How To Sell Or Lease Your Business To The Right Agent
Stephen Taylor, Managing Director of Guy Simmonds talks us through why it is so important to choose the right agent to sell or lease your business
Ensure you choose an agent that is innovative and has a high national profile within proven trade publications. At Guy Simmonds, we have successfully used the leading trade journals and maintained a prolific presence for over 35 years. Do not be misled by agents claiming that all that is required is an on-line marketing presence. It is also vital to maximise business sales by advertising in ‘hard copy’ magazines, which are physically posted nationally to licensed outlets/key decision makers/potential purchasers.
We are pleased visit any prospective vendor (anywhere in the country) to provide a no-obligation consultation to discuss your present (or plan your future) exit strategy, and provide you with a market valuation. The only cost for this service is a welcome cup of coffee! We will also discuss all of your options, whether a freehold sale or/and creating a new lease (on what rental terms, premium etc), assignment of existing lease, auction sale etc. In addition, we demonstrate our unparalleled marketing strategy and Guy Simmonds websites to you, including our unique combination of innovative associated websites – the combined total of which, culminates in attracting over 25 million potential purchasers/’hits’ per month.
Ensure the national agent you choose has an excellent pedigree and reputation with proven longevity within the licensed trade, can demonstrate actual sales, is personable, yet professional and is financially sound. If in any doubt then ask your accountant or solicitor to do a company search, (or simply do it yourself on-line via Company Check/Companies House) to ensure the agent is creditable and has sufficient reserves/net worth to sustain and invest in an effective high profile campaign/strategy, which is obviously necessary to sell your business. Also just check via ‘google’ or similar, with official regulatory trade bodies/Advertising Standards Authority/court judgements etc. in order to ensure the Agent has no official adjudications or judgements against it, which if so, may of course also result in potential purchasers avoiding such an Agent. Check with your own solicitor, accountants and people you know in the trade to also get any negative or positive ‘feedback’, if any have had personal dealings with the Agent.
Ensure your national agent will provide you with their own specialist and proven ‘sellers pack’ (ours is unique and copyrighted) to include top tips of not only how to portray your business/property in the best way possible in order to maximise the sales price, but also to include the process involved in selling the business and the professional ‘Terms of Engagement’. Transparency, professionalism, honesty and personal service should be prevalent from the outset up to completion. Also make sure that you obtain assurance that you will be able to liaise with ‘your’ designated regional valuer/consultant, at reasonable hours, from the outset and right up to completion.
Ensure the national agent also has the proven expertise and resources to offer an excellent service to potential purchasers, in order to not only attract the purchasers to your business, but then is also able to provide solutions and help to facilitate/ secure the sale. Eg. Guy Simmonds have our own on-line/personal training courses, a dedicated regional consultant, access to specialised trade accountants, finance brokers and solicitors etc..
Also, be aware that it is simply not normal commercial practice for an agent to request substantial NON-refundable deposits from potential purchasers, simply as a guise for ‘reserving a property’ or encouraging the signing of a complicated ‘lockout’ agreement. Any agent offering this dubious and controversial scheme risks alienating and losing potential purchasers (who obviously should always take the advice of their own solicitor before risking losing significant monies to the agent) ending with potential litigation and disrepute. By ‘locking-in’ both the vendor client and a potential purchaser to a complicated agreement, obviously means the agent cannot negotiate with any other ‘bona fide’ or cash purchaser. Consequently this ‘sharp practice’ could well be proven to be acting against the best interests of the vendor client, especially when/if the initial sale ‘falls through’. Should you come across such an agent, then take your solicitor’s advice, and do the relevant on-line company checks (mentioned above) which will probably ensure you never engage their services. Obviously Guy Simmonds do not take non-refundable deposits, nor stop marketing businesses until contracts are exchanged to the benefit of our vendor client.
Our highly professional, proven and successful methods will help to secure a successful sale on your behalf, and of course we will be acting in your best interests at all times.