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Thu 20 August 2020
The decision to sell a farm or block of land is usually the result of careful consideration and an agent’s role in that process is to understand their client’s reasons behind such a decision so that the best possible outcome can be achieved.
More often than not the objective is to realise the highest sale price, but sometimes finding a low risk buyer who can proceed with the purchase quickly is top of the list. Whilst we try to keep the sales process as uncomplicated as possible, we always look at the potential to add value through planning consents or lotting rather than taking the simplest, more obvious route of selling ‘as a whole’.
This is one of the strengths of Stags Farm Agency as not only do our valuers have a broad knowledge and skill set, but where in-depth advice is required we are fortunate to have specialists within the firm and an extensive network of residential agency offices so we are aware of current policy and property market trends across the West Country. This means that even during our initial meeting with a potential client, whilst walking around the farm or block of land, we are asking ourselves: ‘Would that barn be suitable for residential conversion and will obtaining planning consent to do so add value?’ or ‘Would dividing the property into lots make it more saleable and would there be a potential financial gain by doing so?’.
Our professionally qualified planning team provide detailed advice on a range of planning issues, and more commonly where a farm or land sale is involved this relates to barn conversions and residential development. However, legalising existing planning breaches can be equally important, not only so a property can be correctly marketed for mis-description reasons, but also so that when a buyer has been found, the conveyancing process is not held up unnecessarily.
Even if the decision is for the potential client not to apply for any planning consents due to time constraints, at least we are able to pass information to potential buyers of any possibilities to add value.
The benefits of Stags’ network of 21 offices across the West Country working alongside our central Farm Agency department come in to play before a farm or land lot is offered for sale and during the marketing process itself:
Each farm valuer covers a particular area so that we understand local market conditions, and as both residential property and land values are increasingly driven by location, it is equally important that we can lean on our local offices to provide invaluable knowledge of local residential values and potential buyers. We are not detached working from just one or two central West Country offices.
This broad knowledge base enables us to provide accurate and reasoned valuation advice to ensure that the quoted guide price is accurate: not too high so that a farm or land lot takes longer to sell than it should but also not too low in those ‘hot-spot’ areas.
Our Farm Agency department provides co-ordinated national and regional marketing coverage for all farms and larger land lots and acts as a hub for buyers originating from outside the south-west who don’t have specific requirements to buy in a particular location. We are also specialists in the sale of agricultural property and are able to deal with technical questions about the farms and land lots we are selling.
With 50% of the farms sold in the South West in 2019 being purchased in lots, having local expertise closely working alongside a wider regional base is particularly important in the current farms and land market.
Post selling our work doesn’t stop with Stags Professional Services able to assist with valuations for capital gains tax purposes or transferring Basic Payment Scheme entitlements and our livestock and on-site sales teams are on hand to organise and handle the sale of livestock, farm machinery and other equipment.
For more information and advice, please contact our Head of Farm Agency-George Alder or our Head of Professional Services- Alex Rew