Bob Fuehr, The Inn Broker, Inc. works in Michigan as a seller’s agent or transaction coordinator, should I, as a buyer, be represented? Yes, you should be represented by expert counsel- such as an attorney, appraiser, accountant and home inspector. These professionals should be providing professional advice from which should assist you in making a business decision on the purchase of an inn. Real estate agents should not offering advice in those areas unless they have some specialized training or experience in those areas. Since I knew most of the innkeepers first, it would be very confusing for sellers for me to be changing roles with different buyers.

On other brokers’ listings, I’m usually a transaction coordintator. That means both the buyer and seller are my customers and I represent the deal; not any particular party. My commission at closing is not being charged to the buyer. I don’t get paid until both buyer and seller are satisfied with the deal. I’m usually bringing together as many as four different parties to create win-win situation. Inn transactions are more complicated than a regular house sale but there not as complex as a commercial transaction. Since I spend much more time with buyers than I do sellers, just don’t pass on any confidential information (such as your willingness to pay more than you offered) to me if you don’t want it passed on to the seller. Unless you’re working with a buyer broker who has working knowledge of comparative values of inns for sale, understands the financials of innkeeping and has a working relationship with the sellers, your prospects of getting a “better deal” are slim. A broker’s job is to bring buyer and seller together-period. Anything beyond that is of questionable value. By signing a buyer broker agreement, you could be obligating yourself to pay the buyer broker a commission if the listing broker does not offer compensation to a buyer broker. Like many commercial brokers, I don’t offer commissions to buyer broker agents. Bear in mind that if a seller is involved in the loan, they have a vested interest in enabling the buyer to be successful. I work in a very small market; I can’t afford to be associated with bad deals. On my listings, as a seller’s agent, I am paid by the seller. As I buyer, I only ask that you be a loyal customer to me so that when I provide proprietary information and service to you, that you allow me an opportunity to earn a commission from the seller. See my Buyer Loyalty Incentive described near the begining of the News. On other brokers’ listings, I’m usually a transaction coordintator. That means both the buyer and seller are my customers and I represent the deal; not any particular party.

I’ll be happy to share my valuation techniques, budget guidelines and negotiating advice (including contract language) all from the buyer’s perspective. These are the materials that we used during our 20 years of innkeeping seminars.