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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2005
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
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    493

    Default Selling your farm?

    Is anyone else trying to sell their farm/horse property right now? How's it going? We've done the realtor interviewing, decided on one, and have the paperwork signed to list ours. Which makes me freak out just a little! How will I pack up the house, the barn, the jumps, the tractor, the horses, and my husband?

    We're looking in the same area but for more acreage. I have no idea if we'll be lucky enough to sell ours and be able to close on something else within the same time frame. We're not in a position to really be able to go under contract on a new place until we have a contract on our current one, so any advice from people who have been there, done that would be great!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
    Location
    Sanger, TX, USA
    Posts
    5,111

    Default

    Just make sure your realtor is up to speed on horse properties...so many are not. Some even fail to list the property has a barn or fencing. A realtor up to speed on horse properties will be more likely to list them in horse related publications. Be sure their flyers/listing show everything a horse property buyer would be interested in besides the house...the barn, the fencing, arena, etc.

    If you find something before yours sells, then it will probably have to be a contract with a contingency. Be prepared that if another buyer comes along that can make an offer without a contingency clause, and you can't remove the contingency, you will lose the property you want to buy to the other buyer.

    Also, check with lenders as standards have changed so much as to buying a house with acreage.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2006
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    5,335

    Default

    Buy a shipping container which later might be able to be used as a storage shed (depends upon zoning)... there are different sizes from 20 ft pups to full size of 40 to 44 feet... make sure the delivering company will also transfer the loaded container to the new farm... otherwise use Pods


    http://www.pods.com
    Last edited by clanter; May. 31, 2011 at 06:30 PM. Reason: to clear up issues



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2006
    Posts
    1,799

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by clanter View Post
    Buy a shipping container which later might be able to be used as a storage shed (depends upon zoning)... there are different sizes from 20 ft pups to full size of 40 to 44 feet... make sure the delivering company will also transfer the loaded container to the new farm... otherwise use Pods


    http://www.pods.com
    Second the sea container idea, but skip the Pod unless you don't get any snow - they tend to cave in with the snowload.

    And write up a comprehensive fact sheet and leave copies somewhere obvious, like the kitchen table; details like the well, property lines, renos, etc, on the house, ditto the barns and land. IME too many realtors, even the "farmer" type ones, are pretty clueless about rural properties.

    Good luck!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    10,050

    Default

    If your realtor doesn't list your house within a couple of days on realtor.com, with a bunch of great pictures (not just on their own website), and tell you how they're going to market your place then don't sign with them. In today's market you have to be the best thing out there, with a sparkling clean place, and everything up to snuff-items like burned out bulbs indicate to buyers that you don't do the big maintenance either so keep everything perfect. Declutter furniture and no knick knacks anywhere, closets should be neat and not full, remove all prescription drugs, valuable items that are portable, financial papers, and anything else a crook could you against you. Before every showing open all of the curtains and blinds and turn on all lights. Kitchen counters have the bare minimum on them, and bathrooms should be sparkling clean. Set the dining room table with placemats, dishes, and silverware for the number of people that would normally sit there for a family dinner-you want to show that the place is the perfect family dining area. The front porch should be neat and clean, and the yard needs to be well trimmed, and all bushes, shrubs etc should be neat and healthy looking. Definitely keep looking for your next place, but don't get yourself in the position of having two mortgages, since you never know when a deal will fall through on your current place.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2000
    Location
    Rochester,NY,USA
    Posts
    7,695

    Default

    Make sure that the pictures of the barn and fencing are included with the house and yard pictures. A serious horse person is VERY interested in the barn and fencing, probably more so than the house pictures. Also make sure YOU approve ALL the photos to go on the listing. It may take an extra week to get your place in Realtor.com but at least you'll know you'll like how the property is being presented. Also if you only have pics of winter scenes, come summer get new ones with green grass and flowers etc. Only on a really hot, humid and hazy day does a winter scene look appealing.

    Most definitely make sure your Realtor has a plan for advertising your place. I've seen some Realtor's list a property every week in the Saturday Real Estate part of the newspaper.

    Keep in mind the Realtor will probably push you to do an Open House which generally only benefits him by meeting more prospective sellers. You'll also get the nosey neighbors too.

