Seller Carry. Why We Should Avoid It When We Buy Business in NYC

“Seller carry” is a legitimate way to secure a business purchase in certain scenarios. It basically consists of the financing made by the selling party of a portion of the sale over an extended period.

This might be a reasonable course of action in the event that:
* The buyer doesn’t have all the funds available
* The bank won’t lend the remaining amount
* The seller, nonetheless, still wants to go ahead with the sale

Notwithstanding, there is a lingering temptation on the part of investors to keep sellers on a leash via a _seller carry note_ that could function as an additional “warranty” of sorts, beyond whatever other warranties found in the Asset Purchase Agreement (APA in short). If a seller agrees to the issuance of this seller carry note, the buyer is thus reassured that the former will not try to “cut and run” when serious problems arise.

There is nothing wrong with exercising a bit of caution, particularly when you buy a business in New York City (of all places). Alas, this fear can get a bit too far and we can end up pushing away a good seller for no discernible reason.

It should not surprise us that putting such a burden on the seller is not appreciated, especially whenever the buyer has all the means to pay the required amount. When we push it too far, asking for a seller carry can become a giant deal-breaker. For this reason, business brokers advise against opting for this route save for special circumstances.

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