Posted on Oct 10, 2016
Image Credit: © Dreamstime.com
Posted on Oct 10, 2016
Finding a qualified buyer for your practice can be a bit like searching for the Holy Grail—you want to make sure that the person stepping into ownership of the practice you built is someone you feel comfortable leaving your legacy.
Before you sell, consider what makes a potential buyer qualified.
Is the buyer a dentist?
This is a given, but it must be included in the list because it is one of the most important things to consider when selling your practice. You’ll need to know more than the potential buyer’s degree. Take note of their specialty, the number of years they’ve been practicing, and the amount of experience they bring to the practice.
Is the buyer a recent graduate? Have they put in decades of work in another practice before deciding to buy their own? Do they specialize in the same area as you?
Is the buyer financed?
Common sense dictates that a buyer will obtain financing before approaching a seller, however, that’s not always the case. There are numerous commercial real estate cases where the buyer puts the cart before the horse, committing to the purchase of a practice before their financing has been authorized.
A qualified buyer will have preapproval in hand before beginning their search for a practice to buy. Preapproval means they’ve already jumped through most of the red tape and credit check hoops, which means you have less paperwork and hassle after you accept their offer.
Is the buyer keeping your staff?
Your staff has likely become part of your family, and you consider them to be an important part of your life.
If the buyer wants to buy the property, they need to consider your staff as part of the deal. Unless previously stated in the purchase documentation, your staff stays with the practice. This means the buyer isn’t just buying a building and an inventory, he is committing to keep the practice running smoothly and profitably.
Before signing on the dotted line, invite the buyer to meet with your staff. Watch how they interact with them, look for any push back from your staff, and make sure that the match (between the potential buyer and your staff) feels right.
Ask they staff what they think about the buyer, and be sure to take what they say into consideration when choosing a final buyer.
Does the buyer have a good reputation in the community?
A good way to gauge if a buyer is right for your practice is to check online to see what their patients are saying about them.
If they are purchasing your practice, they are also acquiring your patients. You want to make sure that the people you’ve treated over the years continue to receive the same, or higher, level of care.
If the reviews or ratings online foreshadow a poor level of care, consider another buyer.
This list of qualifications isn’t a ruler by which to measure your potential buyers, it is more a guidebook for what to consider when selling your practice. If you’d like more information about what to expect from buyers or what to expect from the dental practice transition process, contact our transition specialists.