By Tom Bradley, Auctioneer
There are many reasons a person might sell farm equipment. They might have become an executor to an estate, they may be a farm operator wishing to liquidate for cash, upgrading, downsizing or retiring. A dealer might want to reduce inventory for new models coming in or may need to cover capital needs by liquidating select farm equipment.
Today people have many options for selling equipment but still the most effective method remains public auctions. Not only do public auctions ensure that every piece of equipment sells on a specific day and transfers all of the loading and transportation to the buyer, it avoids many of the headaches of private negotiations which can be plagued with scammers and deep discount buyers using tactics against unsuspecting sellers that may and often do fall for bogus appraisals and sad stories.
#1 If you own equipment always treat it with respect and use it for its intended purpose. Using farm equipment in ways its not meant to use will cause wear and tear thats easily spotted by savvy buyers. Regular preventive maintenance will be worth money when you sell. Keeping records of the maintenance can be a convincing piece of evidence for buyers who will not always blindly accept what a seller says about maintenance. I have nothing against shade tree mechanics and small garages, but I know when maintenance is performed by an authorized dealer it holds more weight with buyers.
#2 Always ensure you clean and take care of the paint. Shiny equipment sells very well regardless of age. Shiny paint is one of the best indications the equipment was taken care of so periodically washing your equipment and maybe a wax job here and there will be worth the work when you sell farm equipment. Prior to sale day its very important to see that your equipment is thoroughly cleaned. There are many mobile pressure washing services that can be hired for a job like this once the equipment has been lined up so its washed in place and never needs to be moved again before the auction.
#3 Own equipment from reputable age old brands that buyers know will be here for a long time. We’ve sold equipment from what some will call “off brands” and gotten along just fine but equipment from brands like John Deere, Case IH and New Holland for example offer a buyer a piece of mind they can obtain parts and service easily if they should need it. In 2013 we sold a tractor that was an “off brand” and while the tractor sold for $500 more than the seller paid for it 2 years before, we had our work cut out for us explaining how to obtain parts and service should it ever be needed. You don’t want your choice of brand to stand in the way of re-sale value.
#4 Do not talk to people about the value of the equipment before selling it in any way shape or form. This is a mistake some sellers make and end up hurting themselves. Talking about the value of your equipment has many consequences from keeping people from attending the auction to possibly reducing you final bids by buyers that may have heard something they did not like or agree with.
#5 Trust the professionals. This doesn’t just apply to purchase decisions and maintenance, its important in selling too. Sell your equipment on a DreamDirt Auction. We bring a great deal of value to our sellers from the consultation to advertising process to the actual sale itself. From correctly describing and photographing equipment to exposing it in the right places and conducting the auction in the most professional manner using today’s most advanced auctioneering methods and technology you simply can not find the same value in any other sales method. While some may feel avoiding a commission saves them money in reality it costs them money. For someone familiar with the business after years of experience its easy to see that we can provide a higher net to the seller in any situation than they can achieve on their own.
Are you considering a farm equipment auction? If you are I have some tools I would like to share with you and will help you appraise you equipment with an auction estimate for all of your assets using our comparable data from recent sales. This market analysis doesn’t obligate you to anything and may help you get a better idea of the foundation you are on.
About the author: Tom Bradley is an auctioneer in Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and North Dakota (License #1053) Tom specializes in the sale of agricultural assets and has vast experience with estates, retirement, liquidation auctions using live, online and simulcast auctions. Tom experience includes the sale of farm equipment, farmland, livestock and personal property related to farm operations. You can contact him 515-202-7687 or Tom@DreamDirt.com