Your business may also be more valuable in pieces than as a whole. For example, a buyer may find your real estate holdings more attractive as an asset than the entire business.

Finally, keep in mind that the price you get for your company may differ from the appraised market value and can be affected by unexpected factors. For example, a company may be willing to pay a premium for your business because it’s a good fit.

Valuation is obviously a key issue for entrepreneurs seeking to exit a business. Establishing a fair value for a company isn’t easy, but the sale price you come up with will be an important focal point of your transition plan.

Many entrepreneurs have an unrealistic idea of how much their company is worth. That’s not surprising, since research shows that people almost invariably attach a higher value to things they own than to things that aren’t theirs.