The shaky economy could force potential buyers to take a more sober view of practices on the market, he says. One common pitfall is for buyers to become overly optimistic about a practice's potential earnings growth. "They should be looking not at its historical performance, but its ability to generate capital on a sustained basis going forward," Tibergien says, adding some client attrition always follows the sale of a practice. "Some buyers fall into a trap where they look at how a book has grown in revenue the past five years and just extrapolate that going forward."

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