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Old 08-09-2001
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Jon Shattuck is on a distinguished road
Selling a Motorsailer

I would like to sell my 29 foot Lancer, which is a motorailer. Who would be the best broker to handle this boat? I'm based near Cape Canaveral, FL. 

Jon Shattuck responds:
Thank you for your inquiry. Selecting a broker is a personal matter, so I would feel more comfortable offering some general suggestions on how to find the best broker for you, your area, and your boat, rather than simply recommend a specific broker.

As smaller boats tend to sell closer to home, you should consider researching boats of similar size offered by brokers in your neighborhood. To get you started on that, I conducted a search on www.boatsearch.com for similar sized boats—27 feet to 32 feet for sale in Florida by brokers—and got a list of 35 boats. If you do this and then click on the listings for sale near your homeport, you can identify the active local brokers.

You should also check your local sailing magazines, classified sections of your local newspaper, and other print sources. Ask around too. Personal referrals from happy customers are one of your best resources.

Almost all brokers specialize in a type or types of boats. A local powerboat dealer will not be the right broker to list your boat.  Look for the broker whose inventory of brokerage boats best fits the kind of boat you've got. Once you have identified some candidates, call them. Ask how they work, what their marketing efforts consist of, and if they think they can do a good job for you given the kind of boat you've got. The odds are that you will connect with a broker this way, which is a good first step toward creating a successful seller-broker relationship.

After that, work with your broker to help market your boat. Prep it for sale, and help him or her create a complete equipment list. These kinds of details are spelled out in "Seller Tips" at BoatSearch.com.

Keep in mind that the Lancer 29 is not your average boat, so it may take some time for your broker to bring a buyer to the table, but rest assured, there is a buyer for every boat out there. It's just a matter of how long it takes for them to show up.

My last suggestion is don't stop using your boat once you put it on the market! Most boat sellers stop using their boats when they put them on the market, which tends to lead to a dirty, neglected appearance, and there's nothng that kills the first impression for prospective buyers. A clean, orderly boat is an easy sell. A tired water toy will simply sit and sit and sit, and it won't look appealing. Happy selling!

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