How Long Will it Take to Sell My Practice?

What you want determines how long it will take.

One of the top questions we as health care brokers receive is, “How long will it take for me to sell?” The short answer is - selling your practice takes about six months. The long answer is—it depends on what your goals are.

Here are a few profiles of sellers and their timelines:

Seller A: “Ready for Other Things”

You are a young practitioner with a thriving practice. You are selling your practice in pursuit of a better work-life balance. You are ready to invest time and energy into other areas of your life outside of your practice.

  • Timeline:
    • 6 months, sometimes sooner
  • What to consider:
    • Do you know what you’re hoping to offload once you sell? For example, are you hoping to retain full control of the operations even after you sell? Or are you selling to get a management partner?
    • Do you have the capacity to be responsive during the selling process? Are you:
  1. Ready to email your accountants and connect them with the broker?
  2. Ready to get us reports?
  3. Able to promptly answer emails and texts?

Seller B: “The Retiree”

You are a practitioner who isn’t quite ready to hang up your white coat, but you are thinking about selling your practice. When you envision your transition into retirement, you want it to be simpler than having to prepare for a sale on top of other preparations. This is the seller who wants to get the selling work out of the way but wants to still have a job for a few years after the sale.

  • Timeline:
    • 6 months, sometimes longer.
  • · What to consider:
    • When do you want to retire?
    • How long do you want to keep working after selling your practice?
    • How do you want to get paid?
    • How much cash do you need?
    • How much equity do you want?

Seller C: “The Entrepreneur”

You’re a medical entrepreneur and you have multiple practices and perhaps multiple practice profiles. You want to know what your options are.

  • Timeline:
    •  3-5 years
  • What to consider:
    • What are the comps on what your practices or practice types are going for in the market? We can do this work for you
    • How can you use the prep years as opportunities for building strategy? This may include transitioning your accounting and closing out development projects.

Summary

We strongly recommend coming up with a plan for your practice transition, just like you would with a wealth planner. Some rules of thumb we share with our clients are:

  • Sell when you want to, not when you have to.  Get comps as soon as 5 years ahead of selling. We offer potential clients complimentary preparation plans as early as  3-5 years out from selling.  If you want to maximize value by preparing your practice, reach out now.
  • Partner with a broker to give you an accurate picture of the market.
  • Do not assume that the market will always go up.
  • If you need to keep making an income, you can sell, keep working, and just have less stress. If you want the most money for your practice, be flexible on when you sell.
  • Every practice is different. Get advice specific to your practice in order to best prepare your legacy.
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