Buying a Business FSBO? Proceed with Caution

Mar 15, 2012

If you’re considering a business acquisition, it makes sense to look at a business FSBO directory, but it also makes sense to take the proper precautions.  As you might expect, some of the listings in these directories seem too good to be true, but that is because the seller wants to attract a lot of potential buyers.  Oftentimes, it is only after thoroughly investigating the financial statements and interviewing the owner can you feel comfortable proceeding with the purchase.  But even then you might be missing some information.

A business broker can help mitigate the risks of entrepreneurship

Experienced entrepreneurs rarely take on too much risk in an acquisition without the help of a business broker.  If you find a business FSBO listing that seems attractive, consider bringing in your own broker to do some independent research.  No matter how reputable the business or how affable the seller, you really cannot trust anything a seller says regarding a business that is for sale.  Most first-time entrepreneurs and business investors are well aware of this rule, and it applies just as much with a business FSBO transaction.

Business brokers can help with many aspects of buying a business but the most important one is business valuation.  If you’re not careful, it is easy to overpay for a business when it’s listed in a business FSBO directory.  Determining the exact value of the business may be difficult and negotiating the price could be a frustrating experience without the help of an agent or broker.  Experienced business brokers are skilled negotiators and they are usually familiar with similar transactions in your industry.

What is the role of a business broker in a business FSBO transaction?

If you plan to buy a business for sale by owner, the safest way to do it is with a business broker.  For a small fee, you can benefit from a professional broker’s assistance.  A business broker does more than help you find the right opportunities in a business FSBO directory; he or she will also assist in negotiations and helping you find the financing.

Before hiring a business broker to help you navigate the business FSBO opportunities, be sure to fully vet their credentials and make sure they have experience with transactions in your industry. Search the business FSBO directory at for a full listing of businesses for sale by owner.