Many elements must come together for both buyer and seller for a successful transaction.  Here are five things that nearly always are essential in the sale of a business for buyer and seller to close a sale and be happy with the process and the outcome.

The buyer and seller should be in agreement from the beginning.  In many transactions, the buyer and seller weren’t nearly in agreement initially or didn’t really understand the terms of the sale.  They must also be comfortable with the terms and structure of the sale.  Misunderstandings force many deals to fall apart.

Both sides must be patient.  Putting a deal together and closing it takes time.  It is also important that both buyer and seller make their advisors stay on schedule.  The attorneys involved should be told from the outset by buyer and seller that unless the deal is illegal or unethical, they want it to work.

No one likes surprises.  Everything should be revealed from the start.  Buyers understand that nothing is perfect, and if the minuses are communicated to them up front, the surprises are eliminated.  If not exposed initially, the minuses will be exposed sooner or later with a resulting loss of credibility.

Buyer and seller must both feel like they both got a good deal.  If all parties to the transaction feel good about the deal, the closing is a mere formality.  Both parties should feel comfortable with the terms and conditions as well as the chemistry between them.  That’s the sign of a win-win transaction.

The real secret!  The real secret is tied up in one word – listen.  Everyone involved in the deal must listen.  No one can win on every point.  By listening, both sides will understand what is really important to the other.  Listening creates a spirit of cooperation and allows both sides to work together to make the deal work.