How to Sell a Boat Fast – Part 1 | The Ultimate Checklist for Boat Owners

Man using cell phone in marina, How to Sell a Boat Fast - The Ultimate Checklist for Boat Owners

If you are considering listing your boat for sale, you want to think about the pros and cons of selling a boat on your own or if you would like to sell it with a boat dealer or yacht broker. There are many options available, so we have selected the best pieces of advice for owners looking to sell their boat quickly and efficiently.

What is the Best Way to Sell a Boat?

Just like selling a house or a car, there are different ways to sell a boat. When you start this process, it can seem daunting but there are many tools and experts available to help you!

The best way to sell a boat is to first think about your knowledge and marketing skills. It’s vital to understand many factors: How popular is your boat? What other vessels are for sale already? How much should you list it for?

The best way to sell a boat is to first think about your knowledge and marketing skills.

Are you an expert? Or would you sell your boat faster with someone that has the contacts, leverage and marketing capabilities? In either case, read through the boat seller’s checklist below to help determine the better route.

How to Sell a Boat Online or in Person Without a Boat Dealer or Yacht Broker: Ten Points to Think Through Before You Start the Process of Selling Your Boat

There are many websites that allow you to upload images and information about the boat that you have for sale, but is it worth going this route on your own? Ask yourself:

  • Is this website trusted by people to make a significant purchase?
  • How much exposure will this website give me to sell my boat quickly?
  • How many visitors per day does this website attract?
  • Is there a fee associated with posting your boat for sale?

Asking these questions will help you make a well-informed decision. Should you entrust your boat to a website, or work with a knowledgeable yacht broker or dealer that has years of experience selling boats and yachts?

How Hard Is It to Sell a Boat?

Selling a boat does not have to be hard, if you use the proper channels and do your due diligence. Working with a yacht broker or boat dealer to sell your boat will give you the exposure and marketing you need to sell a boat more effectively, and will give you peace of mind that your sale is being handled by experts.

How to Sell a Boat Fast - Part 1

How Long Does It Take to Sell a Boat?

Selling a boat quickly is key. Just like real estate, the longer a boat for sale stays on the market, the more boat buyers wonder what could be wrong with it. Working with a yacht broker or boat dealer to sell your yacht will most likely expedite the process. Expert brokers have years of experience, contacts and marketing knowledge that can help you achieve your goal and sell your boat in no time.

Selling a boat quickly is key. Just like real estate, the longer a boat for sale stays on the market, the more boat buyers wonder what could be wrong with it.

How Much Should You Sell Your Boat For?

Pricing a boat to sell is an art. Brokers have an excellent overview of market trends and what buyers are looking for, so they can adjust the price according to supply and demand. Oftentimes, boat owners have an emotional attachment to their boat, and sentimental value can stand in the way of the boat’s true value. This is why it’s important to work alongside a yacht broker or dealer who has access to the right research and boat history.

Oftentimes, boat owners have an emotional attachment to their boat, and stentimental value can stay in the way of the boat’s true value.

They can make an informed decision on how to price a boat to sell quickly by taking into consideration the year of the build, wear and tear, additions and enhancements that were made to the boat, and more.

How Can You Safely Sell a Boat?

Selling a boat on your own would mean that you would have to meet potential boat buyers by yourself – thereby exposing yourself to people you do not know. Safely selling a boat means using a certified dealer or licensed yacht broker who can meet potential buyers in public, at the marina or dock where the boat is being kept. To do this on your own might mean inviting strangers into your home or your life, and the risk may just not be worth it. Brokers are expert sellers and will be able to advise you through the entire sales process, which negates any opportunity to be scammed by opportunists looking to take advantage of you.

What Should You Include In Your Listing?

One of the most important parts of a boat’s listing is images. If you do not have professional images of your boat, then you risk the chance of potential buyers skipping over your listing. A comprehensive boat listing should have at least 15 high-quality images, including images of the engine and important machinery. You also need to have as many details from the manufacturer as possible, warranty information, any comments on works carried on the boat under your ownership, and much more. A professional broker will have a thorough understanding of everything potential buyers want to know. Plus, they will manage all inquiries about the boat, which removes this burden from you in your daily life.

What Documentation Do I Need to Sell My Boat?

There are several documents required to sell your boat legally. You must make sure you have the following: Bill of Sale, Title, and proof of any loan payoff. If applicable, a trailer registration and trailer title will be necessary. As a courtesy to the buyer, you should also share the boat’s warranty cards and maintenance records.

There are several documents required to sell your boat legally. You must make sure you have the following: Bill of Sale, Title, and proof of any loan payoff.

There are several websites that can be used to sell a boat quickly, but each has a number of potential pitfalls.

Selling a Boat on Boat Trader

Boat Trader is a website where you can select a package, upload your boat information, and “sell your boat fast”. Although they may have lots of visitors to the site, selling a boat on Boat Trader is not nearly the same as using an actual person to conduct the business of selling a boat properly. On Boat Trader, you select your package, build your own listing, and then you must watch the listing closely to see if your boat for sale gets any interest. Oftentimes, people who make inquiries through these websites are not serious buyers.

How to Sell a Boat Fast - Part 1

Selling a Boat on eBay

Many people sell a boat on eBay because you can set a reserve and sell it on auction by receiving bids. Once again, you are responsible for taking professional photographs of your boat, which is not easy. You may want to hire a professional photographer to get the job done right, because a great picture can mean someone clicking on your listing and paying attention to your boat.

Selling a Boat on Facebook

Selling a boat on Facebook is limiting, but it can be part of a layered approach in selling your boat. In other words, it can be one of many places you list your boat for sale. If you are part of a thriving online maritime community, Facebook could be a good option as your friends can share the listing. However, it can be difficult to find buyers from outside of your circle.

Selling a Boat on Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace has lots of things for sale, including some boats, but it is a “marketplace” which means it contains a hodge-podge of merchandise. It will not be the first place that potential buyers think to go to when they wish to purchase a boat. Facebook Marketplace has public listings that can be seen by just anyone on Marketplace and in the News Feed, depending on their settings.

Why Choose a Broker?

As the famous phrase goes: If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur. There are many ways to try and sell a boat online, but the best way is via a professional broker or dealer. They have the expertise, knowledge, contacts and overall know-how to sell your boat.

If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.

Browse through our list of yacht brokers in our broker finder here to help you find the best broker to help sell your boat. And don’t forget to check out part 2 of our how to sell a boat fast series.


Stay Informed

Sign up to receive updates on the latest
yachting and boating news and events.