How to Sell a Family Business   no comments

Posted at 10:41 pm in Uncategorized

My parents ran a successful campground for all of my growing up years. When it came time for my parents to retire, none of us kids were interested in going into the family business. Rather than hire someone to manage the campground, my parents decided to sell it. This is just a little bit of the experience we had selling it.

Selling a campground was more challenging than I or my family thought it would be. For one thing, we had such an emotional attachment to the campground that we didn’t feel we were able to objectively price it. We got around this issue by getting an assessment. Although the assessment seemed low at the time (because of our emotional attachment) looking back at it, the campground was priced right where it needed to be. Honestly, without asking someone else to price the campground, we probably would never have sold it because we would have priced it high. Another thing we weren’t expecting was how many potential buyers would be interested in seller finance. This wasn’t an idea my parents were familiar with so they were very leery the first few times that potential buyers asked about seller finance. Simply put, seller finance is when the buyer gives the seller a certain percentage of the price (like a down payment) and then make monthly payments to the seller instead of to a bank. Once they found out more about seller finance, my parents thought it would be an ideal way to sell the family business since it allowed them to get a bit more money than they would have selling it for cash or to someone being financed by a bank.

Finally, if you are going to sell your family business, be prepared to be patient. It took nearly a year to sell it; much longer than the few months we thought it would take. This wasn’t necessarily a hardship, but it did delay my parents’ retirement by twelve months.

Written by admin on April 11th, 2014