Expertise and Area of Specialty
A residential real estate agent has experience selling homes and a commercial real estate agent is an expert when it comes to selling and leasing commercial property such as retail, office, industrial, and warehouse spaces. You wouldn’t want to use an accomplished commercial real estate agent to sell your house, because that is not the area that the concentrate in. Also, in the same way, you wouldn’t hire your local residential real estate agent to sell a unique piece of commercial property, because they don’t have the experience, paperwork, and network to get the job done in the best way possible.
The same idea applies to selling a business. A residential or commercial real estate agent doesn’t have the extensive expertise and knowledge base that it takes to properly sell a business. Selling a business can be a very complicated journey, and even the most seasoned business broker hasn’t seen all of the pitfalls and ways a deal can go sideways, so it’s important to work with a business broker who has resources and experience.
Only a business broker truly understands the importance of seller confidentiality. Real estate agents are accustomed to advertising their property’s address everywhere they can, as they want everyone to know it’s for sale. In contrast, business brokers have to market creatively to ensure confidentiality, because we can’t let employees, customers, suppliers, or competitors know that the business is for sale. Then we work hard to screen buyers, to ensure that only qualified buyers receive confidential information regarding the business. Real estate agents just don’t seem to understand this concept of confidentiality, because it is not commonplace in their world of selling residential or commercial real estate. For business brokers, we always have it in the forefront of our minds, and it is at the heart of everything we do.
Contracts and Paperwork
We have the legal contracts and paperwork that we need for our business listings and business asset sales, and a real estate agent won't have access to this type of paperwork. The standard contracts that residential or commercial real estate agents use would not be appropriate for a business sale, and vice versa, so that’s why the resources that business brokers have available to us are so valuable.
Because business brokers only work with business buyers and sellers, we have been accumulating a large database of buyers for years, and we are able to market all of our listings directly to those buyers. We get hundreds of new buyer inquires per month, and there are only a certain number of businesses to go around. So, we have lots of buyers waiting right now for the perfect business to come on the market. A residential or commercial real estate agent will have a similar database, but it will be geared toward the type of listings that they typically have.
The bottom line is, when you are selling something as valuable as a business or a piece of real estate, you want to hire the very best person equipped to successfully sell it. Just because someone could legally sell it for you, doesn’t mean that they are the ideal person to do it. Before selecting any professional to work with, do your research, interview multiple qualified people, and then go with the one that you think is your best chance for a successful sale.