What to do first when a private pharmacy sale isn’t moving forward

Embarrassed would-be pharmacy owner

When it comes to selling up and moving on, many pharmacy owners first consider offering a private sale.

After all, they know their pharmacy better than anyone, and the amount they’d save in pharmacy fees? Seems like a no-brainer!

The thing is, running a sale yourself without any experience can land a LOT of stress on your shoulders.

That’s exactly what happened to one of my clients last year, who’d been trying to manage his own sale privately. After twelve months of little progress, he gave me a call.

It turned out he’d spent 4 months negotiating the price with a buyer (four MONTHS!) and, 8 months after that, he was still waiting for the buyer’s bank to arrange a valuation. Without one, the buyer’s solicitor wouldn’t start the legal work required.

So a year after negotiations had started, the sale was still going nowhere.

Having taken on plenty of failed private sales in the past, I smelled a rat. And once again, some informed questions and a frank conversation proved crucial.

Within minutes of speaking with the buyer he’d admitted he didn’t have the money to buy the pharmacy and his bank wouldn’t fund the purchase. He’d been too embarrassed to tell the pharmacy owner and just let the situation drift on instead.

That was my cue to turn things around, and quickly.

We marketed the pharmacy, we vetted potential buyers thoroughly (which included proof of finance!) and we were able to quickly agree a new sale, securing a substantial deposit in the process.

The vendor sold at a higher price than he would have privately (and made far more extra than our fee cost him), AND he was finally able to retire, putting those frustrating first 12 months of attempted private selling behind him.

If you’re stuck in a motionless private sale, or you’d like to understand more about selling with Hutchings, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Anne Hutchings

Managing Director
Hutchings Consultants Ltd.
e: [email protected]