Making the appointment to view the property
It is fairly well known that the slowest time for most in the hospitality
industry is between October and April. These are the times when the
property owners will be able to devote more time to discussing the property with
you. When you make the appointment to view the property, be sure to arrive
on time and allow yourself a large block of time for viewing, taking into consideration
the size of the property.
Take notes as you walk through, writing down key information from your own observations
and from the property owners. Remember they have actually owned and operated this property and what they have to say may
be of major value to you. Always ask questions; you can't learn if you
don't ask.  Most property owners will show you things that may need attention
in the near future. Find out if any deviations, repairs, or upgrades will be
performed by the current owners prior to transfer of the business.  If they
agree to make any such alterations, be sure to write them down and include this in the
sales contract. Otherwise, you will need to deal with them yourself upon
transfer, which could result in problems.
Like any property purchase, ask a lot of questions, carefully inspect the property,
and take copious notes. Another suggestion is to video tape what you see. This allows you to sit
down at home and watch it as many times as you want. You can also listen
carefully to everything that was said by the current owner. This entire
process can be overwhelming and many times you may hear something important the
second time around that you missed while you were there.
Depending on your background, you should always hire inspectors to check out the property for
electrical, plumbing, and structural issues. Yes, this will incur further
costs to the buyer, but in the end it may save you from a nightmare and further
financial burden. Most owners will have no problem with a pending
inspection. If they do seem overly hesitant, there may be a problem
they are trying to cover up. At that point, you probably want to consider
another property choice.
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