Selling a boat-what worked for me
This is an interesting topic that I recently learned something about. I have sold 2 boats in the past 7-8 years. Both boats were very clean and well kept. The important point that I learned was - what worked before, may not be appropriate all the time. My first sale was a boat selling in the $10-12,000 price range. I attemped to sell it privately while also brokering it through the marina where I had kept it for 10 years. The marina did a nice job, qualifying and bringing me 2 buyers within 2 months. The first buyer fell through, the second one bought the boat for a net of what I wanted out of it. Good experience!
The second boat, sold a little more than 1 year ago, was a $35-40,000 boat. Since I had a good experience the last time selling through the marina, I again decided to let them broker it and I would also try to sell it privately. Here are the two lessons:
1. Know what the marina (broker''s) traffic will support from a price range standpoint. In my case, they sold many boats in that $10- 12,000 and under price range. But not many, or none in the $35-40,000 price range. They had much of the same type of traffic that I produced - tire kickers and people looking for a steal.
2. There are many people out there who want to "steal" a boat. As a private seller, it is difficult to weed them out. Brokers do a very good job here. Privately, you can spend a lot of time talking to and meeting them, showing the boat, having them not show up, and making "offers" that are not realistic or bonafide. Certainly there are also those that want to go sailing. Of course, we''re personnally connected.
In the latter case, eventually, I went with a well known broker in the area, the same one I bought my current boat through (I should have done this earlier). I think this ended up being a win/win situation. I was not hasselled and the boat was sold for my price within about 3 months after I finally engaged them. The broker got their commission. That''s good for the industry. The price of the boat was kept fair and not undervalued by my possibly letting it go at a firesale price, since I had spent the best part of the season getting frustrated. That result might drag down the "blue book" or "buc" price for that year and model boat, something that is not good for the industry.