Top 10 Tips for Innkeepers/Owners Selling Your Bed and Breakfast Inn
Only being 30 days into 2013, we’ve already seen a lot of bed and breakfast inns change ownership and go up for sale. With all of this ownership change, we have seen what helps a B&B to sell right away and what causes them to stay on the market for a while. We want to pass these tips along to you to help you get your B&B sold so you can move on to the next stage in your life.
- A fresh coat of paint is a must. Bright bold colors are not as attractive to the buyer who are looking to purchase your property as natural colored walls.
- Make sure the bathrooms are not just clean but immaculate and freshly painted. If mold is an issue, spray the surfaces with one part water and one part bleach and the mold will be gone. Shower doors must be clean and can be scrubbed with one part muriatic acid and 10 parts of water. They will be sparkling clean now. If the vanity is old, replace it with a new, updated sink. New towels and accessories are a must.
- Pack away any photos or personal items. This is important because the buyer wants to imagine themselves in your bed and breakfast inn with their own ideas for decorations. It will also make your B&B/inn look larger. There is nothing more that will deter a potential buyer than a cluttered property. You may even consider renting new furniture to make your B&B/inn look better.
- If you have squeaky doors, make sure they are oiled. If the front door squeaks when your potential buyer comes up, that may be the only thing they remember from their visit. You want everything to be perfect.
- Shampoo your carpet, buff your hardwood and treat your tile grout. Flooring will be one of the first things your potential buyer looks at when they walk in the front door. After all, they have to look where they’re stepping when they walk in. Black grout joints that obviously should be white will tell your buyer that cleanliness is not number one on your priorities list. You want your floor to sparkle or in the case of carpet, look like its brand new with a few shampoos from a rented carpet cleaner or by a professional carpet cleaning crew.
- Make sure that your furniture and bedding matches and has that “new look”. Make sure the master bedroom is designed for both sexes and the bedding and decorations reflect its gender neutrality. New bedding and sheets can really perk up the look of a bedroom. This goes the same for your living/family room. If needed, buy covers for your sofas.
- Make sure there is plenty of light turned on when your potential buyer visits and make sure everything is spotless. This lets the potential buyers know you have kept your B&B/inn in a condition that they will want to purchase it as-is. If you need to replace old light fixtures, you can find them at any hardware store.
- What about the outside look of your B&B/Inn? Cleaning your windows, pressure washing the outside walls and walkways, replacing plants that are not thriving, fixing loose brick or stones, trimming trees and adding new potted plants can make a world of difference when your potential buyer drives up and walks to your front door. Don’t send them running for the hills with an unkept lawn and dead shrubs.
- Make sure you or your realtor advertises in as many online bed and breakfast inn directory websites as possible. The exposure you get from listing your property on sites like www.InnsForSale.com can be the difference in whether or not you sell your property. From our experience, the potential buyer may have seen your property on one site and then found you again on another site. Having your B&B on multiple resources can help keep your property on the front of a buyers mind. And be sure that these websites have professional looking photos on them. No matter how beautiful your bedrooms might be, a scan of a polaroid picture with a timestamp from 1999 on it does not show professionalism and can be enough to have your inn passed right over by a potential buyer.
- So in short, remember: sparkling clean, new paint, definitely no clutter and if need be, call a professional staging company to help you.
We wish you much success with the sale of your property.