Restaurant brokers are agents professionally trained to facilitate a restaurant transaction between sellers and buyers. Depending on the state they may be licensed as real estate agents but in many states they are not. Some of the beneficial services brokers provide buyers during this process include:
No or Low Fees
One of the best reasons for buyers to work with a restaurant broker is because brokers take their fee as commission out of the price agreed upon by seller and buyer. Typically, this is seen as money coming from the seller's gross sale price. As a result, the buyer usually doesn't pay a fee for the broker's services. A restaurant buyer gets the benefit of the broker's experience and knowledge without personal cost.
Restaurant brokers stay ahead of local and national market trends, sales and offers and maintain relationships with the restaurant industry and other business brokers. As a result, they often learn about new listings quickly along with the best opportunities that meet a buyer's needs. Many brokers also deal with restaurant owners who are thinking about selling, but haven't placed their properties on the market yet, and can often broker a deal before it becomes available to other buyers.
Every restaurant broker has a network of local contacts a buyer may need during the purchase process. A broker uses information gained from these connections to make the process a non-stressful transaction for a buyer. For example, restaurant brokers have relationships with liquor license attorneys or landlords. A broker can provide you with resources to move this transaction quickly toward closing.
A broker is skilled in negotiation and document handling. He works with a seller and buyer to open communication between both parties and negotiate an agreement that works for everyone. A standard real estate form is not sufficient for restaurant brokerage and they will often have documents meeting legal requirements and limiting certain liabilities.
Whether you're buying a restaurant property for the first time or not, a restaurant broker can help you make the right deal at a price you can afford.
Robin Gagnon, Certified Restaurant Broker®, MBA, CBI, CFE is the co-founder of We Sell Restaurants and industry expert in restaurant sales and valuation. Named by Nation’s Restaurant News as one of the “Most Influential Suppliers and Vendors” to the restaurant industry, her articles and expertise appear nationwide in QSR Magazine, Franchising World, Forbes, Yahoo Finance, and BizBuySell. She is the co-author of Appetite for Acquisition, an award-winning book on buying restaurants.