You can set a listing price the same as or above comparable yachts on the market, but at some point it will be up to you, the seller, to accept what a buyer is willing to pay. In the current market, the boats priced below the rest of the pack are the boats attracting buyer activity.
Overpricing is the most common reason a yacht doesn’t sell. When you set an unrealistic price, it sets in motion a string of events that works against you. Here’s why: Most yacht brokers, and hence most qualified buyers, will see your new offering price within thirty days. If it’s overpriced by as little as 10%, it will be duly noted and the interest in your yacht will decline, especially if you indicated no interest or intention of coming off your asking price. You may have already priced many qualified buyers away from an interest in your yacht.
Keep in mind you want to compete with the other boats available that are similar to yours. If your boat remains on the market for too long, buyers and other agents begin to wonder if there aren’t other more serious problems or reasons your boat isn’t selling. Yacht brokers and buyers become aware it’s been on the market a long time and suddenly no one is even looking at it.
Let’s face it, even the best older yacht needs a little fixing up if it hopes to attract a buyer. The best part is most of the work will be cosmetic and relatively inexpensive, such as cleaning up the existing interior, a few attractive decorative pieces, new throw pillows and bed linens, and thorough cleaning of the galley, heads, and bilges. Be sure and make everything sparkle. And “wow” the boat looks good enough to reconsider keeping her!
Price and condition are two things the seller can address before offering their boat for sale. If your boat smells fresh and looks fresh, these are the seller’s best “leg up” on the competition. So, if it’s time to wax the boat and refinish the brightwork, it’s time to do it. It’s the best return on your investment.
Yacht brokers ‘ bad advice can cost you money and time in addition to the annoyance of keeping the boat ready to show seven days a week. The yacht broker from hell will tell you it’s OK to overprice your boat. “List your boat with me and here’s what I’ll get you for it”. Then not market it properly, fail to qualify potential buyers, be unresponsive to other brokers and potential buyers (if they sell their own listing they don’t split the commission), and keep you totally out of the loop throughout the process.
Many prospective buyers shy away from a yacht with high engine hours. In many cases, this is because of misinformation about the number of useful hours an engine or generator will endure.
If you are the owner of a high-hour yacht, do your homework. Obtain from the manufacturer the average useful life of your particular engines and generator. Then arm your yacht broker with this and all pertinent maintenance information about these power plants. A good and knowledgeable yacht broker will ask you about these records and the mechanical overhaul documentation if applicable. The good news is most reputable dealers of engines and generators keep these maintenance records on file for up to ten years. Remember, properly maintained “high hour”, diesel engines are in many cases in better condition than very low hours, poorly-maintained engines. Be sure and detail the engines, generators with fresh paint, hoses, and belts, and detail the entire engine room.
Timing is everything. Market conditions are affected by any number of external and unpredictable conditions. All of us are affected by weather conditions, interest rates, the local economy, and public optimism or pessimism. In a “hot” seller’s market, chances are your yacht will sell for its asking price. In a “cold” buyers market, where inventories grow and qualified buyers are scarce, you’ll be lucky to find a buyer even at a low price. So, if you’re trying to sell your yacht in a “cold – flat” market where you’re competing with new inventory in dealer’s or builders’ hands, be prepared to settle for less than top dollar.
Successful yacht brokers are computer-savvy and come equipped with all the latest digital technology. Your yacht appears on their website in full color and is carried on their laptop in full color to show prospective clients or communicate to out-of-town clients or other brokers instantly.
If your yacht broker isn’t displaying and listing your yacht through the company website and a worldwide web listing/marketing service, you are not getting the exposure necessary to find a qualified buyer.
The system of compensation for your yacht broker is a strange system because the broker gets paid the same whether they know nothing or have many years of experience and the technology to give you the widest possible worldwide exposure for the sale of your yacht.
Lee Payne 561-862-7329
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