Selling a Dealership in the USA Southeast:
5 Factors for Dealer Principals to Consider in This Hot Seller’s Market

As a dealer principal, you cannot trust just anyone with your legacy when it comes time to pass on the torch. But the idea of finding the right successor to assume responsibility for a business you’ve likely spent much of your life building can leave even the most seasoned dealer principal feeling overwhelmed.

For dealers in many southeastern states, successorship can feel particularly challenging — and it’s not for lack of demand. In fact, for dealers considering an exit strategy in the U.S. Southeast, the challenge is in fact a buy-sell market that is flooded with hopeful buyers.

 

Opportunities and challenges coexist in the Southeast seller’s market

On the surface, the hot demand for dealerships in the Southeast might not seem like much of an issue for a local dealer considering selling. It’s certainly true that, for current dealer principals operating in the Southeast, the opportunities right now are ripe.

But it’s a double-edged sword. While market conditions are certainly favorable right now for would-be dealership sellers of the area, the stiff competition for acquisition opportunities means current dealers must navigate a sea of hungry buyers — not all of whom may always be the right fit for the business in question.

It’s for this reason that the importance of working with an experienced partner to be your advocate throughout the buy-sell process cannot be overstated. Trusted by clients across the Southeast and across the world, DSMA has a proven track record of facilitating swift, smooth, and successful exits for dealers ready to sell.

 

How to choose a partner when selling your dealership

Choosing a buy-sell partner is no small decision for a dealer. When it comes to something as important as finding a caretaker for their life’s work, dealers have many factors to consider. Here are five qualities dealers ready for a change — particularly those in the U.S. Southeast — should look for when selecting a broker to help them pass on their business.

1. Experienced in your market

When it comes to selling a dealership, no two markets are alike. What works in the Northwest will not necessarily be successful in the Southeast. This is why DSMA maintains an active local presence in all the markets we serve — including the Southeast.

As a DSMA client, working with the firm grants you access to a team that has both global knowledge and local expertise. With associates specializing in individual states across the Southeast, DSMA possesses the unique market knowledge needed to help you succeed.

Dealers who choose DSMA work with dedicated partners local to them — meaning they receive a personal, engaged advisor who meets with them in person to discuss their needs firsthand.

2. Aligned with your priorities

A dealership may be a business, but it’s so much more than that. It’s a legacy, and the product of a lifetime of work and dedication. It’s a livelihood for a team of employees. It’s a valued community presence.

When evaluating potential buy-sell brokers as a dealer, it’s important to look for a partner that possesses an appreciation for all the intangible values your business represents.

At DSMA, nothing matters more to us than earning the confidence of the dealers who trust us. From the start, our focus is on learning your vision and priorities — whatever they may be — to identify the right strategy for achieving your specific goals.

3. Informed by data

Trying to sell a car without strong market data would never be a good idea, and the same goes for selling your dealership. With over 1,900 valuations completed and more than 450 deals closed, DSMA has a wealth of historical data to ensure every decision made throughout your process is an informed one.

A crucial first step comes in conducting a meticulous business valuation to optimally position your listing in the market and attract the highest-potential buyers. DSMA employs a specialized approach, leveraging the Blue-Sky method to evaluate not only tangible assets but also intangible factors to ensure each valuation captures the true essence of a dealership’s worth.

What’s more, DSMA’s proprietary QUOTUS™ platform transforms monthly OEM financial statements into actionable business insights, bringing advanced business intelligence to dealership groups of all sizes. With QUOTUS™, more knowledge means more power in your hands to make the best decision for your specific situation.

4. Invested in the relationship

As a dealer, you’ve built your business on personal service, and when it comes time for your dealership’s next chapter, you deserve that same level of personal commitment.

Many dealers — even those who don’t expect it — find that passing on their dealership to a new owner can be an unexpectedly emotional process. It’s more than understandable. For many dealers, their dealerships are reflections of themselves.

The buy-sell process shouldn’t be a faceless transaction. It should be a personal, positive experience for everyone — including you as the seller, and that’s a commitment our DSMA team takes to heart.

5. Engaged throughout the process

From marketing specialization, to financial expertise, to OEM approvals and more, selling a dealership can be a complex process. Often, it can involve many parties before a deal is signed.

Many buy-sell brokers offer piecemeal capabilities, outsourcing the rest to countless third-party players. As a dealer, though, this approach can make the process needlessly complicated. To ensure dealers have an easy, stress-free experience, DSMA combines end-to-end capabilities, so clients have a single point of contact throughout the entire process.

As a dealer, you deserve to be in the know about your dealership’s status throughout every step of the buy-sell process. It’s for this reason that open, engaged and continuous communication is standard practice for DSMA when working with dealers. From the initial cup of coffee all the way to the closing table, DSMA is with you every step of the journey.

 

A bright future for you and your dealership

The decision to sell your dealership is a major one. It’s for this reason that, should selling be your decision, we at DSMA want to help you do it with confidence. Particularly for dealers living in the U.S. Southeast, the current market trends are making this a favorable time to consider listing, for those who are exploring their options.

DSMA has an extensive network of active buyers looking to acquire dealerships and dealership groups across the Southeast. Dealers in the Southeast who are interested in learning more about the buy-sell process are invited to contact DSMA for an introductory call by visiting here.

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