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Yacht Broker vs. For Sale by Owner

Does Using a Yacht Broker Make Sense?

Selling your boat can be a thrilling, yet challenging process. And while many boat owners choose to list their boat "by owner" to save money on commissions and closing costs, others opt for the assistance of a professional licensed yacht broker. In this article, we'll explore some of the advantages of working with a licensed yacht broker and why it might be worth the trade-off for some.


1. Realtime Market Expertise

Navigating the intricate waters of the boat market requires more than just listing your vessel on Facebook Marketplace or another 3rd party listing site. A skilled yacht broker possesses in-depth knowledge and data for current market trends, pricing strategies, and the factors that influence boat values. They can provide you with invaluable insights to help you not only set the right asking price from the start, but also sell the value of your boat to buyers and adjust quickly as market conditions change. Is your boat in short supply? Do you have upgraded technology that is a rare find? Are your engine hours lower or higher than average, and how will that impact your final sales price? All of these questions should be asked, and can easily be answered by a skilled and licensed yacht broker.

2. Time Savings

Selling a boat involves a multitude of tasks, from marketing and regular market research to fielding inquiries, negotiations, paperwork, showings, and coordination of 3rd parties for survey, haul-out, etc. Do you have the proper import documentation to legally sell your foreign-built boat? Is your boat titled with your state or at the federal level, and does it matter? Does your boat have a tender, and can you legally sell it with your primary vessel? How will that impact the asking price of your boat? Knowing how to handle all of this is time-consuming and requires extensive focus, taking you away from other important aspects of your life. A broker can save you time, money, and snags at closing by managing the entire selling process legally and efficiently, allowing you to focus on what matters most to you.

3. Wider Reach

One of the keys to a successful boat sale is marketing, exposure, and awareness. A yacht broker has an extensive network of buyer prospects and access to various marketing vehicles, ensuring that your boat reaches the widest possible audience. A licensed yacht broker can market your vessel effectively, attracting not only local buyers, but those from different regions and backgrounds. For example, Just Catamarans with offices in both Ft. Lauderdale and Key West, not only lists your boat with the 6 primary listing services that reach 80% of buyers, but they also send newsletters at least twice monthly to over 10,000 subscribers and post multiple times each week to major social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to name a few. A good broker will also take the extra effort to list your boat on other tertiary listing sites such as Facebook Groups, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and others. Most importantly though, the wider network a yacht broker has access to increases the pool of potential buyers, meaning they can reach a greater audience than a "by owner" listing, typically resulting in not only a faster sale, but also a higher closing price.

4. Negotiation Skills

Negotiating the sale of your boat can be a complex and often-times an emotionally charged process. A seasoned broker is well-versed in negotiation strategies and can advocate for your interests, coming up with creative solutions when you need them most. They'll work to secure the best deal, handle counteroffers, and navigate tricky situations with ease. If a buyer backs out of the deal the day before closing, do you know what your recourse is? If a buyer finds $10,000 in damage when they survey the boat, how should you be prepared to respond? Was your boat involved in an accident after the buyer accepted the boat but before closing? All of these scenarios are real, and happen regularly...a professional and licensed yacht broker has solutions for each of these unfortunate scenarios, and many more!


Working with a licensed broker offers advantages to many people when selling their boat. Remember, licensed brokers exist primarily to assist in making the process smoother, shorter, and more profitable using tools, data, experience, and networks that most boat owners don't have available to them. Click here to schedule a free 30-minute personalized consultation to learn more.

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