When is the best (and worst) time to list your boat for sale?

Updated 1:21 PM ET, Mon June 8, 2015

Article highlights

  • The best month to list your boat for sale is in February.
  • The worst month to list your boat for sale is July.
  • There is no evidence to support that holding off on listing your boat for sale will result in a faster overall sale.
The data is in and the numbers have been crunched. Over the course of more than 10,000 boats listed for sale and more than 3,500 sales, we have compiled a list of the best (and worst) months to list your boat for sale.

Best Month to List: February
Worst Month to List: July

When is the best (and worst) time to list your boat for sale?

Perhaps just as important to know is which range of months (or seasons) are the best and worst.

Best Season to List: February - June
Worst Season to List: July - November

How much better are we talking? What this graphic shows is that boats listed in July will take (on average) about 29% longer to sell than boats listed in February. While this is incredibly important data to us for calculating potential monthly sales, it shouldn't stop you from listing your boat for sale in any given month. There is absolutely no evidence that holding off on listing your boat to wait for a "better" month is more likely to sell your boat, but it may convince you to get your boat posted for sale sooner, rather than later.

So, what does it all mean?

Why is February through June the best time to list your boat for sale? February - April is actually the perfect storm of factors. Many owners are preparing to pull their vessels out of storage/winterization and planning to use them for the Summer. Although not recommended, many owners decide to take their boat off the market while using it for Spring and Summer (in order not to have their weekend plans interrupted by a showing for a potential buyer). This results in less boats available for sale. At the same time, as we come into Spring, we have many buyers looking to purchase a boat to use for the Summer. We all took economics, what happens when Supply decreases and Demand Increases at the same time? Bango bongo! Buyers are feeling increased pressure to purchase a boat as the Spring nears to an end and they are finding less boats to choose from. So, yes, that's when boats are more likely to sell quicker.

So, what about July? Summer is over, it's really as simple as that. Buyers are less and less likely to opt to purchase a boat in July - August when they won't be able to use it for 5 - 6 months. Of course, this is much less of a factor (perhaps non-existent in FL) in the Southeast US and across most southern US states.

Again, we're talking about a total swing of 29%, so it's not enough of a reason for you to decide not to list your boat. If it's July and you want to list your boat for sale, there are many more important factors (price, basic maintenance, de-cluttering personal items) than the month you are listing it in.

Why do we crunch all this data?

While our first priority is selling boats, we do spend an enormous amount of time crunching the data, and discovering the trends that emerge. These trends can be spotted for individual brands, categories and through regions of the US. When we look at the industry at large, across all segments, a pretty compelling story begins to emerge.

Let's be clear about what we're measuring. The "Days to Sell" metric is the average number of days from the first day a listing advertisement was published for sale to the final day it was sold, including ownership of the vessel and funds being transferred. This is a cradle to grave measurement of the time (in days) it takes us (on average) to sell a boat from the first day we start advertising it.

When is the best (and worst) time to list your boat for sale?

This "sell-time" number is inflated by boats that are knowingly over-priced from the start by owners who are in no rush to get their boat sold. While we do provide every owner with a Market Valuation of their vessel, the price of each vessel is up to the individual owner. Their sense of urgency (or lack thereof) is the most important factor in selling a boat quickly.

90% of vessels priced at or below our suggested Market Price are placed under contract by a buyer within 30 days.

As you can see from the graphic above, the average time it takes POP Yachts to sell a boat is 160 days. While this number might seem larger than expected, when you compare it to the industry average of 270 days (source shown below), you may agree it's actually incredibly short.

Source: <a href="http://mydigimag.rrd.com/publication/?i=243443&p=70">SoldBoats.com Market Report provided by YachtWorld</a>

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