HOW TO PROPERLY STAGE YOUR VESSEL FOR SALE
The way a boat presents can, and regularly does, make or break the sale. It’s not just about making sure the vessel is seaworthy. There’s psychology going on behind the scenes.
The Psychology of the Sale
From the moment a potential buyer reads an ad and views the attached images, there is a constant assessment process going on. Every sentence and image is either building trust or stacking up red-flags. Below, we’re going to let you in on both the obvious and the not-so-obvious parts of staging your boat for sale.
The Ad – First Impression
The ad is going to be the buyer’s first impression of the boat. Dream Nautical will create an ad that is thorough yet concise, listing all pertinent information and any perks or upgrades, including recent repairs, service and inspections.
The Ad – Images
Most people won’t even consider an ad without images. Awareness of lighting, clutter, and using angles that create space when taking photos—like an upper corner looking down—are some of the tools we utilize. We take our time when photographing your boat. If you have shots from your last fishing trip or excursion, we like to include them if they are appealing and professional. Images are more than just informative. They paint a picture that allows potential buyers to see themselves out on the water, enjoying the lifestyle this boat will bring.
Now that your ad has done it’s job and brought the buyer to take an in-person look at your boat, be sure it’s properly staged:
Dock Appeal – Be mindful of the atmosphere your dock or area around your boat is creating. A cluttered or unorganized dock can be a reflection of the way the boat has been cared for. Remove miscellaneous items, roll up hoses and cables, and give the dock a good pressure wash if needed.
Boat Interior – Minimalistic is best when staging below deck. Clutter makes any space seem smaller, so remove knick-knacks, piles, and most decor. Buyers want to imagine themselves in the boat, so make that possible by removing all personal items.
Boat Exterior – Have the boat detailed from top to bottom. Faded gelcoat, mold, dull wood, and oxidation, are not seller-friendly. Regular bottom cleaning is essential. Your boat should shine.
The Details – Make sure you’re up-to-date on servicing and the boat is survey ready. Pay attention to inspection areas: seacocks, fuel lines, engine installation, wiring, plumbing, deck fittings, navigation lights, liferails, and pulpit. The surveyor will also check for stress cracks, gelcoat cracking, dry rot and blistering. Taking care of the details in advance will help avoid second thoughts in the mind of the buyer.
Repairs – Don’t make the mistake of leaving the little odds and ends, hoping they’ll be overlooked. It’s better to go ahead and make all the small repairs now, then to possibly have to explain why general upkeep and repairs were not at the top of your agenda.
Pricing is part of the staging process. If the boat is listing for $325k, a knowledgeable buyer is expecting certain things. Live up to the expectations by combining all the staging tips above along with proper pricing.