Due Diligence – Why Should I give Them Everything?
Selling your business will deliver most owners a range of emotions few people will ever experience. As brokers, we work closely with sellers and buyers to minimalise the emotional rollercoaster and to achieve a great outcome for all involved.
Business owners offering open access to information tend to sell quicker and achieve a better result than those offering limited access. This also results in a smoother transaction with less expense, stress and emotion.
When contracts are signed the sellers are usually quite relieved and start planning holidays and how they are going to spend their money. The reality is though, the transaction is far from over as the buyers will have their professional advisors lined up to pull the business apart, in their search for anomalies in the due diligence (DD) process.
Unfortunately sellers often refuse to co-operate with DD requests and are reluctant to provide the necessary information, restricting advisors ability to confirm the business is actually what we have portrayed. Lack of cooperation at this point typically ends in a terminated contract.
Buyers have every right to investigate facts and figures when purchasing a business and naturally it’s assumed an uncooperative seller is holding back and hiding something…this is not the message a nervous buyer wants!
Our experience suggests the sellers are probably just emotional and not hiding anything, often they don’t understand the relevance of the requests and just want to move on with the next phase of their lives. The DD is a critical process; don’t assume buyers will turn a blind eye.
Clever sellers will understand this and work with the broker to ensure all information is available upfront, prior to the business actually going to market.
As they say “proper preparation prevents poor performance”.