For those who were born and raised on a generational family farm, making a decision to sell it can be an emotionally difficult task. Unfortunately, a sale of this type can also be physically difficult to accomplish, especially if the farm is very large or if the buildings, home, and fences have become run down or neglected. Because the pool of interested, qualified buyers for this type of large property is much smaller than the pool of buyers for a typical residential home, finding the right buyer can take both time and a creative marketing strategy.
If you are the heir to a farm or large tract of land that has been in your family for many generations and now must be sold, the following tips can help you streamline your search for the perfect buyer and get enjoy the best possible sales experience.
Explore the possibilities of selling to a neighboring landowner
Successful farmers are always looking to add more acreage to their property, especially if the property adjoins their own or is located in close proximity to it. When selling a family farm, you may be able to find a qualified buyer by contacting each large landowner in the immediate area to inquire about their possible interest in your farm. Even if they are not interested, they may know someone else who is in their circle of acquaintances.
In most counties, you can access the names and contact information for neighboring landowners and large property owners through the county property tax rolls. The county assessor's office will be able to provide directions for either physical or online access to this information. A nominal fee for online access or a copying fee may apply. The assessor's office will also be able to provide you with a map that will help you visualize the physical location of each adjoining landowner to help streamline the process.
Partner with the right real estate broker
Real estate brokers who specialize in selling large tracts of land, including farms and ranches, will have the experience and resources to market your farm more effectively than an agent or broker whose only experience is in selling residential homes or small parcels of land. Because most farms are located in less traveled areas, marketing will require much more than a yard sign and placement in the multiple listing service (MLS).
Before choosing a real estate broker to assist you in marketing your farm, take time to explore each candidate's history and experience with this type of sale. If possible, speak with a few of their past listing clients and review their statistics to determine average market time, as well as their average list versus sold price.