How to sell a boat in Australia
If you’re selling a boat in Australia, then this step-by-step guide will make the process easier. Once you have decided to sell your boat, it’s important to take these steps as efficiently as possible (without rushing the process of course). That way you’re not letting your boat accumulate costs while it waits for a new home.
Here’s what you need to know to sell your boat in Australia.
Choose the right price
If you’re looking for a quick sale, then pricing your boat below market value is the best way to get it sold quickly. On the flip side, if you price it too high, you’ll risk having it sit on the market for longer. So, how do you price a boat right?
The best solution is to search for similar makes and models for sale in Australia. Look for boats of a similar age and condition, and find a price in the general ballpark. Sites like boatsales.com.au are a good starting point when researching pricing.
If your boat requires repairs, you can either perform them yourself, or leave the boat as is, and remove the cost of repairs from the asking price. Existing damage may put potential buyers off, so you’ll have to weigh up which approach works best for you.
If you don’t like to haggle, you may like to set the price as ‘firm’. If you’re open to negotiating, you can price the boat slightly higher than the amount you want and mark it as ‘negotiable’. A seller may then either buy the boat at this higher price, or negotiate for a lower one.
Just be sure to set a firm limit on what you are willing to negotiate to.
Get your boat seen
Making your boat as visible as you can is essential, if you want to sell it for a good price within a reasonable time frame. We recommend placing adverts online through Gumtree, Facebook marketplace and sites like boatsales.com.
When posting to Facebook marketplace be sure to find ‘buy and sell’ pages in your area, as you’re more likely to connect with buyers near you. This may mean your ad is seen by fewer people, but they are more likely to be interested in your boat.
You can also share your Facebook marketplace ad to your own Facebook page, which means people in your network can see it and share it further. If you don’t have Facebook, ask someone you know to post the advert on your behalf.
Before you place your advert online, it’s important to take good quality photos. Most smart phones take great photos, so you don’t need to worry about a proper camera. However, if you know you’re not great at taking pics, see if you can ask someone to assist you.
Don’t place filters on the photos or try to hide issues with the boat. Buyers want to see what the boat really looks like, and being honest means those who want to view the boat have a good idea of what they’re coming to see.
Wear and tear on a second-hand boat is perfectly normal, and ensuring sellers can see this, while also taking quality shots of the boat as a whole, is a good way to build trust with potential buyers.
If people question any wear and tear or repair issues, explain they have been accounted for in the selling price.
Setting up viewings
When people start to enquire about your boat, you’ll need to set up viewings. Before people come to view your boat, make sure it is cleaned, waxed and looking shiny. If you can, replace worn carpet or upholstery, and make sure its running well.
If you can’t be bothered cleaning the boat yourself, we recommend hiring a boat detailer, who can make sure the job is meticulously done. A full service is also recommended, as you can rest assured your boat will operate smoothly.
Some sellers choose to allow potential buyers to perform a sea trial, which means they get a good feel for how the vessel handles. Of course, if the potential buyer falls through, you have wasted time taking them out on the water.
The paperwork required to transfer ownership of a boat will vary depending on where you are located. We’ve written a blog on the transfer of ownership process for each state and territory, which you can read here.
If you’re located in Western Australia, you will need to transfer ownership through the WA Department of Transport. If it’s a recreational boat, you can fill out this form and submit it to a Driver and Vehicle Services Centre or a regional agent.
You can also post it to:
Department of Transport
GPO Box C102
Perth WA 6839
WA.gov.au states that the “…buyer must pay a transfer fee and submit their section within 15 days. The seller has seven days to submit their part.” For more information on how to legally transfer a boat license in WA, please head here.
Trading up? Get comprehensive cover for your boat
If you’re looking to upgrade after selling your boat, we can assist you with securing comprehensive cover. Our marine underwriters can provide you with an obligation free quote, and talk through the details of what you’re covered for, so you have peace of mind.