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Old 19-05-2022, 02:06   #1
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Your boat isnt special

Probably one of the best written articles about boat sellers ive ever read.
https://davetownleyyachts.com/pricing-the-dirty-truth

This was written a few years before covid, yet it still speaks the truth.
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Old 19-05-2022, 08:38   #2
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Re: Your boat isnt special

Good article, but most of the potential sellers who read it will be saying to themselves, "Yeah, that is true for most sellers, but MY boat really IS special!"
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Old 19-05-2022, 09:09   #3
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Re: Your boat isnt special

The article also highlights one of my own annoyances with the process as a shopper. I cannot see those actual sale prices myself.

Oh, and my boat IS special. But I realize she has a market value around $6K, not the $28K I put into her over the last three years.
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Old 19-05-2022, 09:31   #4
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Re: Your boat isnt special

I have asked and received a printout of sold prices from some brokers, just for asking. It normally covered a period of 2 years
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Old 19-05-2022, 09:57   #5
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Re: Your boat isnt special

It's a good article. I found myself nodding in agreement most of the time (even though my boat IS special ). But there's one key factor missing:

The broker is not a neutral party in all this. They have interests as well, and these interests don't necessarily align with the seller or the buyer.

This article is from the broker's standpoint. That doesn't invalidate the observations and suggestions, but it is reflecting through their lens.
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Old 19-05-2022, 10:27   #6
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Re: Your boat isnt special

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
The broker is not a neutral party in all this. They have interests as well, and these interests don't necessarily align with the seller or the buyer.
I have to agree with you whole heartedly.

Sure overpricing and being unrealistic will make it hard to sell a boat and you see it frequently. I get that brokers struggle with unrealistic expectations. The article covers that aspect very well.

But the idea that the broker wants the highest sales price as he gets commission based on the sales price is misleading....

They will never admit it but a broker will love to underprice the market by 20-30%.

Sure their commission will be 20-30% lower but rather than taking 3-6months, fielding calls/emails, many showings, paying for adds and a lot of negotiation...generally eating up time and money for the broker. Possibly never selling the boat...

List that $400k (market value) boat in his example for $300k and odds are he has a full asking price offer by the end of the week and by the end of the month, he's cashing the commission check.

Even better for the broker, odds are the poorly educated seller will be wildly happy about the quick full asking price sale and speak highly of the broker to his boating friends leading to more business.

So no, your boat isn't special and don't expect to list for more than similar boats but don't let this article talk you into letting a broker underprice the boat because they know better. Do some research and don't trust the broker to have your best interest at heart because they are looking at maximizing the commission per hour of effort put in not your sales price.

Unless I'm desperate for the cash...When selling used items, I like to start a little high to test the market. I can always reduce the price if there is no interest but I don't want to accidentally price it too low because it's really hard to raise the price once you get an offer.

PS: One minor item I take issue with. He suggested major upgrades like bow thrusters can increase the value but similar to major house upgrades, they do but usually only a small percentage of the dollars put in (Dump $10k into adding a bow thruster, it might add $1-2k into resale value). They rarely make sense purely from a resale value point of view unless it's addressing something that makes the boat completely unsellable.
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Old 19-05-2022, 11:02   #7
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Re: Your boat isnt special

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
But the idea that the broker wants the highest sales price as he gets commission based on the sales price is misleading....

.

Right. As John Candy said, Time is Money, and Money is Cocaine. Brokers rely on ROI, which means flipping boats as fast as possible with minimum effort.

Perception too. When a local broker "fails" to sell boats for a long time, everyone notices, and it causes concern to those wanting to sell their boat. Prior to COVID, several local sellers jumped to a less-local broker for just this reason.

Whether a boat is special or not will be determined by the market. We sold ours within a week without a broker because it was the best condition of that model on the Lake.

And, for the record, I don't look at KBB or Edmunds for car value estimates, any more than I read Consumer Distorts.
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Old 19-05-2022, 11:18   #8
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Re: Your boat isnt special

How good the tools are to determine value varies depending on what you're selling. The more common the model and the more average yours is in options, condition, etc. the easier it'll be to price it. In the car world, things like KBB are fine for very average cars. But once you get to less common models, models with an enthusiast following, etc. those estimates quickly become useless. At that point you just have to go on what others are actually selling for and sometimes what others you talk to think is reasonable.
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Old 19-05-2022, 11:28   #9
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Re: Your boat isnt special

My boat is hull 1 of it's model and the building was overseen by Ted Brewer himself, in Greece. I have to imagine that adds at least $45 to the value.
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Old 19-05-2022, 14:47   #10
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Re: Your boat isnt special

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingunity View Post
My boat is hull 1 of it's model and the building was overseen by Ted Brewer himself, in Greece. I have to imagine that adds at least $45 to the value.

