BizBuySell.com Report on Business-for-Sale Marketplace Suggests Flat Market in Third Quarter 2010

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BizBuySell.com reports lack of available financing as the primary reason for stagnant year-over-year closed transaction volumes.

This data suggests that the business-for-sale marketplace has flat-lined

BizBuySell.com, the Internet's largest marketplace for buying or selling a small business, today released third quarter 2010 economic data that suggests that while the business-for-sale market has bottomed out, it is experiencing a very slow recovery.

According to the BizBuySell.com Insight Report data, the number of closed transactions nationwide in Third Quarter 2010 was 1,117, exactly equal to the 1,117 closed transactions reported for this same time period a year ago. This number is a slight 1% increase compared to the 1,106 closed transactions reported for Q2 of 2010.

"This data suggests that the business-for-sale marketplace has flat-lined," explained Mike Handelsman, Group General Manager for BizBuySell.com and BizQuest.com. “Unfortunately, the signs of recovery that we saw earlier this year are stalling out in the second half of 2010. Although we do see a slight increase in transactions over last quarter, it looks like a recovery is going to be much slower in coming than we thought.”

The market remains significantly down compared to pre-recession numbers, with the number of closed transactions down 47% from the high of 2,098 reported to BizBuySell.com in Q2 2008.

Lack of Available Credit Remains Most Critical Issue

The main concern for business brokers and business owners looking to sell continues to be the lack of available credit for small business acquisitions. A recent BizBuySell.com survey of the nation's business brokers confirmed this issue, with 49% of brokers reporting the lack of available capital as the primary driver of lower transaction volumes. Other factors reported by brokers were seller unwillingness to lower their asking price (19%) and lack of qualified buyers (18%).

BizBuySell.com's Insights data suggests that the lack of available credit is forcing business owners to lower their selling price if they want to close a deal today. In addition, those businesses that are closing tend to be those with lower sales prices, as they require lower levels of financing to get the transaction completed. The median sale price of $140,000 is the lowest level reported since BizBuySell.com began compiling this data in January of 2007. This number is 30% lower than the high of $200,000, reported in Q1 and Q2 of 2008.

Government Support May Help Spur Recovery

Seller financing and recent government initiatives may have averted a larger crisis in the business-for-sale marketplace, but another boost is still needed to promote a true recovery. “The Small Business Jobs Act, recently signed by President Obama to provide up to $30 billion in increased lending by small banks, may help provide this needed boost to restart a recovery in the marketplace,” added Handelsman. However, brokers are not optimistic that conditions will improve in the near future. Eighty-five percent of business brokers surveyed by BizBuySell.com do not expect transaction volumes to return to pre-recession levels until at least 12-18 months from now.

BizBuySell.com expects that until financing becomes readily available, the business-for-sale market will remain sluggish, and sellers will have to continue to resort to seller financing and lower asking prices if they want to close deals.

About the BizBuySell.com Insight Report:

The BizBuySell.com Third Quarter 2010 Insight Report includes business-for-sale metrics for the total U.S. and for more than 70 major metropolitan areas. Metrics are also available by industry and business type. The current Insight Report comprises data from 1,117 closed transactions and over 30,000 active listings.

BizBuySell.com receives closed sale data from business brokers around the country. BizBuySell.com is the most popular online marketplace for business-for-sale listings, with over 47,000 businesses for sale.

For more information on the BizBuySell.com Third Quarter 2010 Insight Report, visit http://www.bizbuysell.com/news/media_insight.html.

About BizBuySell:

BizBuySell is the Internet's largest and most heavily trafficked business for sale marketplace, with more business for sale listings, more unique users, and more search activity than any other service. BizBuySell currently has an inventory of over 47,000 businesses for sale, and more than 700,000 monthly visits. BizBuySell also has one of the largest databases of sale comparables for recently sold businesses and one of the industry's leading franchise directories.

BizBuySell was founded in 1996 and acquired by LoopNet, Inc. in 2004. LoopNet operates the largest commercial real estate listing service online, with more than $500 billion of property listed for sale and 5.7 billion square feet of space for lease. With over 3 million members, LoopNet attracts the Internet's largest community of commercial real estate professionals. For more information, visit http://www.bizbuysell.com.

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Kari Brownsberger
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