    When I had my place listed, I also stipulated that NO ONE was to be shown the property unless they were already prequalified. I was darned if I was going to get the house, barns, fields, landscaping etc in tip top condition for some tire kickers. I also wanted at least a 24 hr notice and perferably 48 hrs as I did all the work myself. Even if you have a cleaning lady or landscape people hired to do all that work, you can be guaranteed that someone will want to see the house the day before the cleaning lady was scheduled to come or before the yard was to be mowed.
    Sue
    Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2004
    Location
    Rixeyville, VA
    Posts
    6,922

    Default

    Farm sales tend to take longer than residential real estate sales. For one thing, financing can be a challenge for the buyer. I wouldn't get too worried about packing anything or finding a new place. Most farms in my area are on the market for years.
    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
    http://www.ironwood-farm.com



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    10,050

    Default

    msj's advice is wonderful, especially about the prequalified buyers only. And I am amazed at the number of farms that are listed with very few or no pictures of the fencing and even of the outdoor areas of the house.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 2010
    Location
    On The Farm In New England
    Posts
    871

    Default HOPE!!

    Great pics & realtor, priced lower than imaginable, website and pray! We have done all of the above and have been for sale for years. I'd just start with putting it on the market and seeing what happens. If you are fortunate enough to sell quickly, thank your lucky stars and worry about moving when you get there. Good Luck - perhaps the market in Colorado is better than New England!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 2010
    Location
    On The Farm In New England
    Posts
    871

    Default

    This popped up on another thread.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/03/re...ref=realestate



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2005
    Location
    Spotsylvania, VA
    Posts
    14,089

    Default Go figure

    Quote Originally Posted by JanM View Post
    If your realtor doesn't list your house within a couple of days on realtor.com, with a bunch of great pictures (not just on their own website), and tell you how they're going to market your place then don't sign with them. In today's market you have to be the best thing out there, with a sparkling clean place, and everything up to snuff-items like burned out bulbs indicate to buyers that you don't do the big maintenance either so keep everything perfect. Declutter furniture and no knick knacks anywhere, closets should be neat and not full, remove all prescription drugs, valuable items that are portable, financial papers, and anything else a crook could you against you. Before every showing open all of the curtains and blinds and turn on all lights. Kitchen counters have the bare minimum on them, and bathrooms should be sparkling clean. Set the dining room table with placemats, dishes, and silverware for the number of people that would normally sit there for a family dinner-you want to show that the place is the perfect family dining area. The front porch should be neat and clean, and the yard needs to be well trimmed, and all bushes, shrubs etc should be neat and healthy looking. Definitely keep looking for your next place, but don't get yourself in the position of having two mortgages, since you never know when a deal will fall through on your current place.

    Once upon a time we had a house, not farm, for sale. The realtor scheduled an open house on Sunday....fine and dandy. Bright and early Saturday morning as we were getting ready to go to my mom's house we got a knock on out door.

    Yup a realtor, with clients.

    "Can we come in and see your house? We didn't see the listing but we really like the outside"

    We didn't have much to lose.

    I was making (I'll never forget) blueberry pie and lasagna to take to mom. As you can imagine the kitchen was a disaster with flour all over the place and IIRC the beds were unmade.

    They gave us full asking price. They said it was the first place that looked like a home rather than a motel.

    Next home we did do the motel look....took us 2 years and sold it for half the asking price.
    I wasn't always a Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2000
    Posts
    12,025

    Default

    Pictures, it is all about the pictures. Get in a professional photographer if you need to.

    You are a seller and a buyer now. Look at your potential listing with your buyer's eyes. The pictures are the ONLY thing that a buyer will see before deciding to come look. And each pixel of each picture needs to sell the property. No buckets sitting around (untidy = lazy = deferred maintenance), no crabgrass in the driveway, etc.

    Personally I like to see a schematic layout of the house and the barn, too. -- Too much info for a MLS listing? Make a web page and create a link.

    "Stage" both house and barn -- at least in pictures. Unless the barn is so new it has never been lived in, it always looks much nicer with pretty horses (manes pulled, ears trimmed), looking out over their stall doors. [Friend off to the side rattling feed bucket will do it every time helps a lot ]

    Pastures not looking so good? Keep the horses on a sacrifice pasture for a month, let the pastures recover and then turn the horses out just for the pictures. People will think that the pastures are so lush that their horses can graze out there 24/7.

