While I don’t list businesses for sale I am often brought in to be part of a seller’s team to get the deal done. This always causes me to focus on the different perceptions between buyer and seller.
For example, sellers often want to get the full price and all in cash. Buyers state that if a seller insists on all cash it is a sign of having little or no faith in the future of the business. It’s funny when a seller wants a lot of cash, or all cash, when they got seller financing when purchasing the company.
Buyers want to see a full pipeline of orders (rightfully so). I’ve seen sellers who insist that any future order or job is his or hers, that they should get a share of those jobs for having nurtured them. They sometimes lose focus that they are getting paid more than the value of the assets (goodwill) because it’s an ongoing operation with backlog.
Finally, for this post anyway, is the subject of assets and capital expenditures. Of course buyers want the seller to run the business as if there was no deal in the works; buying equipment or technology as needed now. Some sellers buy into this and others put off any capital expenditures the minute the thought of selling enters their head.
As a disclaimer, I could easily write more on this and give just as many reasons where buyers don’t see the big picture and only zero in on thing specific to their benefit.