The economic recovery has created a surge in sales of small businesses. The number of deals tracked by online marketplace BizBuySell.com rose more than 40 percent in the third quarter. Behind the trend: Baby boomers want to retire, businesses are healthier after the recession and buyers are finding it is easier to finance deals.

At the low point of the recession – the second quarter of 2009 – BizBuySell logged just 1,040 closings. In the third quarter of this year 1,685 sales closed.

Expect sales to continue at their current hectic pace, says Curtis Kroeker, a general manager at BizBuySell.com.  “Next year could be a year of extreme growth, given the trend we’ve seen this year,” Kroeker says.

Many owners had hoped to get prerecession prices but lowered them after finding few takers. But don’t worry about sellers. They’re still doing fine, Kroeker said. The average selling price for a small business is up 3.4 percent from a year ago, and more people have the financial ability to buy a company since the recession.