Postings Advertise Resources Blog Discussions About Us Register Login BizBen Podcast   BizBen Podcast  
BizBen.com
500 New & Refreshed Posts, Postings Daily
Over 8,000 Postings & 2,500 Resources
Assisting Buyers & Sellers Over 25 Years!

Categories

Going Behind A Brokers Back: How Does A Broker Protect Themself?



Posted By: Joe Ranieri, Business Broker: LA, Orange Counties.   What are some ways a broker can prevent a buyer and seller from doing a deal behind their back and what to do about it if it happens? Joe Ranieri (Orange County Business Broker) discusses ways a business broker or agent can protect themselves from buyers and sellers trying to circumvent them.

What are some ways a broker can prevent a buyer and seller from doing a deal behind their back and what to do about it if it happens?

For most business brokers, it's something that has happened: finding out one of your sellers and perhaps one of your buyers have decided to the deal without you. The scenario is usually the same, both parties lower the agreed price a little, but not more than the amount the seller would owe the broker a commission. For a broker, who has invested many hours and resources in selling the business, it's frustrating to feel cheated out of an earned commission. Just like there are some dishonest brokers, there are also dishonest buyers and sellers, and I've learned that although there will always be people who try to cheat the system, there are some ways to deter it.

1. Take only listings that you can adequately service.

It's tempting to take as many listings as possible, because we all know the list/sell ratios in business brokerage, but if you take too many then it's impossible to service them all appropriately. I've found that the sellers/buyers who have tried to make a deal without me, even though there is a listing contract in place, are primarily the ones I took that were out of the area, and beyond my normal sales territory. If the listing is an hour and half away, I must ask myself, "do I really want to make a 3-hour round trip to get a modification of terms or some other contract signed?" Does taking a listing that I can't properly service really serve the buyer, seller, or myself correctly?

2. Subscribe to a service of escrow publications.

There are companies out there which will tell each week which businesses have opened an escrow or have posted with ABC. These companies are invaluable in monitoring what is going on in the market. I've found a few of my clients over the years who have opened an escrow amongst each other, thinking I wouldn't find out. If I do see that one of my clients has gone to escrow without me, I'll call the escrow company and put a claim into escrow for my commission. If the seller and buyer decide to sell it amongst themselves and don't go to escrow, then of course I have fewer opportunities of recourse.

3. Always keep a record of Non-disclosures with buyers.

Never, never be tempted to send a buyer out to one of your listings without having them sign an NDA. Some buyers will try to say, "I'm on the road and have no access to a computer, can you just give me the listing? Keep a good record of who you send out to the business listings, and avoid giving out too many to one buyer at a time. Also, beware of buyers who want addresses on listings that aren t the same type, such as, "your laundromat, coffee shop, bar, liquor store, mail box, and pool hall." In my listing contract and on NDA, there is language which prevents the buyer and seller from doing a deal without me for 90-120 after the expiration of the listing contract, so keep good records!

4. Produce a list to the seller of all prospective buyers you have procured the buyer.

At the end of the listing contract, provide the seller with names, not numbers, but names of all the buyers you procured through your marketing efforts. This reminds them that you keep good records, and their commitment to your listing contract, which has expired, but may have terms that spells how to deal with buyers found during the length of the contract. I have seen brokers who have taken their clients to small claims court for an earned commission, but even if you do get a judgement, it's still on you to collect, so possibly see an attorney for advice.

5. If it happens to you, don't let it get you down.

If you do get cheated out of your commission, deal with it in the way you think is best, but don t allow it to consume you or affect the way you deal with future clients. Most my clients are trustworthy, and so I don't let a few of the bad ones, make me a jaded person. Trust in our business is very important.

Contributor: Broker/Consultant: Elderly Care Services
Thank you Joe for bringing this topic of discussion. All of us Veteran Agents I am sure have many stories to share on this topic, good and bad.

We all need to remind ourselves over and over that Business Brokerage, like many other sales jobs is a relationship based business. No matter how many contracts and agreements we have in place, if trust, respect and honor are not in place people will unfortunately go outside the set boundaries.

So how does a Business Broker protect themselves from an unscrupulous Buyer or Seller?

1. Educate the Buyer and Seller as to what is expected of one another and what we can and can not do.
2. Work your butt off to create loyal fans for life.
3. Treat everyone with respect and in turn ask for respect back.
4. Cut ties with "challenging" Buyers and Sellers as quickly as possible with great respect.

