Just read the following letter sent to us by a dentist who chose to work with a unilateral, seller broker and see his results... See More
A broker convinced me that he would save me money by not charging me any purchaser fees... boy, was he wrong!
First, I did a lot of running around to look at a large number of practices that were not even right for me. This broker made no attempt to find out what I wanted, he had practices to sell, and he wanted me to just buy any one of them, it did not matter. He even had some practices that had real problems and could have been financial disasters, but he showed them to me anyway.
It cost me a lot of time (and money) to look at all these practices (time off from work and travel expenses), but finally I found one that I felt was worth buying. Then the real problems started. The broker refused to give me any financial information about the practice until I made an offer to buy. I wasn’t going to offer to buy a practice until I saw the financial information. After days of arguing, he finally gave me copies of the tax returns. The broker did not have a computerized income and expense proforma for the practice. He did not even know what an adjusted income statement was so that I could determine “real” from “creative” expenses in the practice.
I did not know what to make of it all. I had to hire an accountant just to get an idea of the value of this practice and how the transaction needed to be structured. The accountant ran up a large bill for “investigating” the practice and reviewing and organizing the financial information. He discouraged me from buying the practice, but he couldn’t give me any real reasons not to.
I found out later that this was only the second practice that the accountant had ever investigated, so he actually knew less about the business of dentistry than I did. I decided to move ahead and made an offer to buy the practice in spite of these problems.
After weeks of difficult negotiations, the seller and I finally agreed on a purchase price. I then had to hire an attorney to get a contract drafted. I hired an “expert” attorney (I found out later that this was only the third practice transaction that he’d been involved with) and he began the lengthy and expensive contract process. He spent hours “researching” and drafting an agreement. My attorney then sent the contract to the seller’s attorney, who in turn "redrafted" it and started the process all over again!
The attorneys could not agree on anything. However, they kept the clock running while they went back and forth, changing the terms and then redrafting the contract every other week. After months of fruitless “negotiations,” the seller changed his mind and backed out of the deal. We both had spent thousands of dollars for nothing.
The broker was anxious to show me more practices, but I’d had enough. I called AFTCO... I wanted to do it right this time! See Less