Professional Experience is a Significant Asset in Business and Commercial Real Estate Sales

Mar 12, 2024

Derek Doke of NAI Puget Sound Properties ( and Jordan Elliott of NAI Elliott ( recently invited IBA’s VP of Business Development, Curt Maier (, and I to be guests on their Real Estate Investments Podcast ( to discuss the present marketplace and best practices associated with the sale of privately held companies, family businesses, franchises, and affiliated commercial real estate in our mutually served geographic territory in the states of Washington & Oregon running from the international United States border with Canada to the area of California that has been discussed to be part of America’s 51st state, Jefferson (  The dynamic discussion among four seasoned professionals with a combined 65+ years of experience facilitating the sale of seven & eight figure assets desired by entrepreneurs, private equity, publicly traded companies, and investors should be an educational & entertaining listen.  I encourage you to engage with the content, if the subject matter is of interest.  All four of us welcome follow up questions and comments by telephone and email.  We all believe that the best decisions are made from a foundation of knowledge with risk mitigated by employing one or more experienced professionals to enhance skill of execution and relevant experience.

The sale or purchase of a business requires a diverse set of knowledge and experience.  As I shared on the Podcast, business brokerage is the “Wild West” of the real estate field, the domain most states utilize to license and monitor practitioners.   It is regarded as the “Wild West” because unlike residential real estate the transactions cannot be standardized and systemized to the level that occurs in residential real estate and to a large extent in commercial real estate.  The transactions fall under the domain of real estate and not business consulting because in a significant majority of transactions the transfer of ownership includes either real estate or the transfer of a lease for occupational use of real property, both actions that require real estate licenses to facilitate in most situations.   If either of those assets are a component of the transaction, use of an unlicensed party to negotiate/facilitate the transaction has a distinct possibility of ending at a future date in a court room, if all i’s were not dotted and t’s crossed appropriately.

Real estate experience, however, is only the start of the domains of knowledge a business sale intermediary needs to possess to achieve professional excellence in the field.  In addition, a top tier business broker should have the ability to value businesses incorporating knowledge of local market dynamics, understand company accounting and tax filings, offer tax mitigation strategies in collaboration with the CPA for the business, secure financing to support buyer capital used for the acquisition, facilitate agreement on the legal documentation between opposing counsel, and administratively address issues that can range from the maintenance of insurance through the transfer of ownership to retention of key employees.

There is no substitute for skill & experience.  There is not a child in the world who would advocate for a heart surgeon “wet behind the ears” and fresh out of college with limited field experience to operate on their parent.  The same level of scrutiny should occur when selecting a business broker, for that person will be frequently selling an entrepreneur’s life work created with blood, sweat, & tears and one of the most significant assets in their personal portfolio resulting in an action that will have a large impact on their future life.

There is no downside to interviewing multiple Realtors or business brokers to sell an asset.  At IBA, we encourage it, for if we can not tell an entrepreneur why they should use our firm to sell their business then we are not worthy of the project.  That said, IBA has sold more businesses (4300+) than any other business brokerage firm in the Pacific Northwest over a longer period of time, 49 years.  The experience and knowledge on our intermediary team continues to grow monthly with each successfully completed sale we put on the scoreboard.  If you are considering a business sale in 2024, 2025, or 2027 the professionals at IBA would welcome the opportunity to meet with you, learn about your business & exit strategy objectives, and provide an overview of our services.  All conversations with IBA are held in strict confidence.  100% of our fees are paid on performance upon project completion.

IBA, the Pacific Northwest’s premier business brokerage firm since 1975, is available as an information resource to the media, business brokerage, mergers & acquisitions, real estate, legal, and accounting communities on subjects relevant to the purchase & sale of privately held companies and family-owned businesses.  IBA is recognized as one of the best business brokerage firms in the nation based on its long track record of successfully negotiating “win-win” business sale transactions in environments of full disclosure employing “best practices”.