Below you will find several of the questions frequently asked about selling a campground, RV park or cabin resort. Please feel free to contact us about other questions you may have. We will be glad to help!
Where do I begin?
Please review the "Selling Tutorial Page" for information about the process. The steps might be in a different order depending on your situation, but we know from many years of experience that your odds for success go up if you don't miss a step.
How long does it take to sell my campground?
It generally takes, on average, between five to eight months to sell most campgrounds. Keep in mind that an average is just that. Some campgrounds will take longer to sell, while others will sell in a shorter period of time. The sooner you have all the information needed to begin the marketing process, the shorter the time period should be. It is also important that the campground, RV park or cabin resort be priced properly right from the start. Some sellers, operating under the premise that they can always come down in price, overprice their business. This theory often "backfires," because buyers often will refuse to look at an overpriced campground. It has been shown that the amount of the down payment may be the key ingredient to a quick sale. The lower the down payment, generally 40 percent of the asking price or less, the shorter the time to a successful sale. A reasonable down payment also tells a potential buyer that the seller has confidence in the campground's ability to make the payments.
What can business consultants do - and, what can't they do?
Business consultants are the professionals who will facilitate the successful sale of your business. It is important that you understand just what a professional business consultant can do -- as well as what they can't. They can help you decide how to price your business and how to structure the sale so it makes sense for everyone -- you and the buyer. They can help you find the right buyer for your campground, work with you and the buyer in negotiating and along every other step of the way until the transaction is successfully closed. They can also help the buyer in all the details of the recreational business buying process.
A business consultant is not, however, a magician who can help you sell an overpriced business. Most campgrounds are saleable if priced and structured properly. You should understand that only the marketplace can determine what a business will sell for. The amount of the down payment you are willing to accept, along with the terms of the seller financing, can greatly influence not only the ultimate selling price, but also the success of the sale itself. A certified business appraiser can provide the value range that a campground buyer or seller can use to negotiate a win-win deal.
What can I do to help sell my campground, RV park or cabin resort?
A buyer will want up-to-date financial information. If you use accountants, you can work with them on making current information available. If you are using an attorney, make sure they are familiar with the business closing process and the laws of your particular state. You might also ask if their schedule will allow them to participate in the closing on very short notice. If you and the buyer want to close the sale quickly, usually within a few weeks, unless there is an alcohol or other license involved that might delay things, you don't want to wait until the attorney can make the time to prepare the documents or attend the closing. Time is of the essence in any recreational business sale transaction. The failure to close on schedule permits the buyer to reconsider or make changes in the original proposal.
What happens when there is a buyer for my campground?
When a buyer is sufficiently interested in your campground, he or she will, or should, submit a non-binding letter of intent in writing. This letter or proposal may have one or more contingencies. Usually, the contingencies concern a detailed review of your financial records and may also include a franchise agreement (if there is one), or other pertinent details of the business. You may accept the terms of the letter or you may make a counter-proposal. You should understand, however, that if you do not accept the buyer's proposal, the buyer can withdraw it at any time. At first review, you may not be pleased with a particular item in the letter; however, it is important to look at it carefully. It may be lacking in some areas, but it might also have some pluses to seriously consider.
Once you and the buyer are in agreement, both of you should work to satisfy and remove the contingencies in the letter. It is important that you cooperate fully in this process. You don't want the buyer to think that you are hiding anything. The buyer may, at this point, bring in outside advisors to help them review the information and complete due diligence. When all the conditions have been met, final papers will be drawn and signed. Once the closing has been completed, money will be distributed and the new owner will take possession of the campground.
Why is seller financing so important to the sale of my campground?
Surveys have shown that a seller who asks for all cash, receives on average only 70 percent of his or her asking price, while sellers who accept terms receive on average 86 percent of their asking price. That's a difference of 16 percent! In many cases, campgrounds, RV parks and cabin resorts that are listed for all cash just don't sell. With reasonable terms, however, the chances of selling increase dramatically and the time period from listing to sale greatly decreases. Most sellers are unaware of how much interest they can receive by financing the sale of their campground. In some cases it can greatly increase the amount received. And, again, it tells the buyer that the seller has enough confidence that the campground can, indeed, pay for itself.