Selling Your Laundromat: Finding a Great Agent

This is a sponsored post by Cents. Find out what Cents can do for your laundry business here. All reviews and opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal view.

The time has come for you to sell your laundromat. It’s funny, most people who sell a laundromat are first-time sellers, but it seems like there is a lack of resources to help first-time sellers know exactly what to do. I figured that since I’m prepping one of my laundromats to sell, I’m an agent in Southern California that sells laundromats, and I have consulted with dozens of people who were selling laundromats from across the country that I could be of some help.

Finding a great agent or broker to help you sell your laundromat will make the process of selling your laundromat more painless, net you more money, and get your laundromat sold more quickly. A great agent is knowledgeable about the business, trustworthy, well connected in the industry, and systematic in his or her approach.

Where to Look for Great Agents

Finding great agents can be easier said than done. There are some great agents out there, but there are some really bad ones out there, too. I have a couple of suggestions to help you find some qualified candidates.

  1. Check laundromat listing sites like our sister-site, Laundromat Marketplace for agents who are listing laundromats for sale regularly. Active agents are often, although not always, better agents. Active agents will inherently have some of the qualities and characteristics we’ll want in our agent.
  2. Google can be your friend. If you’re in a large metro area, you may have laundromat-specific agents and brokers that specialize in selling laundromats. Often time, although not always, you will be better off listing your laundromat with one of these specialists. If you’re not in an area that has laundromat-specific agents, your next best bet is to look for a small business broker or agent. Although they may not have the exact, specific knowledge to the laundromat industry, they will generally know business well and understand how to position your business to maximize your sell price.
  3. Referrals are a valuable source of information to find people to work with who have been valuable to other people you trust. I classify those referrals in two categories. The first is personal referrals. These referrals come from a specific person you know and trust. The second category I call collective referrals. These referrals come from websites such as Google, Yelp, or even our sister-site, Laundromat Marketplace in the form of ratings and reviews from multiple people.

I highly recommend talking with multiple agents if there are multiple available to you and to choose to work with the best one.

What to Look for In Great Agents

Once you’ve found a source of agents, you need to do a little detective work to identify the great agents. When you work with the best, you become one of the best so it generally pays off to take this next step and find out who your best option to work with is. Here are some things to look for when identifying a great business broker or agent to work with.

1. In-depth knowledge of the industry.

Obviously, you want to work with someone who knows what they are doing. I say obviously, but I have consulted with many clients who have initially listed their laundromat for sale with a real estate agent who really didn’t know much about the industry, if anything at all. Utilizing an agent who understands laundromats, knows what makes them valuable, and gets how to position them to help buyers see the value in your laundromat will make your life so much easier. It will probably also put more money in your pocket.

Here are a few questions you can ask an agent to determine their level of knowledge of the industry:

  • How would you value my laundromat?
  • How and where would you market my listing?
  • What information would you need from me to get it listed?
  • What prep work would I need to do to get it sold?

There are plenty of other questions you can ask. Hopefully those will get your brain jumpstarted to think up more.

2. Trustworthiness.

This can be as difficult to discern as it is important. Having a trustworthy agent is arguably the most important key to successfully selling your business for the best price, quickly. Unfortunately, I, personally, and many consulting clients of mine, have had encounters with agents who were not trustworthy. It ALWAYS results in a loss of money. So find a trustworthy agent and pass on one that isn’t trustworthy, even if they are the best in all other regards.

To determine trustworthiness, I’ll give two quick tips. First, listen to how the agent talks. You’ll often hear signs of red flags if there are any there while you’re asking the questions from above. If they suggest you do shady things, it’s likely they’re willing to do shady things behind your back, as well. Second, listen to how other people talk about them. You want an agent that other people rave about. You don’t want an agent that other people  carefully craft words about, or downright speak poorly about. The caveat to that is don’t take a single sample. Try to get at least a few people talking about your agent and their experience with them.

3. Well-connected in the industry.

Knowing other people in the industry and being known in the industry puts more tools, resources, and buyers at their disposal. When an agent is well-connected, they have benefitted from the wisdom, experience, and knowledge of other people. This not only helps them do their job better, but it also gives them, and you by extension, access to their networks, tools, resources, knowledge pool, and more! So here are a couple of questions to ask to determine how well-connected they are:

  • How did you learn the business?
  • Who have you worked with in the past?
  • Have you heard of Laundromat Resource? (Just kidding!)
  • Where do you go if you don’t know how to handle a certain situation?

4. Systematic approach.

Taking a systematic approach to selling laundromats means the agent has thought through the process and has either created or utilized tools to help streamline the process, both for themselves and for you as the seller. Taking this approach will make things easier for you and will make things clearer for the buyer. Here are some questions you can ask to determine if the agent takes a systematic approach or not:

  • Do you have a checklist of information you need from me?
  • How do you package the information I give you and distribute it to buyers?
  • What marketing channels do you use to promote your listings?

Next Steps

There is some great information on how to find a great agent to work with in this article, but I wanted to leave you with a couple of practical items to take for your next steps if you’re thinking about selling your laundromat. 

  1. If you want some help finding a great agent, we’ve worked with agents from all over and know how to find great ones. We would be glad to help you find an agent to work with free of charge. You can learn more about this on our page for sellers.
  2. Check out Laundromat Marketplace to see how other people are listing their laundromats, to find agents to work with, or to list your laundromat on your own for free.

If there is anything else we can do to help you sell your laundromat, feel free to schedule a call with us to talk more.

"Work With the Best, Become the Best."

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