When making a decision as important as purchasing a business you need someone on your side. You need a broker who represents your interests – not the seller’s. When you answer an ad the broker represents the seller’s interests – not yours. At the Wheatley Group we NEVER represents both the Buyer and Seller in a transaction.
How To Select the Right Buyer’s Broker
Selecting the right professional to represent you in the purchase of a business is perhaps the most important decision you can make in the process of acquiring a business.
The Wheatley Group has extensive backgrounds in representing buyers of companies across a wide spectrum of industries. We have a strong track record of success and creatively utilizing our extensive connections and continuing contacts with active strategic and financial buyers and sellers. We have consistently forged these relationships in order to introduce our clients to the broadest range of potential sellers – including businesses that are not yet on the market.
The truth is that once you’ve made the decision to work with a buyer’s broker it’s equally important to make sure you find the right one.
Selecting a Buyer’s Broker
Here are a few important things to look for in a Buyer’s Broker.
Are you comfortable dealing with the Broker?
Is he/she easy to talk to and share information with?
How experienced is the Broker?
You want a Business Broker with wisdom and knowledge. An inexperienced broker who has been in the business for only a couple of years or several months can be a receipt for disaster. With experience comes wisdom and wisdom and experience are just want you are looking for in someone to help you find the right business. Don’t be afraid to ask how long a broker has been a broker. Just because the broker has an office or looks professional doesn’t mean that last week they weren’t selling life insurance or copiers.
Has the broker ever owned their own business?
Why does that matter? Because you want someone representing you that truly understands how business operates, someone who knows what its like to make payroll on a Friday or has experienced working with employees and operating a business. Otherwise, how can he/she possibly offer you advice and assistance?
Ask the broker for references and testimonial letters.
Your gut feeling about a broker means a lot, but not as much as actually checking the references of a broker. If a broker doesn’t share this information with you it probably means either that he/she has none, there too new to the business, or they are not likely to be the type that is open and honest during your process.
Does the broker co-broke or share listings with other brokers?
In my opinion there is only one reason why a buyer’s broker will not show you listings from other brokers – greed. In a co-broke arrangement a buyer’s broker typically receives only half the commission that they would if they showed you a listing of their own or from their own office, but in my opinion, a good buyer’s broker is the one that has your best interests at heart. In that case, why should it matter to him/her if the right business for you turns out to be one that is listed by another broker?
How accessible do you think the broker will be?
Buying a business takes time. Some brokers believe that if a buyer hasn’t bought a business after being shown 2 or 3 businesses then they are a waste of time. A good Buyer’s Broker realizes that buying a business is a process that takes time. It could take 6 -12 months to find the right business. Will your broker invest the time?
Will the Buyer’s Broker assist you in locating conventional, sba, investment bank, or private equity group financing?