Very few Realtors are business brokers.  It’s important to know the difference.

While both business brokers and Realtors are marketing specialists, a Florida Realtor generally specializes in selling residential and vacant or tenant-occupied commercial property while a business broker specializes in – you guessed it – selling businesses. Selling businesses is like most things in life, if you want to be good at it, you need to be focused and work hard.

What are the things that really differentiate a business broker from a Realtor when it comes to selling an ongoing business?

  1. CONFIDENTIALITY - Realtors are accustomed to putting up For Sale signs and the posting the property’s name and address in their MLS.  A business broker knows better.  Business brokers understand that you can’t leak a possible sale to teachers, parents, competitors or landlords.  The risk of disrupting your business far exceeds the reward of finding a buyer through a Realtor’s typical marketing strategy.
  2. PRICING – There’s a lot to pricing a business for sale.  It’s more than looking at what’s sold in the neighborhood and how many bathrooms you have.  A business has a lot of moving parts and a business broker is best suited to arrange those parts into a presentation that makes sense for a buyer.
  3. BUYER CONTACTS – Experienced business brokers typically have a database of buyers who are actively looking to buy businesses. They also have an existing process for marketing their business-for-sale listings just likeRealtors do for their residential and commercial properties.
  4. BUYING PROCESS – The process of buying an existing business is far different than buying a piece of real estate.  Business brokers need to be pros at maintaining confidentiality, negotiating offers, managing the buyer’s due diligence, navigating the licensing process, etc.
  5. FINANCING – As many business owners have experienced first hand, financing the purchase of a house and an ongoing business (with or without real estate) are two different animals.

Business brokerage is a profession. There is a lot more to it than most people understand.  If you are interested in selling your school and not sure if you need a business broker, we recommend that you interview an experienced Realtor, business broker and perhaps a CPA.  Ask them a lot of questions about how to price your business, how they would market, how many companies they sell each year, etc.

You will quickly understand the difference.