And, remember to have fun.

Thank you Joe for bringing this topic of discussion. All of us Veteran Agents I am sure have many stories to share on this topic, good and bad.

We all need to remind ourselves over and over that Business Brokerage, like many other sales jobs is a relationship based business. No matter how many contracts and agreements we have in place, if trust, respect and honor are not in place people will unfortunately go outside the set boundaries.

So how does a Business Broker protect themselves from an unscrupulous Buyer or Seller?

1. Educate the Buyer and Seller as to what is expected of one another and what we can and can not do.
2. Work your butt off to create loyal fans for life.
3. Treat everyone with respect and in turn ask for respect back.
4. Cut ties with "challenging" Buyers and Sellers as quickly as possible with great respect.

And, remember to have fun.

Other Related Blog Posts, Articles, And Discussions You May Be Interested In

Taking Back Up Offers Important Back-Up Offers: Crucial When Buying Or Selling A Small To Mid-Sized Business

An often overlooked aspect of selling (or buying) a small business is taking back-up offers during the entire process of selling (or buying) a business. Most sellers (or buyers) don't realize that over fifty percent of all deals/contracts fall out escrow or contract for one reason or another.
Reason For Not Selling Business What Are Some Possible Reasons My Broker Didn't Sell My Small Business?

What are some reasons a business that was previously on the market with another broker didn't sell? Every broker or agent understands that not every business they list will result in a sale. There can be many reasons small businesses don't sell and many are discussed on this BizBen Discussion post.
Business Broker Likes Purchase Agreements Advantages Of An Asset Purchase Agreement (Contract) Over A Letter Of Intent

An LOI may very well be appropriate for lower middle market transactions of $5,000,000 or more; but, for deals less than that an Asset Purchase Agreement ("APA") with contingencies on the actions of the buyer (and seller) is much more efficient & effective. Tim Cunha, JD (Business Broker) explains.
8 Questions To Sellers 8 Questions You Most Likely Will Be Asked When Selling Your Small Business

When selling your small business, you'll be bombarded with questions - from the brilliant to the ridiculous. You need to be prepared. Here are some of the key questions you can expect to be asked. Tim Cunha (SF Bay Area Business Broker) reviews many of these possible questions from potential buyers.
Business Buyer Feedback On Postings 8 Items Buyers Of Small Businesses Find Critical When Reviewing Businesses

In this month's Business Buyer survey for BizBen.com, we asked participants in our ProBuy Program and 250 other random business buyers what they look for and avoid when looking at a business for sale postings online. Of the 20 potential posting characteristics we asked about, 8 stood out with most.
BizBen Thursday Evening Podcast Sessions Live BizBen.com Sessions Podcast: Upcoming Schedule, Topics, & Panelists

The BizBen.com Live Sessions Podcast is held on select Thursday evenings at 7PM. This 45 minute session is comprised of questions and topics that have been emailed and texted into the Host of this podcast Peter Siegel, MBA and informative panelists: ProAdvisors, ProIntermediaries, & Special Guests.
Why Many Deals Fail Why Many Deals Fail: Unrealistic High Asking Prices Are Usually The Culprit

The unfortunate truth is that approximately 50% of all small business sales transactions fall through. While failed transactions can happen for a variety of reasons, Peter Siegel, MBA (BizBen Founder & Lead Advisor) discusses the most common reason deals fall through; unrealistic asking prices.
Key Factors Play A Role When Selling When To Sell Your Small Business - Many Key Important Factors Play A Part

Determining the right time to sell a private business is as much an art as a science, because there are so many factors at play and each business is unique. The timing of a business sale is critical. Christina Lazuric, CBI, Orange County Business Broker discusses this topic on this BizBen Blog post.
Keeping A Business Sale Confidential Why Is A Small Business Sale Kept Confidential? Advisors Discuss This Topic

Recently a business owner asked me on the phone, "Why do you keep the sale of a business confidential? How do you keep the sale confidential - any good tips?" Multiple Advisors weigh in on this subject. What would be your answer to this business owner? ProIntermediaries on BizBen discuss this topic.
Due Diligence Gas Station Purchases Buying A Gas Station Business: What To Look For When Doing Due Diligence

Doing due diligence when buying any type of business is extremely important. Regardless of what type of business you are buying there are certain things you will always look at such as, financials, equipment, legal issues etc. We take a look at several angles for optimal gas station due diligence.