    No, that is not cheating -- that is good marketing.

    Whatever you can do to one up the competition. It's a jungle out there.

    You might even consider a trade situation. Who knows; someone may be looking for less space.... Keep yourself open to ALL possibilities.
    I found the perfect distance but they put the jump in the wrong place.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    10,050

    Default

    Carol-I bet that house looked clean but lived in, and wasn't staged to hide things (many places are staged to be deceptive and hide things) and not look like a real home. There's a difference between a place someone lives in, loves and uses, and a place that's a junk pile.

    I've literally seen places that look like they could turn into hoarders someday soon. Two houses ago I had my house packed in plastic storage boxes when the buyer came through, but my realtor told them I was leaving town that weekend, and since they wanted an investment property they bought it. I always have touchup paint, and the second I notice a ding or chip I fix it, and I've actually had people ask when I repainted, and they were floored when I told them I never had and it was the original paint that came with the house and was seven years old-I guess being a nut about some things pays off.

    A lot of the sales and staging shows on tv are getting more realistic and less 'motel'. But in today's market you better be the turnkey place or they'll go with another property for the same price. I don't mind doing cosmetic things like paint or restretching carpet, but I've discovered that for me a fixer is a bad idea, since I spend more on that in money and my time than I would buying the done house.

    Lord Helpus-great ideas. And a good realtor should take good pictures usually-if someone is willing to bet their income on selling a place with pictures that make it look dark and boring, then I guess they don't want the money enough to practice until they get good at it. I'm amazed at the sellers that will go with a realtor because they are a friend or a person who needs the business, but does a lousy job. Selling a property is a business transaction, and some people seem to forget that.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2008
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    409

    Default

    I think that the decision to have an open house should be based on how much of a farm your property is...Is it a house with decent acreage and a 2-3 stall barn? If so, having an open house could still be beneficial. You would get people who are interested in living out in the country as well as horse people. If there are more stalls than that though you would probably only appeal to a horse person.

    My parents bought their last house at an open house they saw in the newspaper. They had been working with a realtor for months. The house wasn't something they cared enough about from the outside to make a special trip, but they were driving by one sunday and decided to pop in....they loved it and bought it
    I WAS a proud member of the *I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday* clique..but now I am 30!!!!!!!!!!!
    My new blog about my Finger Lakes Finest:
    She Ain't No Small Potato!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    May. 15, 2009
    Location
    Eastern Ontario, CND
    Posts
    2,191

    Default

    Having recently bought a house, (and never sold) I can tell you what we looked for.

    RE msj: we skipped out on all the 24/48 hour notices because these people would not get back to us. There was one very cute little stone house we were VERY interested but every week it was "oh the kids are coming in this weekend" or "oh my house is too messy right now". UNBELIEVABLE! I don't know if they didn't want to sell or what, but we probably would have bought it if we'd ever had a chance to see it.

    - If you've read Feakonomics, you'll know realtors generally sell their own property for more money by leaving them on the market (on average) a week longer.
    That being said, don't get greedy, you're house is worth what the market says it's worth. Not what you want/need.

    - Clean up the place.
    Pretend your idol is coming over for a visit, pick up every piece of garbage, paint, clean the stalls & the horses!! You want your place to look easy to manage.

    This may even include having your manure pile removed.

    - Fix those little things
    Tighten loose fencing, fix loose boards, you want your place to look easy to manage.

    - Remove excess vehicles
    No one wants to live in a junk yard, get them off property, even if they are in good condition (if they are not being sold with the house).

    - Make sure the lights are on IN the barn
    That's just a general good idea for a house showing, but make sure the barn is included.

    Definitely get someone who knows horse farms to help you.

