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. Maybe the business for sale just doesn't make financial sense for buyers who are looking, because of high rent/low sales, bad location, etc. Sometimes it's the business itself that hinders a sale, but often it may be the broker who lacks experience to get it sold.
I've often sold businesses which were previously on the market and couldn't sell, and often I've noticed similar mistakes that previous brokers have made. A broker should make sure the contract with the previous broker has ended, because it can complicate things if the business is sold, and the previous agent who still has a valid contract puts a claim into escrow for commission.
1. Not Properly Advertised
The business ad is worded too vague and doesn't really sell the attributes of the business, for instance, is the restaurant fine dining or is it casual fast food? Does the ad specify if the business is a free-standing business or is it anchored in a busy shopping center? Since there are often so many ads of restaurants, it helps to take pictures of the interior or exterior, but photo-shop any items in the picture which give away its confidentiality.
2. Incomplete Books And Records
This item was not as important before the great recession of 2008-2009, but buyers in today's business climate are more weary and slow to make decisions, so a seller should disclose as much information as possible so a buyer can make an informed decision.
3. The Businesses Curb Appeal
The business should be clean and bright, and windows have a limited amount of signage in the window, so that customers and the public can freely see in and out. A clean appearance is important because to a buyer, it subconsciously says that if things are in order in what they can see, then things must be good in what they cannot see. The walk-in box and kitchen should be kept clean, because a buyer may want to see them.
4. An Inexperienced Broker
Sometimes a seller sees all real estate people alike, they may have listed the business with a friend who mostly specializes in selling homes, which is vastly different than someone who specializes in selling businesses. A broker who is knowledgeable about pricing and the process of selling a business can make a huge difference in getting the business sold.
5. Previous Broker Did Not Co-Broke
The previous broker who had the listing may not have opened the listing up to other agents in the community, limiting the exposure to get the business sold.
I would be curious to hear from others on this Discussion Post on either trials and tribulations or success stories that they have encountered with selling businesses previously on the market.