How To Be The Perfect Land Seller
CAI Auctioneer, Land Broker
Founder, Auctioneer, Broker, and Agent at DreamDirt, Jason Smith is a lead farm real estate professional in the Midwest. He has achieved the pinnacle of auction education earning the CAI designation and is one of only 11 CAI auctioneers in Iowa. Jason graduated from the World Wide College of Auctioneering, and has achieved the PRI designation from the Professional Ringmen Institute. Jason and his wife founded DreamDirt in 2005, and the company continues to be a leader in the farm auction space and prides itself in offering extensive land seller and buyer information.
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What’s My Role in the Land Sale Process?
When we talk about being “the perfect seller” we really are talking about the seller that is able to achieve maximum value through the sales process. This is made possible by doing your homework and following our advice throughout the sale and auction process.
In as many farm and land parcels as we’ve sold, we have experienced nearly every seller personality possible. It’s noteworthy because you might not realize there is such a thing as a perfect seller. Now, it would probably take several psychology books to really figure out why some people do what they do, but this isn’t about that. This is a short guide on the things you should not do, or better, the things you should do as a seller of land.
Does It Make A Difference What Kind of Seller I Am?
Absolutely. Over the years, we’ve watched sellers do some things despite our insistence and advice not to; however, things still happen. We can specifically pinpoint examples where behavior has cost them money or worse, a sale. In one particular auction, the seller was pretty confident in his ability and knowledge. Now in all honesty, it wasn’t really up to the level of the buyers attending the auction. A short time before the auction was about to start, a loud argument broke out in the back room that resulted in a pretty tense situation. I’d like to say that it was kept in private, but everyone in attendance saw and heard it. This argument made our jobs impossible that day and was completely uncalled for. Not only did we not sell the farm, but we also lost the entire 45 days and money we had invested in marketing the farm. It was disheartening to see several people leave the auction and those that remained were turned off by the seller’s behavior.
Tips for Being a Great Seller
There are some things to consider when selling a piece of land, and it’s important to choose the right method of selling for you. Will you use a listing or an auction? Each method is much different, and each method fits each scenario differently. No matter your choice, here are some tips to help you achieve the best sale possible!
#1 Choose Your Real Estate Representative Carefully
If you hire a professional to represent you, choose carefully and most importantly, choose someone you trust with the transaction! If you trust them, insist on regular, open communication and updates in regards to the process. However, be sure to let them use their professional skill to represent you.
#2 Avoid Micromanaging the Land Sale
It’s important for you as a seller to avoid trying to micromanage or redirect the processes of the professional you hire. Unless you can truly articulate a specific reason for it, it’s best to let them do their job! A healthy relationship with your agent, or auctioneer, will go a long way. If you encounter something that makes you uncomfortable, having that open line of communication will make it easier to resolve the issue at hand.
#3 Do Not Disclose Crucial Information About Your Piece of Land
The best sellers will follow the golden rule: say nothing to anybody and avoid any conversation of the upcoming auction. This means not speaking any details beyond date, time and location. It is crucial to never talk about reserves or price to anybody.
DreamDirt Farmland for Sale This will serve you very well when a sale happens! We realize it may be uncomfortable to sidestep these conversations, it can be done easily by offering a potential buyer with, “you will need to talk with the auctioneer” or simply stating, “I have an agreement with my agent that I will refer all questions to him/her”. This can remove you from the hot seat and avoid all the discomfort that comes with it.
We’ve seen many cases where the sellers are removed from the area of the farm and may experience a phone call or two by people that know how to contact them. In that case, it’s important to mention as well that you should even avoid talking to family members or close friends that still live in the area of the farm. We’ve found that when one person knows something, it gets around fairly quickly. It’s in your best interest to keep all information between you and your agent or trusted legal advisor.
#4 Try to Attend the Auction
We understand there are some circumstances where sellers want to attend the auction, and others do not. Nonetheless, if you were to attend the auction, it’s important to be approachable and gracious to the buyers in attendance. It’s also important not to argue, offer opinions or speak of your expectations in terms of price.
We love it when a seller attends and can mingle and shake hands with the buyers ahead of the auction. From our experience, the buyers seem to be appreciative of this opportunity, too. This is especially true when we are selling estates where everybody knew the person that owned the farm. I have found that buyers genuinely enjoy the opportunity to talk and catch up with the seller or heirs following an auction. Maybe it’s a Midwestern thing, but we think in certain situations, it gives the auction a very personal touch. Does that mean more money? We would never tell you that, but we can tell you that selling to a “warm” crowd is much different than selling to a “cold” crowd!
#5 Share Everything With Your Sales Professional
It is in your best interest to not leave out any details. We want to help you achieve the best price possible, but sometimes we get blindsided by the unsaid details. Those can range from estranged relationships, debt issues, neighbor conflicts, access issues or a myriad of other things. The perfect sellers disclose everything so we can act and plan accordingly.
#6 Focus on the Task at Hand
One of the dirty, ugly things about selling farmland is it very often cultivates hard feelings amongst families. We’ve experienced many situations where brothers and sisters were torn apart by farmland ownership or the sale of the farmland. This creates potentially hazardous situation for everybody involved. We know that this is just as difficult for you as it is for us. We ask that everybody focus in the task and agree on the goal so we can all work towards a common goal that is acceptable to everybody. Setting aside personal feelings for others in the process will serve you best because it elevates the outcome which is in your best interest.
The Most Valuable Mechanism for You
There is a reason so many farm sellers have relied on DreamDirt to sell their farms. We understand Midwestern farmland prices and can spot value quickly. The proper evaluation of your assets by an appraiser is the first step and often the foundation of your decision-making when selling farm land real estate. We have developed the tools leveraging the right data on Midwest farmland prices and machinery sales to produce accurate results. Thus, we are able to pinpoint selling prices so our sellers walk away with peace of mind.
We would be happy to provide you with a FREE MARKET ANALYSIS to help you understand the value of your farm! Whether you’re ready to start the selling process, or even remotely curious, we will gladly provide this to you! Please fill out the form below and our team will get the process started!
It has been a distinct honor as a farm real estate broker and auctioneer to be the voice of so many family farms over the years. As one of the top producing farm auctioneers in Iowa I’ve been awarded many awards for various things, appeared on national television and...
Rachel is a licensed real estate salesperson specializing in the sale of farm, land and rural residential real estate. Rachel is a graduate of Iowa State University with a major in Animal Science and minor in Agricultural Business. Rachel has a strong interest in...
Founder, Auctioneer, Broker, and Agent at DreamDirt, Jason Smith is a lead farm real estate professional in the Midwest. He has achieved the pinnacle of auction education earning the CAI designation and is one of only 11 CAI auctioneers in Iowa. Jason graduated from...