How do you value a small, privately-owned, neighborhood grocery store?

Small, successful neighborhood grocery store located in high-traffic inner city community. How would I value this? Premises is leased but the lease will expire soon - landlord willing to negotiate favorable terms with the new business owner. Please help. How would I also value inventory? Thank you.
In Selling Property - Asked by Jade O. - Mar 30, 2011
Report Abuse
Answer this Question


John C.
Sparta, NJ

Hi Jade,
The only traditional way to value this is by getting to NOI and translating that to what some one would pay to make that income with a manager in place and get a market return on investment ( cap rate). If that cannot work because of cash accounting then it is necessary to offer the "clocking" of the business by letting the futre job applicant ( new owner) sit in while operations occur and let the buyer determine what the job is worth. Iventory if current is valued by negotiation usally begins at dollar for dollar. I would expect new lease terms to be big time favorable towards new tenant with big consideration in this enviornment.
Where is this business?
Joh Chambers
REMAX Platinum Group- Commercial Division
973-726-5700 eext 124

Mar 30, 2011
Report Abuse
Ben E.
Kansas City, MO

You will have to use the income from the last three years, you will need the seller to provide you with a profit and loss statement to do this.
The price should be based on the history of income and the projected future income.
The link below will help you figure out how to figure the Cap Rate.

Mar 30, 2011
Report Abuse
Shirley S.
Bristol, TN

This is a example of valuation that I would use along with the comps of properties that have sold in the last year in the area.
Say you have a business that generates $100,000 in gross income. Your cost of goods was say $20,000. That means your gross income before expenses is $80,000.
Then, subtract your expenses. You have utilities, payroll, taxes, insurance and advertising costs of say $20,000. Personal expenses covered by the business, such as a car payment, health insurance, and travel costs, adds another $5,000.
total expenses would be $25,000, subtract expenses from your net.
That leaves a net income of $55,000. But adding back the $15,000 in personal expenses brings the business cash flow, (the true net profit), up to $60,000.
To determine an appropriate multiplier to arrive at your business's value.
Generally would be 1.5% to 2% of your Net for the year..
Example: 2% of your yearly net $55,000
Sale Price would be..$120,000
Inventory is purchased at cost by the buyer...
Hope this helps..

Mar 30, 2011
Report Abuse
Roger S.
Lascassas, TN

Your question is not one that has one single answer. The simplest and most direct is that a real estate agent cannot "value" a piece of real estate. Appraisers can place a value estimate on a property, not agents. Courts make a "determination of value". You can estimate a marketing price range, or potential sales price using comps, but not a value of the property. As for the "value" in the eyes of a purchaser, that will vary. An investor wants to see the Net Operating Income and will buy based on overall CAP (generically speaking the interest rate they want to receive on the investment). They will only pay what they deem to make sense to them financially based on their desired CAP rate. An owner-occupant will view the property differently. He/she will pay a price that is much different from that of an investor because he/she is not thinking of profit off of a lease, but instead is thinking of profit from inventory sales. This type of buyer will typically pay more than an investor. You need to figure out how best to market the property for the best suited type of buyer that will have an interest in this particular property. With a lease expiring, I suspect an owner-occupant is the best target.
On another note, your question is not exactly clear. You may be saying the property owner is not the same as the business owner because you state that the “landlord is willing to negotiate (…) with the new business owner”. If the store owner is only a tenant and does not own the real estate, then this is another matter altogether. Under these circumstances, you really don't have anything to sell as a real estate agent. This would be an exchange of personal property and maybe a "book of business"; possibly, too, the leased-fee interest for the property owner (which appears to be expiring soon) but if you are not representing the owner of the real estate then this is not something of value to a buyer of the business/inventory. Under this scenario, a future purchaser of the business/inventory will not have any interest in the lease except for how much rent will be paid as a future tenant (and the other terms, but there is no “value” in this). If representing the owner of the real estate, here, too, a “value” on the leased-fee interest can only be arrived at by an appraiser comparing this lease to other known, similar existing leases in the vicinity and other methods of appraisal valuation.
In either situation, there is no way to “value” inventory, not as an agent. That being said, it is highly unlikely that the inventory will sell for cost. A future business owner will likely decide that buying new inventory is a better option than paying full price for existing inventory. You would do the same if you were buying it. The price of the inventory will have to be discounted for it to be of interest to a future purchaser. Exactly how much, is not easy to determine. You may have to wait and see what the interested parties offer and work from there.

Mar 31, 2011
Report Abuse
John F.
Miami, FL

It appears your are looking to buy both the real estate and business. Two completely different components and valuation methods. I was a state certified General Appraiser in California for 15 years performing many many appraisals on similar properties. First thing you would have to do is determine the most likely buyer. An investor, who would likely purchase the property as an investment or an owner/user who would purchase it for his own business. I don't know that market but judging by your questions it looks like its most like going to be purchased by an owner/user or yourself. That being said, comparisons of other similar grocery stores would suffice and you could just utilize the price per sq.ft. comparison method of the sale comparison approach. ie. extracting the price/sf unit from similar box retail sales (make sure those sales didn't include the business). You can also utilize the income approach to back up your price per sq.ft. conclusion. In this method you have to determine market rent (rent survey) of the subject property. Once you estimate market rent you can estimate Gross annual income, vacancy and collection loss and operating expenses to derive your Net operating income (NOI). Once you have the NOI you can utilize the capitalization theory ( NOI/Capitalization rate = Value) to determine value. Capitalization rate can be derived from similar building sales provided the income information is readily available.
Business Valuation is not my cup of tea. You would have to seek another professional for that or do the research. Below is a link to follow which gives you a general rule of thumb indicator of what other businesses have sold for.

Mar 31, 2011
Report Abuse

Welcome to Answers

LoopNet Answers is where the commercial real estate community shares what they know to help each other out. And it's all for free.

Ask a question to get advice from brokers, investors, professionals and local experts.

Answer questions to raise your visibility as a trusted advisor and build new relationships.

Ask a Question

Post Question