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How To Find The Right Business Broker

A good business broker can fund the retirement of your dreams and leave you feeling extremely satisfied about your sale. However, a bad business broker could leave your business listed online for years without being sold or force you to put down more money than you wanted at closing. Here are a few tips for finding the best broker to help sell your business.


Qualities To Look For…

  • Experience – You want to find someone who not only has experience, but who has experience in your industry as well. Look for someone local who knows your market and who makes a lot of transactions in your desired price range.  Avoid brokers who make deals that are much higher than what you expect, since you will probably not get the level of attention you need if you’re a small fish in a pond full of giants. Find someone who is certified by the IBBA, which assures you they’ve had several years out in the field and they spend dozens of hours learning in a classroom setting to maintain their credentials.

  • Track Record – Testimonials can give you added peace of mind and give you insider details about the broker’s personality and positive attributes. Probe past customers to learn about the strengths and weaknesses of this particular broker. Any broker that cannot or will not provide references should not be considered.

  • Connections – A worthy broker will be closely aligned with professionals like lawyers, accountants and business owners. The more entrenched a broker is, the more leads he or she will have for the sale of your business to a qualified buyer. Beware of brokers who claim they are a “one-stop-shop” to take your business from listing to close. Typically, you’ll want a broker that relies on a team of experts, so you know each step is given the proper amount of expertise and care.

  • Integrity – You want a broker who will give you the honest truth about how much your business is worth, rather than telling you what you want to hear. An overly optimistic or delusional broker can have you flapping in the breeze for months on end. Or worse yet, you may have a broker who promises you one fee and later conjures up dozens of reasons to nickel-and-dime you. Avoid anyone who wants money upfront or who asks for much more or less than 10 percent. You want a broker who will explain every step of the process, so you know what to expect. You’ll want someone who can give you weekly status reports and updates.


Where To Find These Superstar Brokers

The most common way to find a broker is through referrals. Search the local business listings and see who the major players are in your market. Ask lawyers, accountants and business consultants you know for leads. Keep in mind that online directories are not always reputable or reliable. A better website to visit might be your local Chamber of Commerce or Economic Development Office. The International Business Brokers Association will provide you with a list of professionals who are committed to higher standards for conducting business.      



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