Used Boats for Sale by Owner: Buy, Sell Bass or Air Boats.
You have a used boat for sale. But before we jump into the world of how to sell your used boat, let’s look at the question from the buyer’s point of view. Buyers always have a choice, either purchasing a new boat or a used boat for sale. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. If you’re trying to sell your used boat, take a moment to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Take a look at the competition, those shiny, brand new boats for sale by the dealers and the manufacturers.
Used boats for sale do offer the buyer the following key advantage: a less expensive investment upfront, and the following major disadvantage: little or no warranty.
Focusing on these two items will be your most effective strategy and will help you to sell your used boat quickly and for the best price.
First, appearance is the single best indicator of how well you have taken care of your used boat for sale. Buyers are very concerned about the cost of maintenance and repairs: both apparent and hidden. Like it or not, nothing will send your prospective buyer away faster than a used boat that shows poorly. Buyers know that the overall appearance is a very good indicator, perhaps the best indicator, of the overall condition of a used boat. Remember that the buyer is looking for indications of care and pride of ownership.
Start with a thorough cleaning of the boat; exterior and interior. Get the boat out of water, if possible, and clean and wax the hull. Then move to the deck, windows, and the interior surfaces including floors.
Replace any worn fabric items such as window curtains, carpet, or upholstered chairs and benches. If they’re still serviceable and not faded, a good cleaning may do the trick. Give all hard wood surfaces a cleaning, then oil or wax.
If the boat has a galley or a head, give it a very thorough cleaning, and make it sparkle. Notice any odors? Pump-out the holding tank and add chemicals to eliminate any holding tank odors.
Cleaning your used boat will be much easier if you first remove all of your personal items that you’ve stowed away over the years. Get rid of the clutter. Those old magazines, worn deck shoes, and extra fold up chairs need to go.
Is the engine properly maintained and is the engine oil changed? Are there repairs that you’ve let slip by ... maybe faulty instrumentation, leaks in the galley or head, burned out lights, or broken latches? Get all repairs completed before you place the boat on the market.
Second, be reasonable when you price your boat. An over priced boat simply won’t sell. Check a marine blue book to determine a fair price range for your boat. There are three generally accepted blue books or price guides for used boats in the United States: the BUC Used Price Guide, the NADA Marine Appraisal Guide, and the ABOS Marine Blue Book. Each uses a different method of calculating values. Check with your marine insurance agent for copies. Boat dealers also have these resources too. Go to the boatbeyond.com website and check to see what other sellers are asking for similar boats. Buyers will be checking prices too.
So, you’ve got the basics now on how to sell a used boat. Good luck!