AD discusses the ups and downs of selling his dental practice…
What was your biggest fear prior to marketing the practice for sale?
“Having sold practices in the past, I knew generally what to expect – although every sale is different. I didn’t have any fears per se, but I believed the biggest challenge would be in achieving a smooth transaction.”
How did you prepare for your viewings?
“The practice was kept clean and tidy, and I was keen to have all the necessary materials ready for viewing by the interested parties. Otherwise, I just tried to make sure that we were good hosts.”
How did you find the bidding process and how did your completion price compare to your original valuation?
“It was a surprising process – and an interesting one! Despite previous practice sales, this was the first time I had experienced a bidding process and it just felt as if my practice was up for auction. I think this is what it’s like in the dental market today – for me as the seller, it was good as I achieved a much higher bidding price than the original valuation.”
What made you choose the offer you accepted?
“The buyer’s ability to come up with the finance was very important in my decision. I discussed the situation with Luke, as there are no guarantees that a potential buyer with a mortgage agreement will be approved for the full finance at time of completion. I therefore wanted to work with someone who presented the least risk of causing any issues in this area.”
On reflection, what was the most challenging time in your sale?
“Challenges were presented when it came to working with the CQC and the NHS, and when completing the necessary due diligence procedure. There were also a lot of other people involved in the process, including solicitors and the landlord, which made communication and agreements difficult.”
How did you find the agent buffer between solicitors, buyer and seller?
“Considering the challenges of working with so many people, I think they did everything they could to influence the relationships between all parties involved. They did well in facilitating communications wherever possible.”
Why did you choose Dental Elite over others?
“I had been in contact with Dental Elite for some time before the sale process began and was comfortable proceeding with them. I found them to have a very good team – they have been very helpful and supportive, and I am happy with the service I received.”
How long did the whole process take and do you think these could have been avoided?
“My transaction took around 9 months, which I understand is the average transaction period. In an ideal world, I think it would be useful to not start legal proceedings until after the buyer’s finance is approved as this would shorten the time scale involved considerably, but I understand that this is not possible in dentistry.”
When did you tell the staff about the sale and why then?
“In the end, I couldn’t tell anyone until the last day! We had wanted to exchange and then complete, but in order to prevent the transaction from taking any longer, we exchanged and completed there and then. The team were a bit surprised, but generally supportive of my decision.”
What advice would you give to future sellers?
“Ensure the buyer’s financial situation is solid and check it as thoroughly as you can to make sure they are in a position to proceed. Also, it’s important to be patient.”