Who are the buyers for Seniors Housing Communities? – by Jason Punzel

There are many types of buyers in the seniors housing market and sometimes it can get confusing for sellers to know who they are really dealing with.  While it is great to get a high-price offer for your community, if the buyer doesn’t have the ability to close, it is doesn’t matter how good the offer is.

There are four main types of buyers:

  1. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) – REITs are publicly or privately traded real estate companies that typically have ample cash available to acquire properties. Most of the time REITs buy a community and at closing, sign a long term NNN lease with a local or regional operator to operate the community.  REITs typically buy with cash.  Since the early 2016, REITs have slowed their acquisition pace due to a decline in most of their stock prices.
  2. Private Equity Companies – They come in all different sizes from multi-billion dollar companies like the Carlyle Group to much smaller companies. Private Equity companies typically buy properties and use a management company to operate them.   Private Equity companies typically buy with cash or with a large line of credit.   Private Equity companies continue to be strong buyers and we have started to see foreign buyers come into the market as well.
  3. Local and Regional Operators – Local and Regional operators may own/lease 5-50+ communities. They may use a REIT or Private Equity company as a partner or may buy a community on their own.  If they are buying a community on their own, they typically use bank debt and raise equity internally with high net worth individuals, and through friends and family.
  4. “Mom and Pop” Operators – They typically own from 0-5 properties. Most REITs and Private Equity companies will not partner with Mom and Pop operators because they are too small, have too short of track record and the communities they operate have too few of units.  They typically buy with personal equity or friends and family’s equity, and bank debt.


As a seller, it is important to understand what type of buyer is making an offer to buy your community and how they plan to financing the purchase.  Far too many buyers try to put communities under contract to buy, and THEN try to find the equity and debt.   This often times lead to delays in closing, cancelling the offer to purchase, or retrading at a lower price.

At Senior Living Investment Brokerage, Inc. we have relationships with over 1,500 of different types of buyers and can help you understand what type of buyer is making an offer, their track record in closing deals and how they plan to finance it.

For more information on selling your community, contact Jason Punzel at 630-858-2501 x 233 or punzel@slibinc.com.

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Jason Punzel

Author Jason Punzel

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