I regularly tell my business buyer clients that they need to go with their gut feel about a situation. If anything doesn’t seem right then it probably isn’t. Mom was right, if something seems wrong there probably is something wrong.
This can be a trust issue, an integrity issue (the seller or the business itself) or questions about the future viability of the business. It’s always a tough call. A buyer may really like the seller and let that cloud his or her thoughts about the business’s future. Or, they may love the business model and brush aside concerns about the owner’s character. Of course, it goes the other way too. A seller must feel good about the buyer, his or her character and abilities.
It also goes the other way when you feel good about something. A client recently said to me that the deal he was looking at “just feels right.” He had good feelings about the owner, the company, the business model and the business’s future. You can go with your gut feel here too, just be sure to back it up with good due diligence.