Edward Bosch, a recent vendor shares his experience of selling a practice and what it entails.
Which consultant did you work with and were they in regular contact?
“I worked with Alastair Boothroyd who was very prompt in getting back to me with answers to my queries.”
Why did you choose Dental Elite?
“In the beginning I wasn’t actually planning on selling the practice at all, but when I received a flyer from Dental Elite offering a free valuation, I took them up on the offer and the rest, as they say, is history. I did at the time receive another valuation, but Alastair’s assessment was £150,000 more, which I was very impressed with – I had no idea the practice was worth that much. It was a year later that I contacted Alastair to put the practice on the market and he handled every aspect from start to finish. Without that flyer I wouldn’t have known about Dental Elite and I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
How quickly did you accept an offer?
“Within the first weekend of it being on the market, I had three viewings and three offers, one of which was £100,000 over the asking price. Naturally, I accepted that offer immediately, though that was, in hindsight, a mistake and the sale fell through six weeks later. Three months later when the practice went back on the market I received another offer almost straight away, which I accepted – from this point to completion, the process took nine months.”
Did you have any problems during your sale?
“In terms of the service that I received from Alastair, he didn’t put a foot wrong. The guidance was very clear, the templates I was given for the due diligence process were very informative and from that end everything went rather smoothly.
“The only problems that I encountered were as a result of the buyer’s team. For instance, they tried to negotiate a reduction four weeks before completion. In the end, I let the buyer have £20,000 off. The purchaser’s representative also tried to knock money off the rental valuation, which had been completed by Gascoignes and was supported by information provided by adjacent buildings. On this matter there was no negotiation though it did cause unnecessary delays.
“The buyer’s lenders, who were asking for additional paperwork at the last hurdle exacerbated the delays, as did the solicitors on the other side who were very slow in their communication.”
What advice would you give to future sellers?
“My advice is to be aware – even if you do everything right on your end, you can’t control the other side, so be prepared for delays and complications.”
Have you stayed on in the practice?
“Because of the buyer’s age, it was the banks absolute insistence that I stay on in the practice part-time for two years. As it was one of the conditions of the sale and it is incorporated into the contract, I would be liable to a fine should I break the terms of the agreement.”
When did you tell your staff?
“For several reasons, i.e. I didn’t want to worry anyone or damage the goodwill of the practice, I didn’t notify staff until the exchange was confirmed. Staying on part-time certainly helped break the news.”
Would you recommend Dental Elite?
“I shall be recommending both Dental Elite and my lawyer, Paul Shinwell – a partner in the dental department at Abrahams Dresden LLP who was suggested to me by Alastair – to all my colleagues within the profession. Not only was the service very good, but both charged a flat fee that was extremely competitive.”