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In 5 easy steps, you can create a comprehensive advert through our web page.

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How to sell your boat - the complete guide by iNautia

Everything you have to know to close the sale of your boat with success. We will review all the important points, from the decision to sell right to closing the sale.

The time has come, you're thinking: I have to sell my boat! Where do I start? What do I have to do?

With this guide, probably the most comprehensive one you can find, we'll explain how to sell your boat successfully.

Prepare the boat

The preparation of the boat for sale is one of the most important steps. If you have everything prepared, the sale process will be less complicated and you know that you will be able to sell your prized boat.

Organise the documentation

Having the documentation of your boat in order is paramount to any sale. The buyers will probably want to know the history of the boat, previous owners, accident repairs as well as its current condition. Therefore, having a folder with all the documentation relating to the boat is essential to gain the trust of the buyer. It will give them a good impression and show them that you have been careful with the boat.

Prepare all the documentation and keep it to hand for visits and inspections along with a description of the advert, points which will be discussed below.

It is essential to prepare all the documentation of the boat

Cleaning of the boat

A thorough cleaning is probably one of the points that will have the greatest impact on the selling price. Obviously a clean and well-kept boat will be sold at a higher price. Buyers want to identify themselves with the boat before buying it and they like to see the boat as if it were their own. Be sure to remove everything that is not for sale and make sure there are no clothes lying around, dishes in the kitchen and floats which occupy space.

Get a deep cleaning done from top to bottom. Everything that you have not been able to do, or wanted to clean in recent years - grease, oil etc. but you haven’t got around to it. Every nook and cranny must be impeccable. Take care of the surface areas and find out how to brighten up the wood, plastic and chrome surfaces, give it a polish and leave it shining! It is also important that it smells nice so that any buyer feels comfortable and welcomed on their potential new boat.

Repairs

It is time to look at what you want or need to repair in order to sell your boat and decide what is not worth repairing. You must also decide if you want to, or if you are obliged to, inform the buyer about these details.

Any repairs must be documented so the next owner may review them and understand if anything should arise.

Repairs (especially if they are very visible) will help in deciding the price of sale. A boat in perfect condition is always sold at a higher price. It is important to consider each of the repairs that have been carried out and include them in the calculation of the sale price.

Guarantees

Do you have important guarantees that you should prepare and pass on to the next owner? Apart from mentioning this in your boat for sale advert, it is important to attach these types of invoices, and if you have new fixtures or installations you have added, keep the guarantees and instructions for the buyer.

Make sure you have the guarantees in order and being able to show them along with any instructions for the motor or the new navigation system; these aspects usually improve the conditions of the sale.

Decide on a price

It is not easy to decide a price for something that you have owned for a long time and that has a high sentimental value to you personally. The price is one of the most significant factors in the purchase of any vessel or sailing boat. If the price is too high, the buyer will be scared off and will not contact you. On the other hand, if the price seems too cheap, the user might wonder if the boat has a problem or hidden defects.

What is the market price of your boat?

One thing you can do to find out the value of your boat is to compare it with other similar types of boats. Search for the same or similar boats and concentrate on the most important factors:

  • Model
  • Serial Number
  • Motor
  • Interior and Extras
  • Year Constructed

In iNautia, for example, you can filter all the used boats and find ones that are most similar to yours. Compare the prices to get an idea of how much you could sell yours for.

Make, Model, Length, Year and Country in which the boat is located are details that you must keep in mind when setting a price.

How to price your boat

We mention all the factors that have an impact on the price, such as having all the maintenance well documented. The most important elements to the increase of the price of your boat for sale are as follows:

  • Document all maintenance of the boat
  • Cover the boat during the winter and when not in use
  • Constant and regular cleaning
  • Follow the boatbuilder's instructions at all times
  • Examine the mast and/or the motor every 6 months and replace worn or broken parts

Advertise your boat

Prepare some photos

The photos are really important!. Images of your boat are like a letter of presentation. The truth is, that if the photos of your boat aren’t very good, it will be much harder to sell it, and this is likely to have an impact on the selling price. Maybe a potential buyer would want to see the boat anyway, but it is important to take the time and dedication to spark their interest with some good quality photos.

Photos capture the attention of the visitor

Please note that the photos that you upload into your adverts will be in different listings and it is therefore fundamental to be clear which ones you will use for your advert.

The main photo

The first picture, i.e. the photo that is in the first position is the most important one. Many of the portals on the internet show a photograph of the boat for sale and that is why it has to be well chosen. We advise you to do a test and change it once a week, monitor the response you receive and see which photos have generated more visits to your listing.

Choose your photos well: A picture paints a thousand words.

