"I could practice one more year and make that much money, and then I could just close the doors and walk away!”

That’s right; you are not the first dentist to make that statement, we’ve heard it before, and we’ll undoubtedly hear it again. Every dentist who has just learned that his or her practice will not appraise for one year’s gross revenues makes this statement, and each one thinks they are the first. It’s easy to understand why someone will feel that way, after all, the doctor may have read an article that someone estimated that a practice could be worth from three times the net income of a practice to three times the annual gross revenues of the U.S. government. Usually, the author does not sell practices but merely writes articles about selling them and tells their readers what they want to hear.

It is similar to having a man attempt to describe what childbirth is like. Any woman will tell you that it's just not the same as experiencing it. Experience is what provides the ability to determine value and writing articles does not provide experience, only an opportunity to talk about something the author knows little to nothing about. Ultimately a practice is worth what someone is willing to pay for it, and not a dime more. When the doctor says, “I could practice one more year and make that much money and then just close the doors and walk away,” he or she does not realize the absurdity of that statement. Even if you did practice one more year, at the end of that year, the practice still has the same value. Are you going to close the doors and walk away from that value one year from now? Of course not!

What it comes down to is this, your practice will appraise for an amount that someone will be willing to pay for it. It doesn’t do anyone any good to list a practice for an amount that we know a purchaser will most likely not be willing to pay; it is a waste of your time and ours. A typical broker may consider listing a practice for a higher amount in the hope that in the future you will change your mind once you become tired of hearing that no one is interested in your practice at that selling price. You then end up lowering your price but your practice now has a reputation for being unmarketable, and you will have missed many qualified purchasers. Often, this process can result in the practice being sold for a lot less money than its original appraised value... or sometimes it never gets sold at all. It can be a very expensive lesson and unnecessary.

Giving up on selling your practice because you don’t feel the appraised value was high enough is foolish. If you want to practice dentistry for one more year, then go ahead, but you will still be confronted with the same issue one year from now. Either “Quality of Life” or financial security should be the primary considerations for selling your practice at this time. What is one more year of your life worth to you? Should you spend one more year practicing dentistry day after day, or spend it enjoying the things that you have put off for so many years while running the practice? You don’t even know if you will live one more year nor if you might suffer some disability that could prevent you from practicing one more year (or from enjoying the remaining years of your life). One more year of practice, or ten years, it makes no difference to anyone but yourself and perhaps your family. The reason to sell is to eliminate the stress and to begin enjoying your life. Lose sight of this by getting hung up on the selling price, and you will lose a whole lot more so think about it and choose wisely. Call AFTCO at 800-232-3826 or visit our website at www.aftco.net. It’s time to call AFTCO!

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