As a Business Broker, I share your frustration with others in my field who do not co-broker. I believe they do their Sellers a terrible disservice, reducing the competition that then reduces the price that ultimately result, especially in small business sales; it also decreases the awareness that could result in selling the business more quickly.
We always co-broker with RESPONSIBLE and KNOWLEDGABLE Brokers. But we are admittedly not so kind with Residential Real Estate (RE) Agents, and even Commercial Agents. We do not do Residential sales out of our office, and we perform limited Commercial RE sales, because they are vastly different kinds of services. We refer our pure RE deals out to agents in the Residential and Commercial fields, asking only for a referral; and we expect them to do the same with us. If you needed our tonsils out, would you use your neighborhood gynecologist? Why? He is a qualified surgeon, isn’t he? We don’t practice what we do not know, and we ask the same of others. Part of your fiduciary responsibilities under your License demands that you be aware of your own professional limitations.
Is this an issue? I would cite the Residential Agent that recently got a Restaurant and proudly put up a “For Sale” sign in front of the establishment. It severely damaged the Restaurant’s business, and her listing.
Or the Gas Station where I called for information such as the Gallonage, Pool Margins, GP on the C-Store, who the Distributor was and how long the supply contract might be; I also asked for three (3) years of P&Ls. She had no idea what I was talking about, and got terribly angry when I suggested I needed that for a Buyer. After six (6) months, she lost the listing – because she still had none of that information to offer. We got the listing and sold it in a month.
How about the Commercial Agent that had a Day Care for sale,listed for $500,000 and, after a year of trying, was unsuccessful in getting a single, serious offer. We got the listing and sold it in six (6) months for $750,000.
Or the Residential Agent that wanted to co-broker on a $1.7 million Gas Station and RE that I had listed. I agreed, but regretted it. It took five (5) months longer to settle than it should have: he refused to take my advice on how to deal with the environmental issues and ended up having his Buyer spend $6,000 more than he should, and having to go to another Bank because of the problems in that area; I had to find another Bank for his Buyer, because not all banks will take Gas Station deals, and I ended up working directly with that Bank to finally clarify and satisfy the environmental questions; the other Agent confused issues to the point where I had to get both Attorneys on teleconferences twice, to iron out difficulties that Agent actually created; and it cost the Buyer more than $10,000 in additional legal fees. So, I had to do all of the work from the Seller’s perspective, and most of the work for the Buyer’s side, for the privilege of giving up half of my commission.
Many of the complaints you see on this blog aimed at other Business Brokers are caused by the same problems: Poorly qualified, poorly trained, Brokers who have no idea what they are, or should be doing to assist their Clients. What we don’t need is a lot of amateurs entering the market, to add to the problems. Like I said before, I don’t meddle in your side of the business, for the exact, same reason. You do your clients no good at all, by “representing them”, if you have no idea what you are doing!
On the other hand, if you really do know what you are doing, and have the skills and knowledge to back that up, get off of the damned Internet and go out and meet other Business Brokers! Go to some of their meetings. Go to their educational seminars. Demonstrate that you are not just a lazy Agent, looking for additional income with no work involved. Impress them with the fact that you deserve equal treatment by your experience and knowledge.
If done properly, Business Brokerage is not simply putting an ad on the Internet, or throwing a “For Sale” sign in front of the lawn of the business being sold. It is sometimes a tedious, very time consuming way of working. It involves a great deal of networking and personal time being devoted to introducing the Business to potential Buyers, protecting the confidentiality of the deal throughout, and qualifying Buyers in ways that are more difficult than the standardized programs for mortgages that Residential Agents use.
This is not to insult Residential Agents; my wife runs a 225-Agent Residential office, and I understand how demanding Residential sales are - again, if it is done correctly! It is simply a different skill set, between the two specialties.
I hope this clarifies things for you.