It should be easy to move the car up an down about an inch at the bumper. If you can easily move it more than that, I suspect that you are due for some struts and shocks. The broken link will make the front feel softer than normal because it allows the springs to work independently when normally they have to work together.
If there is oil leaking from within the struts or shocks, replace them ASAP.
Replace the bumpers on the strut shafts. They get brittle and crack after a decade. Examine the rear top shock mounts for cracks.
Struts are very easy to do on an e36, but as always, be very careful when using a spring compressor. Spring compressors hurt a lot of people. Use a good spring compressor and use the safety clips/chains.