A knowledgeable seller can have a huge advantage over someone else that simply places a ad. With all the other boats for sale you have competition. A small investment in time and learning can make a big difference.
Once you have made the decision to sell you usually want the sale to go as quickly as possible, so lets start with the basics. Appearance is critical. Once a buyer has made a general selection of the type of boat they are looking for, eye appeal becomes perhaps the most important single factor. If your boat doesn't have the eye appeal your buyer can be lost. You only need one buyer, so it is important you don't lose out here.
In today's marketplace, insurance companies and lenders are more cautious than years past. As professional Marine Surveyors, we see more and more smaller boats requiring a survey. In previous years generally only boats over 30' were required to have a survey in order to get insurance or financing. Today, however, we survey vessels as small as 22' or less. This is primarily due to liability issues. The type of report required is called a Condition & Valuation Report, or Marine Survey. The lender and/or insurance company want a unbiased third party (Marine Surveyor) to inspect the vessel and report his or her findings.
Boats are different than most any other asset. This is because when you are out on the water, your life is at stake. This is often under stated because most people have never been out on the water in a boat that catches fire or otherwise starts to sink. If you haven't been, you don't ever want to be, however this happens every day.
As a boat owner, you have a responsibility to the new purchaser who needs to know the most accurate information possible about the vessels condition. Knowing your vessels true condition is of ultimate importance. After all, it's all about safety.
Additionally, the list of recommendations creates another issue. Who pays to have them completed? Usually the Marine Surveyor is appointed the job after the purchase price has been agreed upon. Safety issues are scrutinized carefully by lenders and insurance companies. In most cases the recommendations found by the Marine Surveyor your buyer hires to survey your boat will need to be completed. This can result in delayed closing and many times loss of sale.
Prior to the arrival of the surveyor, remove all unnecessary personal items from the vessel. Also remove stowed items in lockers, drawers, under the vee berth and lazarette areas. This will allow the easy access in areas he or she must search while conducting the field work.
Have all documents readily available. State registration for boat, and trailer if applicable, USCG documentation papers, etc. If there is a vessel log it is important to have it also available to verify engine hours and other maintenance records.
Make everything as clean and accessible as possible. Housekeeping adds considerable to overall condition, resulting in additional value. Good luck in your sale. If you have any questions where we may be of assistance, feel free to send us a email.