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Six questions to ask before selling your holiday business

Wed 28 March 2018

Stags Partner Ben Stephens offers his expert advice on getting the very best price for your holiday complex.

The key to achieving the very best possible price for your holiday cottage complex and ensuring that the conveyancing process runs as smoothly as possible is to plan ahead – after all, the longer the process takes, the more likely a sale is to fall through.

The sale is likely to involve a team of professional advisors – estate agent, solicitor and accountant as the bare minimum. I would encourage you to liaise early with all three to avoid any unexpected surprises. A health check on the property by your solicitor is not a bad idea – forewarned is forearmed.  

 

1. Are all necessary planning consents, building regulations and licences in place?

Stags recently advised clients where it was discovered that an Agricultural Occupancy Restriction was in place. Subsequently, Stags Planning department applied for and achieved a Certificate of Lawful Existing Use of Development, enabling the non-compliance with this restriction to be lawful. This exercise will undoubtedly increase the final price achieved and extend the market.

 

2. Are there any restrictive covenants in place that restrict the use of the property in any way either now or in the future?

I know of one recent sale that was thwarted by a covenant restricting a commercial use of the property, despite it being a long-standing holiday let.

3. Have you got all the documents relating to the property, no matter how trivial you think they are?

Not having them ready could result in delays. Examples include: FENSA certificates for windows, gas safety certificates, electrical installation certificates, boiler service records, private water test certificate and remedial work guarantees. 

 

4. Are all necessary rights of way clear and, if necessary, indemnity policies sourced?

Everyone likes a clear access to their property or a solution to any unusual scenarios. The existence and location of any public right of way will be an important factor for most buyers. 

 

5. Is the business in as good health as possible?

Make sure that your website is optimised, you have an active social media presence and you have three years of accounts to show. A vendor who knows the  business inside out is a real confidence-giver.

6. Are you up-to-date with all the taxation liabilities for the property?

Run everything past your accountant and ensure that you are fully briefed on taxation liabilities. Here at Stags, our professional services staff can advise on any necessary valuations or other issues. Unusual and rare scenarios can sometimes be exposed – only recently, a sale of a holiday complex included two newly-constructed holiday cottages where there were VAT implications. 

If you'd like to discuss the sale of your holiday cottage with a member of our team, please contact Stags Holiday Complexes department. 

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