Share This Info:  

Should I Sell My Business With A Business Broker Or Traditional Real Estate Agent Who Mostly Sells Homes?

Comments & Replies: 2     Views: 4478     Posted By: Joe Ranieri  Joe Ranieri, Business Broker: LA, Orange County Areas

Topics: Business Brokerage, Selling A Business     Tags: broker cooperation, business brokers, selling a business

If you're in the real estate business then you ve probably heard when talking with a potential seller, "well, let me think about it, one of my family member has a real estate license." The real estate business, either commercial or residential can often defy the practices of other businesses. Ask yourself, have you ever had a problem with a business broker who didn't return your calls? If a person ran any other type of business and didn t return potential customers' calls in a prompt matter, how long would they be in business? Getting a real estate license compared to other professions is quite a short process, and so to the public, they sometimes cannot tell at first who the seasoned pro is vs the novice. There are some sellers who believe the skills of the business broker and residential real estate agent are interchangeable, but they are vastly different, both of course require tenacity and tough negotiating skills, but differ in the process of how the deals get done.

The average real estate agent who sells homes will typically sell their own listings about 20% of the time, while 80% of the time the buyer will be represented by another agent. When an agent represents both buyer and seller it is called "dual agency", leaving either the seller or buyer questioning "who's interest is he/she looking out for, me or the other person?" Many times, to avoid this conflict of interest scenario, the agent will refer the buyer to an office colleague, and that person will represent him/her. The business broker on the other hand will represent both buyer and seller 80% of the time, while 20% cooperating with an outside broker. A large portion of brokers either work under their own brokerage alone or work with 2-3 other people. Most brokers are responsible to procure their own buyers for their listings, making "dual agency" a standard in the business. It takes true negotiating skills, because the seller obviously wants the highest price possible, while the buyer wants the lowest price possible.

Before one is representing the buyer, one must make it easy enough for the buyer to find them. The only way for a real estate agent to sell a home is put it in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), which once in that system, will go into about 30-40 other sites such as,, etc. the point of course, is once listed, the whole world can see your neighbor just listed their home, as an example. There is a category for "businesses opportunities" in the MLS, and this information does not auto populate into other sites accessible to the public. Many agents who sell homes and sell the occasional business will just put it in the MLS, which leaves the business about 80%-90% unexposed, since most buyers themselves will actively look for their own opportunities and not work with a "buyer's agent". Many business brokers don't belong to a local real estate board, so they don't even have access to the MLS, and so they sell their listings through sites like, allowing buyers to search for opportunities, since classified ads in print newspapers have become almost non-effective.

Pricing a business takes years of experience, while one could use a general multiplier of the monthly gross sales, the problem is different businesses use different formulas, and all businesses have factors (high/low rent, heavy labor costs, etc.) that could affect the price. Unlike a home, one can t just sell a business by saying "well, a pizza shop around the corner sold for this price, so that's what we will sell yours for ", because each business has too many variables.

Even a blind pig will find the occasional trough, as the saying goes, which basically means, one could list a business, price it right, find the buyer, and get it into escrow, but only someone who knows what they're doing can routinely get it to close. Holding a deal together and getting it to close is when being a professional pays off, because transactions can blow up for several reasons, such as buyer gets cold feet, landlord rejects buyer, seller changes their mind, and many, many more reasons. Selling a home, once the buyer has loan approval and apart from inspections, basically goes on auto-pilot once contingencies start being removed, but selling a business involves constant problem solving and negotiating that can only be learned through constant trial and error through years of experience.

In California in order to represent a business for sale, the business broker must hold a California real estate license. That means that I am legally allowed to sell and lease houses, commercial buildings, and land, engage in property management, and various other activities, including selling businesses. But, just as one doesn't visit a dermatologist for an irregular heartbeat, one shouldn't use a residential or commercial real estate agent to sell a business. As in medicine, law, and most other professions, experience and specialization count ... for a lot.

For example: We are presently offering a business for sale that also includes commercial property and residential property. It's complicated. My area of expertise is businesses. So I have partnered with a well-established brokerage office with expertise in both residential and commercial real estate. Together we are providing the seller with the very best representation, with each broker handling the parts we know best.

  Helpful Resources To Assist In Selling And Buying California Businesses
Shalonda Chappel-Pilgram: 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.

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.

