Appraisal of Real Estate Offices & Selling Your Book of Business


Quick Takeaways

  • A book of business consists of a list of your current and former clients along with their contact information
  • Your history and relationships with clients are priceless! A book of business is a great way to demonstrate the intangible value of your client relationships, and often has monetary value as well.
  • Books of business can help you grow – keeping track of clients and their life changes may get you further business and even referrals

Source: What is a Book of Business (The Balance, Sep. 17, 2020)

Placing a dollar amount of your real estate firm, office, or team, is a daunting and to some, seemingly impossible task. However, three tried and true methods exist for business appraisal and valuation: asset-based, earning value, and market value. No matter what approach works best for you, a professional business appraiser can help you accurately determine a fair and unbiased price point.

Your book of business contains vital information for any appraisal or valuation. Contact lists help demonstrate the intangible worth of your client relationships, and can help in appraisal and valuation.

When the time comes to move on from your position, selling your book of business is an option. If you are in a leadership position, however, your succession planning will require significantly more than passing on your client list. Succession planning is key to a thriving and profitable business, but it requires a great deal of foresight. According to Deloitte, while 86% of leadership think succession planning is extremely important, only 14% feel they are doing it well.

See References for more information.


NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require the member's login.

Appraising​ a Real Estate Office

5 Simple Steps to Valuing Your Small Business (, Aug. 19, 2020)

Step 1: Forget about capital assets when valuing your business.

Step 2: Work out profitability by being aware of gross income and all outgoing payments.

Step 3: Calculate the Value

Step 4: Factor in Your Market Valuation

Step 5: Accept the Will of the Market

What is a Business Appraiser (The Balance, Jul. 17, 2020)

As an unbiased professional, a business appraiser can help you accurately determine the value of your career’s work, your business, and/or your property. Appraisers use the same popular appraisal methods that you might use, but are required to function independtly and meet specific standards.

3 Business Valuation Methods: How to Valuate a Company (The Balance, Mar. 14, 2020)

Determining the value of a company is both “and art and a science,” often requiring multiple methods to get a complete and acurrate idea of your businesses monetary worth. The three main approaches to business valuation are asset-based, earning value, and market value. Often, these three valuationsare averaged to determine the fairest sale price.

Selling Your Book o​f Business

What is a Book of Business? Definition & Examples of a Book of Business (The Balance, Sep. 17, 2020)

“Your book of business should include all customers or clients you have worked with in the past. As you acquire a new client, add them and their information to your book of business. Your book of business is ideally ever-changing and evolving, with new information added about your clients as your relationship progresses.”

How to Value a Small Business if You are Looking to Sell or Buy (NerdWallet, Oct. 30, 2020)

The valuation process requires organizing your finances and taking stock of your assets. Keep in mind that both the tangible and intangible value of your company is being assessed, including intellectual property, your brand and reputation, as well as consumer loyalty.

The Sell Your Business Tool Kit (REALTOR® Magazine Online)

Selling You​r Website

Selling a Website or Online Business in 2021 (Forbes, Jun. 2021)

“In addition, many business owners have started concluding that running their business can be done remotely, which opens up the pool of buyers to the entire world in some cases. The supply and demand follow a similar parallel to the real estate market, and right now, it’s a seller’s market for real estate and online businesses or profitable websites.”

How to Sell a Website in 2021 and Get the Price You Deserve (Kinsta, Apr. 22, 2021)

According to the author, the seven steps for selling your website at a profit are as follows: diversify your traffic sources, create processes and use third-party services, get your financials and traffic reports in order, choose the right marketplace or broker, know your potential buyer and customize your sales package, prepare your team of virtual assistants for the sale, and last but not least, know what your site is worth!

Successio​n Planning

Guide to Creating a Succession Plan + Free Downloadable Template (Pingboard, Jul. 6, 2021)

“Without the right tools and resources, many organizations can get derailed when attempting to create an effective succession plan. In fact, research by Deloitte found that although 86 percent of leaders believe leadership succession planning is an “urgent” or “important” priority, only 14 percent believe they do it well. By following a clear process and using available resources, it is possible to develop and execute your company’s succession plan.”

The High Cost of Poor Succession Planning (Harvard Business Review, May/Jun., 2021) E

“Analysis suggests that the market value wiped out by badly managed CEO and C-Suite transitions in the S&P 1500 alone is close to $1 trillion a year. Better succession planning could, by contrast help the large-cap U.S. Equity market add a full point to the 4% to 5% annual gains Wall Street projects for it.”

Succession Planning (Investopedia, Dec. 6, 2020)

When done correctly, succession planning should be in mind long before a leader leaves a company. Successful succession planning begins with candidate recruitment – hiring the right candidate and providing them with the environment and resources could lead to a smooth transition if and when a future position needs to be filled.

Web Resources

The Sell Your Business Toolkit (REALTOR® Magazine)

Close or Sell Your Business (U.S. Small Business Administration)

SBA provides information on planning your exit, steps to closing a business, selling your business, transferring ownership, and more.

The Institute of Business Appraisers

In valuing your business, consider working with an evaluation professional. The Institute of Business Appraisers offers a certified business appraiser (CBA) designation for those meeting the group’s education and performance criteria.

eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Business Valuation and Taxes (eBook)

Business Valuation for Dummies® (eBook)

Buying and Selling a Business: A Step-by-Step Guide (eBook)

Career Planning and Succession Management (eBook)

Effective Succession Planning (eBook)

Exiting Your Business, Protecting Your Wealth (eBook)

Inside CEO Succession: The Essential Guide to Leadership Transition (eBook)

Journal of Property Investment & Finance, Volume 34, Issue 6 (eBook)

Selling Your Business for Dummies® (eBook)

Selling With Certainty (eBook)

Succession Exit Transition (eBook)

The Market Approach to Valuing Businesses (eBook)

The Small Business Valuation Book: Easy-to-use Techniques That Will Help You... Determine a Fair Price, negotiate Terms, Minimize Taxes (eBook)

Valuing a Business (eBook)

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