Boat slips can represent a valuable property investment. If you have one sitting empty or you need the cash, you may be thinking about selling. Does that mean you should approach the process of selling or renting out your boat slip the same way as you would a house or apartment? Turns out, there is no need to!
Selling any sort of property can seem like a daunting process, which is why people turn to realtors. When it comes to selling your boat slip, however, a realtor actually has some downsides that might outweigh any advantages. Read on to learn more about why a realtor might not be the best choice, and what you should do instead.
The Downside of Using A Realtor
Although realtors are the traditional choice for selling boat slips, there are several disadvantages to using one—namely, commissions, motivation, and lack of industry knowledge. Together, these downsides make a pretty good case for selling the slip yourself, which we will talk about below.
The main issue, of course, is that realtors take a commission from every sale. For most types of property, the commission will typically be around 6% of the sale price. If your boat slip is worth a lot, this could represent a significant chunk of change. Indeed, for a $75,000 slip, you’d be spending almost $5,000 to have someone else sell it! For that amount of money, you could rent a 32’ slip at a decent marina for an entire year.
There are some tricks to lower the commission amount, like getting multiple bids, but you ultimately are still going to end up paying a percentage to someone for selling it. Although using a realtor is thought of as more convenient, the other options on the table are actually straightforward and comparatively less expensive.
You may also have to worry about realtors not prioritizing your boat slip. Although many people turn to realtors because they typically sell properties like houses faster than if they were just on a listing, be careful. Because boat slips are such a niche property market, realtors may actually be slow to respond. Especially if it’s a less expensive slip, they might not have the incentive to do the footwork needed to actually sell it. In some cases—like if it’s a smaller private slip in a less-populated community—you may have no choice but to sell the slip yourself.
Finally, you could also end up with someone inexperienced in selling boat slips because of the specialized nature of the market. Boating (and, by extension, boat slips) has a whole dictionary of very specific terminology. People who are potentially interested in the slip will be asking about things like “draft”, “liveaboards”, and so on. If your realtor is unfamiliar with the world of sailing/boating, they may find themselves in over their heads.
How to Sell Your Boat Slip Yourself
Fortunately, the internet has made it easier than ever to take charge and sell the slip yourself, without the help of a realtor. While some people turn to Craigslist, there are some very good reasons not to use that site. Instead, finding a specialized listing service and/or doing a little bit of digital marketing yourself can be surprisingly effective. If you’re interested in learning more, check out this complete guide to selling your slip online.
Another important question that comes up with DIY selling is how to price your property. Boat slip prices vary widely, based on location (especially if it’s in a big city or nice marina), size of the slip, and even time of year. Unfortunately, there is no simple rule of thumb on pricing; you have to take all of those factors into consideration, look at comparable slips in your area, and then decide whether you want to sell it at market value. Wondering how to price the slip to sell? We have an article on that, too.
Although selling the boat slip yourself takes a little bit of work, digital listings and marketing cost much less than a traditional commission. Don’t be intimidated by the process and fall back on an expensive realtor who might not even be motivated to sell the slip. Indeed, one afternoon of work (writing the listing, photographing the slip, setting up the marketing process) could save you thousands of dollars.
There are also other options than selling your boat slip. Although you obviously won’t get as much cash upfront, renting out your boat slip can actually be a very profitable undertaking. Short- or long-term rentals can be a great way to earn some supplemental income while maintaining ownership of a valuable investment.