Selling Farmland In Iowa

Jan 25, 2015 | Land Auctions, Land Seller Resources

Iowa Farmland Brokers And Auctioneers

Selling Farmland in Iowa has become a popular business. New brokers and auctioneers are popping up all the time. They come and go but few stay. When I would encounter a difficult situation my former broker used to tell me “If it was easy everybody would be doing it” Today more than ever you need a savvy experienced land broker or auctioneer to assist you with the transaction and assist you with a broker supervised closing. Farmland transactions can become very complex and if you have never sold a farm in your life, if you don’t fully understand the terminology or the values association with farmland its important you have a person on your side, looking out for your interest and ensuring the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed.

“But the commission is expensive”

We’ll earn it and it will make you money. Commissions are the most misunderstood expense there is. I have to tell a story that illustrates my point very well. Years ago a lady began calling me after her husband passed away. She wanted to sell the farm they owned but she wanted to me work on an hourly wage after I quoted a commission to her. After some discussion she said “so you are going to show up for a couple hours, sell the farm and take that much money” She was unaware of all of the things that go into just one transaction. While I tried to explain everything we do to make a sale successful from phone calls, paperwork, preparing advertising, contacting buyers, showing the property, working with the banks and attorney’s and the hours and hours of research she was still unimpressed. At the end of the phone call I assumed it was the last time we would ever speak but a couple months later she called again telling me she had found a buyer but she had a couple questions which I answered for her. In the end I gave her the opportunity to brag on her accomplishment and asked the question I was dying to know anyway “how much did you get for the farm” She happily replied “Well this gentleman is going to give $3500 per acre if I sign the contract by tomorrow but I needed to ask you these things first” My skin was crawling as she talked, that was only 1/2 what the property was worth. I tried with absolutely no result to talk her out of selling the farm for that low of a price. She reasoned that her husband had paid $75 per acre for most of it and $300 per acre for some of it and $3500 was ridiculously high. As we hung up again I assumed it was the last time I’d hear from her but yet again about 6 months later she surprised me with another phone call. I never made a dollar for helping this lady, and she didn’t want to pay me but she was fond of the information I had. The third phone call she was upset. This time she referred to the buyer as “that nasty man I sold the farm too” and she was upset because she’d just learned he was auctioning the farm with a local auctioneer and she felt betrayed that he would do such a thing. Obviously I couldn’t do anything or help her in anyway but I lent her my ear, this time with a great sense of interest. I’ve always said “you can’t sell a farm twice” so its always hard to know if you were right or wrong but here it was happening. I asked her to call me after the auction again and visit if she wanted to. I never did hear from her but I did attend the auction myself interested to see if I was right and the farm sold for $8900 per acre that day. The investment grossed the buyer $5400 per acre. Even with real estate commission deducted he profited $5000 per acre. I don’t write that to begrudge him for his savvy investing at all, after all it was the woman who refused my assistance to avoid a commission and sold the farm herself. In reality she paid a commission but it was to the buyer and it was $5044 per acre and ours would have been MUCH lower than that. It never feels good to see somebody give a farm away like that, the passionate broker and auctioneer inside me will always cringe at those stories and I could tell you 20 more if we had the time.

When it comes to paying commission its one of the best investments you can make.

Experience doesn’t cost, it pays. One of the best quotes I have ever heard goes like this “there is nothing more expensive than a cheap auctioneer (or broker)” That is absolutely the truth. Selling a farm with a broker or auctioneer makes you partners with a vested interest in the most successful sale possible. Our company offers the absolute best marketing products and expertise you can fine. Our auction staff and our real estate staff do amazing work day in and day out and we strive to stay on top of every marketing advance from online bidding to social media. The world of marketing has changed greatly in the last 5 years because we receive information in a much different way than we did 5 years ago. It takes a big commitment to learn, implement and execute these new methods because they are constantly changing and they matter. We can honestly say we’ve stayed ahead of the crowd and our marketing awards prove we’ve got the horsepower to pull the cart.

At the end of your sale commission won’t matter.

Its easy to get hung up on commission unless you see it as a worthwhile investment. We believe in complete fairness and thats the reason we don’t have one commission rate. We sell farms of all types and sizes and there is no way we could fairly set a commission rate and feel good about it. In some cases we charge 0% where there is a buyers premium and sometimes we charge 10% when we are selling a housing lot. Every situation is different but in the end what will matter to you is how much the check is that is handed to you when its all said and done.  This is your NET PROCEEDS and this should be the focus of your energy.  Investing in marketing and commission helps your net proceeds. Not investing in those two will hurt your net proceeds even though you didn’t pay out any commission and advertising. It’s at that point where its easy to see that the commission was an excellent investment, but I admit some have a difficult time seeing that before the process starts. 

So what do you get with DreamDirt? You get everything you need and while I can not possibly list every tiny details here is a good list of what we offer. Its the most complete list you will find.

We offer Free Confidential Market Analysis for private treaty listings and auctions. We can help you facilitate 1031 exchanges and offer discounted commission rates in some situations for tenants and family members.

Our Marketing Includes
Fully detailed Property Prospectus
“For Sale” or “Auction” Signs
Property Previews and Open Houses
Local and Regional Newspaper Advertising
Professionally designed full color fliers
Direct Mailings to Local Farmers and Absentee Landowners
Fliers hung in a 60 mile radius
Professionally shot and edited property video (look at some of the past farms!)
Radio Ads
Phone campaign prior to auction or with new listing
DreamDirt.com Website (Best Auction Website in Iowa: Awarded by Iowa Auctioneers Association)
DollarsAndDirt.com website
External Land Listing websites
Craigslist Ads
Social Media (Over 30,000 followers)
Email Blast (Over 6000 subscribers)

Jason Smith

Jason Smith

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.

Email: jason@dreamdirt.com | Phone: (515) 537-6633

Request a Free Valuation for Your Farm or Land Property

Whether you’re ready to start the selling process, or even remotely curious, we will gladly provide you with a FREE Market Analysis! If you are in a position to sell land in the Midwest, we want to help you achieve the top of the market on your sale.

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