It can be an emotional time for the family, but selling the family farm can be less stressful if you can anticipate what to expect and be prepared.
The Family Meeting
Getting everyone in the family on the same page is key. Often times it becomes apparent that maintaining the family farm is no longer prudent. Gathering everyone that has an interest in the family together for a meeting is most likely the best way to arrive at a final decision whether to sell, or not; while allowing everyone a forum with which to express their concerns and have “buy-in” to the final decision. Having read this article prior to that meeting may alleviate some concerns about the “unknown”.
- Ownership. Be clear on whose name(s) the farm is deeded to. Is it in a trust? Do you have the right to sell it? Knowing the answers to these questions can save a lot of heartache down the road.
- What are you selling? Is it the entire farm? Do you have the legal description? Do you only want to sell a portion and it needs to be surveyed and parceled off? If so, you will need to enlist the correct professionals to assist with making sure that everyone is clear about what is for sale and just as importantly, what is not. Make sure you have the details ironed out in advance.
Solicit Professionals for Advice
What is the farm worth? To answer this question will require utilizing a real estate broker or appraiser that specializes in farm sales. They have access to the comparable sales in your area and your active “competition”. Yes, it is important to keep both in mind and realize that prices can fluctuate quickly due to the market conditions.
Maximizing Your Farm’s Value
How can you maximize your farm’s net value? Consider hiring a professional real estate professional that has your best interests in mind. They can help streamline the process for you and take you from the beginning to closing. Here are some of the value-added services you can expect from your REALTOR®:
- Determine the market value of your property
- Gather data to market your property accurately (USDA maps, cultivatable acreage breakdown, soil types and composition, yields, fertility, CRP programs, tiling, irrigation, drainage, leases, zoning, easements, etc.)
- Provide suggestions on what improvements the property needs for you to reflect the best image and thusly receive the best price.
- Professionally photograph the farm to demonstrate the highlights, features, and beauty.
- Market the property thru the Realtor’s® MLS, various other organizations and websites for national and international exposure.
- Show the property or co-broke with other agencies to give you the broadest audience of potential buyers.
- Once an offer is received; explain the terms and conditions. Assist you with understanding your options and facilitate negotiations.
- Upon acceptance of an offer, order and review title work, surveys, or follow up on any other actionable items.
- Review the settlement statement with you prior to closing.
- Lastly, ensure you have a successful closing!
Next, learn about 1031 exchanges and how they can save you money!