How long does it take to sell a practice?
The time that it takes to sell a practice is based largely on the location of the practice. Typically practices located in larger cities and their suburbs will sell faster than those located in rural or less desirable areas. You should plan on the entire process, from listing your practice, to finding a buyer to completing the sale of a general practice to take 6 to 18 months on average. Of course there are many other variables involved in the sale of a practice so it may take as little as two months or as much as two years.
How are practices marketed by Practice Impact once they are listed?
Practice Impact markets our listings in several venues. We have an entire section of our website dedicated to listings, sorted by state and area. There is also a “Featured Practices” section on the front page of our website that is updated frequently to showcase many of our listings. Practice Impact also mails and emails a “Practices for Sale” brochure to thousands of dentists in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Pennsylvania every quarter. We also advertise in publications including the ODA Today and multiple local dental society publications. Finally, Practice Impact engages in multiple direct mail and email campaigns featuring several practice listings throughout the year.
How much does a practice appraisal cost?
Practice appraisals are free when you list your practice for sale with Practice Impact. If you are interested in obtaining an appraisal of your practice for estate planning, insurance needs or for any other reason, please contact our office at (800) 735-5336 for a customized quote.
What is the appraisal process and how is the value of a practice determined?
In order to determine a fair and accurate value for your practice you will first have a confidential phone consultation with a member of our staff. We will then send you a questionnaire to fill out about your practice and equipment. The next step is to have one of our qualified representatives come to your office for an on-site visit (typically outside of your normal business hours to ensure your confidentiality). A customized report using multiple valuation methods which take into account your collections, location, equipment and other factors, will be prepared for your practice. You will receive a written copy of this report for your records and a free consultation with one of our appraisers to review our findings and the true value of your practice.
Can a buyer get 100% financing even with school loans?
Yes. Lenders are aware that school debt has risen over the years. Loans are approved based on your credit rating, the financial projections of the existing practice, and your income requirements. Currently, lenders usually provide 100% of the financing required including working capital for qualified practices. Practice Impact works with a select group of lenders who specialize in loans to dentists and can pre-qualify you for a loan.
Will the seller have to carry a note on the practice?
No, lenders now-a-days are very willing to finance 100% of the practice loan to a qualified buyer who is purchasing a practice through Practice Impact.
What makes Practice Impact different from other brokers?
Practice Impact prides itself on being the premier dental practice broker in Ohio and western Pennsylvania. We are recognized, respected and recommended and we make practice sales perfect! We pride ourselves on the individual attention given to our buyers and sellers. We don’t just want to see you buy or sell your practice, we want to see you buy or sell it to the right person! We walk our clients through every step of the process and are in constant communication with you regarding exactly what needs to be done to complete your sale. We don’t engage in dual representation and even after the sale is over we are available to answer any questions or concerns about the practice and transition.
Is a broker really necessary to sell a practice?
In many for-sale-by-the-owner transactions, the practices are either undervalued by the owner, costing them thousands of dollars, or over valued discouraging qualified buyers from seriously considering the opportunity. A successful transition also takes experience, patience, and hard work. It is extremely time-consuming and may try the patience and resources of a practicing doctor. Retaining a broker to sell your practice should save you money and time, and help you realize the full potential value for your practice.
A good broker will maintain confidentially, and will be knowledgeable about the market and the “fair market value” of your practice. A broker is able to cultivate a larger pool of buyers using marketing tools unavailable or economically not feasible for most doctors. In addition, the broker’s access to lenders, tax accountants and attorneys who are experienced in dental sales transactions is a valuable asset in assisting you with tax saving strategies and negotiations.
When should the staff be told about the sale?
We advise our clients to hold off from telling their staff about the sale until the Asset Purchase Agreement has been signed. This is not only a significant transition for the doctors, but for the staff as well. By waiting to tell them until the sale is complete or nearly complete you can save a lot of worry and wonder by them. If the staff knows early in the process that the doctor is selling the practice, there is a significant chance that they will begin looking for another position and you and the buyer could lose a valuable staff member during this crucial time. When you do tell them, be sure to emphasize your faith in the new doctor and his or her need for their continued support and loyalty at the practice. As long as you have made a good choice on your practice’s buyer, the staff will adapt to the new doctor and will continue to have a trusting relationship with the patients.
How much of a transition is the seller expected to give after the sale?
There is no exact time frame for a successful transition and it really depends on the buyer and seller’s preference. Practice Impact typically recommends that the selling doctor spend a few days each week in the office for a couple of weeks after the sale. This allows the buying doctor to ask questions, eases the transition with the new owner and staff and allows the selling doctor to introduce the buyer to some patients.
How will the seller notify his/her patients that there is a new owner?
We understand that practice transition is a delicate process and that assuring patients will stay in the practice is a paramount concern. Most people dislike change. It is important to involve patients and staff in the transition process so they become more confident with the change. A first critical step is an introduction letter sent to patients by the selling doctor. A follow-up letter by the purchaser is also very effective. Staff must also be trained to address patient inquiries in a positive, enthusiastic, and reassuring manner. In addition, some selling doctors will have an open house to introduce the new dentist while others send a newsletter.
Why is it better to buy an existing practice than do a start-up?
The benefits of purchasing an existing practice are that you’re buying an established income stream, patient base, experienced staff, and functional facility. A startup is more difficult financially because you start with zero income. It requires a lot of investigation and planning for every decision that goes into structuring a practice from the beginning, and a lot of hard work and persistence to establish its success.
Still, it’s important to get sound business advice and do a thorough investigation of a practice before buying. Remember you’re inheriting someone else’s practice. Issues to consider include whether you share the seller’s philosophy, the patient base profile, if there’s uncompleted treatment in the charts, and how desirable is the area. Working with a reputable broker or buyer’s representative will ensure that you are well informed before buying.