold?!”Mistakes to Avoid when selling your boat

If you are serious about selling your boat, or you simply need cash for your boat, then price it to sell. Look at comparisons, call brokers, and reach out to others that have sold boats like yours, then price it competitively. Check out NADA which banks use to calculate loan values in order to gain a benchmark of what your boat is really worth.

If you price your boat on the higher end and it doesn’t sell, people may will also think there is something wrong with it. Boats that sit on the market too long can start raising questions and deter buyers. If you really need to sell your boat, aggressively price it.

2. “When is the last time someone was on this thing?”

When boarding your boat, this could be the first thought entering the minds of those potential buyers. Unless it’s Mike Wolfe from American Pickers, you do not want your boat to look like it hasn’t seen action in a while. Even if the reason you are selling it is because you do not have the time, don’t let the boat look like it. No one wants to buy a boat that is dirty, covered with bird droppings, and is secured to the dock with worn, shredded lines that look more like movie props.

Hire a detailer to buff and wax the hull, clean the interior, and for larger boats…having a maid service clean the cabins and living areas can make a huge difference to a potential buyer. Remember, buyers want to imagine themselves owing the vessel and do not want to see your stuff everywhere!

3. “Oooo, ooo, that smell”

The human nose is very powerful. A seasoned skipper knows his nose and will used it like a bloodhound on a scent. If your boat smells bilgy, that means you have leaks, and that is a deal breaker for many. Find the source and fix the leak(s). Then fix the smell. This also applies to heads that need to be pumped out, any mildew, or even stowed away lifejackets which may be a bit ripe. Consider brining a friend on board in for a mock showing and ask if they notice any bad smells.

4. “So, this a project boat – everything needs fixing”

Unless the buyer is looking for project boat for a steal, don’t leave those projects undone. Whether it is overdue for bottom paint, not currently registered, or the fridge is not working, these and other issues scream neglect to a potential buyer.

If it is not a project boat, then ensure it’s turn key and ready to be adopted to a good home and played with. That is what most buyers are looking for. They want to be able to “see” themselves taking your boat out on the water, so feed into their vision and lifestyle. Spending the money to have these items fixed will save you time in the long run.

5. “Do you still live on here?”

You may sell junk and buy junk, but take your junk out of the boat. Picture this – you haven’t used your boat in a long time and it’s time to sell it. You decide to keep all your personal “artifacts” on the boat until it sells because it’s just too much work to take them off. You could be letting buyers slip through your fingers.

Unless the equipment (and clothing) goes with the boat, take it out. Again, buyers want to see themselves in it and it’s hard to do so when all they see is your goods and clutter.

Is it just too much for you and you need cash for your boat now?

If you are violating any of the above principles, you could be losing potential buyers. If any of this sounds like it may just be too much work for you, remember that we buy boats. We can provide you a wholesale solution to selling your boat, and fast.

Know that the longer it is on the market, the more it will cost you and the more of a headache it can be. When you have just a few minutes, simply allow one of our staff to offer you a competitive offer and cash in your boat before either the frustration or the cost takes its toll on you.

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