Direct third party representation is often beneficial to a buyer with a narrow search criterion or with a specific company targeted for acquisition; when the buyer wants to make anonymous inquiry. Third party representation may be beneficial as well when the search targets a broad geographic area or a far away geographic area and when the third party representative works in association with affiliates in those areas.
Otherwise, we have found buyers less likely than sellers to seek direct representation. Buyers tend to be more open in their search, less concerned about keeping their search quiet. Buyers are often engaged in the search on a full time basis and formal representation might be seen as limiting to their search efforts.
Buyers do seek the informal assistance of brokers, agents and others; seek the assistance of several perhaps, but not necessarily with the formality of a buyer representation agreement.
Nevertheless, having an experienced third party in the mix can be very helpful to the process.
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; information that both parties will be reluctant to divulge up front.
Buyers want information on which to gauge any 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.
The preponderance of such information resides with the business owner who will be concerned about protecting information from those who might be unfriendly or careless. Such information is most freely disclosed when the seller is confident the information will remain confidential and not find its way into unfriendly hands. We have found that accomplished to the maximum benefit of ‘the deal’ and thus to the benefit of both parties, through seller representation.
An experienced third party agent will be in position to mitigate those and other issues, and by mitigate, we do not mean to imply compromise. Confidentiality should be held closely and a third party will be 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: Buying or selling a business is often a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a buyer or seller and, while this web-site attempts to diagram the buy/sell process, nothing can replace the experience of an agent who knows the way and can assist with valuation, preparation, presentation, negotiation, development of the offer, due diligence and generally, with every aspect of the selling/buying process, through the closing.