Our son recently sold his house and while discussing and coaching him through the process a couple things hit me.
Business sellers could learn a lot from home sellers.
I used to believe that the biggest difference between the two was that while home sellers invited the world in to see what was for sale, the more the merrier, while business sellers demanded the utmost in confidentiality. I now realize that the biggest difference is that home sellers prepare the heck out of the house (usually) and business owners do next to nothing to show the business in its best light.
My son’s buyer got neurotic after the offer was accepted. Even though they were preapproved for a mortgage the first thing the wife did was call 10 other mortgage lenders, all of whom did a credit check and dinged her credit score. I don’t know why, but all of this caused her initial lender to move up the closing date to keep her rate locked in.
She then had to have a private showing, because she couldn’t be there for the inspection. Of course these were just symptoms of buyer remorse because it seems she lost her “dream house” nine months prior and every other house had to measure up to that one. I heard that her real estate agent had a tough-love talk with her and everything moved along fine after that.
Buyer and seller remorse happens in business buy-sell also. The biggest difference is that everything is spread over a much longer time period, especially compared to a hot real estate market. This gives both parties the chance to think things through but also provides a lot more time for remorse related issues to come up.
One cure for this on the seller side is for the seller to take the time to prepare the business for sale. When they do that they will realize one of two things:
- They are fully committed to selling.
- They really aren’t ready and will keep running their, now better, business.
Either way they win, and potential buyers win.