Now that you have decided to list your vessel for sale, you may be asking what next? How can I prepare? How does the vessel need to be maintained moving forward? How can I keep the transaction as smooth and as swift as possible? A well-maintained vessel and a well-prepared seller will bring higher priced offers and easier dealings, so you need to think about these prospects in advance.
In this article, we are going to highlight what you need to do to successfully prepare a vessel for sale and receive the highest value for it.
Check for any physical/mechanical issues and fix them
The vessel’s first impression is extremely important to potential buyers and can make or break their buying decisions. The first step after deciding to sell your vessel is to check for issues. Any easily visible problems, whether physical or mechanical, can heavily sway a discerning buyer. Not only are first impressions important, but these problems will arise again at the time of survey and inspection. Make a punch list of items that need to be fixed or corrected and work through them while the vessel is on the market. This will result in more efficient surveys and a quicker acceptance of vessel. This can also lower your chances of the new buyer requesting a survey allowance or an item be replaced if not in operable condition.
Maintain your vessel on a regular basis
Showings on your vessel will happen often and can come up with very short notice. For this reason, you should never omit regular services, maintenance and upkeep. Always maintain your vessel at the highest standards while it is on the market. If you are meticulous in your upkeep of the boat then the process of showings, sea trials, and surveys will be smooth and as stress-free as possible.
Remove the clutter
Throughout your years of owning the vessel, you have surely placed in it a great number of personal possessions. So, in order to prepare a vessel for sale, you will need to de-clutter. This will create a clean look that will allow the potential buyers to visualize the vessel as their own, making it easier to reach an agreement. It also removes any personal items that will not be included with the sale of the vessel.
Consult with a knowledgeable captain, broker, or surveyor
If you are an owner/operator, a second opinion is crucial in seeing what needs to be fixed, updated or taken off your vessel. You may benefit from having a knowledgeable broker, captain, and/or marine surveyor check the boat before listing. If the vessel has undergone any major overhauls or structural issues, a pre-survey will be extremely advantageous. This shows potential buyers what has been done to improve the vessel’s integrity and that there are no high ticket items or hidden issues that can arise.
Share the selling process with your crew
In order to successfully prepare your vessel, it is very important to be open with your captain and crew throughout the process. Discuss your, as well as their, expectations for the outcome of the process. This way, you can alleviate any insecurities or rumors and work together for an efficient transaction.
Prepare your paperwork
The vessel’s Coast Guard Documentation or title, and registration should be easily accessible, accurate, and up to date BEFORE your vessel hits the market. Many issues can arise at the time of closing with these paperwork items that can interrupt the closing process. This is the number one delay we face when trying to close a transaction. If the vessel is owned by a company, the owner(s) must be able to provide proof of ownership and specifics on the managers, members, officers, etc. They must also have to prove that the entity is in good standing. Also, if your vessel is financed or has a bank note, keep your broker and/or closing agent up to date and in touch with the appropriate bank contacts. Efficient communication regarding the payoff at the time of closing is crucial in keeping a transaction moving forward.
Be open with your broker
Your yacht broker is there to help you through the transaction of selling your vessel. For this reason, you need to be honest and open with them about your expectations and the past experiences and history of the boat. Take extra care to disclose any major damages the have occurred – lightning strikes, fires, and groundings all need to be disclosed to the broker BEFORE the vessel is listed. All of this information will help the broker guarantee the best price for your vessel, as well as be best prepared to release this information to any potential buyers.
All of these mentioned tips and practices will help you prepare your vessel for sale in a competitive market. Remember that first impressions are extremely important and keeping your vessel in tip-top shape at all times will keep your selling experience positive.
If you have any questions in regards to vessel preparation, reach out to the MacGregor Yachts team at (561)799-6511 or info@MacGregorYachts.com. We are here and happy to help throughout your selling process.
To request a market analysis for your vessel, click here.