Mergers & Acquisitions Advisory

A Neumann & Associates, LLC

August 7, 2017

Unmotivated Business Sellers

By Jeremy Albelda


What constitutes a motivated seller? The common perception is that ‘seller motivation’ translates into ‘willingness to reduce price’ whereas in reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

“There is an old mantra in our industry: no motivation – no deal,” says Achim Neumann, President, A Neumann & Associates, LLC, a leading New Jersey-based mergers & acquisitions and business brokerage firm, “ and indeed, nothing else is more true than this.”

Here are a few examples of how an unmotivated seller can immediately set ‘red flags’ with potential investors:

  • No preparation on the seller’s part – for example, the seller has never determined the Fair Market Value of his company, has not settled on what he ultimately likes to obtain after taxes, or is asking for a significantly inflated price;
  • A poorly written prospectus, which does not describe the competitive environment of the business or the growth prospective. This generally makes it very difficult for a potential buyer to understand the business and its environment;
  • Dirty and unorganized facilities generally are transposed in a buyer’s mind onto the seller, in other words, if the seller has a poorly organized facility, then most likely, the financial system and business execution is similar;
  • A lack of interest in meeting or continuous rescheduling of buyer introduction meetings;
  • Lack of prompt response to an offer – this is by far the worst red flag for a buyer, in particular, if a full price offer was submitted. Nothing underlines more explicitly the lack of a seller’s motivation if he/she ignores an offer;
  • Slow response time in providing due diligence information after the seller has provided a comprehensive list of documents that he/she wants to review. Delays in providing such documents are generally interpreted as lack of motivation to sell;
  • Increases in rent or change of other transfer terms when a seller decides all of the sudden to increase the rent for a facility even though it was advertised differently in the prospectus;

Savvy business sellers understand that many buyers have attempted multiple times to buy a business – taking one to two years to find the right business and purchase it. During the process, the buyer has experienced various scenarios in which the seller initially appeared to be ready to sell, but ultimately—often in the very last minute—had seller’s remorse and did not go through with the transaction. Such a situation can come at a great cost to a buyer, with $10,000 to $20,000 in CPA and legal fees, as well as two to four months of wasted time. Thus, buyers will look for any telltale sign of an unmotivated seller

For a business seller to succeed in selling a business, the owner needs to put her/his absolute best foot forward, otherwise, any effort to sell is doomed – often at quite a bit of expense for potential buyers.

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About A Neumann & Associates, LLC

A Neumann & Associates, LLC is a professional mergers & acquisitions and business brokerage firm having assisted business owners and buyers in the business valuation and business transfer process through its affiliations for the past 30 years. With an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, the company has senior trusted professionals with a deep knowledge based in multiple field offices along the East Coast and has performed hundreds of business valuations in its history. The firm’s competitive transaction fees are based on successfully completing transactions. For more information, please contact A Neumann & Associates at 732-872-6777 or

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Eric H., Investor

“I recently contacted A. Neumann and Associates about getting a valuation of my business done. I spoke with Marc, who explained the process in detail. After meeting with Marc in order to get a clear understanding of my business, and what I was hoping to accomplish. His patience in answering all my questions and his knowledge of the proper way to market my business gave me great confidence that this is the firm I will be using to sell my business for max value. Working with Marc at A Neumann & Associates was very easy and professional. I did not know all that was going to be involved in selling my business but they helped me through the process. What I thought was going to be a just another one of those pushy sales companies was just the opposite. Polite, knowledgeable, and a pleasure to talk to and deal with. I highly recommend this firm to anybody who wants to sell now or down the road. Marc not only knows his stuff, but actually is a real nice guy.”

Double Diamond

“Used A Neumann & Associates to sale my business. could not imagine having done it with out the patience and experience Gary provided. Thanks Gary,”

Dennis Frazier

“Working with Marc and his company was a pleasure. What I thought was going to be a just another one of those pushy sales companies was just the opposite. Polite, knowledgeable, and a pleasure to talk to and deal with. Marc handled most of the interaction and he has one of the greatest demeanors. Again, it was a pleasure working with him and his firm.”

Douglas DiCeglio

“I recently completed an acquisition using A Neumann & Associates. Tony Valentino was very helpful and accessible during the entire process. They do a thorough job vetting both parties and got us to the finish line.”

Srini Mudambi

“Claus out of Florida helped us with the sale of our business. We had never done anything like this and him and his team walked us through the process from start to finish. We had some challenges through the process and Claus continued to show up even in the difficult conversations.”

Colby Harris, Co-Owner, Del Mar Designs

“Claus Madsen thoroughly helped us with selling our company. From the 1st introductory meeting explaining to us what was possible, to providing us with resources to assist with the sale. Claus was invaluable throughout the whole sales process. Claus was with us every step of the journey and always made himself available for any questions or issues that came up along the way. If you are interested in selling your business, I encourage you to reach out to Claus and the ANA team so that they can let you know what’s achievable. These guys will make it happen!”

Ron Harris, Co-Owner and Vice President, Del Mar Designs

“A Neumann & Associates is the only business broker I would use or consult with. They have assisted with 3 business sales over the past 15 years with me. They are honest and sincere and have always performed better than my expectations. They are the only one i would use for the sales of my businesses.”

James Belanger, Business Owner

“I wanted to take a second to commend the exemplary customer service from both you [Karin Neumann] and Mr. Valentino. It’s both a rarity in the industry, and very much appreciated.”

Andrew G., Investor

“We worked with Neumann & Associates to investigate the purchase of a research company in 2010 and found Achim to be capable, forthright and realistic. His depth of experience enabled us to fully understand our options, offering creative options that might enable the acquisition. While we didn’t acquire that particular company at that time, we know exactly who to call whenever we’re looking to buy or sell a business.”

Daniel Coates, Buyer
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