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Our clients have many different reasons for selling, and we appreciate how important it is for us to fully understand their priorities and timescales in order to provide tailored advice. For most, achieving the highest sale price is top of the agenda, but sometimes finding a low-risk buyer who can proceed quickly is top of the list. For trustees or executors, having a transparent sales process (like an auction) could be important.
Whilst we try to keep the sales process as uncomplicated as possible, we always look at the potential to add value.
For some, this time of year may be a time to reflect and prepare for the future. If you are thinking of selling your farm or land, there are some key things to think about which could help add value to your property and ensure the sale proceeds smoothly.
1. Explore planning opportunities
‘Would that barn be suitable for residential conversion and will obtaining planning consent add value?’
Our qualified planning team provide detailed advice on a range of planning issues. This can typically involve barns to convert or residential development. However, legalising existing planning breaches can be equally important to ensure the conveyancing process is not held up unnecessarily.
Farm Agent Andrew Ranson reports that on several market appraisals in the last year he has spotted barns that the vendors had not expected to be able to convert to residential use but Stags has obtained consent to do so. Even if the decision is made not to apply for any planning consents due to time constraints, Stags is still able to market the possibilities to add value.
2. Consider Lotting
Would dividing the property into lots make it more saleable by appealing to a wider audience and would there be a potential financial gain by doing so?
Mr Ranson states, “Recently near Holsworthy, Stags has sold land purchased just 12 months earlier through another Farm Agent, at about double the price by lotting the land and appealing to a wider/different market.”
Make sure your farm or land looks at its best so buyers focus on the positive aspects of the farm. First impressions count and having a tidy up or just hanging a gate into the land can really help. Sometimes just leaving the marketing to a more appealing time of the year is all that is needed.
4. Do not overcook the Guide or Asking Price
We base our advice on market evidence and experience and we pride ourselves on giving honest advice. It is crucial that the price does not discourage potential buyers from showing interest or viewing the property. Regularly, strong interest will push a sale price to in excess of the guide, as recently proved when Stags agreed a sale for a farm near Launceston, for more than £200,000 above the guide price!
Often, vendors main criteria for appointing an agent is the agent’s valuation. Mr Ranson would encourage vendors to question whether they feel that agent is any more likely to achieve their figure, just because they said it? Vendors are often seduced by an optimistic valuation that then causes delays and possibly a lower figure to be achieved than if they had been more realistic.
5. Consider who your buyer is likely to be
For example, depending on which market you are looking to appeal to could influence your choice of crop or lot size. If the field is in pasture but has potential for arable, sowing an arable crop could be advantageous to show off this potential. 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 that type of buyer.