Negotiating Tips

By Staff Writers



Palm Harbor, FL -- To make sure you're always negotiating from a position of strength, it's important to arm yourself with as much information as you can. Selling your boat can be a rewarding experience when you transform that knowledge into negotiating power.


Create Urgency

From the moment a potential buyer contacts you, the negotiation process begins. Focus on building urgency. Let buyers know that others are interested and, if applicable, that you already have sea trials scheduled. Show potential buyers that you're a motivated seller and that you want to accommodate their needs.


Be Prepared to Negotiate

It's highly unlikely that a buyer will pay your asking price so be prepared to negotiate. When you negotiate, know how low you are willing to go and don't be afraid to walk away from the sale. Sometimes walking away is your best option if negotiations start to drag on unproductively.


Don't Panic

It's not uncommon for a potential buyer to start with a low offer; don't panic. Use the buyer's offer as an opportunity to explain how you arrived at your price. Consider lowering your price some to show you're willing to negotiate. If a buyer is serious, they should counter with a higher offer. Expect some back and forth but realize a serious buyer wants to purchase a boat not negotiate endlessly. Don't let a disingenuous buyer take you for a ride.


Be Objective

During the negotiation process, there's no need to be overly emotional or stoic. If you're concerned you might not be objective or you might jump at the first offer, bring someone with negotiating experience that isn't invested in the sale.


Remember, your number one goal is to sell your boat for a price that's fair to both you and the buyer. Be objective and ready to explain why you priced the boat the way you did.


Know Your Boat's Value

For most sellers, getting top dollar is their top priority. The key to good negotiating is to arrive at a price that both you and the buyer are happy with. The first step in doing that is to know the market value of your boat. When you know your boat's real market value, you're less likely to be influenced by aggressive buyers that try to whittle down the price by nitpicking at minor problems. Explaining that you've already factored those into the price allows you to refocus the conversation on the overall value of the boat and your price.


Provide Paperwork

It's important to provide paperwork, including service records. Often, if these records cannot be produced, potential buyers may believe your boat hasn't received proper maintenance and lose interest. Or they may use that information as an opportunity to negotiate the price down by arguing that purchasing a boat without the appropriate records is a substantial risk.


Get Your Own Inspection

A potential buyer will likely want to have your boat inspected by a technician of their choosing, which is a good sign. It demonstrates that the buyer has substantial interest. However, it's also a good idea to have your boat inspected by your own technician before you list your boat. This gives you a baseline understanding of the health of your boat and you can use your inspection report to refute any findings from another technician that you think are inaccurate or unreasonable.


If the buyer's technician identifies problems with your boat that you think are reasonable, reduce the price appropriately. However, never allow yourself to be intimidated by the buyer or their technician. If certain requests seem unreasonable, it may be best to walk away rather than proceed if you believe you're being taken advantage of.


By converting knowledge into power, the negotiating process can go smoothly, and both you and the buyer can walk away knowing you each got a good deal.