Business & Property Owners

If you’re looking to sell your business or commercial property you’ve come to the right place.

Do not assume that all Business and Commercial Brokers are equal. There is no blue print we all follow or one unified plan we use. This is very much an individually run business that requires significant effort on the agent’s part. We take extraordinary and aggressive steps to help you sell your business or commercial property. You will find that is often not the case with our competitors’.

When is a good time to sell my business or commercial property ?

A number of considerations must be carefully thought out before making the actual decision to sell. Businesses and commercial property do not sell overnight. Generally it takes time to properly market a business or commercial property, and expose it to sufficient buyers to ensure the very best price possible. Therefore, you must allow for this time constraint as part of your overall plan to sell.

Has your business been properly prepared to go on the market?

Are your books and records up to date?

Has the building and equipment been properly maintained?

If there is a premises lease, is it assignable to a buyer?

Are all permits and licenses in place to operate legally?

We have a complete check-list for your convenience in doing a comprehensive job of showcasing your business to the most fussy buyers. What is the overall condition of your local market, your industry, and the national economy? Is this the right time, or are you better off waiting for a while until these uncontrollable factors are in your favor? Are your sales or revenues consistent, or are they affected by the ups and downs of seasonal issues? There are other factors to consider such as your health, personal issues, relocation and motivation to retire. We have worked successfully with Sellers concerning these and many other issues over the years, and we are confident that we can prepare a sales package that will be to your liking.

Can my business be sold ?

Sellers generally always have competition to contend with when they decide to sell their business, and Buyers usually have their choice of a number of businesses that may be similar to yours. Therefore, it is extremely important to contract with an experienced Business Broker who can assist you in determining the results of a S.W.O.T. analysis of your business. This means carefully evaluating all the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats that will help in applying the right price, terms and conditions to the sales package. Once all issues have been flushed to the surface we can separate all problem areas for a creative solution. Once this is accomplished we find that successfully selling your business is nothing more than applying our comprehensive marketing program to the task of exposing the business to as many potential buyers as possible. When properly priced, packaged and marketed, most businesses sell in a reasonable amount of time.

The reality is that the sale of a business is a fairly rare occurrence. Approximately 20 percent of all small and medium businesses are for sale at any given time, but only a small fraction of them sell per year. Most people will buy many cars, even several houses, in their lifetime but very few will buy even one business. These facts, coupled with the large investment required, make it important to insure that the transaction is handled properly.

How much is my business or commercial property worth ?                        

Despite the various valuation methods and rules of thumb that are used to price businesses and commercial property, the ultimate selling price is very heavily weighed by the motivation of the Seller and the Buyer. A Seller who has not properly thought out his plan to sell in advance may well find himself in this position when he is presented with an offer to purchase. Therefore, we stress the importance of developing a proper exit plan in advance of actually placing the business on the market. This approach will generally help the Seller realize a price that is close to what he has been asking as opposed to a price cut that can sometimes be 30% to 40% or more. Most Brokers, due to the fact that they are constantly selling businesses and other properties in the marketplace, generally have access to other comparable  sales for your type of transaction. This information when blended with other evaluation tools, and tempered with experience, can generally provide a “ceiling” and “floor” price for the sale of your business or commercial property.

Most business and property owners feel that they have a general idea of what their business or property is worth. Unfortunately, such “gut feelings” are often based on incomplete or outdated information. Often, owners don’t take into consideration the countless number of differences between businesses, change in industries, the overall economy, lender liquidity, number of similar businesses available for purchase and buyer market conditions. Going to market without a solid understanding of what a business is worth is dangerous. A price that can’t be substantiated is the first mistake some sellers make. The result is either presenting a sale price below the fair economic value or being stuck with a business that never sells because it’s overpriced. What the seller owes, how much the seller needs and what the seller “feels” are not components in calculating the true economic value of a business. Establishing the asking price is one of the most crucial steps towards a successful closing, and a professional “Estimation of Value” will insure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.

What is the sales process ?

Managing a business sale from beginning to end is full of details and potential for mistakes to happen. That is why we offer a complete check-list of action points that need to be satisfied at every step in the process.

Following is a brief outline of some of the major steps involved:

  • Assisting the Seller to prepare the Business for market

  • Reviewing all financial information and developing a Cash Flow adjustment

  • Determining a reasonable fair market value for the Business

  • Execution of a sales agreement with the Broker

  • Broker then prepares a sales and promotion package. Click here to see a sample

  • Business is exposed to a comprehensive marketing program

  • Broker interviews prospective, qualified Buyers who have signed a Confidentiality Agreement

  • Buyer visits the Business for a premises inspection

  • Buyer makes an offer to purchase

  • Broker negotiates a “meeting of the minds” between the parties

  • Buyer financing package is submitted (if appropriate)

  • Buyer due diligence is performed on the Business

  • A bulk sales escrow is opened or an Attorney is engaged(for stock sales)

  • Lease/Franchise transfer

  • Buyer gets Licenses and permits

  • Escrow closes/final agreements are signed

  • Seller begins training Buyer in all aspects of the Business.

