Sell your hotel

Selling a hotel in this region can feel like walking through a maze. The market is untransparent, and buyers come from many different business sectors and locations.

We have worked with several Clients who spent more than three years trying to sell their hotel without success, until they appointed us, and then sold it within a year. The good news is that any hotel can be sold providing the price is right and the marketing is right.

We have a tried and tested formula for selling hotels in this region. If you appoint us to sell your hotel, we will go through the following important steps.

Maze

Valuation

We will carry out a valuation of your hotel, which will include a two-day site visit, interview with the Manager and detailed analysis of the P&L and balance sheet. We will take into consideration whether you want to sell your Company, or the real estate – we can advise on the optimum way to achieve the best price. Hotels are typically valued at their trading potential, which is sometimes different from the current performance. Once the valuation is complete, we will discuss the recommended guide price with you. It is important to offer the hotel at an attractive price in order to get interest from the maximum number of potential buyers.

Sometimes we sell hotels that have not been operating for some time and are closed – this is no problem.

Valuation

Pre-sale due diligence

During the valuation process, we will carry out pre-sale due diligence. This involves identifying any issue that might affect the desirability or value of the property. Many real estate assets in this region have land registry issues, we identify these and come up with a strategy to deal with them. Other issues include pre-emptive rights, any litigation, supply and demand etc. It is essential to be completely transparent with potential buyers from the start, so there are no nasty surprises half way through the sales process, which would result in a lower price.

pre-sale-due-diligence

Marketing

The first marketing basic is a teaser, which provides information about the property for sale, with no sensitive details. Upon signature of a non-disclosure agreement, potential buyers are then provided with the info memo, which has all the information required for them to provide a non-binding offer.

Marketing

Reaching potential buyers

The more open and transparent you can be about selling your hotel, the easier it will be to reach the right potential buyers and create competitive interest. We are sometimes asked to market hotels discreetly but this rarely works well as it is so difficult to predict where your buyer will come from in this part of the world. We have sold hotels to Individuals, Companies, and Sovereign wealth funds – from here in the Balkans and all over the world. We create a custom marketing campaign for your property that might include advertisements in local and global media, presence on our website and other portals, mailings sent to owners of similar hotels worldwide, and an email blast to our database and other specially created lists relevant to your hotel.

reaching-potential-buyers

Timing

In order to keep potential buyers focused, it is important to set milestones, and stick to them. We generally allow around three weeks from commencement of marketing to the deadline for non-binding offers. During this initial period, we will carry out site visits with potential buyers, and motivate them to make high initial bids. We then help you decide which potential buyers should be invited to carry out due diligence. Each one has to be carefully assessed to ensure they have the means, and will, to acquire the hotel.

The virtual data room will then be opened for a period of between four and six weeks, to allow the advisors of potential buyers to carry out legal, tax and other due diligence. We will host this data room, you will be responsible for uploading all the information required. We will provide a guide as to what documents should be shared.

Once the data room closes, potential buyers will be given a deadline of a few days to provide a final binding offer. We usually ask them to provide a marked up sales contract with this offer, as that cuts out protracted negotiating once the buyer is identified.

Once final binding offers have been received, you can decide which buyer you would like to conclude the deal with – and we can move on to identifying and complying with all closing provisions.

Timing

There are good times of year and bad times of year to offer your hotel for sale. The beginning of the year up until spring is good, many buyers have the energy and desire for new projects. The summer months are not a good time as so many people are away, not only buyers themselves but also their advisors and debt providers. September is a good time as buyers are once again refreshed after the summer break and looking for new opportunities. November onwards is not a good time as many buyers are winding down for the year-end, closing other transactions, and distracted by the festive season.

Exclusivity

If you appoint us to sell your hotel, it will be on an exclusive basis. This is for your benefit as well as ours. In order to attract buyers and keep them motivated, they have to be sure there is a level playing field for everyone, and that nobody will receive preferential treatment.

Many hotel owners are already in negotiations with potential buyers when they approach us.

We recommend giving them three weeks to make an offer and pay a deposit, and make it clear that they will be dealing with an agent after that, and you will no longer be able to deal directly with them. This is a good way to test whether they are serious.

Fees

We charge an upfront fee to cover the valuation and marketing materials. You will also be expected to pay the costs of the marketing campaign, which might include advertisements and mailers. We charge a success only fee for selling the property, which is a percentage of the achieved sales price, typically between 1.5 and 3%, depending upon the deal value. We do not charge fees to buyers, and it is made clear to everyone that we are working for you, and our priority is to achieve the highest price possible and a speedy, trouble-free transaction.

How to start

The first step is to send us some information about your hotel and arrange to come in to our office to discuss the process. Alternatively we can set up a conference call. This will be in strict confidence; we never discuss hotel properties until we are instructed to sell them. We can sign a non-disclosure agreement if required before discussing your hotel.