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.
|Helpful Resources To Assist In Selling And Buying California Businesses|
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|Rick Carlson, Business Broker - Southern California
You Will Never Feel Lost In The Shuffle. Many Brokers Simply Send Out An NDA And That's The End Of Communication. All Buyers Receive A Personal Meeting With An Ace Acquisition Specialist So They Can Recommend The Perfect Business For You. Phone Rick direct at 800-985-4939.
|Mike Hurrell, Broker: Laundry Specialist - Southern California
Providencia Properties Inc in association with Golden State Laundry Systems is a full service Coin Laundry Real Estate Broker. At GSLS you will receive personalized attention from our professional staff of coin laundry experts. To sell or buy a Southern CA laundromat call Mike at 310-223-2240 X209.
|William Park, Business Broker: Southern California
Highest Volume Broker in California, Simply Check our HUNDREDS of Listings! Over 25 Associates, Speaking Dozen Languages, Helping Buyers and Sellers of Small Business since 1982, Centrally Located between Los Angeles and Orange Counties, while Riverside & San Bernardino Counties are Very Accessible.
|Joanne Weber, Broker: Preschool Specialist, Southern California
The Ryan Craig Company is in its 46th year as the recognized expert in Southern California, dealing exclusively in the sale of preschools, Montessori schools, day care centers, and private schools. Our extensive list of references speaks for itself. Phone Joanne at 818-760-3684 for more info.
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