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Old 10-09-1999
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Sue & Larry is on a distinguished road
Selling

Please thank Larry Hamilton and Sue Holt for keeping us all informed as they evolve in their cruising lives.

As they discussed selling "Safari" by using an open listing, they quite properly pointed out that a lot of brokers don't attack the job of selling a boat with the kind of enthusiasm and expertise which would justify a 10% commission.

Just to balance the scales, let me add the story of my recent sale of my 39' Beneteau Oceanis. I talked with a local broker about the best way to sell the boat. He was extremely helpful in explaining the entire procedure, including a full discussion of which repairs and improvements would make sense, and which should be left the the discretion of the new owner.

Here's an example: I was prepared to have the boat hauled and new bottom paint applied. The broker pointed out that the boat would probably have to be hauled for a survey when we had an offer, and explained that 60% of all the boats sold in this area would be moved to another sailing area. In that case, they might want different paint than we like to use here in Florida.

I mentioned that a couple of people had already expressed interest in the boat as I told them about my future plans-- having a cruising catamarran built. He said we would put their names in the contract as exclusions, in case they bought the boat. There was no pressure to get a signed contract.

As it turns out, my neighbors bought the boat. I felt a little strange calling the broker and telling him that, after he had been so helpful, his firm was not involved in the sale. Was there some way of compensating him?

"Hey," he said, "Thanks for thinking of me when you were preparing to sell your boat. I'm glad my advise helped...and I would love to represent you if you are ever selling a boat again."

As you might imagine, I think pretty highly of this man and his business. And, of course, I recommend him to everyone I know who might want to sell a boat.

That's just how valuable a broker can be...and how ethical the best of the breed can act.

Bob Bengtson
Punta Gorda, FL.

The answer from Larry and Sue:

Thanks for your letter about the selling of Safari article and brokers. It's good to hear a story about a conscientious and knowledgable broker such as you dealt with. He deserved to be named. Sounds to me like you will tell enough friends about him that he will get their business and your business in the future.

Best regards,
Sue & Larry

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