A listing agreement is usually required in order to sell a business using a business broker. Signing a listing agreement legally allows the sale of a business and serves to represent the end of ownership. For many business owners this means heading into new territory. For some owners the business represented a way of life and/or a dream.

Walking away from the lifestyle or dream represents a significant change. Many business owners started their business from “scratch”, and it is only human to feel at least somewhat attached to the creation. Walking away from a business is often easier said than done.

On the flipside, a signed listing agreement is totally different for buyers. A listing agreement represents the beginning of a dream. The attraction of owning a business may come from a sense of pride in owning and building something, or a desire to achieve personal and financial independence. Sellers see the business as the past whereas buyers see the business as the next phase of their lives.

The listing agreement may seem simple, but what it represents is an important bridge between the seller and buyer. The business broker’s job is to understand and consider the situation of both the seller and the buyer and, in the process, work closely with both parties. The lives of both the seller and the buyer will change once the sale is completed, but in completely different ways.

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AUTHOR: Kathy McLaughlin
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