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Wed 16 May 2018
At Stags, we often see farmers facing a common dilemma when considering buying a new farm: you don't want to risk selling up until you've found something else to buy, and when the ideal farm finally comes to market you aren't in a position to proceed.
Stags Farm Agent and Auctioneer, Andrew Ranson, offers his tips to those thinking of buying a larger farm, or perhaps moving areas.
Don't wait until your ideal farm comes onto the market; run some figures past your bank and discuss the possibility of a bridging loan (they're not as expensive as they once were). You might be surprised by how supportive your bank is, as one bank manager explains, "we don't lend to bad businesses in the boom years and we don't stop lending to good businesses in the bad years." Being on the front foot with your finances will always give you an advantage over buyers who are not.
With a limited number of opportunities coming onto the market, it is important to register with the right agents who will alert you of something suitable before it hits the open market. Viewing a variety of farms will also give you a better idea of the type of property you want as well as how far your money will stretch in different areas. Careful monitoring will allow you to see which properties have been reduced and which might be very soon.
Having a realistic valuation of your own property is often the starting point for assessing what you can afford. It could be fate, but very often everything falls into place for vendors who don't quite know where they'll end up when they market their own farm.
Take advice on whether there are any measures you can take to make your farm more saleable or valuable before you market it. Obtaining planning permission to develop a farm building can greatly increase sales values, but the impact on the farmhouse or other parts of the farm must also be taken into account. Make sure you've considered an overage clause, entitling you to a percentage of any future development value within a set period of time.
Written agreements and other legal documentation can all be prepared before a farm is sold to avoid delays at a crucial time.
Every farm vendor's tax situation will be different, but advice at an early stage could save you thousands of pounds.
If you have been unsuccessful in selling your farm or farmland this summer, call Andrew Ranson for confidential advice.