    The people we bought from were in a hurry to get out, but they got higher offers after accepting ours (In the first few days the house was on the market). Also apparently many realtors/clients thought the barn was in terrible shape and was going to need a lot of work. Mostly because of cob-web build up and manure left over from YEARS ago that wasn't cleaned up before viewings started. The barn is in EXCELLENT condition, rock solid! It just needed a major clean up.

    eta: as well as loose boards left around, hay mangers that were half filled & mostly broken, all stuff that should have been removed.
    (Then again it was a divorce, so maybe it was a money splitting thing & they didn't want lots of $$$ )

    I have to agree with the blue-print on the MLS idea too! Unless you have a really funky layout, I'd like to have a good idea of what the inside of the house looks like before I waste a day in the car visiting.

    Oh, and makes sure other realtors aren't telling other people's clients there are ghosts in the house . No I'm not kidding, another realtor actually said that to my husband (in the trades, he meets all kinds!) to try to scare us off because his clients wanted the house. FYI there is no ghost.
    "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
    Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
    Need You Now Equine



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    10,050

    Default

    When listing a farm or property with some acreage don't limit yourself to horse people. The buyer for your place might be a llama person, raise and train dogs, collect cars or not want to have animals at all-so don't limit the possible buyers to one type just because that's what you did with it.

    Do some research and make sure the zoning allows animals still, and how many. List any easements or wetlands areas, and also tell if there are historical or other restrictions. You can put this type of thing in the detailed description with the local MLS or in the realtor's descriptions. Make sure you say what the utility sources are, and if they are city water or well, cable or internet providers (satellite or fiber optic), and any other utilities such as garbage removal that exist.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2000
    Location
    El Paso, TX
    Posts
    13,979

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by msj View Post
    Keep in mind the Realtor will probably push you to do an Open House which generally only benefits him by meeting more prospective sellers. You'll also get the nosey neighbors too.

    When I had my place listed, I also stipulated that NO ONE was to be shown the property unless they were already prequalified. I was darned if I was going to get the house, barns, fields, landscaping etc in tip top condition for some tire kickers. I also wanted at least a 24 hr notice and perferably 48 hrs as I did all the work myself. Even if you have a cleaning lady or landscape people hired to do all that work, you can be guaranteed that someone will want to see the house the day before the cleaning lady was scheduled to come or before the yard was to be mowed.
    As a Realtor, and someone who sells my personal house and moves at least every 2 yrs, I can tell you that if you make it hard for your house to be shown, it is going to sit on the market. High dollar properties, or horse properties where there are horses should be shown by appt only, but make it very easy to get appt. Asking for 24-48 hr notice is excessive. A 4 hr notice is more reasonable. You should have a professional photographer take photos as well as do a virtual tour. A virtual tour will satisfy the curious, non serious people. Asking for people to be preapproved before viewing the home is excessive. Preapprovals are only good for 30 days. I know what my DH and I qualify for, as far as a mortgage goes, but I wait to get preapproved, until I am ready to submit an offer. I include the preapproval with the offer.

    If you are showing by appt only, you should consider doing an open house that is heavily advertised once a month. Many people that are considering buying a place will not want to bother a Realtor to go show them a property that is appt only. An open house will bring in some neighbors, but presumably they are your neighbor because they like the area, and may have friends that might be interested in your home. I've sold 2 of my homes through open houses. One, I held open the first week it was listed, and got a contract 3 days later by someone that came to the open house. The other gave me a contract the following day.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2000
    Location
    Rochester,NY,USA
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    7,695

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jetsmom View Post
    As a Realtor, and someone who sells my personal house and moves at least every 2 yrs, I can tell you that if you make it hard for your house to be shown, it is going to sit on the market. High dollar properties, or horse properties where there are horses should be shown by appt only, but make it very easy to get appt. Asking for 24-48 hr notice is excessive. A 4 hr notice is more reasonable. You should have a professional photographer take photos as well as do a virtual tour. A virtual tour will satisfy the curious, non serious people. Asking for people to be preapproved before viewing the home is excessive. Preapprovals are only good for 30 days. I know what my DH and I qualify for, as far as a mortgage goes, but I wait to get preapproved, until I am ready to submit an offer. I include the preapproval with the offer.

