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Getting the most value out of your farm sale

  • 3 min read

Making the property as presentable as possible is key to maximizing returns and increases the odds of a quick sale.

When it's time to sell the farm, there are a few steps to take to ensure the property fetches top dollar.

Making the property as presentable as possible is key to maximizing returns and increases the odds of a quick sale.

Wayne Lowry, a senior relationship manager with FCC says before putting up the for sale sign, take care of the simple jobs to help increase the visual appearance of the farm.

Tidy up

"If there’s old equipment, dilapidated fences, old buildings that aren't being used, tidy up those,” Lowry says.

He adds that getting rid of the garbage and cutting the high grass and weeds are also key to help a sale.

Wade Berlinic, associate broker and professional land consultant with Hammond Realty, based in Saskatchewan, says farmers should ensure easy access to land by improving and adding entrance ways if needed.

Berlinic adds farmers should ask themselves if there is roadside appeal - and if not, what needs to be done to improve the aesthetic. For example, Lowry recommends farmers keep weeds under control around the perimeter of the property and maintain fencing.

Even if a sale isn’t in the immediate future, there are steps to take now to work towards the eventual sale of the farm.

Care of the land

If it’s cropland, Lowry says the better the farmer takes care of the land, the more valuable it is. And that value should be reflected when the time comes to sell. Weed control and care of the soil are also critical, Lowry says.

Add irrigation if possible, which could mean a huge return on investment, Lowry says. The addition or improvement of drainage could also see a return on investment.

Lowry says if producers have native grass in their pasture, keep it that way, as that tends to bring a higher return.

As well, ensure ponds, creeks or rivers are protected from grazing cattle with fencing and add off-site waterers as an alternative.

On the paperwork side, Berlinic recommends obtaining assessment records of the land and ensuring they are current.

For example, if more acres are farmed because of work done to the land, or structures and facilities added to improve the operations, those changes should be reflected in the government assessment.

“If they get that reassessment done, the assessment goes up because the higher the cultivated acres,” Berlinic says, adding the higher the assessment, the more valuable the land.

Bring in an expert

Finally, if there is time, bring in a consultant such as an agronomist to tour the farm and catch any possible oversights.

"Don't dismiss them because of cost,” Lowry says. The improvements agronomists suggest can result in high returns, he adds.

Above all, know the property, so when prospective buyers come to look at it, they leave with in-depth knowledge of the farm’s potential.

Bottom line

Take a few crucial steps on the farm to help fetch top dollar when the time comes to sell. Tidy up the yard and get rid of garbage, ensure assessments are current, consider adding irrigation or drainage tiles and protect waterways from grazing livestock, experts say.

What did values look like in 2019? Check out the FCC Farmland Values Report.

Article by: Craig Lester