WHAT BROKERS DO: How we help you sell your childcare centre


One of the most rewarding aspects of specialising in childcare centre sales is dealing with great people. Smart, hardworking centre owners have a passion for the service they provide – a passion that goes beyond simply looking at the bottom line.

The market is not ‘hot’ like it was years ago and buyers now realise that ECE centres are not money trees, nor are they totally hassle-free.

They can, however, be both financially rewarding and provide tremendous satisfaction through knowing you are offering excellent care and a great learning environment.

Just as you try to employ the best people in your centre, when it comes time to sell, make sure you have a knowledgeable and committed broker on your side throughout the process:

  • We will complete an appraisal and indicate to you our opinion of the expected sale price.
  • When advertising the centre, we try to ensure that there are no identifiers within the ad.
    We qualify prospective purchasers prior to releasing any information.
  • Through knowledge of the relevant legislation, we reduce your risk of liability that can arise from unsubstantiated claims.
  • When advertising centres for sale, we ensure that the content of the advertisement doesn’t identify the centre. This is not always the case in the industry.

A centre recently advertised on Trademe took five minutes to identify. Why upset your parents and staff and provide your competitors with a significant advantage?

Thinking of selling privately?

Before the advent of online advertising, there was a certain amount of rigmarole to go through before making an inquiry about a business. Now people can just press a button and believe me, they do!

Childcare is an attractive sector for a lot of people, and we get inquiry from the knowledgeable to the frivolous and curious.

It’s time-consuming and sometimes frustrating – a lot of effort can go into people who have very little likelihood of ever buying your centre. As well as being a distraction, a lack of process in responding to inquiries can also cause issues around confidentiality.

Another issue that private sellers have to contend with is dealing with the liability that arises with making any unsubstantiated claims about the centre.

“Licence can be increased” – are you certain of that?
“Stable staff” – when you are aware two of them are leaving.
“I work one day per week in the centre” – you didn’t mention the other two days doing admin and wages from home!

A purchaser could argue that their decision to purchase was based on unsubstantiated or erroneous claims and seek redress; using an experienced broker who is aware of the legislation in this area can reduce that risk.

Buyers often feel much more confident when dealing through a business broker. They are aware that brokers are governed by a strict code of conduct and are liable for severe penalties if these are breached; this can give them the confidence to proceed to an agreement and subsequent sale.

Finally, when it comes down to agreeing on a contract and doing due diligence, there are a number of things that can derail an agreement.

Negotiating contracts and due diligence can be stressful for both buyer and seller and having an experienced broker mediating can often take the heat out of potentially difficult situations.

Related: Should you sell your business: is there a right time?

Roger Brockelsby & Lucy hammond
Roger Brockelsby & Lucy hammond
Lucy Hammond and Roger Brockelbsy are Business Brokers at LINK Business Brokers. They can be contacted at Lucy Hammond – lucy.hammond@linkbusiness.co.nz – 021 0242 2978 | Roger Brockelsby – roger.brockelsby@linkbusiness.co.nz – 027 919 5478

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