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How to Sell Your Boat Second Hand

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Get the best price, find the best audience

There is a great market for used boats in NZ, but selling your boat may not be as cut and dry as one may think. It’s important to get some advice before moving ahead as you don’t want to end up getting too little money, not being prepared for a boat inspection, or even accidentally breaking the law!

Our team has the expertise to advise and assist, as well as some great tips to ensure your sale goes smoothly.

The process for selling a boat generally involves these six steps:

1. Preparing Your Boat for Sale

To get the best price for your boat, you need it in great condition. There are a lot of boats on the market, and people don’t want to pay for a tub!

So, invest a little time and money to get your vessel looking its best. Consider talking to a boat broker to get an idea of what’s required.

Assuming your boat is in sound condition, it will mostly be simple things:

  • Clean the interior, clean and polish the hull and decks, and tidy all lockers
  • Remove all unnecessary items so that the boat is not cluttered
  • Clean, degrease and dry the bilges, especially under the engine
  • Clean the engine and remove any rust
  • Make sure the underside of the boat is in good condition, as any savvy buyer will haul the boat to inspect this
  • Check that the fittings open and close easily
  • Ensure all interior and exterior lights are working

2. Determining the Right Price

Any well-maintained second hand boat will sell, do your research to make sure you’re in the right ballpark. You need to strike a balance between your desire to get as much money as possible for your boat against potential buyers’ interest in getting the best value-for-money.

Our boat brokers and consultants will use all their expertise and experience to find just the right asking price for your vessel. We can also advise on any works to be completed pre-sale, sometimes spending in the right places will come back two-feld in sale price. After inspecting your boat, we’ll discuss the boat’s value with you and how it relates to choosing the right dollar value.

We can help with all of this and you can even list on Marine Services and advertise to a high caliber of potential buyers.

3. Authority-to-sell Agreement

With or without a broker, it’s imperative you complete the right paperwork, this protects not only yourself, but the buyer too. Autheritry to sell agreements, sale and purchase agreements, inventory lists and works/service histories goes a long way.

There are many brokers around, with which you can list for a % of the sale, or you can sell privately so long as you ensure you have the right paper work. We definitely recommend enlisting a lawyer or accountant, especially for big ticket vessels.

Contact us and we can consult with you for the right solution.

4. Boat Specs, Unique Selling Points (USP’s), and a Photo Shoot!

You need to let people know what your boat has to offer, what its unique selling points are, and you also need good quality photos to show it off. Hiring a photographer can pay off big time, not your friend with a camera, a real one. We have them, get in touch.

We’ll work with you to create a comprehensive list of your boat’s specifications. This will let potential buyers know exactly what they’re buying, and showcase what makes your boat great. Be sure to highlight any USPs, such as a recent paint job, engine upgrades, or added features.

5. Marketing Your Boat

Now that you’ve done the groundwork, it’s time to start marketing your boat!

We’ll place ads on a wide variety of boating websites, as well as in print media. That way, your boat will have the best chance of being seen by the perfect buyer!

These include:

  • Listings on Marine Services, as well as Trade Me, Trade-a-boat, and if you have a broker, Yachthub and Yachtworld.com
  • Promotional email to potential buyers in our large customer database

6. Closing the Deal Once You Find a Buyer

As members of the New Zealand Marine Industry Association, we follow these guidelines:

  • A Sale and Purchase Agreement is drawn up and signed by you and the buyer. Then we take a deposit and hold it in our Trust account. The boat is now conditionally sold, pending a survey and sea trial.
  • Most buyers will want to conduct a survey and sea trial. You’ll be responsible for the cost of hauling the boat for inspection, while the purchaser needs to cover the costs of any professional surveyors used.
  • If serious faults are found with the boat, the buyer can ask you to repair the problems, or else cancel the agreement and take back their deposit. The deposit can also be lost if the boat performs poorly in the sea trial.
  • But if you’ve done your due diligence, these problems shouldn’t arise and, even when they do, a fair compromise can usually be reached to finalise the sale.
  • Once the purchaser is happy, the sale becomes final and the deposit will count as part-payment on the boat.
  • After the sale is all done, you’ll get all the paperwork for your record and the money will be transferred to you, minus the commission stated in your contract.

Call Us to Sell Your Boat, Hassle-free

To make sure your boat sells, at the best price possible, contact our expert brokers today. We’re in the business of making you money!

If you’re interested in buying a second hand boat, check out our other article by clicking the hyperlink

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