Build Your Business-Sale Team

"An outside consultant's formal appraisal can expedite negotiations between buyer and seller and help both sides reach their goals," says Tom Wright, a commercial business broker at Century 21 T.L. Wright Realty in Cobleskill, N.Y. "The most valuable service a business broker performs is establishing value."

Wright suggests assembling a team of professionals to help with the marketing and sales process. Your team should include:

  • A business broker with a background in real estate
  • A tax advisor
  • An attorney
  • An accountant
  • A business appraiser
  • Your banker or other personal financial advisor

5 Things to Look for in a Business Broker

  1. Experience in selling real estate brokerage businesses
  2. Assistance in preparing your financial records to facilitate the sale
  3. Confidentiality
  4. References from other business owners, preferably owners you know personally
  5. Fees—either a commission or a flat fee—that are competitive

For help in locating a business broker, consult the International Business Brokers Association, The Business Brokers Network, or the Council of Real Estate Brokerage Managers' online referral directory.

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