May 18, 2024


Mad about real estate

Selling a Yacht

Selling a Yacht – Where to Start?

Whatever your reason for selling your yacht, be it upgrading or simply moving on to the next adventure, the process can be simple and easy. The easiest place to start is to decide how you are going to sell – through a broker, privately or as a trade-in. From there, the process is simple. With a broker, you can rest assured that all the work will be done for you at a price. If selling your yacht yourself, following these easy guidelines can help make the process a pleasant and successful one.

Getting Your Yacht Ready for Sale

As with all things, presentation is key and a clean and well-maintained yacht will only impress and sell quickly. It goes without saying that the deck should be scrubbed, the varnish restored to its original shine and the galley be free of crumbs and dirty dishes. If you intend to keep any of the yacht’s extras, like the waverunner or skis, remove them before a viewing – buyers could be put off by what they then see as misleading features.

Make sure the engine is checked and clean and starts the first time that it is fired. Any dirt around this area is a sign of poor maintenance that could make buyers question the value of the yacht. Once everything is clean and smelling fresh, set the scene for the viewings. Have the table set with beautiful tableware suggesting a romantic onboard meal. Lay the deck out with sun beds and bright towels, simply inviting guests to imagine what it would be like to laze the summer afternoons away on their new yacht.

When to Sell Your Yacht

The best time to think about selling your yacht is at the beginning of the yachting season in your area. Buyers are most interested when the sun is shining and they can picture themselves on the deck enjoying a cocktail while the waves splash beneath them.

How to Sell Your Yacht

There are three basic choices when choosing to sell your yacht – selling it privately, trading it in or using a yacht broker. Smaller vessels can usually be sold easily by their owners but larger yachts require complicated papers and negotiations that are best left to the professionals. While you may make the most profit out of selling privately, the time and hassle involved usually outweigh the benefits, sending most people straight to a broker.

Trading in your yacht is only best done when purchasing a new one. Many dealers prefer not to take trades on used yachts and the amount offered varies considerably amongst dealers, usually well below market value. Trade-ins can however save you money, as sales tax is only worked out on the selling amount less the trade-in value, which for some, makes this option the most cost-effective.

The Paperwork and Legalities Involved in Selling a Yacht

As with any asset changing hands, there is paperwork that needs to be filled out and legalities that need to be taken into account. Selling privately means that you need to type up a bill of sale that includes the names of all involved, their details, the price and the type of yacht along with its registration numbers. This document can act as the receipt of the transaction. A cashiers or certified cheque is the best option for payment, for both the deposit and the final amount.

Do not simply sign over the pink slip of the boat to the new owner. Send in the accompanying form to the registration authorities specifying that the yacht has been sold and to whom it now belongs. Failure to do so could result in you being held liable for accidents caused by the new owner.

While you are not legally required to volunteer information about the yacht, concealing a defect can be to your detriment and it is in everyone’s best interest to be upfront. Finally, once the yacht is sold and leaves your possession, be sure to cancel your insurance and apply for a refund on any pre-paid amount.

Using a Yacht Broker

All the documentation needed to sell your yacht privately can be overwhelming and in order to keep the process as simple as possible, a yacht broker can be your best option. Handling every aspect of the process, a broker is likely to fetch the best price for your yacht and with the absolute minimum amount of hassle to you.

Brokerage firms are experienced in the buying and selling of yachts of all sizes and make the process a seamless one. Once confirmed as your broker, such a firm will prepare all the full technical specification of your craft and suggest the best price to you. Once agreed upon, a yacht broker will launch a comprehensive marketing campaign that guarantees a quick sale to the right buyer at the best possible price. All aspects of the sale, from the cleaning of the yacht to the showings and paperwork can be covered by the broker, leaving you to simply sign the final papers.

Tips for Dealing with Yacht Brokers

Brokers work on commission which can range from five to ten percent of the selling price, similar to real estate agents. Some brokers specialise in a particular type of yacht and are more likely to have access to specific and serious buyers. In these cases, a higher commission can be beneficial as you receive the pay-off of an experienced broker that is likely to get you the best price.

You should always sign a listing agreement with a yacht broker that has been fully explained to you. All brokers that belong to an association are required to abide by a code of ethics. By these ethics they should outline the best type of listing agreement for you and not for them.

Buyers usually request a marine survey that inspects the condition of your yacht. Any defaults are then used to either negotiate a new price or are requested to be fixed by you, the owner. Make sure your broker is clear on how much you are willing to spend on repairs and how low you would be willing to drop the asking price.