    If you are showing by appt only, you should consider doing an open house that is heavily advertised once a month. Many people that are considering buying a place will not want to bother a Realtor to go show them a property that is appt only. An open house will bring in some neighbors, but presumably they are your neighbor because they like the area, and may have friends that might be interested in your home. I've sold 2 of my homes through open houses. One, I held open the first week it was listed, and got a contract 3 days later by someone that came to the open house. The other gave me a contract the following day.
    jetsmom, while I do appreciate your thoughts/suggestions, I do believe that while some might apply in TX, they won't necessarily apply here in western NY or at least they didn't when I did put my farm on the market in '05-06. Preapproval for property over 400K was not an unusual request and it actually was the Realtor that suggested it as they didn't want to be bothered by tire kickers and I agreed.

    I personally can't imagine people wanting to see a property wouldn't go to a Realtor to make an appointment. If that's the case they can't be serious in the first place. I know when I was looking in 1989-90, my Realtor would go to anything, even an open house with me once. Back then, real estate on the internet didn't exist but he'd give me a handful of possibilities in the area I was looking at and I'd do a drive by. If I saw one that looked like a possibility, he'd come with me to check it out.

    Yes, I did ask my realtor for 24/48 hr advance notice but did show it in a shorter time frame if necessary. My realtor complimented me on the appearance of my farm whenever she did show it and said that it looked better than several properties that she had that were listed for 1 million plus so I'm glad I took the extra time to do a 'spit and polish'.

    The only reason I pulled the farm from the market was the loss of one of my two horses. I decided I wasn't about to buy a farm in another area (NC) that I had few contacts and try to find a companion horse whereas I could find one here easily. I also didn't want to buy another horse just to keep mine company either. I do realize now that I couldn't have dealt with the humidity in NC so I'm glad I decided to stay where my friends of 40 yrs were located.

    Since I don't plan to list for probably another 10 yrs or until my current 19 yr old OTTB event horse is dead and buried, I'm not worried. I rather imagine that by then, there will be as many changes in real estate listings as there were from when I was buying in 1990 to now!

    As for pictures, around here, the 2 realtors I did deal with took excellent photographs. Something they had to learn to do with internet listings or they'd be out of business for sure.
    Sue
    Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec. 23, 2010
    Location
    Lancashire UK, formerly Region 8
    Posts
    662

    Default

    I'm afraid I don't have a lot of advice to offer, except try to to just get on with your life in the meantime and don't get too caught up in the emotional rollercoaster. I sold my place (40+ acres) about three years ago, and it's not an experience I ever want to go through again. I too had issues with a realtor who promised to bill it as an equestrian property but failed to do so, and also had countless last-minute drop-ins to view it... I also found it hard to deal with all the gentleman-farmer/farmerette types who wanted the quaint country lifestyle but then made offers contingent on the most ridiculous things, like removing fences or landscaping pastures prior to sale. My only real advice is don't settle for less than your propery is worth to you... I've had to live with that regret ever since, although financially it may have been the right choice at the time. Good luck!
    Last edited by Lost_at_C; Jul. 4, 2011 at 05:45 PM. Reason: punctuation



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2000
    Location
    El Paso, TX
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by msj View Post
    jetsmom, while I do appreciate your thoughts/suggestions, I do believe that while some might apply in TX, they won't necessarily apply here in western NY or at least they didn't when I did put my farm on the market in '05-06. Preapproval for property over 400K was not an unusual request and it actually was the Realtor that suggested it as they didn't want to be bothered by tire kickers and I agreed.

    '05-06 was the height of the market and was a seller's market. Right now it is a buyer's market. If the property is difficult to show, it won't be shown.

    I personally can't imagine people wanting to see a property wouldn't go to a Realtor to make an appointment. If that's the case they can't be serious in the first place. Yes, I did ask my realtor for 24/48 hr advance notice but did show it in a shorter time frame if necessary. My realtor complimented me on the appearance of my farm whenever she did show it and said that it looked better than several properties that she had that were listed for 1 million plus so I'm glad I took the extra time to do a 'spit and polish'.

    Making an appt is fine. Wanting 24-48 hrs is excessive in todays's market. You will miss showings if that is a requirement. When a home is on the market, it should be ready to show with very little notice...an hour or so.


    As for pictures, around here, the 2 realtors I did deal with took excellent photographs. Something they had to learn to do with internet listings or they'd be out of business for sure.
    The majority of realtors do not take professional quality photos, nor have the equipment to do so. Some are adequate, but a pro is only about 80.00 or so, and definitely worth it.



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