If you’ve made up your mind to sell your practice, congratulations – it’s a big decision and one we’re sure you’ve not taken lightly! Given this, it would make sense to engage the help of an experienced sales agent who will aim to get you the best possible result in the end.
There’s a lot involved in a practice sale – the initial evaluation and finding a buyer might seem like the lion’s share of the work, but the entire process can take far longer and be more complicated than anticipated by many principals. Organising viewings, negotiations, preparing documentation, dealing with offers and of course not forgetting the legal technicalities can all be incredibly time-consuming and frustrating, but unfortunately a necessary evil, and therefore not things you should attempt to deal with yourself if you don’t have sufficient time to give it your full attention.
Whether you’ve decided to manage the sale yourself or work with an agent, it’s important you know how much your practice is worth so an expert evaluation is vital from the very start. Once you know this, you can really get the sale going by putting together informative sales details that will outline your practice’s strengths and make it attractive to potential buyers. Thankfully, if you have a sales agent working with you, they will deal with this but they will need your cooperation as almost everything it contains will be information you have given them. However, remember to restrict what is provided to buyers until serious interest is established – you don’t want to give everything away to your competitors!
The sales particulars should be enough to give buyers a rough idea of the practice up for grabs but you will also need to provide details of the financial health of your practice. Potential buyers will most likely scrutinise this information more than any other and any bank lending money will be looking at the practice figures before they agree to a loan to support a purchase.
Its then at this stage of the sale that the real work starts and the support of a good sales agent pays off!
Anyone interested in buying your practice will want to see the practice for themselves. You’ll need to set aside dates and times in your diary for potential buyers to visit – remember organising viewings can take up a considerable amount of time if not managed properly. And that’s not forgetting about the number of emails you’ll also have to deal with if you’re managing your own sale!
Whilst securing a buyer is important, getting the biggest offer should not be your only consideration. A figure written on a piece of paper is just that unless the potential buyer provides some evidence of their ability to pay. You should ensure that anyone offering to buy your practice is able to afford it in the long run – you certainly don’t want to be wasting time with someone who has no means of securing funding. Again, something your agent will be able to ensure for you during the initial few weeks of the deal.
As things progress your agent will be working hard to make sure your sale stays on track. They’ll support you through the due diligence phase, will liaise with all parties and handle any tricky conversations if they arise further down the line. They’ll also be responsible for making sure there is a financial commitment (ie deposit) from your buyer as soon as you accept an offer. If you’re selling privately you’d most likely just have to keep your fingers crossed that it all goes smoothly!
The proposed time frame for a sale will vary depending on the complexities of your practice. There will be long list of things to be dealt with and factors such as your financial records, value of your practice and demand in the market will all influence the time it takes. It won’t happen overnight!
Selling a practice is a significant undertaking. But don’t despair! You will get to the finish line and when you do, the only thing left will be to decide how to invest or spend your money, whether to retire, travel the world or pursue a new business interest! But that, of course, will be entirely up to you.
If you’d value the support of an experienced sales agent then the team at Frank Taylor & Associates would be delighted to assist.