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Short Lease Sales: Challenging, Yes. Impossible, No!

Short Lease Sales: Challenging, Yes. Impossible, No!


When John and his business partner Harry* decided to sell their suburban Brisbane convenience store after over twenty years in the business, they realised they might have a little problem. The business was very profitable and a great opportunity, but they only had two years left to run on the lease and the landlord was not being very co-operative when it came to extending or renewing that lease.

John knew Grant from Aussie Supermarket Brokers (ASB) very well and saw him regularly in his store when he came to say hello. But John didn’t base his choice of ASB to handle his sale purely on that personal relationship, he also knew how they operated and knew that ASB would promote the business for sale to their extensive database of qualified prospective buyers and that there was five brokers working specifically on the sale of stores like his.

As soon as he appointed ASB they started a promotion campaign for his store. Within a few days ASB broker Elizabeth Krienke had taken several people to inspect the store, and very quickly John was presented with two contracts for the full asking price.   Sadly, but as expected, these did not proceed because of the lease term. After much negotiation with the landlord it was absolutely clear that the lease would not be extended. Elizabeth didn’t give up. It was just a question of finding the right buyer who would see the potential in the store and who would be happy with the profits they would make while the store still had a lease. Within a few months the ASB marketing system uncovered the buyer. He had coincidentally worked in another store in the group interstate. Due to the short lease the buyer put in a slightly lower offer which was accepted by John, and the sale went through just eight months after the store was listed for sale.

“ASB were great to work with from start to finish.” says John. “They made sure all prospective buyers came to see the store and they kept me up-to-date with all developments.”

“One of the most challenging situations when selling a store is to have no lease or a very short lease.” says Elizabeth. “You have to work with what you have. In this situation I managed to find a buyer who was happy to take on the short lease at a reduced price and who could see the future potential for the site when it gets redeveloped. They were also happy with the profit they would make before the lease ran out. A long lease definitely adds to the ‘sellability’ of a store and if this store had its full lease in place it would have sold immediately rather than the eight months it took.”

After such a long career in food retail with early starts and late finishes, John is now looking forward to a very long break!

*not their real names

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