Avoiding pitfalls when buying and selling a used boat
Buying and selling a boat can be quite a daunting process, not to mention emotional, especially if you are selling something that has given you a tremendous amount of fun, challenges and happiness over the years and has become close to your heart.
Our detailed, well thought-out sales process here at Boatshed (remember, it is all in the detail!) is aimed at removing your stress and helping you through each stage, safe in the knowledge that your funds are protected (we use dedicated Client Accounts) and that you are dealing with a bona fide broker – all of our brokers are members of the BMF (British Marine Federation) or equivalent association in the country of operation.
We will guide you right from the start and help you through each step.
Here are some particular things to remember and lookout for during the process:
Ensure that all paperwork is available to your Broker at the listing stage - a sale can fall through at the very last minute if it is discovered that the relevant paperwork to support the sale is not available (and in some cases, never was!).
Read, understand and query (if necessary) all of the documents that you are required to sign during the Sales Process (Listing Agreement; Agreement of Sale, etc). It is amazing how many owners don't and therefore do not clearly understand our Terms & Conditions without a nudge from the Broker before they can accept a listing, or conclude the negotiation of a sale. This, again, will avoid any misunderstandings along the way and help things run smoothly.
Make it clear on the Listing Agreement exactly what is being sold with the boat. For example, there may be a dinghy in one of the photos, but if this is not included in the sale the buyer needs to know. The listing agreement acts as the boat's inventory of items included for sale.
Do your research in term of exactly what your requirements are – this will save you time, avoiding wasted viewings. Your Broker will be happy to work with you to try and find the right boat, and you can use our sophisticated software to aid your search – ie BoatFinder.
Never be afraid to ask your broker questions – it is important to get everything ironed out at the very early stages. Nothing is too obvious to ask about or too trivial to ignore!
When you have seen a boat you are interested in, check-out the price of similar boats on the internet so that you get a good view of the market and can negotiate from an informed perspective.
Always have a survey – Brokers necessarily act as agents for the owners/vendors and whilst they are experts at guiding you through and advising on the sales process, and will always treat you fairly and professionally, they are not qualified surveyors or marine engineers. You are strongly recommended to check the boat's particulars and, where appropriate, at your own expense, employ qualified agents to carry out surveys, structural and/or mechanical & electrical.
Just following these simple hints & tips can make all the difference and will contribute to a smooth & successful process whether you are buying or selling a boat.Barbara Spittal Boatshed Broker Liaison Manager