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The trials of farm selling...

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  • The trials of farm selling...

    So our farmette is for sale. The listing has the following features at the VERY TOP of the description:

    "....sweet 4 stall center aisle barn w/tack and hay, clever full cross-fencing...."

    So we had a showing on Monday that I cleaned and cleaned again for, to make it sparkle.....the people that came out had this comment on it, other than loving the house..:

    ".....they do not have horses to remove all the fencing seems a waist when it would be perfect for someone with horses..."

    NOOOO!! You think??????

    Yeah, I cleaned for HOURS for this feedback....
    "As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use."- William James

    Proud member of the Wheat Loss Clique.

  • #2
    I love how they used 'waist' instead of waste!

    Goes to show how unappreciated cleaning is in practically every situation...


    • #3
      It only gets worse...trust me! We had to sell our last horse property rather quickly (corporate move) and prospective buyers ranged from maniacal to bizarre to downright rude. Some of the feedback (One woman told the realtor that the barn smelled like hay, which made her sneeze. Is that supposed to be helpful????) made me laugh. I suggest a big glass of wine when speaking with your realtor - it sure helped hubby and me find the humor in the situation. Best of luck selling your place.

      ETA: Don't get discouraged and keep up the spotless home - my home was squeaky clean and staged and I spent many hours in the car with the dog and cat so my home could get proper showing - it really helps to have a pet-free, sparkling home!


      • #4
        Also helps to make sure your realtor pre-qualifies the client who is being shown the house; as in "this is a working horse farm - do your people have horses? No? Why would they want these facilities, then?" Fewer showings, but more qualified buyers.


        • #5
          My first farm was a nightmare to sell back in 2000. The people were apartment dwellers in NoVA. Our crappy Realtor was no help at all. We had to sell, so we did not have time to mess around, but they were one stress after another.
          The second farm sale went OK 6 years after that, but that was because I had already left the house and moved to the midwest.
          In a buyers market, I am sure it is even more of pain now!
          Proud to have two Takaupa Gold line POAs!
          Takaupas Top Gold
          Gifts Black Gold Knight


          • #6
            Unfortunately, if you want to sell the place you may have to get used to the idea that your beautiful indoor is going to turn into a giant roof over little alpaca pens. (Over two roads from us - my DD thinks they are sooo cuuute, and all I can do is weep over the loss of a lovely horse facility). Clean the heck out of the house every_single_day, smile and leave when they show up and be prepared to negotiate hard to get the value out of all your improvements even if the sweet barn becomes an ATV garage.

            I love to garden and we had all kinds of natives in the old garden, but I either had to dig them up and rehome them to save them or just close my eyes and grit my teeth and put in "color", because that is what people want to see. Ptooey.
            Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
            Incredible Invisible


            • #7
              I know it seems terrible to have a great horse facility become something else, but in a buyers market you need to deal with whoever wants to give you the price you want. Actually, if you get a good offer take it, and don't look back.

              And you unfortunately will get the Lookie Lous who are just tire kicking, and probably will never buy anything, but that's just a painful part of the process.

              You may also get a good offer, go through everything including the inspection, and then the buyer disappears. A realtor friend said that it's because people do have good credit, etc. Then they put in the contract, and buy a lot of stuff for the house, or another car or take a vacation, and then when they run the numbers right before closing they no longer qualify, and then they just fade away.

              And I think the best way to prevent the useless showings is having a bunch of great pictures showing the house inside and out, plus the horse facilities, right on the realtor.com or other website. You can't make people look at the pictures, but it might weed out some tire kickers. I really resent the buyers who think they can low ball every offer, and you'll take it. Some buyers are a PITA, and are proud of it, but in a buyer's market you do have to put up with them.
              Last edited by JanM; Oct. 26, 2011, 03:45 PM.
              You can't fix stupid-Ron White


              • Original Poster

                Yeah, the house has never been so clean. And I'm not a great housekeeper; it's a trial. I just hate that I have to do it for folks who didn't do their homework on a place before they took up my time.

                If they WANT to buy it, and take the fence down or whatever, that's fine, ti'd be their place by then. But really, there are probably a ton of non-horse people places around here they could've looked at.

                Yep, every time I have a showing, I have to load up four dogs and go tooling around or walking them at the park (NO fun with four)....gotta be PERFECT, you know? It's an effort to maintain with the dogs and boy.

                Just do your homework folks, look on Google Maps, READ the listing, something. Do people really just follow what their realtor says to go look at anymore? My realtor is equestrian specialized, but this showing was someone else.

