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Selling a yacht is akin to selling anything else in that you want to ensure you obtain a fair price and get the process done without any snags. Undoubtedly, the procedure might be intimidating. Furthermore, you want to be sure that the next owner of your yacht is someone who values it as highly as you do. Consequently, this guide provides the details required to sell your boat for the highest price.
What are the main steps of a yacht sale?
Listing up your yacht for sale
It’s crucial to choose how to list your yacht. Since selling boats is a specialty industry niche, you should choose an expert with that experience. Of course, you can self-list your boat.
The ideal method, though, is to list it and market it to the appropriate target audience using the services of an expert broker. Additionally, they’ll handle the negotiations and assist you in closing the deal.
Preparing your yacht to be in its best shape
A successful sale of your yacht depends heavily on its appearance. To attract the most customers, you must make sure it looks as inviting as possible. You can take steps to make your yacht ready for potential purchasers, even if it isn’t in pristine condition.
Clean up your yacht first, of course. From the perspective of potential buyers, having a clean, organized boat will immediately make a difference. You might consider giving your boat a makeover in a more contemporary style if its interior or exterior is obsolete. The yacht’s worth will unquestionably rise as a result.
Valuation of each and every part of the yacht
For you and any potential purchasers, making sure your yacht is valued fairly is essential. Under-pricing your yacht can make you lose money, alternatively, if you overprice your yacht, you might never receive any offers and lose the money you spent on the selling process.
Advertise your yacht and its best features
Your yacht’s sale success depends on how well you market it. Putting your yacht up for sale, marketing, and advertising follows cleaning, prepping, and valuing it.
Wait for the offers to flow in
When you put your yacht up for sale, you must be prepared to wait for it to sell. You can still use and enjoy your yacht even if the transaction doesn’t go through immediately.
Once decided on who will be the buyer, the next step is to negotiate the deal and prepare the purchase agreement.
Once you locate someone interested in buying your yacht, it’s time to negotiate and seal the deal.
Sea trials and finishing the last of the documentation
Once you’ve secured a serious buyer and received a deposit from them, they can ask for a sea trial. This is a request that your buyer might make to make sure that the yacht meets their needs, runs to their preferences, and is pleasant for them. Once your buyer, you, and the broker have reached an agreement following the sea trial, the final documentation can start.
How long does it take to sell a yacht?
It hinges on your or your yacht broker’s efficiency and level of activity in locating prospective buyers, as well as the current market trend.
According to industry statistics, it can range from roughly eight months for yachts 26′ to 35′ to approximately twelve months for a boat 46′ to 55′. In addition, the timeline may be lengthy for yachts longer than 60 feet, but much less for popular types.
How to sell my boat quickly?
If you want to sell your boat, you must first of all give it a fair price, have all the papers ready, have the time to organize visits, the maritime expertise and negotiate the price with your future buyer.
It is also necessary to present a clean and well maintained boat, whatever its age, and most of all have her easy access for visits.
We advise you to go through professionals who know the market. You will benefit from their expertise, their network of potential buyers and they will also help you with all the legal formalities and take the time to organize the visits.
What documents should I present ?
It is advisable to present all the invoices for the equipment you have on board the boat, as well as a complete and up-to-date maintenance booklet. It is also important to have a complete inventory of the boat.
Should I plan a sea trial?
Your potential future buyer will surely ask for a sea trial and this will be at his expense.
How do I price my boat?
Study the market and the price of similar boats available for sale.
Above all, be realistic! Here the help of a professional will be a true added value. He will advise you on a fair price according to the year of construction of your yacht, the yard, the engine hours and the maintenance done over time.
How to change the owner of the vessel?
The change of owner must be reported to the customs office where the vessel is located. This formality can be carried out by the seller or the buyer and allows them to proceed to the change of ownership.
How to change the home port of the vessel?
To apply for a change of home port, the application must be filed in duplicate at the customs office of the port where you are currently registered.
Can I sell my vessel that is being leased with an option to purchase?
Yes, but the lending institution will remain the owner until the end of the financing, and this is only a transfer of the LOA.
Is KYC information required to sell my yacht?
Yes, Know Your Customer (KYC) information is required in order to comply with international anti-money laundering (AML) regulations.
What are the taxes I will have to pay once my yacht is sold?
After-sale taxes on boats are subject to a variety of conditions. Also, each jurisdiction has its own tax rules related to yacht selling. What is the flag of the boat? Where was she registered?
Where is the yacht based? Where was it sold? Does the buyer want to re-flag the boat?
Some taxes you may have to pay :
- Sales taxes
- Exit taxes
- Import taxes
There are ways to avoid some duties, for example a US buyer purchasing a boat localized in the Caribbean that won’t bring the boat back to the US will not be liable for the sales tax at the time of purchase. However we recommend always check with your tax advisers and lawyer.
Who should register the sale of the boat and where?
If the flag of the boat is to be changed by your future buyer, you must make sure to deregister the flag of your vessel. If necessary, remember to check that the deeds of sale are up to date and signed. Afterwards, your future buyer must take the necessary steps to register his new yacht.
Preparing a Yacht for Sale
Is an inspection necessary to sell my yacht?
Most yacht buyers require a yacht inspection to decide whether to buy a yacht. You should interpret a buyer’s request for a yacht inspection as a sign that he is interested in your yacht. Except in cases where you and your broker have specific arrangements, they will often pay for the inspection.
Should I have my boat surveyed?
Having your boat professionally surveyed by a professional expert is a good way to know its true value, but also to reassure the potential buyer.
What is the required maintenance needed to get a boat ready for sale?
