Selling your IFA business is a big decision that can be highly emotional. Often people selling a big asset like a business fall into the pitfall of Seller’s Remorse, leaving them feeling anxious and unsatisfied. However, Seller’s Remorse is preventable! Although the final step is always a leap of faith, there are plenty of measures you can take to make sure you exit your business confident and satisfied with your deal.

Common Causes for Seller’s Remorse

What causes Seller’s Remorse? Knowing what causes Sellers Remorse can help you to avoid it!

  • Persisting Passion – Before any stage of the acquisition process begins, you need to be certain that you are ready to sell. Selling is an expected stage of a business’ lifecycle however there can be lots of financial and emotional attachments involved. You need to be completely committed to selling and willing to let go otherwise you could fall into the pitfall of Seller’s Remorse.

  • Perceived Loss of Identity – Business owners often closely link their personal identity with their business. Some vendors can feel lost after sale once they are no longer a CEO or owner.

  • Missed Valuation – What if you ended up selling your firm for less than it’s worth? Concern that you may have missed out on a higher valuation is a key cause for Seller’s Remorse among vendors.

  • Fear of the Unknown – Sellers who failed to consider what life after sale would look like often suffer with Seller’s Remorse. After sale, you will be left with a lot of free time that you used to spend running your business. This can be a highly daunting prospect for Vendors, especially those who fail to plan what they want to spend the time doing.

How do you avoid Seller’s Remorse?

Setting Objectives

Setting clear, defined objectives for the sale of your business is key to ensuring you escape any Seller’s Remorse. Seek to outline both professional and personal goals. Professional goals such as requirements for your acquirer will be key when beginning the search for your acquirer and throughout the negotiation process to ensure the deal fulfils your desires when the sale concludes. These goals will support and guide you through the selling process and setting them early will allow time for them to evolve and change before the transaction progresses too far.

Consult the Professionals

Seek to partner with an experienced broker with deep industry knowledge to help guide you through the process who is in the best position to confirm the likely value of your business. Try not to listen to outside sources that lack inside knowledge or might be offering uninformed or biased opinions. These sources may mean well, but they could leave you feeling confused or potentially alter your expectations to be unrealistic or unachievable, meaning you will feel unfulfilled at the end of the sale process.

Your broker will have the expertise needed to ensure the goals you set are realistic and achievable. They should be able to help you choose a lawyer that is familiar with IFA M&A’s. A specialist lawyer will be familiar with the unique contracts and change in control applications relevant to an IFA acquisition where applicable. Plus, a specialist lawyer will know what warranties and indemnities are suitable or not and be able to negotiate changes with the acquirer’s lawyers.

Negotiate Confidently

You are in control of the negotiations, make sure you are speaking up if things seem misaligned with your goals! Feel confident in your business and it’s worth as this will help avoid any regret once the sale concludes. Prepare topics to negotiate with your potential acquirer ahead of your meeting and think of some key questions you might want to ask. Knowing what you want to discuss will ensure no topics are missed. It can also help you to feel controlled and collected in the meeting as you will be well prepared. Visualising yourself speaking and responding calmly and concisely can also help minimise emotion in the moment ensuring you are in the best possible position to answer with measured and well-considered responses.

What are some example questions to ask your potential acquirer?

  • How many businesses have they acquired in the past?
  • What are the acquiring firm’s values?
  • What are the timings of any changes to client fees or investment propositions?

After the Sale

Look forward, not behind! Although it can feel daunting, you are moving to the next stage of your life and reaping the rewards of years of hard work and dedication. Take pride in what you have achieved and get excited about what the future has in store. The happiest and most successful Vendors post sale are those who thought carefully about what they would like to do with their new free time. The possibilities open to you are limited only by your imagination! You could consider starting a new hobby, travelling the world, volunteering, educational courses, spending time with family and friends, and plenty more! Knowing what you will fill your days with will allow you to immediately transition into your new routine, leaving no time to stew on regrets and fall into the trap of Seller’s Remorse. If you find yourself developing unhelpful thinking patterns, take some time to reflect on the reason you chose to sell and what the sale of your business allowed you to achieve.


Some Vendors experience Seller’s Remorse however that doesn’t make it an inevitable experience. There is plenty you can do to ensure you feel confident and in control throughout the acquisition process, helping to negate any negative emotions and allow you to enjoy the rewards of your hard work post sale unburdened of regret!

Considering selling you IFA business? Why not get in touch to discuss your options!

Contact us on IFA Acquisitions or Call Us on 0208 0044 162