Are You Considering a “Dental Practice For Sale By Owner”?
Many dentists will seek to sell their practice by themselves, presumably to “save money”. Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side so we do things out of emotion instead of “doing the math”. If you have a couple of hundred hours of spare time and love working with intelligent, challenging people, and showing your dental practice to strangers on evenings and weekends, you are going to love the process of selling your practice.
For most dentists, their practice is one of their most valuable assets, so if that sounds like you and you would like to go “For Sale by Owner” then now is the time to start to prepare. Probably a good time to study a little law, accounting, marketing, advertising, sales, and perhaps negotiations. Think about how you are going to tell your staff or decide to wait until they figure it out. Be sure not to lose them or your practice may become more difficult to sell (and you could lose more in practice value than the commissions you are saving). If your practice has seen better days you might consider sprucing it up a bit or maybe a little remodeling? As a do-it-yourselfer, you will save even more money.
Ask yourself “how do I value my dental practice” and balance that with what the market will bear. Keep in mind that the buyer will always think they are paying too much and the seller thinks they are selling too low. Once you’re ready to go, write your ads, contact (play phone tag with) the various media vendors to figure out how to best execute your marketing plan. Piece of cake, pay the man and place your ads. Soon your phone will be ringing, don’t forget to follow-up with the inquiries in your new email address.
Schedule the viewings after hours, on your day off, and on the weekends. Don’t be too disappointed when something happens and the person doesn’t show up or when the “tire kickers” don’t give you feedback. Soon if all goes well you will receive a Letter of Intent. There will likely be a number of things you’ll need to do to assist the buyer with their due diligence so be prepared to assemble all the information ahead of time if possible. If you are leasing the office, do whatever you can to negotiate with the property owner for as smooth as a transition as possible with the buyer. WARNING: half of all deals fall apart because of landlord conflicts with the seller or buyer. If this happens to you, and there is a 50-50 chance it will. Be prepared to start over and keep your emotions in check.
Is it worth it to “Do It Yourself” to sell your dental practice? It depends upon how many hours it takes, how much distraction you are comfortable with, and how much quality of life you are willing to sacrifice.
The legal community has a saying, “He who represents himself has a fool for a client”.