Many of you out there have either gone through the process of selling your boat or are thinking about it. This posting is aimed at the latter. There's lots of advice out there but having just gone through it, I thought I'd share my experience.
The first question to ask is, do I sell it my self or do I use a broker. In my case I tried to sell my Grand Banks 32' on my own. I listed it on several boat and yacht websites and even took a run on eBay. After a year I had no serious offers. Everybody was a lowballer. I can understand that because there's no doubt it's a buyers market but some of the offers were just insulting. I mean I had put a lot of sweat and money into her and was not willing to give her away.
I started looking into brokers and realized that picking one was not as easy as I thought. So back to the research. Question one, how do I choose a yacht broker to sell my yacht? How do I find the right yacht broker to sell my boat? These are questions that you ask when it is time to sell your boat.
A yacht is a huge expense and many people choose to purchase one from a yacht brokerage. A brokerage sells boats to interested parties for a commission. Obviously, before you consider which one to go with when selling, you will want to know the commission rate that they charge; it is a standard 10% in the industry. At first I was a little thrown. 10% of $160k was $16k. Ouch!
I decided to think about it for a while longer. Then I considered a few things; first my boat was on the west coast in San Diego and I was now living on the east coast. Second, I haven't even seen my boat for 6 months and lastly, I have another boat I bought last year that resides in Fort Lauderdale.
I decided to call a few friends back in California and look for a recommendation. I got two recommendations. The first was not what I would call a rave review but the other, Mariner's Yacht & Ship Brokerage
did. What was most important to me was honesty in a yacht broker and according to my long time friend Harry, these guys would fit the bill.
No one wants to deal with a dishonest person in any way, but some people are very dishonest without seeming to be. Check out the reputation of the brokerage before making a commitment, and make sure that there are no complaints filed against them. I did this and they checked out.
What I also learned was that a good yacht brokerage should have a good grasp of the market and how much to price your yacht similar to a realtor.
Always look for experience in a yacht brokerage. They should have been in the business for a while. The longer, the better, obviously as this shows they're able to stay in business. They will not only be able to sell your yacht at a good price, but also be able to find you the perfect yacht if you are seeking to purchase another one from a broker.
Next, never deal with a brokerage that is pushy or insists that you sign a contract that you do not understand. These legal contracts are binding. If you do not understand the listing contract, you should consult with an attorney. Also remember that buying a yacht is like buying a home. You will want to screen the firm as you would a home brokerage firm.
So that's it for this topic, I hope it's helpful and if you find yourself looking for a good broker make sure you interview at least a few before you decide and if you find yourself buy or selling a boat on the west coast make sure to include my new friend Mike O'Connor at Mariner's Yacht & Ship Brokerage
a shot at your business and tell him Mako Bob sent you!
Wishing you calm seas,