Selling your private school is a large financial decision. Most likely, you’ve built your school up and have an emotional connection to it. However, sometimes you know it’s time to let something go. Looking to sell your school is a difficult prospect, and the hoops you will need to jump through can feel overwhelming. Luckily, we can help. Here are our top tips to sell your private school.
Your school means a lot to you, and it’s understandable that its sentimental value ranks right up there with the monetary value. However, it is important to note that buyers are going to look at cold, hard numbers, and you need to be prepared to give that to them as well as value your school for what it’s worth.
Most buyers are going to look at the numbers first, including:
However, they’re also going to want to examine other factors when valuing your school as well, including:
While some of these may not seem like a big deal to you, they are a big deal to potential buyers who are frequently looking for a turn-key school that they can continue running in the same way once they complete the purchase.
If you do have issues, talk to a broker about how you can spin a negative into a positive or get things settled.
Remember that certain times are not going to be ideal for selling your school, such as a year where you’re facing an enrollment shortage or are having high staff-turnover. If you must get out from under your school with ongoing issues, you must be prepared to take a lower price than you may normally get.
Finally, be realistic about what your school is worth on the market. Far too often, buyers’ sentimental feelings overshadow what their school is actually worth. Sometimes a school’s price tag is simply far too high when compared to what it is worth.
Marketing your school is a tall order, and you’re likely going to need help to get the word out. If you want to do it yourself, some things you can do include:
The main thing you’re going to need to look for when considering buyers are those who are qualified.
Far too often schools run into getting a ton of offers from people who don’t have a chance of buying.
Vet your buyers by ensuring they have the financial means to purchase the school by requiring they show their financial documents.
Most buyers will need to use deferred payment(s) to purchase the school, meaning they’ll pay over a set amount of time, likely with revenues generated from the school. However, you still need to make sure they can afford to enter into the financial agreement in the first place.
Really look at the offers, what you’ve received and what you are willing to settle for.
If you want your full asking price and can wait for payments, a deferred payment plan is likely a good choice for your situation.
However, if you are in need of cash or want to unload your school quickly, you may find a full payment offer to be more acceptable; although, the finally settled on price may be lower than what you were expecting.
Regardless of which offer you choose; you need to make sure it aligns with your future goals.
Finally, remember that some buyers may have some issues they want you to fix before they agree to purchase the school, ranging from repairs and replacements to hiring new staff members. Think about what contingencies you can work with and which feel like too much of a headache.
After negotiations are done, make sure you:
Selling a school is a large undertaking that requires an expert team by your side. While it can be tempting to negotiate the sell on your own, you will likely find yourself in over your head in a short amount of time. Selling a school is difficult for a variety of reasons, including marketing, finding the right buyer and making sure everything is disclosed correctly.
Instead of going through this process alone, consider working with JAG Consulting Services. JAG can help you through every step of the process, finding you qualified buyers and closing the deal in a short amount of time. With JAG, you’re working with expert consultants who make it their priority to maximize your selling price while making the process as easy as possible. Learn more here.