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Estate agencies continue to be bought and sold despite crisis, says leading broker

It may sound unlikely as the housing market goes into hibernation, but Marc Daniels of Addisons says he's still finding buyers for firms of all sizes within the sector.

Nigel Lewis

estate agencies

The number of estate agencies being bought and sold during the Coronavirus crisis has not faltered despite the almost complete shut-down of the housing market, it has been claimed.

Marc Daniels, boss of property industry business sales specialist Addisons says his work is carrying on in earnest, and that he has just begun marketing three estate agency businesses and is handling three offers on two other companies.

“You might think agents would have to discount their business’s selling price by 20-25% to attract a buyer in the current climate, but it’s not the case whether it’s a £100,000 or a £3 million business,” he says.

“One of the ones I’m selling has been offered at full open market price in NW England and one not far below market price,” he says.

Daniels, who has been helping clients buy and sell estate agency businesses since 1985, says he has ten sales and/or lettings agencies going through his books at the moment, and has sold three including a chain in the East End of London, a business in Farnborough and a estate agency in Bridlington since the most recent Budget.

He has also endured at least three severe economic meltdowns during his career working with estate agencies, and says like other downturns it’s only the big corporates who have put their acquisition programmes ‘on hold’ to keep their shareholders happy.

Daniels says it is both sales and lettings agencies that are being snapped up, but admits it’s easier to find buyers for firms with existing property management portfolios.

“Unlike other brokers I take on agencies of all sizes – a deal is a deal as far as I’m concerned,” he says.

April 15, 2020

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