- Eliminating clutter is the first step in getting your boat ready for sale. You will need to remove everything from your lockers that you do not want to sell with your yacht. Remove all the extra tools, cleaning supplies, fishing equipment, and other extras from your boat. Keep the fife jackets and flare kits neatly, along with anything else on the yacht.
- You must thoroughly clean the entire yacht after removing all of your possessions. No area should be overlooked; make everything gleam. Make sure there is no hidden mold or mildew by thoroughly cleaning the bilge. Wash the outside completely, remove water stains and markings, and patch any fractures.
- After it is finished, polish any metal and give it a good waxing. Do this probably on all metallic surfaces.
- It’s not only about the appearance; consider the smell as well. You should use air fresheners or disinfectants to eliminate offensive odors.
- With a few minor fixes, your boat can look much nicer and go more smoothly through the selling process. Focus on small things like the carpets and upholstery after cleaning and decluttering. Replace any worn carpets or ripped upholstery, and clean any areas that can be. Clean or replace the curtain coverings, and polish all glass surfaces to a mirror-like finish.
Verify and address mechanical problems
Make sure the boat’s major systems are in good operating order first. To ensure that the boat will operate efficiently and perform effectively in a survey and sea trial, test all features and examine the wiring. It’s also crucial to perform routine maintenance on smaller, less significant equipment. Make sure you carefully examine the following:
- Every navigational, electrical, and mechanical system.
- The water taps, window latches, navigational lights, and all cabin lighting.
- Refrigeration and air conditioning units.
- Ensure there are no water, oil, or fuel leaks in the engine room.
What are the main points buyers usually try to negotiate?
- The boat’s overall cost when compared to less expensive models available.
- Further, the buyer requests to detect some price-included extras to reduce the price per their wishes.
- Also, the buyer may consider the price of the repairs that need to be made, as noted in the pre-purchase inspection.
Free extras include things like transportation, hard-standing storage, water toys …. It is important to note that when the seller decides not to lower the price any further, these “extras” are typically abandoned at the end of the negotiation.
How can I ensure that I am selling my yacht at the right time?
The start of boating season, according to some, would be the ideal time to try to sell a yacht. Others could argue that spring is the best because of the increased warmth in the temperature.
However, as per some data, many yacht buyers are seeking a yacht from February to April to use during the spring and summer. Importantly, from a financial standpoint, the fall could be a good time to avoid a full season of expenses.
Additional things to think about include the following:
- Does your boat’s home port have a year-round boating season?
- Do you want to sell your yacht, but where should you relocate it to?
- Are you planning to buy another yacht and do not want to be charged carrying fees for two yachts at the same time?
Read also: 10 Yachts for Sale Under a Million
What can I keep, and what should remain in the yacht I am selling?
Consider removing all your stuff from the yacht. Also, remove any equipment that you do not want to sell. Presenting a clean yacht is the key! Indeed, staging is important.
Add some decor pieces like accent pillows, linens, and flowers to the yacht. Staging has become a crucial aspect of yacht selling, as making a strong first impression can be crucial.
How is the yacht delivery organized?
If the customer does not want to tow his new boat himself, he will engage a captain or a reputable boat transport business by land or sea. Additionally, many variables affect towing by land or sea. These factors include the boat’s size, ports of departure and arrival, and seaworthiness. The “by sea” option has numerous benefits, including flexibility, logistics, and, typically, reduced cost. Alternatively, transporting small boats by water can be slower and less dependable; in this scenario, a carrier is advisable.
Common Questions related to Availing of a Broker Service
Should I use a yacht broker?
Employing a professional broker will enable promoting the sale of your yacht to a wider network. Additionally, they will arrange for the escrow of the finances, assist you with the sale’s registration paperwork, and more. However, most small or older boats are sold directly by their owners due to the straightforward process.
Brokers have the knowledge necessary to respond to your inquiries regarding the yacht market and promote your boat. Thanks to their network with other brokers, they have experience selling yachts and can market your boat anywhere. Additionally, they have the skills to swiftly and profitably sell your yacht. They manage the entire process, including screening possible purchasers, marketing, liaising with them, viewings, negotiations, sea testing, and paperwork at the end. Trying to sell a boat on your own may take a lot of time and be difficult, so utilizing a broker to help you is invaluable.
Read also: How To Choose The Right Yacht Broker?
What is the broker commission on a yacht sale?
A broker typically charges between 6% and 10% of the final selling price of your boat as a sales commission. The value of your yacht determines the percentage charged primarily. Consequently, the percentage charged increases as the boat value decreases.
Can I list a boat on several brokers?
Typically, you can list the yacht with a single agency, which has the benefit of a cheaper commission fee, or with many agencies. Most brokers work cooperatively with one another based on co-brokerage.
How can I choose my broker?
Find out who uses the same brokers for several transactions by asking for recommendations from people from your circle. You can determine the caliber of these yacht brokers’ services from this.
Do I need to sign a contract with my broker?
To avoid any kind of dispute, request a contract note for every transaction and double-check the information on the contract note.
Do I need to pay any upfront fees before the boat is sold?
This entirely depends on the broker you are working with.
Yacht brokers usually charge a commission after the yacht is sold. In addition, the Central Agency Agreement would have contained a written statement of the commission amount.
All our yachts available for sales & discover our management services here
Selling a yacht can be an easy and fruitful activity with a little organization and foresight. Keep your attitude respectable and polite. Encourage potential buyers to come to see the yacht in person by being patient with their repeated inquiries.
Read also: How to buy a yacht? Our guide for first time yacht owners