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business buyer's agent

Where can I find a broker who will only represent me and my interersts when evaluating a business for sale? Most brokers seem to be only on the seller side of the equation. I am looking in the North Dallas Texas area.

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Answers (21)
Jon Holmquist
Edgemaster Model 400 sharpener
President
Marion County, OR

Wow, nothing I can add except that this is exciting to see happen. This is the way it should work.
Congradulations to BBS for coming up with the whole concept. Where else can you get this much feedback from experts from all over the country. Good Job everyone, no matter what your view.
Jon at Edgemaster Mobile Sharpening.

Oct 3, 2009
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How to Buy a Business
WA

Unfortunately, not all problems show up in the business's books. For example, the small town hardware store owner who forgets to mention that a big box like Home Depot is planning on opening just 5 minutes away. Or the seller who doesn't disclose that 20% of his revenues are the result of having a brother-in-law in management at his biggest customer.

Buying a business is akin to trying to walk through a minefield.

Oct 3, 2009
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The BAF Group LLC
MD

We support Julie's position, for whatever that's worth.

I am no CPA - I don't even play one on TV! But we do our own Cash Flow Analysis, then tell the Buyers (whether we represent them or not,) in writing and verbally, to GET THEE TO AN ACCOUNTANT!!!

Luckily, we have never had a serious argument with a CPA about our pricing. But Accountants and Attorneys are your best friend, outside of us Business Brokers, in any transaction.

And for the record, we turn away about 70% of the business that come our way to be listed. If they don't have decent books and a fighting chance to continue operation, we don't list them!

Oct 2, 2009
Julie A. Barnes, CPA
Small Business Exchange, Inc.
Travis County, TX

Peter and Michael,

For all the reasons you've outlined - that's exactly why I perform due diligence - reconciliation of books to income tax returns, analyses of those differences, and investigations of any outstanding questions the buyer might have - that's my job - and my reputation in the long run is my tantamount concern. As a CPA, I've been auditing companies for over 20 years - I'm also a forensic accountant so I didn't just fall off the turnip truck - even if some of my buyers have. If I don't think a seller is forthcoming - I simply don't list them.

Thanks for your feedback
Julie A. Barnes, CPA
President, SBX, Inc.

Oct 2, 2009
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How to Buy a Business
WA

Based on 11 years as a broker and over 25 years as a businessman who has bought a number of companies since 1989, I am inclined to agree with Michael that sellers who have decided to cash in on their companies are typically less than forthcoming when it comes to full disclosure. Getting the truth out of them is like extracting wisdom teeth.

Oct 2, 2009
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Julie,

You are precisely the type of person I would recommend first time buyers stay away from. A new business buyer needs an agent that is not "legal bound as the sellers representative". In my view, cynicism is a necessary tool in this process. There are plenty of listings that are not what they portend to be. Counting on the seller's broker to guide you through discovery and diligence is an objectionable method for an inexperienced buyer.

No one wants to budget additional capital to the buying process if it is not truly necessary. But for those of us who take a "long term approach" to our financial future, it is the only prudent option. How much does Julie A. Barnes have at stake after the deal is closed?

Good luck to you sir

Mike L.

Oct 2, 2009
Julie A. Barnes, CPA
Small Business Exchange, Inc.
Travis County, TX

Michael,

Your cynicism is breathtaking - only a short term thinker would dismiss the significance of a broker's reputation vis-a-vis "win-win" and "my only role is to put this deal together". I can only imagine the many opportunities you've lost as a result of your general mistrust and misantrhopic philosophy.

Good Luck
Julie A.. Barnes, CPA

Oct 1, 2009
Chuck Woolweaver
FranchiseConsulting.Net
Franchise Your Business in 60 Days
Palm Beach County, FL

If you have a broker representing you, you should not be contacting the sellers brokers directly. That's your brokers responsibilty.

Your broker will generally have you sign a confidentiality agreement (required by the seller) and probably ask for your financial statement to present to the sellers broker to show you are a serious buyer.

At least, this is how the process works here in Florida.

Find a broker that's listed on the TABB website in your area and call them.

Oct 1, 2009
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Charles,

I will tell you that when I inquired about a VR business listing in Dallas - and informed the broker that I was being represented on the buy side, the broker was no longer interested in working with me. Your only option in Texas is hiring a consultant to represent your interest. Otherwise, you can take your chances with the sellers agent. It is not a perfect system.

Thanks for the information.

Mike L.