More likely buyers will think that the first of anything is a bad buy due to all the small kinks not being worked out.
Probably reduces the value by $45 instead!
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Old 19-05-2022, 18:00   #11
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Re: Your boat isnt special

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
I have to agree with you whole heartedly.

Sure overpricing and being unrealistic will make it hard to sell a boat and you see it frequently. I get that brokers struggle with unrealistic expectations. The article covers that aspect very well.

But the idea that the broker wants the highest sales price as he gets commission based on the sales price is misleading....

They will never admit it but a broker will love to underprice the market by 20-30%.

Sure their commission will be 20-30% lower but rather than taking 3-6months, fielding calls/emails, many showings, paying for adds and a lot of negotiation...generally eating up time and money for the broker. Possibly never selling the boat...

List that $400k (market value) boat in his example for $300k and odds are he has a full asking price offer by the end of the week and by the end of the month, he's cashing the commission check.

Even better for the broker, odds are the poorly educated seller will be wildly happy about the quick full asking price sale and speak highly of the broker to his boating friends leading to more business.

So no, your boat isn't special and don't expect to list for more than similar boats but don't let this article talk you into letting a broker underprice the boat because they know better. Do some research and don't trust the broker to have your best interest at heart because they are looking at maximizing the commission per hour of effort put in not your sales price.

Unless I'm desperate for the cash...When selling used items, I like to start a little high to test the market. I can always reduce the price if there is no interest but I don't want to accidentally price it too low because it's really hard to raise the price once you get an offer.

PS: One minor item I take issue with. He suggested major upgrades like bow thrusters can increase the value but similar to major house upgrades, they do but usually only a small percentage of the dollars put in (Dump $10k into adding a bow thruster, it might add $1-2k into resale value). They rarely make sense purely from a resale value point of view unless it's addressing something that makes the boat completely unsellable.
Seems a little harsh - the article never suggests you will recoup $ for $ your investment in upgrades like thrusters. Moreover, perhaps you gloss over an important point in the article: Sold boat data etc. My experience is that any reputable & experienced broker expecting to list my boat will back up his/her recommended selling price with recent sold boat data or personally experienced comps (realizing that sold boat data is imperfect).
Similarly, a buyers broker will provide me with recent comps & phone the selling broker to find areas of concern. Unless you are buying out of country or opposite coast, by the time you have narrowed your choices to a few makes/models, reputable buyers brokers will have a wealth of knowledge about the actual boat you are considering. So yeah, on balance, I agree with the articles premise.
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Old 19-05-2022, 18:14   #12
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Re: Your boat isnt special

Yeah, My boat is special, but probably in a negative way. I doubt if I could sell this boat; nobody would want it. If I bought a newer boat I'd have to try to make it just like this one, but nobody but me would want it either.

Special can be viewed from both sides.
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Old 19-05-2022, 18:21   #13
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Re: Your boat isnt special

I hate to say it, but my boat is special.

It's a Vaitses/Herreshoff Meadow Lark shoal-draft ketch. Only 20 or so were made.

It's very special.

But that doesn't mean it's worth a lot of money.
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Old 20-05-2022, 04:39   #14
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Re: Your boat isnt special

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingunity View Post
My boat is hull 1 of it's model and the building was overseen by Ted Brewer himself, in Greece. I have to imagine that adds at least $45 to the value.
I can top that....I bought my boat from Dieter Empacher who built her from the hull up....so my boat IS SPECIAL and imagine that adds at least $50 to its value....at least for me! BUT she is a 1978 build so with depreciation my $50 is now only about $5....
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Old 20-05-2022, 05:09   #15
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Re: Your boat isnt special

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Originally Posted by Flatswing View Post
Seems a little harsh - the article never suggests you will recoup $ for $ your investment in upgrades like thrusters. Moreover, perhaps you gloss over an important point in the article: Sold boat data etc. My experience is that any reputable & experienced broker expecting to list my boat will back up his/her recommended selling price with recent sold boat data or personally experienced comps (realizing that sold boat data is imperfect).
Similarly, a buyers broker will provide me with recent comps & phone the selling broker to find areas of concern. Unless you are buying out of country or opposite coast, by the time you have narrowed your choices to a few makes/models, reputable buyers brokers will have a wealth of knowledge about the actual boat you are considering. So yeah, on balance, I agree with the articles premise.
Quote: Big ticket items like bow thrusters, stabilizers, low engine hours, generators are what add value to your boat.

Sure sounds like he's implying it will get you a substantial increase in resale value. I'd be shocked if they result in more than 20% return on dollars spent, so resale value is a poor reason to consider adding a new generator.

As noted, the author covers the "price it too high" issues very well but completely ignores the "price it too low" issues. It's so one sided, a firm response highlighting the other side of the coin is appropriate.

Yes, being knowledgeable is good and you can leverage brokers for that but don't for a second assume they have your best interest at heart.
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