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The Broker

WS- Midlands - "I have been made an offer of over £900,000 for my 4 vet SA practice, I am a sole trader, the corporate group who did this, approached me directly and after seeing my accounts, made the offer. It seems really good as I wasn't expecting as much. Should I take it and move on or ask a professional agent to help?"
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A: We always advise that you should not let any prospective purchaser see raw copies of your practice finances. By doing this you have allowed them to make the running, effectively valuing your practice at what they want to pay for it.
In the present market there are usually at least 4 corporates who are actively purchasing practices and the competition is fierce to buy the best. The corporates are not charities and are responsible either to their shareholders or the equity funders behind them, so they will only pay the top price when they have to.
My advise is to speak to a broker, explain the situation and take their advice. They will probably suggest not accepting the offer but inform the interested party that they have employed an agent to deal with the sale.
Some agents provide a hands on help to get you through the Due Diligence process through to completion, and this will make the process less stressful so there are benefits there. However, the idea is to get a higher price and the agent should not make any unreasonable charges unless they can obtain a higher figure. Agreeing to a commission based fee on anything above what you already have been offered would seem the fairest approach.