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Insights, Advice, Brokerage

Boat brokerage – selling a boat through a broker

Much like how an estate agent will assist people looking to sell a home, a boat brokerage is on hand to help those wanting to sell their boats. They are consultants, equipped with the knowledge and experience required to ensure every boat owner gets the best price with the minimal amount of stress. In this blog post, James Clifton, Sales Manager at Val Wyatt Marine, provides an insight into our highly respected brokerage. 

How does a boat brokerage work?

Our mission is straightforward. At Val Wyatt, we are committed to working with our customers to secure them the best price possible for their boat, whilst taking responsibility for all the heavy lifting. We understand that buying a boat is a significant decision, especially with the high costs involved, and therefore the process is thorough and can take time. We use our vast experience to facilitate every transaction, and have been described as a “safe pair of hands”.

What are the pros and cons of selling a boat through a broker?

The pros:

Expert preparation: If you were selling your home, you’d make sure the house was looking clean and tidy before any viewings – and we are no different. Our full professional boat brokerage service includes a “lift out” from the water, and a complimentary pressure wash. As brokers, we may advise on works to improve the presentation of the boat too.

Marketing collateralFirst impression is so important. Therefore, when photographing our boats, we prefer to remove any excess equipment, such as ropes. Then, if suitable, we take the vessel out on the water, so we can capture it in all its glory. Action shots gain significantly more interest than those boats pictured in their mooring. As part of the photography service, we also take some of the pictures from our office balcony, which looks directly out onto the Thames. The overhead shots do provide a different perspective. We also offer a video service too, which can be added to the listing.

Increased exposure: Once the pictures are ready and our in-house team of experts have carefully written the specification of the vessel, we are ready to advertise the boat. We ensure all our boat listings are displayed on the most widely used boat selling portals in the UK. Meanwhile, we have a sophisticated listing directory on our website, which is easy to navigate. Our combination of various sales platforms and marketing activity guarantees increased visibility and exposure.

Professional environment: Visitors to our marina will be able to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and unique office space we have on-site. This is the perfect environment to make potential buyers feel relaxed and excited ahead of any viewings or discussions.

Accompanied viewings: Once a prospective buyer has taken an interest in one of our vessels, we are ready to carry out viewings at our marina. During this time, we are on hand to ask any questions. For those people that cannot make it to Wargrave, we also offer virtual tours of the boats, which have proved to be particularly valuable during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The paperwork: As a boat brokerage, we take the lead in processing and managing the legalities and the paperwork. Once the boat sale is agreed in principle, we draw up the appropriate sale and purchase agreements for the buyer and seller, as well as manage a variety of tasks that need to be completed before any sale is rubber-stamped. This includes verifying the identity of the purchaser, organising the surveys, and overseeing the trial run. In addition, we will also advise on and facilitate the transportation of the boat by road (if required), before carrying out the handover. We often conduct video handovers with those buyers who do not live in the local vicinity.

Trust and security: When it comes to substantial purchases, trust is key. We are lucky to have a talented and highly knowledgeable team in place – and we benefit from extremely low staff turnover. They are passionate about the boats we sell and those we maintain for our ongoing client base.

Safeguarding of funds: As a trusted third party, we are in the very best position to safeguard funds and efficiently manage all financial transactions during the final stages of the sales cycle, in accordance with British Marine regulations.

Boat storage: Whilst we always aim to sell boats as quickly as possible, we do provide six months of free storage for boats sold with us (a lot of brokers do charge for this service!). Furthermore, different to other brokers, we keep all boats for sale on the hardstanding, which means a potential buyer won’t need to pay for a lift when conducting a survey, whilst the seller also gets a complimentary lift and relaunch too.

The cons:

Whilst the list of pros for using a broker to sell a boat is extensive, the cons list is less so. Of course, no boat brokerage will work for free – however, we are confident that our value-added services deliver a better final price than a seller would typically receive if they listed and managed the sale privately – with a fraction of the effort too.

We can advise that if you have a boat that has a value much less than £10,000, it will usually be worth selling privately, as we have a minimum commission fee of £1,000 + VAT.

What is a typical brokerage fee?

We offer very competitive rates, especially when you factor in our combined experience, plus the additional value we provide. This rate (typically a percentage of the value of the vessel) is also subject to change, depending on boat in question – however, as stated above, we have a minimum commission fee of £1,000 + VAT

Are boat brokers licensed?

No, it is not a requirement – however, we possess several accreditations. We are long-standing members of the British Marine Association, where we have a strong reputation for delivering exceptional customer service, built upon years of hard work. In addition, all sales staff at Val Wyatt Marine are ABYA Trained (Association of Brokers and Yacht Agents).

If you’re looking to sell your boat, as part of an upgrade or not, please feel free to contact our team by filling out this form, or calling 01189 403211. You can also see the boats we have most recently sold, right here.