Getting the Highest Price When Selling Your Business

Numerous Chicago area restaurants and banquet halls benefit from auction marketing when they change hands. Auctions have been a logical and timely method to sell assets for thousands of years. The New York Stock Exchange, The Board of Trade, The U.S. Government, eBay, Art, High End Vehicles, and Wine Auctions, all attempt to obtain the true market prices for assets in a timely manner. So it goes for real estate as well. Locally-based Rick Levin & Associates, Inc has successfully auctioned thousands of pieces of real estate over the past 30 years and dozens have been restaurant properties and banquet halls.

It is often common practice for the used personal property from the food service industry to be sold by auction, but often it is prudent to explore the auction option for the real estate as well. Properties can be offered in various ways that protect a seller’s downside while maximizing the aggressiveness of the bidding and the eventual sales price. Often with unique properties, auctions should be considered as the strongest marketing approach as opposed to speculating on the vagaries of the market place to determine value with a conventional sales strategy.

In just the last few years the firm has sold large and prominent banquet facilities from Waukegan to Alsip, and restaurant properties from Prospect Heights to Chicago and Naperville. All the sellers felt they could be well-served by eliminating the carrying cost of a prolonged conventional marketing approach and actually use an auction to “set” the sales date themselves.

The expenses involved in real estate auctions vary with the seller often contributing to the marketing expenses and the purchaser more often than not paying a buyers premium to the auctioneer as a way to minimize the Seller’s expenses. Marketing is done through a vast amount of local and in some cases, national advertising campaigns that leave little doubt that the market price has been achieved. A well conceived and executed auction marketing program is worth investigating when a food service industry owner has real estate for sale.

Rick Levin is President of Chicago-Based Rick Levin & Associates, Inc., and has advised on various strategies that have helped 100’s of Chicago area real estate sellers maximize their returns using auction marketing. – Find their ad on page 42 of this issue.