  • Seller moves on into the next chapter of his life.

What marketing steps are involved ?

We offer a comprehensive marketing program that includes many of the following approaches to obtain qualified Buyers:

  • We prepare a sales package in detail as well as in generic format for distribution to our Buyer database. Click here to see a sample

  • Business Listings are placed on various Internet websites that are tied in to numerous search engines. Click here to see a partial list of sites we use

  • Local Multiple Listing Service exposure is also provided.

  • Exclusive Buyer database of over 8000 Buyers

  • We have a policy of co-brokering on a split success fee arrangement with all other Business Brokers throughout California. Brokers in other states are co-opted by special arrangement.

  • Local and regional newspaper advertising

  • Trade Publication advertising

  • For certain industries, we have arrangements with wholesale and distribution companies that allow us to advertise to their customers.

  • Synergistic Buyer search Direct Marketing

  • Will provide other proprietary marketing methods not published here.

  • IBBA, RIAOC and other Business Brokerage marketing outlets are also used.

No Broker can pin-point exactly when a Business is going to sell. Besides taking all the steps that have been mentioned previously above, there are always the elements of luck, and chemical vibes between the Buyer and the Seller that cannot be pre-determined. Generally speaking though, about 80% of small to medium sized businesses sell within six months provided that they have been properly priced and marketed. The remaining 20% may take longer due to issues such as a poor location or some other inhibiting factor beyond the Seller’s control. You will find that we do more than any other company to expose your business to the most buyers possible.

Experienced Brokers know what it takes to sell businesses and commercial property, but they are not magicians. Businesses that are overpriced, and have other structural challenges to contend with will take much longer to sell. Ultimately, the marketplace determines the price of a business, and both the Seller and the Broker need to be sensitive to this fact. Our job is to bring value added to the table. We pride ourselves on providing quality service to our clients, and we would be honored to serve you!

Will you help in the negotiation and offer process ?

Yes. We have specific forms we use for maximum protection of your interests during the process. Over the years we have continually improved the process and forms as issues arise.

  • If you’re carrying a note, specific advise for maximum protection

  • Conditions/Contingencies for specific industries

  • Unique and creative ways to get you more money in the sale

  • Tips to avoid potential problems

  • How to deal with multiple offers

  • Help to relieve future liability after the sale

How do you transfer a business or commercial property?

There are two main ways to take ownership in a business transaction. Most of the time you will use an escrow. The IRS and the State can be very aggressive in coming after money they are owed. The Escrow will help facilitate the whole process and make it much smoother and easier.

The other method is primarily used when you sell the shares of the corporation of the business you own. This should be done by an experienced attorney.

You should never sell a business without doing one of these two methods. There are serious risks if you don’t. As always we recommend you consult your Attorney and/or CPA before making any commitments

When selling a commercial property, an experienced Commerciual Property Escrow will be used to assure there are no issues with the transaction.

I had my business listed with another Broker and he just wasted my time.

Does any of this sound familiar?

  • They never returned your calls.

  • They never found any Buyers.

    They didn’t communicate well.

  • They had no experience.

  • They were not Internet savvy.

  • They didn’t advertise my business enough.

  • They had no idea on how to write the contracts to protect me.

  • They wouldn’t cooperate with other Brokers.

  • They didn’t even take pictures of my business.

Rest assured you will not experience any other these issues with us.

SEE LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION BY CLICKING HERE

I keep getting post cards and letters from Brokers telling me they have a Buyer for my business.

Yes, the preferred method of getting listings. Since I have direct experience doing this I can tell you that most of the time those are agents looking for listings. Most do not actually have a Buyer for your specific business. How could they? They don’t know anything about your business yet. What is true, is that they do have Buyers usually, just not specifically for your business.

While I do very little of this type of marketing anymore because most of my business is referral, there are lots of good agents that send these type of marketing pieces out.

I’ve already tried to sell my business on my own.

Then you undoubtedly have experienced all the negative aspects that go along with Selling your own business:

  • Buyers showing up at your business unannounced

  • Countless calls from people who have no clue.

  • You loose your negotiating power by dealing directly with the Buyer      instead of through an intermediary

  • No access to the proper forms

  • What should I say or not say?

  • You spend hundreds to thousands on advertising

  • You price the business too low.

  • You get sued

  • The buyer never really had any money to buy with.