Advert text and description of your boat for sale

To be able to sell your boat successfully it is important that the advert is effective. Potential buyers consult dozens of adverts on the Internet, therefore it is advisable to spend a little more time to prepare a comprehensive and quality advert.

In addition to the essential facts of the boat:

  • Make
  • Model
  • Year Constructed
  • Condition: New / Second Hand

Include all the details you consider relevant. The more information provided on the boat, the greater the possibility of attracting the interest of buyers. The description of the advert must be comprehensive and unique (not copied from another website) so that the search engines put your advert in a better position.

There are also techniques to increase visits to your listings. One of the most important things is the use of keywords in the advert's title. When you create the advert, you have to think from the perspective of a user looking for a boat. What would you be looking for? What terms would get your attention?

Once you've published your advert, see how it looks in the listings. Does it look interesting? Would you click on your advert?

Technical data

You can extend and improve your listing by adding valuable technical information for the buyer. If a sailing expert sees your advert, they can obtain detailed information before contacting you. This increases the quality of the contacts that you will receive and also help in the potential buyer’s decision-making process.

Advertisement promotion

After you have created your advert, it is highly recommended to promote it. The more it is promoted = the more visits it will receive.

Share on social networks, your blog (if you have one) or simply on Instagram (you are sure to have created an account recently).

You can send a brief email to your contacts and inform them that you are selling your boat. Attach the link to your advert and invite them to share it. Many of your friends are sure to do so!

Show your boat

Manage requests

When selling your boat, from the moment in which the advert is published in different listings and international portals it is important that you are connected and available. Potential buyers from around the world will see your published advert with high quality photos, all at a good price and with technical information.

It is very important to answer promptly

When contacts start showing interest, it is vital that you do not delay in replying. If there is a buyer interested in your boat, don't make them wait, rather reply straight away. Minimise the risk of the buyer changing their mind, make sure that they remember your boat and contact them before your competitors do.

Arrange boat inspection visits

You have received notifications of potential buyers. It is time to arrange visits so the buyer can inspect the boat and have a test sail. It is best to plan these visits well, and in good time in order to prepare everything.

Test sail

The test sail is important for both parties. It is essential that the buyer has the opportunity to check the operation of the boat as well also to demonstrate to the buyer that you have been transparent and accurate in the description in your boat’s advert.

Take the necessary time for the test sail, think about the buyer and put yourself in their shoes. The buyer will need to time to inspect the boat, to check for damages or simply to sail.

Keep calm and remain transparent. Be specific, answering all their questions. Include all the relevant information the buyer requires in your answers. Show them the documentation and all the features or any modifications you may have made.

Give the buyer time to inform you about their sailing experience. If you consider that they are capable of handling the boat and that they the necessary experience and the licenses to do so, let them take the wheel when you go for the test sail.

Sell your boat

Negotiate a price

We're about to close the sale. Suppose that the potential buyer is really interested and has decided to buy our boat. It is time to negotiate the price. You could say that because you've made a decision, you know what you want for your boat, but as you are already practically an expert in selling boats, you have also taken into account that the buyer will try to get you to drop the price that you have set in your advert.

To make things easier it is important to be prepared. There are several strategies in negotiation, or from a buyer's point of view, strategies to get the seller to drop their price. After having spent some time with the potential buyer during the test sail, and having seen their reaction as you showed them your boat, you can get an idea of their profile.

Furthermore, you know your boat strong and weak points well and you can foresee what arguments a potential buyer might use to get you to drop the price. For example, there are strategies for buyers who are trying to reduce the price by focusing on the electronic installation of the boat first. They could criticise the electronics, not by its performance, but because it is not the system they prefer, or the make they are used to, etc.

In this case, you will have to decide if you want to keep the fitted electronics system, and lower the price or not. If you believe that you have stated clearly in your advert which features are included in the price, and if they can be changed or removed from the boat, don't let yourself be influenced by the negative comments that may be mentioned in order to lower the purchase price of the boat.

In some cases, and provided that it is not specified in your listing, it is advisable to concede to change or remove the fitted electrical system; it may be that the buyer is insistent on a certain installation or a specific make.

No deal is better than a bad deal

Give yourself a limit. It is only a good deal if both parties are happy, so decide on a minimum sale price. If you think that you are not going to get a good deal, it is better not to sell your boat. No deal is better than a bad deal.

Closing the sale

After the final handshake with the buyer, the sale process, which always requires a lot of paperwork should be finalised. If you know what it takes and plan everything in time, completing the transfer of ownership of the boat will be little more than a formality. You will have to prepare the documentation that you must hand over to the buyer, including the contract of sale, cancel the boat insurance and withdraw the adverts before delivering the boat to the new owner.

Do you have any questions?

Visit our www.inautia.com website