Staging for a Faster Sale

Posted: August 1, 2014

By: John Temple

Similar to when you sell a house, getting your boat sold quickly and for the most money is a lot about the first impression. Of course, choosing a good broker who wants to handle your boat, given its price, and has had good success is important. You also want to spend some money to get your boat ready, but probably not more than you can get back on it (though speeding up the sale has its own value).

I hear all too often that people selling boats have had them on the market for years, dropping the price, and still they do not sell. It is simple: You need to have your boat priced right from the beginning, engage in good marketing, and make it attractive — clean with a lack of clutter.

First, clean the boat inside and out. Wax it, spruce up the wood in and out, and clean all the vinyl and the bilges. If you have owned your boat for a few years, there must be lots of clutter that has made it feel like home to you, but you want the boat to look like home to a buyer, not you. Leave a few decorations to make it homey, but make them as generic as possible. Anything displayed should show the space’s possibilities.

Cushions should all be cleaned. Worn-out couches and chairs need to be inexpensively replaced or re-upholstered, so cost doesn’t become a prohibitive factor. If everything is worn out and dirty, you might be able to use throw rugs to cover up. If there is a problem that stands out, take care of it. Taking several cushions to your local dry cleaner can make a difference for not that much money.

Another option for all the “stuff” is to box it up and put it in a small storage unit for $50 or $60 a month. Then, when a sale is imminent, you can see if the buyer wants any of it.

Be careful, though, because when you’re done sprucing things up, your boat may look so great you won’t want to sell it after all.

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