Willard Michlin, CPA, Certified Fraud Examiner, Due Diligence

Willard Michlin, CPA #106752, offers buyers step by step training & assistance in doing Due Diligence Services when they are thinking of making an offer, or are in process of investigating a business purchase. He helps to determine the actual net profit even when there is cash. Call 805-428-2063.

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.

Brad Steinberg, Business Broker: Laundromat Specialist

PWS is the leading laundromat broker in California. Since 1968 PWS has brokered over 2,500 laundromat sales. With over 90 employees dedicated to the coin laundry industry, PWS has 18 licensed agents, a 3 person in-house finance department, 10 service technicians and a 20 person parts department.

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.

  Related Articles, Events, Blog Posts, Discussions, Videos, Interviews
Why Isn't My Business Selling? 6 Great Questions To Ask Yourself For Answers

It can take months, sometimes longer to sell a small business. Here are 6 questions from Peter Siegel, MBA (Business Purchase Financing Expert, ProSell Program Advisor with BizBen) at 925-785-3118 to ask yourself to help you determine why your small to mid-sized California business isn't selling.

Why Deals Fall Out: Unrealistic High Asking Prices Are Usually The Reason

The unfortunate truth is that approximately 50% of all small business sales transactions fall out. While failed transactions can happen for a many reasons, Peter Siegel, MBA (BizBen Director & Business Purchase Financing Expert) discusses the main reason deals fall through; steep asking prices.

Before Buying A California Business, 10 Questions You Should Ask Yourself

Before buying a business, all serious business buyers should ask themselves some key questions about possible buying a small California business, franchise, or opportunity - from Peter Siegel, MBA (Business Purchase Financing Expert, ProBuy & ProSell Program Advisor with BizBen) at 925-785-3118.

What Should I Do If Other Buyers Are Trying To Buy The Same Business As Me?

Buying a small business is hard enough when there is no competition, so how might a buyer navigate the process when there is additional competition from other buyers? Potential small business buyers are offered a few key ways that a buyer can beat out other potential business buyers in this article.

Selling Your Business To One Of Your Employees - A Good Idea? Pros And Con

After investing years of time and talent into a company, many small business owners want to feel like they are leaving their business in good hands and for that reason, some sellers opt to sell their business to an employee. Peter Siegel, MBA talks about the pros and cons to taking this route.

Unreported Income: Should Sellers Disclose Unreported Cash To Buyers?

Should owners who offer a business for sale reveal to prospective buyers any income that is not recorded in the books? This is a controversial topic with arguments both for and against. Most business sales intermediaries believe if you don't pay tax on it, you can't claim it. Some sellers disagree.

How Do I Navigate Through The Negotiation Process When Buying A Business?

Negotiating the terms of a business deal is a delicate process, where one wrong move can cost you the business that you wanted to purchase. Peter Siegel, MBA (BizBen ProBuy Program) discusses the ins and outs of negotiations, and how to work well with the seller to get a deal done.

Tips For Faster SBA Loan Approvals For California Small Business Purchases

In this article on BizBen, business purchase financing advisor and SBA loan broker, consultant Peter Siegel (Business Purchase Financing Expert/Advisor & the ProBuy Program Director at BizBen) at 925-785-3118 shares his views of getting SBA loan financing faster for business purchase financing.

Tim Cunha Business Brokerage
Escrow Services Diane Boudreau-Tschetter
Golden State Laundry System Laundry Business Brokers
Harry Sidhu SF Bay Area
Vlogs and Podcasts
New Postings Reports On BizBen Sign Up
BizBen ProSell Program
Business For Sale California Stats
California Educational Events Buying And Selling Businesses
BizBen Blogs And Articles
BizBen ProBuy Program

BizBen - Where California Deals Get Done! 888-212-4747
7172 Regional Street #364 · Dublin, CA. 94568
BizBen · Copyright © 1994 - 2019, All Rights Reserved

Clost Login

Please confirm your registration by clicking the link we've sent to .

If you can't see it, please check your junk mail folder.

If you have any problems registering, or need assistance with your new BizBen User Account please phone BizBen Customer Support at 888-212-4747.

First Name:*
Last Name:*
Email Address:*
Confirm Email:*
Create Password:*
Confirm Password:*

You Are A:

Email Address:

500 New & Refreshed Detailed Postings Daily
Over 2500 Resources Available On BizBen
Since 1994. Where California Deals Get Done!
Sellers Ask: How Long Should I Wait For The Buyer To Do Their Due Dilige...
Read More News
Should I Buy A Business That is Losing Money? Feedback From Top Advisors...
Read More News