How Involved Should a Seller be in a New Dental Practice? | Maryland Dental Brokerage
Dental Practice Sales & Transitions
If you plan to purchase an established dental practice, you might encounter a thorny transition dilemma: How to handle the selling dentist. Will they introduce you to patients? How long should they stay after you have purchased the practice? How will re-dos of their dental work be handled?
As you prepare to hammer out a purchase deal, you will need to discuss the seller’s long-range plans. Ask directly if they want to continue working at the practice and, if so, for how long. As a dental brokerage firm, we encourage you to introduce this important discussion right away to avoid conflicts later.
How Long Should the Seller Stay?
Each situation is different, of course. You might want the seller to stay on indefinitely as an associate, free of the responsibilities of ownership but involved in patient care. More likely, however, you will need to agree on an exit deadline.
If there are enough patients to keep you both busy, it makes sense to allow the seller to stay on. After all, they know the patients, the ebb and flow of patient volume, and other information that could take you months to learn on your own.
If the selling dentist decides to stay on, avoid power struggles by making each role clear in the contract. It is natural for any departing dentist — especially one who has spent years building a rapport with teams and patients — to feel emotionally vested. Be sensitive to this attachment and keep discussions positive.
Build Goodwill Among Patients and Team Members
One of the most important aspects of a dental practice sale is to maintain staff and patient confidence. A positive attitude benefits you financially in the long run. To that end, we as dental brokers encourage sellers to send a personalized letter to patients introducing the buyer and explaining the transition.
Handling Re-Dos and Warranty Work
When negotiating the contract, make sure any procedure re-dos or warranty work the seller has promised patients will be carried out by that dentist, and paid for within a specific timeframe. You might also consider requiring the selling dentist to set up an escrow account that you can tap for reimbursement if you end up performing the work.
For guidance on choosing a dental practice for sale, negotiating terms with the seller, and creating a mutually beneficial transaction, call our experienced dental brokerage office in Towson, MD.