Our PO were the best in giving a detailed transition... we bought it turnkey - linen, china, guest room furniture. They has stopped booking rooms for the month of the sale but continued to book rooms starting with our planned take over date - Sept 1st (3 years ago this year) We put our pets in a kennel for a week and did a transition period with them showing us how they ran the business. The mortgage company had to do an actually drive by reassessment of the property so that delayed our closing with them another week, but they were gracious to let us stay here even tho' it was a stressful situation. Mr PO took us out and about town - showing us where to sign up for licenses, permits, changing over utilities, meeting locals; Mrs PO showed us the bookkeeping, room set up, and her cleaning techniques - all very helpful. We closed on 8/22, picked up our dog and 2 cats from the kennel (man, that was expensive!) and our personal belongings arrived on 8/25 - we had our first guests on Sept 1. Mrs PO had left her files on product warranties for various pieces of equipment, paint chips for rooms, contact list for just about everything we would need (plumbers, electricians, etc), left previous guest index cards. I couldn't imagine a more helpful tutoring time.
I think it was difficult for them to leave the inn... they had been here for 12 yrs. They've only stopped by once and that was hard for them to do, I think. We certainly couldn't and didn't fill their shoes but we are making our own mark with the inn and in town in our own way.