This post originally appeared on tBL member blog SVN Southland Commercial Blog and is republished with permission. Find out how to syndicate your content with theBrokerList.

Your life’s work is a piece of art. A culmination of years of passion, labor and tears. It started as a blank canvass and has become a masterpiece for many to enjoy. No, I’m not talking about a Picasso. I’m talking about your restaurant. You are at the point of your life where you would like to retire or try something new, but before you can do anything else, something needs to happen with your restaurant.

Three steps to selling a restaurantProvided that your restaurant is successful, time should be taken to prepare it for sale. But where do you start? Here are three details that may help:

1. Get Professional Help

Engage a commercial real estate broker or business broker that understands restaurants and the business of selling a restaurant. Bring them on early, because the process can take time depending on how organized your financials are, deferred maintenance is, the level of profitability and whether all the sales are hitting the register.

2. Expect Separation Anxiety

Understand that you will have some level of separation anxiety. Remember, this is your little girl and now she wants to leave you to go off and get married. Huh? Should this be happening? Selling a restaurant can be such a bittersweet event that it’s difficult to process. Understand that this is completely normal; so make of list of goals that you want to accomplish once the sale is complete and put that in an area that you are able to see daily.

3. Get Cleaned Up

Clean up before selling a restaurantMr. Clean to the rescue. After years of walking the same path around the restaurant, it’s common for owners and managers to not even see the “dead bodies” all around their establishment. Invite a third party (can be your commercial realtor) to thoroughly inspect and REQUIRE them to be extremely critical. Prepare yourself not to be offended by the sheer volume of what they will point out. I’m not suggesting remodeling the restaurant. A complete and thorough cleaning that may include a coat of paint, possibly some carpet and a lot of love. The pride of ownership should show through. An outdated restaurant or bar is okay, because a prospective buyer needs to believe they can improve on your success and that their changes will allow the business to increase in sales and profitability.

While there are numerous next steps to selling a restaurant or bar, this is where all sales should begin.

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Bio and ListingsCRE Blog Posts

Advisor Top BarRestaurant real estate broker in Pensacola, FloridaAbout Michael Carro – Based in Pensacola, Florida, Michael has extensive commercial real estate experience and has earned many awards for his accomplishments. His passion is with restaurant real estate, and he is the host of The Restaurant Realty Show on News Radio 1620AM. Click here to read his full bio, or if you would like to contact him, you can call him at 850-610-8339, or email him at [email protected] You can also follow him on Twitter at @MichaelCarro.

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