Selling My Business: How Many Business Brokers Should I Interview?


Interviewing Business Brokers

How many business brokers should I interview prior to selecting one when selling my business?

Choosing a business broker to sell your business can be crucial to the success of it selling. A broker who you have an exclusive listing agreement with, which I recommend vs. open listing, will essentially be your partner during the listing term in getting your business sold. How many you interview is entirely up to you, but my suggestion is about 3. You'll probably find that you call the people who are actively marketing towards you and your business on a month-to-month basis, either by flyer, postcard, or door to door solicitation. The brokers who are actively looking for new business are typically the ones who are doing business. I wouldn’t interview too many agents, because a good one may get lost in the search, and outliers on price and terms may be become less apparent, because inexperienced agents are just telling you what you want to hear just to get your business, as opposed to more experienced agents who are apt to tell you the truth.

Referrals - Let's face it, everyone has a friend or family member who has a real estate license. If you have a friend who sells homes, but swears that they can also sell businesses, but really don't, then interviewing them, but also interviewing 2 or more business brokers who actually specialize in selling businesses will help illustrate the skills involved in getting a business sold, and the techniques involved in selling homes vs. business are not necessarily transferable.

Style - Every business broker has a different style, and it's important that you as the seller feel comfortable with who ever you choose to work with. If the seller and broker feel that they are at odds with one another than it makes the selling process much more difficult. Trust, that the broker is doing you right, and them trusting that you are honest with your books/records or that you are not trying to sell the business behind their back is extremely important.

Price/Terms/Commission - These three things are the most common that are brought up when a seller interviews a broker. How much is my business worth? How long is the listing contract? What is your commission? All brokers can negotiate all three with their potential seller. When a seller interviews 3-4 quality business brokers, they should notice a similarity with all three, and be able to immediately spot an outlier. Typically, experienced business brokers will able to give you a ballpark figure of a selling price, tell you the industry average on listing term agreements, and roughly the same on commission. If you interview too many business brokers, it will be more difficult to spot outliers, because like anything, something that is too good to be true, typically is.

One other thing, because business brokers take in a higher volume of listings, than say a real estate agent who sells homes, not only are you interviewing the business broker, they are also interviewing you, because they work on commission and have to determine, are you and your business worth the out of pocket money and time that will be spent until the business is sold? I would suggest a seller be prepared with necessary documentation when meeting with the broker, just as much as you expect the broker to be prepared on how to show how they get businesses sold.

Categories: BizBen Blog Contributor, Business Broker Information, How To Sell A Business, Selling A Business

Contributor:

Joe Ranieri
Areas Served: Orange, Los Angeles County Areas
Phone:  714-292-5448 Cell, 714-292-5448 Text
Having owned retail/restaurant businesses for over 20 years, my interest turned to selling businesses rather than owning them. I specialize in LA & Orange County restaurants, fast food independents and chains, bars, & liquor stores. Call 714-292-5448 Cell/Text.






  Helpful Resources To Assist In Selling And Buying California Businesses
William F. Ziprick, Attorney: Legal Services For Buyers And Sellers

Through creative problem solving, attention to detail, accessibility, & understanding that unnecessary delay is often a deal killer, I work closely with my clients and other professionals to consistently achieve a high rate of closings. Office: 909-255-8353, Cell: 509-951-7230.

Shalonda Chappel: Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - Southern California

Escrow services to brokers/agents, sellers, & buyers. Established 43 years. Extraordinary service. Experienced with handling difficult transactions. One stop for all your escrow needs: Bulk sales, lien searches, UCC searches, liquor license transfers, publishing & recording services. 951-808-3972.

Helen Yoo, New Century Escrow - Escrow Services In Southern California

New Century Escrow, Inc. is a fully licensed & bonded independent escrow company. Over 20 years combined experience in handling bulk escrow transactions. Multi-lingual staff that speaks your language, including Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese. Call Helen Yoo direct at 626-890-1151.

Diane Boudreau-Tschetter: Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - CA

California Business Escrow, Inc. is a full service independent escrow company serving all of California and has expertise in a wide range of escrows. Our team prides itself on providing an exceptional escrow experience. For more info phone Diane Boudreau-Tschetter at 888-383-3331 or 209-838-1100.

Jack Oh, Business Broker: Southern California

Business broker and real estate services in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas. 10 years experience with great negotiating skills. To sell a business or buy a business in the LA or Orange County Areas phone Jack and his team at 562-787-4989 Cell / Text.

Lee Petsas, Business Broker: Southern California Area

Lee Petsas has been selling businesses with UBI Business Brokers in Southern CA since 1981. In 1999 he became the Owner and Broker for UBI. He has been approved multiple times by Courts as an Expert Witness in the area of Business Valuations.

Elizabeth McGovern: Escrow Services - San Francisco Bay Area

McGovern Escrow Services, Inc., is a leading independent escrow company. We are a trusted partner with our clients, assisting them through the tangled bulk sale & liquor license transfer process. We provide attentive, quality & innovative customer service. Phone Elizabeth McGovern at 415-735-3645.

Janet Carrera: Escrow & Bulk Sale Service - SF Bay Area

Redwood Escrow Services, Inc. is a full service, licensed independent escrow company. We are EAFC Fidelity bonded, fully insured & licensed with the Department of Corporations. Committed to offering our clients the most comprehensive variety of escrow services available. Phone Janet at 510-247-0741.


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Choosing a business broker to sell your business can be crucial to the success of it selling. A broker who you have an exclusive listing agreement with, which I recommend vs. open listing, will essentially be your partner during the listing term in getting your business sold. Joe Ranieri explains.


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