Buyers definitely benefit from having a broker “on their side” in most situations; but, there are several factors for the buyer to consider.
The first is: "follow the money." If the buyer engages their own broker in advance, in almost all circumstances the buyer’s broker will be compensated by splitting the commission that the seller pays. While the contractual and fiduciary duty of a broker is to work for the best interests of his client, the reality is that the more the buyer pays, the higher will be the commission that the two brokers split.
But, there are solutions. One, is for Buyers to pay their brokers a monthly retainer to pursue every business opportunity of interest to the buyer and to provide advice and counsel to the buyer. Then, upon the sale, the contract should reduce the buyer’s cost (and the seller’s commission payment) by the amount that would have otherwise been paid to the buyer’s broker by the listing broker—because the buyer’s broker has already been paid. Another, is for the buyer’s broker to be paid a commission by the buyer based upon how much lower the final price is from the asking price.
Another factor to consider is that the buyer’s broker can’t possibly search through all the listings on all the services to find businesses that pique the buyer’s interest. The buyer still must do that preliminary search. The brokers job is to obtain the pertinent information from the listing broker, get additional data that the buyer would not necessarily know to ask for, compare and contrast the various opportunities for the buyer, negotiate the deal, and manage the transaction.
Lastly, the buyer should be aware that there is a lot of detail in the due diligence process. This is typically not the responsibility of either broker. But, a buyer’s broker who provides the additional service of "due diligence advisor" for an appropriate fee can make the difference between a smooth efficient and effective transaction and "the closing from hell." Ask anyone who has purchased a business and has conducted appropriate due diligence; they will confirm that having an experienced knowledgeable advisor is well worth the investment. Combining the role of "buyer’s broker" and "due diligence advisor" expedites the entire process.