At The Swan Agency Sotheby’s International Realty, we have worked with many Maine innkeepers in the last 30 years and this continues to be the most asked question we hear. There are a couple of things to consider if you are thinking that now is the time to sell.
The current market is good. Innkeepers are enjoying revenue growth with tourism being up across the state. The lending partners that we work with are providing good financing options and there are some competitive interest rates to be found out there. The Small Business Association (SBA) is proactively coming to the market with more offerings and making it easier to do business with them. More importantly, bed and breakfasts across the state - of all sizes - are selling.
If you are considering selling, our best recommendation is to look carefully at your business from a financial and a physical perspective. Is it in good shape to sell?
From a physical point of view, there is no need for your Inn to be perfect so don’t think you need to repaint every room, replace all the carpets and tear out old bathrooms to replace with new. But do have a good look at those jobs that you can do to improve the overall shape of your property. For instance, fix those broken shutters. Rake up those dead leaves and cut back the flower beds so they look tidy going into winter. First impressions are important for buyers as well as your guests.
On the financial side, there are some important steps you must do first. Have all of your financial records ready. If you use one of the online reservation and property management software packages, you should be in good shape to pull occupancy, ADR and revenue numbers with the ability to slice the data by month, season, year, etc. If you don’t, and have been recording this manually, you need to ensure that your records are accurate and complete. Your tax returns should be in order and available for buyers and lenders. Most buyers will need three years’ worth of financial data.
There is a lot to consider as you get ready to sell, and many innkeepers will only sell an Inn once so don’t expect to be an expert. The good news is that there are sales and consulting resources that can help you through the process. The Swan Agency Sotheby’s International Realty has experienced Sales and Hospitality Specialists, many who are Owner/Innkeepers, with current knowledge of the fast paced lodging industry and its challenges. They will work with you to ensure your inn IS ready to sell. We are also the only Inn/Bed & Breakfast brokerage in Maine that can leverage the Sotheby’s marketing engine to tap into potential buyers anywhere in the US.
Thinking about selling your Inn? Call us, we’re here to help you do that!