Selling a boat can be a complicated and involved process. Doing it yourself will mean more money, but probably a lot more time and effort to go along with it. Using a broker can hasten the process; and even though you are paying for the service, he can probably get you a better price than you could on your own, which can offset the fees. There are plenty of people out there who will happily take on your listing, but this is not the time to just go with the first person you find. It is important to do a bit of homework so you know what to look for in a broker. Here are some important things to think about if you are considering this route to sell your boat.
Sure, it is very easy to advertise a boat for sale privately, through a variety of online and offline methods. But, a broker has other tools at his disposal that will give it maximum exposure, which translates to a quicker sale. He has access to Multiple Listing Services (MLS) and other marketing networks; he also has valuable contacts in other boat brokers who are working with people looking to buy—over 75 percent of yacht transactions, for example, are done between brokers.
Getting it Right from the Start
When trying to sell a boat yourself, it can be slow-going for a variety of reasons, from improper pricing to a poorly written advertisement. Brokers sell boats for a living, and they have the knowledge necessary to get your boat sold as quickly as possible, at the best price possible and with the least hassle possible. They know what people want in boats, they understand the market and how to price it, they are familiar with financing options and tons of other stuff about the selling process that you probably do not.
What to Look for in a Broker
There are several factors to consider when choosing a broker. Do they have co-broking relationships with other brokers who can bring them buyers interested in your boat? While everyone obviously wants a maximum commission, not working with other brokers suggests that the money may be too much at the forefront of the broker’s mind, rather than doing his job well. How accessible will he be to you, and how will you be able to reach him? Look for brokers who do this full-time and not as a hobby to make some extra money on the side. What are the terms of the initial listing agreement and can you get out of an agreement? For example, a broker might have an initial listing agreement of six months, after which you can release the company if you are not happy with the services; you may be required to give written notification of 90 to 120 days before being released. Get detailed information about their marketing plan, particularly their online methods; how many visitors do they get to their website monthly through organic search engine traffic? What search terms do they rank for?
Considerations for Donation
If you are having trouble selling your boat, or you are interested in minimizing your tax burden, you might consider donating your boat to a worthy cause. You can easily find sites listing approved boat donation charities. Just make sure you familiarize yourself with the IRS requirements and necessary documentation.
About the Author:Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about a variety of boating topics; she recommends visiting www.boatangel.org to learn more about boat donations.