Doctors are well-known entrepreneurs. They are used to doing things themselves and doing it "their way." When the time comes to sell their practice, they naturally feel that they could do it best since they know the practice better than anyone else. Indeed, it can't be that difficult to locate a buyer and complete a sale. Who needs to pay a "broker" to sell their practice when all you have to do is place an ad in the journal and answer calls from doctors anxious to buy.

The "successful" sale of a practice is a very relative term. We have seen doctors sell their practice and feel they had completed a successful transaction. The average doctor selling his practice receives twenty-five to fifty percent less than its real fair market value. However, receiving so much less than fair market value means the seller loses tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars to do it himself.

Potential purchasers answering classified ads of this kind are looking for a "deal." They want to "negotiate" and drive a hard bargain. Even if the practice is already under-priced, they want to pay less. Answering phone calls that interrupt your schedule during the day and evenings, disclosing confidential information to unqualified buyers, losing staff and patients troubled by an uncertain future are but a few of the "rewards" for the doctor attempting to sell his or her practice. You could also find yourself paying legal and accounting fees for incomplete transactions carried out in the typical adversarial selling environment.

Then we have the discount practice brokers who begin the relationship by offering a "deal." They are going to sell your practice and charge you a lower fee. Of course, everyone knows the value of their service, and if you pay less, you must be willing to accept less. Accepting less means less comprehensive appraisals, no computerized income and expense proformas, no pre-screening or qualifying buyer candidates, no contracts, or worse, inadequate agreements that leave the door open to post-sale litigation. Add this to a negotiated selling price, and the seller will lose an awful lot of money because he/she focused more on the seller fee than the practice sale price.

Discount brokers make up in volume what they don't make on each transaction. How? They do this by undervaluing the practice with hopes that it will sell quickly. By trying to save money on the commission, the seller can lose tens of thousands of dollars by accepting a below-market purchase price for the practice. There is no such thing as a free lunch. A discounted commission means a less comprehensive service and a lower selling price.

When there are hundreds of thousands of dollars at stake, and the result can have a significant impact on the seller's "Quality of Life" during his/her so-called "golden years" of retirement, then that is not the time to settle for less than the best service available. AFTCO sells more practices each month than the average "broker" will sell in years. Call AFTCO today at 800-232-3826 or visit our website at

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