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How to Sell a Business Brokerage

No one could be better equipped to sell their business than a business broker. But are there merits in appointing an independent intermediary to ease the burden?

As a business broker, you’ll already have the inside track on buying and selling businesses.

It would then be absurd to offer you advice on the fundamentals of preparing your business for sale, finding and screening buyers, conducting negotiations and due diligence, and signing the sale contract. 

But there is one decision you might not have given thought to: whether to hire a business broker yourself – as you’ve advised many clients to do in the past, no doubt.                        

If you’re selling your brokerage then you doubtless have years of experience in managing the sales process from end to end.

However, there are three things your clients benefit from that you might not enjoy by representing yourself:

  1. Time.
    You’ve surely told prospective customers that by hiring you they can concentrate on the day-to-day running of their business. You still have a business to run yourself, so the argument still applies in your case – even if you’re better equipped skills-wise to oversee the sale.
  2. Impartiality.
    You’ll be all too aware that another benefit a broker brings to the table is objectivity – something the seller will obviously lack. In this scenario, you are that seller, so having a second opinion could be invaluable.
  3. Plugging skills gaps.
    You may not be a specialist in business valuation. Or you might specialise in selling hotels and restaurants – and have never sold a brokerage or a business in a similar sector.

    Whatever your skills gaps, it might be worth finding professionals, whether lawyers, accountants or brokers, who can plug them. 

That said, if you employ other brokers and administrative support, you may be able to set aside enough time to manage the sales process yourself. After all, you know as well as anyone the benefits of showing buyers that the business can run smoothly in your absence.

There’s no way of completely circumventing the objectivity problem. You’ll have to be vigilant against your own cognitive biases if you represent yourself.

In the case of business valuation – where inexperience and subjectivity have the most striking impact if vendors do it all themselves – there’s no way for bias to intrude as long as you faithfully apply the relevant methods and ratios.

You could also argue, quite reasonably, that an external broker will never be as dedicated to getting you the best deal as you would.

Then, of course, there is the most obvious reason of all to go it alone: you won’t have to pay any fees or commissions.

You could actually have the best of both worlds if you can afford to assign one of your own brokers to oversee the sale.

Want to build the value of your brokerage? Find prospective buyers for your businesses right here.

Faye Ferris

About the author

APAC Sales & Marketing Director for, the world’s most popular website for buying and selling businesses globally and attracting over 1.5 Million visitors each month. To contact Faye please email [email protected]


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