Grutter-OurServices-670x200, the Internet’s largest business-for-sale marketplace, today announced the results of its annual survey of prospective business buyers and sellers, finding sellers to be more optimistic than last year. The survey stated:

  • This years results showed sellers feeling more confident that they can exit their business successfully in today’s market, suggesting a shift from the buyer-friendly market we’ve seen in recent years.
  • 21.2 percent of sellers said they were “very confident” they could sell their business at an acceptable price, a 20 percent increase from 2013 when 17.6 percent felt the same.
  • 47 percent of sellers said they were more confident they could receive a better price in 2014 than in 2013 compared to just 34 percent who said their confidence level was either lower or the same as last year.
  • Further demonstrating the shift toward sellers, prospective business buyers, while still optimistic overall, were a little less confident in their ability to purchase a business at a good value.

Sellers Willing to Help After Sale, But Perhaps Not As Much As Buyers Would Prefer:

  • As might be expected, 76 percent of surveyed buyers said they would like the seller to stay on board to help at least one day per week for the following six months.
  • In comparison, 30 percent of sellers would prefer to not be involved with the business post-sale.
  • “How much the former owner will remain involved can be a sticking point during the negotiation process, so it is important for both the buyer and seller to announce their preferences early in the process,” says Bob House, group general manager of and

Looking to the future, most buyers (56 percent) and nearly half of sellers (46 percent) expect their chances of finding an acceptable price to remain about the same next year. While confidence levels may be shifting, a large number of buyers and sellers remain active in the business-for-sale market and both groups appear ready to begin their transition processes in the near future. This suggests a continuation of the already strong levels of transaction activity seen recently – just last quarter, BizBuySell’s Insights Report recorded the highest number of small businesses changing hands since before the recession.