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How to sell farmland in 6 simple steps

Wed 13 September 2017

We at Stags Farm Agency are often asked how to sell farmland. Despite popular belief, there is no need to panic; selling a field or block of land is very achievable as long as the proper processes are followed.

If you are considering selling farmland in the near future, follow these six steps for achieving a sale at the best possible price:

1. First impressions count

Make sure you have a good entrance into the field with a gate that opens and shuts without the need of string!

2. Know your buyer

Depending on which market you are looking to appeal to, this could influence your choice of crop. If the field is in permanent pasture or is a large block of land that will appeal to investors and farmers, showing the field’s full potential in an arable crop would be advantageous. However, if the field is in cereal cropping and you are looking to appeal to the equestrian or amenity market, you should consider sowing the field to grass so that it is ready for the buyer. 

3. Set the boundaries

If the land is going to be used for the grazing of livestock, it is important to have stock-proof boundaries. These should be well-maintained and identifiable with the title plan.

4. Connect your services

Water is clearly advantageous for any land, and this would ideally be a metered supply from the mains. If the land is being sold away from the vendor’s property, there are options to supply a metered sub-supply.

5. Do the paperwork

Having assessed the practical tasks to be carried, it’s time to move onto the paperwork and deal with matters such as who holds the deeds for the lad. If these are with your solicitor, check whether the land is registered with Land Registry. If not, it may be worth making a first registration application to avoid future delays. Finally, once you have located the deeds or Land Registry plan, check that this corresponds with the boundaries on the ground.

6. Talk tax

Take advice from your accountant to investigate any tax implications of a sale. Can you use Entrepreneurs’ Relief or any annual capital gains relief to reduce the amount of tax payable, particularly as land values have had substantial growth since 2007?

While you as a vendor are assessing the above, your agent should be addressing the below points in order to give you the maximum return:

Timing: When is the best time to launch the land to the market?

Type of market: Which market should the land be promoted to? The wider the market, the greater the chances of a sale at a better price.

Lotting: Are there any advantages to offering the land as a whole or in lots?

Pricing: How does your piece of land compare with other recently sold lots in the area?

Subsidies and environmental schemes: Should you sell these with the land and deal with the transfer?

Tenancy agreements: Is the land subject to any?

Covenants and restrictions: Should you place any on the land to be sold in order to protect any retained assets?

Stags Farm Agency will ensure that each of these steps is taken when selling your farmland to help you achieve the best possible price. 

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