Preparing to sell your hotel

06 July 2017Advice & Guides Topics: Agency, For Sale, Hotels & Guest Houses
Preparing to sell your hotel

As an agent, I receive frequent telephone calls from hotel owners and operators who are thinking of selling. As part of this preliminary consultation, I advise clients how to ready themselves for the sale, and here are some of the key aspects.

My first piece of advice is to relax! They say that selling a property, changing jobs and getting divorced are the three most stressful events in a person's life. For most hoteliers, who reside in their hotel, they are tackling two of these events in one go. Thinking and planning ahead helps take away some of the stress, however by hiring a specialist hotel agent you will be in safe hands.

Make sure you are aware of any tax implications or liabilities. Always check with your accountant so you know the cold facts. How much money you will net after paying tax liabilities and fees? Take realistic advice, as there is no point building your dreams and plans on unrealistic figures only to find yourself frustrated and having to adjust your aspirations.

In order to create a sales brochure that will have the optimum impact, potential purchasers need to see: the facilities available, number of rooms, restaurant covers, private accommodation, location, photographs and floor plans. It is also important to have up to date accounts, as potential purchasers will want to understand the businesses turnover and profit figures. A purchaser will then make an assessment of whether the current asking price makesthis a realistic proposition for them. If it is a high turnover business, with multiple sources of income, it would be useful to provide a split on income from rooms, food and beverage. Ideally, purchasers want to see occupancy rates, room rates and additional information which will help them analyse the business and decide if they can take it to the next level.

If bank funding is likely to be required, a good degree of reliable financial detail might be essential, including audited accounts. If it is an existing business TUPE (Transfer of undertakings, Protection of Employment) will apply. A purchaser will want to see a list of current employees, the hours they have worked and length of employment.

There are various other reports which are required, and it is better to plan ahead rather than get swamped later in the sale process. For example: gas safety certificates, electrical safety inspection records, fire risk assessment, asbestos report and EPC (Energy Performance Certificate). Each of Fleurets` regional offices has a professional services panel which can provide company recommendations for these services, including: legal, licensing or accountancy/tax planning advice, asbestos and EPC reports, architects and building surveyors.

Over the years, I keep in touch with many hotel owners who, although perhaps not currently looking to buy or sell, are monitoring the market. If you also would like a free and confidential conversation then please do not hesitate to get in touch. We are here to help!

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Lesley Watmough

Lesley Watmough

Divisional Director

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