Selling a Restaurant: Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make, Part 1-Using a Real Estate Agent

Are you ready to sell your restaurant? You might have a great real estate agent that helped you acquire your home, but allowing that agent to help you sell your business could be a huge mistake.


Real estate agents assist with the buying and selling of homes, and most are good at what they do. The buying and selling of businesses is a whole different animal. The professionals who assist in these types of transactions are called business brokers. What a business broker does is fundamentally different from what a real estate agent does.


When you sell a home, exposure of the home to the largest volume of possible buyers is the key. You stick a sign in the yard and list the house on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). Anyone who might be interested can find out that the house is for sale and where the house is.

Businesses and business sale transactions are different because they need one thing more than any other- they need confidentiality. An existing restaurant could be faced with all kinds of issues if the world knows that it is for sale. What would happen to your staff if they found out about the sale? When confidentiality is breached, bartenders and waitresses with a loyal following will leave, and take all of those regulars with them.

Business brokers understand how to successfully market and show your business to buyers without breaching confidentiality. Real estate agents might try to treat your restaurant like a house, giving out the address to potential buyers and listing it on the MLS. This would be a big mistake. When a restaurant is for sale, you don’t want carload after carload of real estate agents and “buyers” popping in or doing a quick drive by to check out the place. By using a qualified broker you can be sure that the potential buyers who are looking at your restaurant are serious buyers who have signed the necessary non-disclosure agreements.

A business broker who is experienced in the buying and selling of restaurants also has better business transaction resources than a real estate agent would. Real estate agents don’t have access to the same kinds of contact lists that a business broker does- lists of prospective restaurant buyers who are ready, willing, and able to buy a restaurant like yours.

The moral?

Use a qualified business broker who has experience in restaurant transactions. Your restaurant will be able to maintain confidentiality, and you will have access to the right kinds of buyers.

Are you a restaurant owner looking to list your business for sale? Do you have questions about why you should use a business broker instead of a real estate agent for your business sale? Leave us a comment or question here, we will be happy to answer your questions.


Want to read Selling a Restaurant: Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make, Part 2-Selling Your Restaurant on Your Own? Click here.

Want to read Selling a Restaurant: Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make, Part 3-Pricing Your Restaurant Too HighClick here.





Michael Monnot


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Michael Monnot


5111-E Ocean Blvd
Siesta Key, FL 34242

Michael Monnot


9040 Town Center Parkway
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202


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