The biggest mistake buyers make definitely overpayment. Buyers can get caught up in the thrill of the chase and end up overpaying and accepting less favourable terms than they should have. In that frame of mind it can become only too easy to rationalise the risk factors and ignore the voices of caution. What they need to be doing is to keep in mind that their goal is to make money and succeed financially over the long term. To quote Henry Kravis of KKR “Any fool can buy a business. Celebrate when you sell it for a profit.”
The biggest mistake sellers make is failure to understand it’s a sales process. If done correctly, the process alone can add big dollars to the sale price. You can argue that the final price is a mix of the underlying enterprise value of the business, the grooming and packaging process, and then the process and negotiaton skills of the M&A adviser. You need to find a good number of high-quality buyers and get them into true competition. In short this is neither a part time nor “do it yourself” project.