Using a Yacht Broker Vs. Selling Privately: Which is Better?

When it comes to selling your boat, the first thing you need to decide is whether to hire a professional yacht broker or sell it privately. While both methods have their advantages, this article will explain the benefits of working with a yacht broker or going private.

What is a yacht broker?

A yacht broker is a professional who helps you buy or sell a boat. He sources all the yachts or buyers, negotiates prices, marketing yachts, prepares legal documents, and gives you expert advice.

Hiring a yacht broker to sell your boat includes covering all the tasks involved in the boat sale. It can turn it into an easy package where you won’t be stressed or put much effort, which you’ll suffer if you sell your boat privately.

A yacht broker is a specialist in selling and buying boats. On occasions, he will represent the buyer and the seller during the transactions to deliver a fair deal to both parties.


A yacht broker will offer a wide range of services to sell your boat. It’s up to you what kind of deal or services you have talked about with your broker. In general, yacht broker services include the following:

  • Boat storage: A broker will transfer the boat you are selling to their dock to make it easier for them to market the vessel to potential buyers.
  • Cleaning and maintenance: A yacht broker comes with a team that helps in cleaning and any maintenance needed on your boat. In this way, your boat will appear in a good shape to get the best possible selling price.
  • Marketing: Yacht brokers have in-depth connections to the boat-buying community. They know the type of marketing and promotion that is effective in attracting potential buyers.
  • Surveying needs: Hiring a professional boat sales company comes with a team of surveyors that they can work with so they can easily arrange any surveys required to complete the sales of your boat.
  • Sea trials: Selling a boat will involve lots of time meeting different buyers and conducting either sea or river trails. A yacht broker will handle these trials and buyer transactions on your behalf.
  • Legal paperwork: Using a yacht broker will handle all legal documents needed when selling your boat. Your yacht broker will know which paperwork is required to complete the sale of your boat.

What are the benefits of using a yacht broker vs. selling privately?

There are many advantages to opting to use the services offered by an experienced yacht broker. Getting the best possible selling price within a short time is the primary goal of every yacht seller, and a broker can be someone to help you achieve that.

The benefits of hiring a yacht broker over selling your boat privately include:

  • Save time and money on maintenance and cleaning
  • Correct pricing of the boat with the current sales in the market
  • Access to a pre-qualified list of potential buyers
  • Experience in negotiation and transaction with buyers
  • Increase the visibility of the boat and proper promotion
  • Ensure that all legal documents are completed before the sale of your boat

If you choose to sell your boat privately, you have to put effort into achieving a sale to meet the right buyer, deal at the right price, and complete all the paperwork. Getting professional yacht broker services can make the process easier and less hassle.

However, keep in mind that yacht brokers work on a commission basis. Depending on the package that you choose, there may charge additional fees encountered when selling your boat. These fees could be for advertising, cleaning, maintenance, or surveys that are part of the selling process.

The fee is usually negotiated during the initial consultation with your chosen broker. Some people are cautious about giving commission on the sale of their boat; a yacht broker can often lead to achieving a higher sale price than selling it privately.

Another reason to use a yacht broker when selling your boat is they understand the yacht selling and buying industry. When selling your boat, it is best if you have the right people on your team to give you expert advice during the process.

A professional yacht broker can help you decide on the price range of the boat based on the market. He is also experienced in preparing legal bills to ensure that transferring ownership is smooth and legal. These tasks can save you hours and hassle when it comes to selling your boat.

Selling your boat privately

If you choose to sell your boat privately, you can save costs on a dealer or broker. However, the process becomes longer and increases the risks of not selling it at the best possible price you’re hoping for.

In addition, the preparation of legal documents, cleaning, maintenance, and arranging of viewings with buyers will all become your responsibility. There are also risks you may encounter, such as:

  • Non-qualified buyers: Looking for buyers that are qualified and have the means to buy your boat is important to sell it quickly and successfully. Selling it privately means that you have no way of knowing if the buyer is qualified and has the money you are asking for. You will more likely go on and negotiate with the price.
  • Paperwork legalities: If you’re unfamiliar with the world of selling boats, then you may not know what legal documents are needed for selling a boat. When it comes to yacht selling, the paperwork has to be correct and complete to ensure that the transfer of ownership is legal.
  • Ineffective advertising: Promoting your yacht for sale in the right place is the key to achieving a quick sale at a great price. If you don’t do enough research on where to post your boat for sale, you could miss out on potential buyers and increase the time it takes to sell your boat.
  • Prolong sales time: Whatever you’re selling, it is best to strike while the iron is hot to achieve the best possible price. Incorrect pricing of boats at the beginning of the process will more likely become cheaper compared to the final purchase price.

Things to prepare when selling the boat privately

If you prefer to sell your boat on your own, make sure to keep these things in mind:

  • Prepare the boat: Make sure that the boat is cleaned inside and out. If you see that something is broken, fix it. A dirty boat with damages indicates that it has problems and needs maintenance.
  • Research boat prices: After preparing the boat, you can research price ranges on different websites. Estimate a reasonable price to sell your boat on the market by comparing the type of the boat, its age, and the overall condition of the boat.
  • Promotional campaigns: The photos you’ll post can make or break a sale. If you’re not hiring a yacht broker, ensure that you pay attention to the advertising. Hence, decide a package of the advert and the duration you wish for. When posting the boat for sale, include full contact details.
  • Be prepared for inquiries: When a potential buyer requires more information than the details in the advert, you should be prepared in creating a specification sheet. Moreover, if the buyer wants to view and try the boat, you need to be flexible about the time and place. Do not post your boat for sale, if you have limited time and aren’t available to answer all potential buyers’ queries.

Should I sell my boat through a broker or privately?

A yacht is a significant asset and selling it needs to be handled professionally. When it comes to deciding whether to sell your boat privately or use brokerage services, you should weigh up the pros and cons of each method.

If you want a quick sale at the best possible price, then using a yacht broker could be your best choice. However, this means that you have to sacrifice some of your profits in giving out commission.

On the other hand, if you have plenty of time and you’re willing to put your effort and time into preparing legal documents, cleaning, and maintenance of the ship, as well as meeting different potential buyers, then it’s possible to sell your boat privately and get the best outcome.

Choosing whether to sell your boat privately or use a broker is a tough choice. The most important thing when deciding is to consider all the aspects of your boat sale to get the best possible sale price for your boat.

If you’re looking for the best yacht broker services, consider Fort Lauderdale Yacht Broker. We are proud of our reputation within the yacht brokerage industry. We earned our reputation from the relationships and top-notch services with our clients. 

Whether you’re buying or selling a boat, our experienced team from Fort Lauderdale Yacht Broker makes the process easier. If you’re ready to own a boat or sell it, just call us at 754-704-9436. We proudly cater to all clients in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and the nearby cities.