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Guidance For Selling a Kennels Business

Plan Ahead

When thinking about selling your facility, work to a time scale. About three years before you do anything dramatic,  start work behind the scenes. Bring the accounts up to date, as it is upon these that potential purchasers will try to raise their mortgage. The accounts will be looked at by bank managers, accountants and financial advisors who may have no knowledge of the kennels business, despite giving advice based on the accounts.

When selling anything, first impressions count. Imagine yourself as a purchaser, can you see any faults, necessary repairs, rubbish to be cleared or tired paint work? None of these will stop a sale, but may give intending purchasers greater confidence, rather than focusing on what costs they will incur immediately after having bought the property.

Keep an eye on local similar residential properties Your property, when valued will start with a comparison to local residences. This will be added to the approximate value of your facilities, taking into consideration their construction, age and condition. This will be further added to by the business, based largely upon the trading accounts. Obtain any information on possible planning permissions to the property, or local developments that might affect it.

Choosing an agent

Call in an agent with an understanding  of the business and see what comparable properties they have sold recently. Some will continue offering properties on their register when already sold by a rival (giving the appearance of offering more properties and being bigger than they actually are) so check who sold the properties you are interested in. Often properties are offered by different agents and perhaps owners too, and when sold, some agents may still show the property on their register as ‘sold’ for some time.

When we are the selling agent, we confirm the property was sold by us, and when. The date is there for all to see, and for valuers to use as needing comparisons. We remove all properties sold through other agents from our register after contracts have been exchanged.

Before making a decision, request agents send information of their services/charges before they visit.

  • Are there fees for: visiting your property, registering it, advertising, or even for removing it if it doesn’t sell?
  • Check fees are based upon the eventual selling price, and not on an inflated asking price.
  • Will they explain their terms fully before you sign any contract?
  • Ask for a copy of their contract before they visit. You then have time to consider the implications, or ask your solicitor to cast an eye over it before you agree to whatever terms are offered.

Check the difference between terms:

  • Sole Agency: The vendors instruct one agent to act on their behalf, normally for a set length of time, and thereafter may continue until a sale is achieved.
  • Joint Sole Agency: The vendors instruct two agents to act together on their behalf, normall for a set time and may continue until the sale is achieved.
  • Multiple Agency: The  vendor instructs as many agents as they wish, all of whom will act independently and in competition with each other. The best (or sometimes the luckiest) agent that finds the successful purchaser is paid for their effort.
  • Sole Selling Rights: The vendor instructs one agent to act on their behalf. No matter who purchases the property, the agent is entitled to the fees (even if selling the property to a relative, the agent has the rights to claim their fees).

A few days after making the right decision is easier to live with than an expensive wrong decision. For further advice, speak to someone who recently purchased a property, asking where they obtained the best service.

While it may be easy to offer a property privately (through websites/adverts) an agent will also:

  • Try to cut out the ‘sight seeing’
  • Have experience and knowledge to know what seems ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in a transaction
  • Check the financial background and mortgage capabilities of interested parties, thus cutting out time wasters and unnecessary solicitors costs
  • Liaises with other agents within a chain, reporting periodically on proceedings or problems
  • Liaise with solicitors to try to make the sale as smooth and untroubled as possible