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Hotel Sunset

How to Sell a Hotel

Selling a hotel can be a difficult process but there are a few things you can do to make it easier!

The hotel industry shifts with the economy, but the favourable exchange rate and almost perfect weather keep foreign tourists flocking to South Africa.

You may have been prompted to sell your hotel because of the positive growth in the hotel sector, the long hours that this business demands or that there are constant changes in technology that you need to keep up with.

No matter what the reason is, this is a good time to find a buyer and here are a few tips to make sure the selling process goes smoothly.

Hotel Sky

Sector trends

  • There are increased flights to Africa and this is helping to make it a new ‘normal’ holiday destination.
  • Customer experience in the hotel industry has become extremely important with technology playing a large role in this.
  • There are going to be increasing numbers of peer to peer accommodation websites, like Airbnb, that are altering the industry.

Preparing for sale

Once you have decided that it is time to sell your hotel, you will need to prepare it before you put it on the market.

In order to get the price that you deserve for your business, you will need to attract the right buyer. There are a few things you can prepare to do this and most of these won’t require huge amounts of money.

You will need to have finances that are clear and up to date for at least two years before you sell your business. Avoid having personal finances mixed in with the business or anything that might be a red flag to potential buyers.Sell Your Business

On the more cosmetic side of things, you will need to fix up your hotel as much as possible before the sale. Just getting on top of general wear and tear and giving it a new coat of paint can make a huge difference to the property.

Boost your hotel’s online presence if this is something that you’ve neglected. A lot of business that hotels do is through online resources and potential buyers will want to see that they won’t have to start this from scratch. 

Keep in mind that preparing your hotel for sale and having an exit strategy will help you to maximise the profit from the sale of your business.

Hotel bed


There are a lot of things that you need to consider when you are trying to give a realistic and fair to your hotel.

Your hotel’s value will include the assets and inventory, which can add up to be quite substantial. The value will also be dependent on the goodwill that the hotel has built up and the guests that you have on the books for the next few years.

Repeat customers that frequent the hotel, and will continue to do so once it is sold, will add value to your business.

Keep a detailed record of how many guests you have at what time of the year, how much you charge per room and what kind of expenses there are. You will need to have up to date and accurate numbers for potential buyers.

The complicated nature of determining the value of the business means that it is usually worth getting a professional with experience in this area to help you.

Hotel Durban

Marketing your hotel

There are a lot of options for you to choose from when you are deciding how to market your business. Making sure that your business appears online can help you to get exposure to the widest audience. 

Some people may want to have a more targeted approach and advertise through a network of potential buyers. The best way to do this is through a business broker. If you do use a business broker, then you need to do as much research as possible to make sure that you choose the right one with a good track record.

No matter how you decide to go about selling your hotel, keep in mind what it is that gets your hotel to stand out and highlight these to potential buyers.

Selling your hotel can be a long and difficult process, however, if you keep your eye on the end result and focus on finding the right buyer it can be made easier!

Anthea Taylor

About the author

Anthea Taylor is Content Producer at Dynamis and writes for all titles in the Dynamis stable including, and as well as other industry publications.