The idea of selling your yacht yourself may be tempting — even if you could only cut out half of the standard 10% commission fee brokerage firms charge. If you could do this, you may save yourself money. To avoid paying a commission, or perhaps because you’ve had a bad experience with a past broker, you could choose to promote your yacht yourself. However, despite the possibility of saving yourself some money, there are a few things you should equally consider.
Consideration #1: Limited Exposure
The market has become so complex, with so many Multiple Listing Sites, social channels, online marketplaces and thousands of competing listings. For this reason it has become almost impossible for a single individual to understand the market, and get the same exposure when you list with a brokerage firm.
Even if you use a “help you sell” service to get your yacht on a few multiple listing sites, many potential buyers won't look at it simply because they won't think you’re serious. As well, the fewer the number of buyers who look at your yacht, the less your chances are of selling. If you do sell it yourself, you might end up leaving money on the table.
Consideration #2: Incorrect Pricing
You are an expert at what you'd like to receive for your yacht. However, selling your yacht requires a different kind of expertise. Price is often the number one priority of brokerage buyers. You need to be able to figure out what a buyer will pay for your vessel and price it right so prospects will view it, make offers, and ultimately buy it. Sometimes it's hard to look at your yacht through a buyer's eyes. And that’s why many “For Sale by Owner” yachts are often overpriced and remain on the market for a long period of time!
Consideration #3: Legal Exposure
When you are your own agent, you are legally responsible for everything you do. If you fill out the paperwork wrong, you could end up signing away your rights. There’s a possibility that you may fail to adhere to the current legislation. As well, if you don’t disclose certain facts about your yacht, the buyer could potentially sue post-sale. Now, it is possible to protect yourself from the risks by hiring a maritime attorney if you’re willing to spend a large amount of the profit you intend to collect by selling the yacht on your own.
Consideration #4: Time vs. Money
When you act as your own broker, be prepared to spend a lot of time trying to get your yacht sold. There will be times when you spend entire weekends showing your yacht to not-so-serious or unqualified buyers Also, be prepared to organize all communication with other brokers or potential buyers, and do all the necessary work required to sell your yacht.
Consideration #5: Attracting Dealmakers
We’ve heard multiple stories from independent sellers say that private buyers have actually asked them to remove 10% off the asking price! The private buyer is aware there are no brokerage fees to be paid, and therefore, should pay the seller less money. And so, in an attempt to save yourself a 10% commission, you may receive offers of 10% less.