Oct 1, 2009
Chuck Woolweaver
FranchiseConsulting.Net
Franchise Your Business in 60 Days
Palm Beach County, FL

I'm not sure if Peter is a broker or where he lives, but I can tell you as a licensed Florida Business Broker and a member of the Business Brokers of Florida association, we split commissions as a matter of course. I have represented many buyers in deals.

You should visit the Texas Association of Business Brokers www.tabb.com. They have excellent recommendations on their site about choosing a broker to represent you.

Oct 1, 2009
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How to Buy a Business
WA

Typo corrections:

I was merely alerting other readers that business brokers rarely split commissions the way real estate agents do. This then adds to the purchase price.

Oct 1, 2009
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How to Buy a Business
WA

I was merely alerting other readers that business brokers rarely split commission the way real estate agents do. This than adds to the purchase price.

I wasn't expecting you to see my comment after all this time.

Oct 1, 2009
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Peter,

You make it sound like there is no value in obtaining a buy side broker. You don't expect me to believe that the broker that is listing the business for sale (and has a vested interest in completing the sale at the highest possible price) is looking out for the purchaser. It makes you sound like a used car salesman. The industry line of "win - win" and "my only role is to put the deal together" is insulting. A first time business buyer needs a consultant or broker on their side. Lets call it a cost of doing business.

Mike Lyon

BTW - I did hire a consultant as this thread was started 3 months ago.

Oct 1, 2009
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How to Buy a Business
WA

Keep this in mind. Bringing in a buy-side broker will most likely just add to your price of acquisition. Unlike real estate brokers, most business brokers will not split their commissions with the broker representing the other side. This means that there is a full sell-side commission factored into the selling price and whatever amount you have agreed to pay your broker.

Oct 1, 2009
Julie A. Barnes, CPA
Small Business Exchange, Inc.
Travis County, TX

Hey Michael,

I regularly ask my prospective buyers to send me a short survey outlining the most salient aspects of the companies in which they might be interested so that I can keep my eyeballs "peeled" for opportunities that I might encounter fitting their criteria.

Although I'm legally bound as the seller's representative, this does not obviate representing the buyer's interest as well - I have no interest in orchestrating agreements that might eventually result in a disgruntled opinion of me - whether from a buyer or seller.

Of course, my standing as a CPA is equally important to me. Arranging a transaction betweeen a buy and seller should NOT be a zero sum game - it should be a "win-win".

Lastly, I wanted to point out that everyone who works through a business broker is paying part of broker's comission anyway - invariably reflected in the price. If the broker is any good - they're well worth it.

Please feel free to visit my blog: www.AustinBusinessesForSaleBlog.com for free advice about how to buy or sell a business. Good Luck!

Julie A. Barnes, CPA
President, SBX, Inc

Sep 30, 2009
Ted Leverette
"Partner" On-Call Network LLC
Business Buyer Advocate

Contact a Business Buyer Advocate at “Partner” On-Call Network LLC. They are NOT a business broker. – http://partneroncall.com/ or http://partneroncall.com/index.php?buying_a_business

Sep 30, 2009
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Acquisition Finders
Shelby County, TN

Michael,

There are groups that specialize in being a buyer's agent, however, you are going to have to pay the fees, which should be considerably lower than what is being charged for sell-side engagements. Our firm is one that specializes in working with buyers, and I've done several acquisition searches in the Dallas area for a client. I have 3 possible deals in Dallas that past searches have unearthed. They are all great opportunities, but they won't list the business for sale, they want a buyer to approach them. If you'd be interested in looking at these opportunities, call me at 866-341-5589 or email at aaron.paul@thedvsgroup.com. The sellers are all open to a discussion about a potential sale. Check out our website for more information about our services. www.thedvsgroup.com

Jul 2, 2009
Janelle Peralt
JP Business Brokers
Owner/Broker
Kerr County, TX

Michael, we also represent buyers in these transactions. Make sure you use someone experienced. Please contact us if you would like assistance.

Jul 1, 2009
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How to Buy a Business
WA

Michael, you can get any service you want so long as you are willing to pay for it.

Jul 1, 2009
Gerald Kong
Trinity Transaction Advisory, LLC
TX
Premium Broker

Michael, Buy side engagements are tricky. We are transaction advisory firm and have both buyers and seller engagement packages. You are welcome to contact us for a free consultation.

Jul 1, 2009
Douglas Batts
Murphy Business & Financial Corporation
Collin County, TX
Premium Broker

Michael, I have agents in my franchise who represent buyers and conduct business searches and assist with the due diligence process. Please contact me directly if interested at d.batts@murphybusiness.com.

Jun 28, 2009

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