It's no secret that boat sales over the last 15 months have been exceptional. BoatingIndustry.com reported that sales were at a 13-year high while the National Marine Manufacturers Association disclosed that over 320,000 new boats had been sold in the marketplace in 2020. The yachting industry database that records sold yachts shows a 46% increase in pre-owned boat sales over $200k this year compared to last year, and last year was 33% above that!
All of those sales have left inventory depleted across the yacht brokerage market. This has resulted in a strong seller's market where a new listing is sold quickly and for a higher price, as long as it's priced correctly and in good condition. But for how long?
Sales in June, July, and August of this year have dropped by 17% compared to last year, but speculation is that this is more inventory driven than consumer demand. The fact is, as long as COVID is playing a major role in our daily lives, the demand to recreate outdoors will be strong. UnitedYacht.com is seeing this enthusiasm continue by the fact that we have received 66% more leads in 2021 than last year.
The time to list and sell your boat is now, before the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show begins and before the flood of boats purchased in 2020 start to hit the market. Once inventory increases, your ability to get the same price as you could now diminishes. This will happen, it's just a matter of when.
While it's not set in stone that your boat will sell in the first week and for more than your asking price, this scenario has happened and continues to happen in this market. New boat production has been stalled due to difficulty in getting materials and the inventory available has been relatively depleted.
"We are seeing listing agreements come in and purchase agreements on those boats in the same week," said Peter Schmidt, founder of United Yacht Sales. "Our leads are up, boat sales are definitely up, but this pace cannot last forever. If you're considering selling your boat, I recommend doing it soon before many more yachts for sale hit the market."
Follow This Advice When Listing Your Boat For Sale:
1. List Your Yacht Well Before Boat Show Season
Listing a boat for sale properly takes a bit of time and effort. Everything from signing agreements, to preparing your boat for a photo shoot, conducting the photo/video shoot, moving it to the right place, ramping up marketing efforts and so on all take time. It's also no secret that just about all yacht brokerage firms increase their marketing during the month of October in preparation for the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show.
Our best advice is to list your yacht now, in September, so that it's ready to be included in all of the boat show marketing that takes place - even if it's not in a boat show.
2. Preparation Is Key!
No matter what size boat you have, preparing it to be shown by your yacht broker and for its photo shoot are key. But what does this mean? Do you have time to conduct your own survey and repair the items found by the suveyor before going to market? Having a survey completed with the paperwork from whoever did the service could go along way with potential buyers.
A thorough cleaning and detailing could really help with how it looks in the photography. Lastly, think about staging your boat by decluttering personal items and investing in some new soft goods. It's amazing what a deep clean and some inexpensive updates can do for a showing! Read more about What You Can Do To Help Sell Your Yacht Faster.
3. Move It Or Lose It!
In the age of WiFi, social media, and everything online, you'd think the location of your yacht wouldn't matter. Think again! Even though your yacht is marketed online, its phsyical location could hinder it from selling quickly.
Imagine a boat buyer is meeting his or her yacht broker in Fort Lauderdale to look at boats. There may be a dozen on the list they have chosen to see. Most buyers will begin that search around where the most boats are located and then move north. This scenario is very common. What happens if your boat is in St. Augustine? Will they even see it? Will they find a boat and make an offer before reaching yours? The location of your vessel is key to its success and should be discussed with your broker.
With over 200 professional yacht brokers, more than 20 offices, and one of the top support teams in the industry, United Yacht Sales is the right brokerage firm to list and sell your yacht. These conditions will not last forever once the inventory bought in the last 24 months hits the market, which as you can see from the graph above, was substantial. Allow our team to give you a free market evaluation of your boat by filling out the What's My Yacht Worth form.