Seller Representation

There are issues that we think a seller intending to self represent might want to consider first.

Selling or buying a business will require the agreement of buyer and seller on a number of issues. The first issue, and first “disagreement” often, may emerge before the process begins, when a buyer answering the ad asks for all kinds of confidential information the seller is reluctant to divulge without knowledge of who the buyer is.

Without some form of third party intermediation providing anonymity and confidentiality to the process, a seller may become quickly conflicted between the confidentiality necessary to the protection of the on-going business and the disclosure required to satisfy a buyer interests.

Beyond that, presentation and justification may be seen as compromised when the owner/seller will not view the buyer as an objective analyst. And time and effort may become conflicted between that devoted to the selling process and that devoted to running the business, the result of which may compromise earnings and ultimately, compromise the selling price.

Buffer of Confidentiality: Selling or buying a business will require the agreement of buyer and seller on a number of issues, not the least of which will pertain to the release of confidential information by each party, that both parties will be reluctant to divulge up front.

Buyers want information on which to gauge the continuing level of interest, if any. Sellers want to withhold information until certain the buyer is in fact sufficiently interested in and capable of buying the business, and equally, buyers want to withhold their qualifying information until a sufficient level of interest is apparent.  And, so it goes.

Online intermediation might help mitigate those and other issues, and by mitigate, we do not mean to imply compromise. Confidentiality should be held closely and a third party is in position to look at both in confidence and to make appropriate and timely disclosures in confidence and with anonymity until full disclosure is warranted.

Knowledge and Experience: Selling a business is often a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a buyer or seller and, while we doubt there is anything that can replace the experienced help of an agent who knows the way, does attempt to diagram the buy/sell process and to provide tools, services and assistance with respect to valuation, preparation, presentation, negotiation, development of the offer, due diligence and generally, with every aspect of the selling/buying process, through to the closing.

Next, Seven Selling Steps