How to Sell a Hotel, Motel, or Hospitality Business


It’s time to sell your hotel. What do you need to know to succeed?

Selling a hotel is a complex task that involves numerous considerations, from understanding the real estate market to knowing your property’s unique selling points. It’s important to strategically approach this process, taking into account the specific characteristics of your hotel, its financial performance, location, and prospective buyers. 

This guide will walk you through the essential steps to effectively sell your hotel, providing you with key insights to navigate the market and secure a beneficial transaction.

When Is It Time to Sell Your Hotel?

Deciding when to sell your hotel can be a complex decision, dependent on an array of factors. The perfect time to sell might be influenced by the financial performance of your hotel, fluctuations in the real estate market, or your personal circumstances. If your hotel’s profitability has been consistently strong and future forecasts are promising, it may attract higher offers. However, if the local real estate market is booming, selling during this period could yield significant financial gain. Moreover, personal reasons such as retirement, health issues, or a desire for a career change could also precipitate the decision to sell. It’s crucial to conduct a thorough analysis of all these factors to determine the optimal time to sell your hotel.

Key Takeaway: In deciding when to sell your hotel, consider various factors such as its financial performance, the current state of the real estate market, and your personal circumstances to determine the optimal timing for a profitable sale.

Preparing Your Hotel for Sale

Before you list your hotel for sale, there are several steps you should take to ensure it’s in the best possible condition to attract potential buyers.

  1. Maintenance and Repairs: Any outstanding maintenance issues or necessary repairs should be addressed prior to listing your hotel for sale. This not only enhances the appearance of your property, but also demonstrates to potential buyers that the hotel has been well-maintained.
  2. Financial Auditing: A thorough audit of your hotel’s finances should be conducted. This will provide a clear picture of the hotel’s profitability and financial health, which will be a key consideration for potential buyers.
  3. Documentation: Gather all relevant documentation, including licenses, permits, inspection reports, and financial records. These documents will be required during the due diligence process.
  4. Professional Valuation: Engage the services of a professional to conduct a valuation of your hotel. This will provide an accurate estimate of its market value, informing your asking price.
  5. Marketing Strategy: Develop a compelling marketing strategy to effectively showcase your hotel to potential buyers. This may include professional photography, a well-written property description and highlighting your hotel’s unique selling points.

Key Takeaway: Preparing your hotel for sale involves conducting necessary maintenance and repairs, auditing finances, gathering relevant documentation, obtaining a professional valuation, and formulating a strong marketing strategy. By taking these steps, you can enhance the appeal of your hotel to prospective buyers and potentially increase the sale price.

How to Set a Competitive Price for Your Hotel

Setting the right price for your hotel is a crucial step in the selling process. The key to determining a competitive price is to remember that the ‘right price’ is the price you, as the seller, want. It’s not solely about raw valuation figures, but rather striking a balance between maximum profitability and attractiveness to potential buyers.

  1. Understand the Market: Start by understanding the current real estate market conditions. Look at similar hotels in your area — their asking prices, the prices at which they were sold, how long they stayed on the market, among other factors. This will provide you with a realistic benchmark against which to price your hotel.
  2. Consider Your Hotel’s Unique Selling Points: Every hotel has unique selling points that may be of value to potential buyers. It could be the location, outstanding service, special amenities, historic value, or even a renowned restaurant. These factors can and should be monetized when setting your asking price.
  3. Factor in your Hotel’s Profitability: The financial performance of your hotel should be a significant factor in setting the price. If your hotel has a strong track record of profitability and positive future projections, you may command a higher price.
  4. Professional Valuation: While the valuation provides an estimate of your hotel’s worth, it should not dictate your asking price. Rather, use it as a guide for setting a realistic yet profitable price.
  5. Flexibility: Be prepared to negotiate. Setting a reasonable price range allows for bargaining room with potential buyers without compromising your desired profit.

Key Takeaway: Setting the right price for your hotel should consider a variety of factors, including market conditions, unique selling points, profitability, and your personal financial goals. While a professional valuation is important, the final asking price should ultimately align with your expectations and objectives.

Marketing Your Hotel for Sale

Effective marketing is paramount to attracting suitable buyers for your hotel. This involves showcasing its strengths and unique selling points to connect with potential investors who recognize its value.

  1. Engage a Broker: A significant first step in marketing your hotel is engaging a broker, especially one who already has potential buyers at their disposal. Brokers have a wealth of experience in the industry and have built connections with investors and buyers who trust their judgment. They understand buyer expectations and know what makes a hotel stand out in the market. Utilizing a broker not only expedites the selling process but also increases your chances of securing a profitable deal.
  2. Highlight Unique Selling Points: Your marketing strategy should vividly illustrate the unique aspects of your hotel. Whether it’s a prime location, special amenities, or an awarded restaurant, these points should be at the forefront of your marketing materials to attract potential buyers.
  3. Professional Photography and Videography: High-quality, professional photos and videos are essential. They provide potential buyers with a visual presentation that can sway their decision. A virtual tour of the hotel can also be a powerful marketing tool.
  4. Online Presence: In today’s digital era, having a strong online presence is crucial. Ensure your hotel is listed on relevant real estate and hospitality websites. Social media platforms can also be used to reach a wider audience.
  5. Local and Industry Advertising: Don’t overlook traditional forms of advertising. Local newspapers, hospitality trade publications, and industry magazines can also be effective.

Key Takeaway: Marketing your hotel effectively is vital to attracting potential buyers. Engaging a broker with a ready pool of buyers can significantly expedite this process. Highlighting your hotel’s unique selling points and leveraging both digital and traditional platforms for advertising can also enhance your hotel’s visibility to prospective buyers. Remember, the goal is to make your hotel stand out in a competitive market.

Get Started Today

Ready to take the next step in selling your hotel? The National Industry Network is here to guide you through this process. Our team of experts has extensive experience in the hotel industry and a strong track record of assisting hotel owners in achieving profitable sales. 

We understand that selling your hotel is a significant decision, and we’re committed to making it as smooth and beneficial as possible. Contact us today.