If you’re like most business owners, you’re already working more hours than you’d like. Assuming you have the expertise and time to properly market a business, identify and qualify potential buyers, prepare financial statements and produce a buyer package, you also need to show the business, generate closing documents and negotiate all the terms and conditions. This consumes many hours, makes confidentiality almost impossible and will come at the cost of operating the business. Having a CPA review your financials limits the potential that the deal will fall apart during due diligence or lead to a dispute after closing. Using an attorney to review (if not draft) the closing documents and financing agreements increases the chance that what you agreed to is what was actually signed. In the end, professional brokers will more than pay their own fees by insuring the business is properly valued, expertly marketed and taken all the way through closing, while consuming as little of your time as possible. The result is a higher final closing price, faster time to closing, less time taken away from operating the business, a smoother negotiation process, more complete documentation and a higher likelihood of selling – not to mention the piece of mind from knowing you didn’t leave money on the table or overlook important details during the process.

Tax Implications

There can be serious tax implications when you sell your business. Please consult your financial professional before you put your business on the market. The two main methods are:

1. Selling the shares of your corporation
2. Selling the assets of the business(most common)

How do I keep the sale confidential?

This may be the single most important issue when selling. No business owner wants his or her customers, employees, vendors or other tenants to know the business is for sale.

Steps we take to protect your confidentiality:

1. All advertising is generic. You will never see an address or business name in any of our advertising
2. All Buyers must sign a Non-disclosure before they get the business name or address.(does not apply to commercial property)
3. For most listings we shoot a video of areas that are unseen by the public(Kitchen). We then encourage the Buyer to view the video first to decide if this business is of interest to him. This will help deter Buyers from walking into a business and trying to get to those areas in a way that may damage your business. This also helps you by eliminating Buyers who will just waste your time.

Facts you may not know, but you should

  1. Did you know you may still be responsible for your lease payments even after you sell?

  2. Did you know that if you don’t go through an escrow you may be responsible for taxes the Buyer should have paid?

  3. Did you know that the State Board will hold your money even after the escrow closes?

  4. Did you know that most landlords charge a fee to transfer your lease?

  5. Did you know that buying a business with an alcohol license can take 2 months or more?

  6. Did you know most lawsuits are from Buyers who claim they were not      disclosed certin facts about the business.

This is just an example. There are tons of things to watch out for. This is a major benefit when we help you sell your business.

Business brokers charge too much, and they are all the same anyway.

In the United States, approximately 250,000 businesses sell per year with the assistance of a business broker. The costs to engage a broker to market your business vary. Remember that some brokers will negotiate their rates and others will not. Very important to a business seller is whether or not a broker will “co-broker” or share their commission if the buyer is represented by another broker. If the answer is “no,” move on and find another broker! Many feel it’s unethical for a business broker who is being paid by the seller not to present buyers that are also represented by their own agent and who are deserving of a part of the commission. Brokers who feel differently don’t understand that they are being retained to sell the business – not to just market it and wait for a buyer that will make them the most money. A buyer that has retained a buyer’s agent is probably one of the most serious, financially qualified and prepared to move forward quickly. Don’t let a greedy broker discard the most qualified buyers while you pay their fee. Professional services are often a case of “you get what you pay for” so be wary of agents that charge too little or promise too much. Check references, the Web site and marketing materials, which will indicate the quality of your broker’s Marketing package. You should be looking for a broker that you trust to represent you and your business to buyers. You should be comfortable as you will spend a great deal of time working with them to understand your business, your goals and your expectations. Invest an appropriate amount of time in selecting a broker as nothing is more expensive than the business not selling due to an inexperienced broker who appeared to be “cheap.”

How much do you charge ?

Commissions vary depending on the specific type of sale. We would be happy to discuss all of our fees with you in advance to assure your completely aware of all the costs involved. Beware of any company charging an upfront fee to market your business. Do not pay anyone in advance!

You have to remember, you’re often not only selling your business assets, but also the liabilities likes your location lease or equipment leases. The debt could be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

What’s the next Step ?

Lets meet to discuss your specific business or property. There is no obligation and everything will be held in strict confidence. We can meet on or off site, day or night. We usually act as insurance agents when we visit a business.

To make things move faster you can prepare any of these items for our first meeting or we can just have a casual conversation first until you’re comfortable:

  1. Income Statement and Balance Sheet for the last 2 Fiscal/Calendar years

  2. Latest Income Statement and Balance Sheet for the fiscal/calendar year to date

  3. Information regarding the ownership structure of your company including Officers, Stockholders, percentage ownership, etc.

  4. Copy of your location lease or for commercial property your ltest rent roll.

  5. List of all assets included with the sale.

SEE LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION BY CLICKING HERE

BOTTOMLINE BUSINESS BROKERS ADVISES ALL CLIENTS TO SEEK INDEPENDENT LEGAL, TAX, ACCOUNTING, AND OTHER PROFESSIONAL ADVICE PRIOR TO MAKING A PURCHASE OR SALE DECISION.

© 2012 Agent Image, Inc. All rights reserved. Sitemap - Design by Agent Image - Real Estate Marketing Provider