                We had one a couple weeks back that the guy was looking for a car shop situation, I guess hoping he could turn the barn into one. I guess they thought it was too mch trouble to, or ' a shame to ruin such a nice barn for horsepeople'...perhaps
                "As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use."- William James

                Proud member of the Wheat Loss Clique.


                • #9
                  The ONLY person our agent bought during her 6 mo. listing wanted to see the place with a 4 hour "heads up". Our 80 acres perfectly kept...thanks to OC/workaholic DH. Barns are always clean enough to eat off the floors, but the house...not so much. A showing requires a big effort - nothing major, but you guys know what a farm house with 4 indoor dogs requires for "presentation". Everything was perfect when they arrived. Realtor wants me present as she is not a horse person. I meet/greet and start pointing out the amenities. As I point to the two stallion pastures (they could be for any 1 or 2 horses), each with their own 12x16 barn, but double fenced both ways, I ask if they breed. "Oh we don't own any horses!!" Say what?? I guess you won't care much about the $80,000 custom barn in the back yard, either!!!" What a waste of time and effort!! Selling a horse farm these days takes a strong stomach and a LOT of patience!!
                  Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


                  • #10
                    The OP has a four stall barn and some fencing. i know LOTS of people who live in places with small barns and fencing and no horses. No need to use every single thing on a new property the way the previous occupant did, or use it at ALL.


                    • #11
                      SO was renting property when we started dating, three stall oddly built (IMO) barn, with hay loft. Still, obviously a barn, fencing, five acres. Nicest feature was the arena, huge, sand with french drains running under it, never too wet to ride. SO put in a lot of work on the arena, fenced it and then fenced it some more when he got some of his own calves to rope, just lovely to ride in...

                      He moves in with me, I drive past the place about six months later, arena has little tracks through it something that look like power wheels but with motors out there?? And grass hip high where the tracks weren't. Sad.
                      COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                      "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl


                      • #12
                        We are trying to sell our house near the Ocean to pay for more time at the farm but the RE agent wants us to fix it up while I am thinking that the new owners will tear the house down and build new...hard to spend $10-25-50,000 in improvements on a house that will be torn down.
                        OTOH, we have an acquaintance who is still complaining about the "new" folks who "ruined" his house since they bought it. They bought it 22 years ago....


                        • #13
                          I'm about to put my place on the market, 21 acres, fenced pastures, small 4 stall barn, nothing fancy, but a lot of work as I built everything. If I can just get out from under the mortgage, they can think anything they want and do anything they want to it.
                          But if I get some snarky comment about any of the "improvements" I have done in the last few months to make the house look like new, I think I might track the person down and choke them to death. Husband and I have painted the ENTIRE place (outside of barn and shed, inside of the whole house), installed tile, installed new granite countertops, lights, doors, window glass that was fogged on and on. I have hit the absolute END of what I feel I can do (I"m 28 weeks pregnant to boot, with a 2 year old and a full time job). We aren't in the house anymore, so at least there will be no cleaning furiously and evacuating, but we have another full weekend of cleanup to do this weekend, removing jumps and implements and tools and paint etc.
                          One question....I have stripped the stalls clean and powerwashed the inside of the barn, is it worth it to put in fresh shavings? I was going to, but he pointed out that anyone buying it might just strip them out anyway thinking they were leftover from my horses. Back to the 28 week pregnant thing, I don't feel like arguing and don't see it making much difference and if half the people looking are idiots without horses, I AM better off skipping that chore.


                          • Original Poster

                            It took me a long time to get over what happened to a house I lived in from 6th-8th grade. It is a real basic ranch/rambler thing, only like 1450SF inside, big rectangle. The living area was LR/DR space and kitchen all open, then a hallway to bathroom right, laundry left, then ends at two bedrooms.

                            My folks 'improved' the place by adding a wall at the kitchen (so it wasn't the first thing you stared at as you walked in the front door, and a raised dining area. Then my dad built out the two car garage into two bedrooms for us kids (so we wouldn't go to juvie for murder LOL), and a small area left over for workshop/tools.

                            The folks who bought it from us tore out EVERYTHING they did...sigh.... I guess they just wanted the glorified mobile home feel

                            Oh yeah, they'd even built me a little 8x10 barn thingie with a loft for hay and feed...I LOVED that....I think that went a few years after they bought it....
                            "As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use."- William James

                            Proud member of the Wheat Loss Clique.


                            • #15
                              If you have nice mats or a good, even floor in the stalls, I wouldn't bother with adding new shavings for a showing (assuming it is not horse-free).

                              I want to buy a farm, but won't even try right now with the way appraisals are coming in ridiculously low. I need to have more cash on hand and couldn't bear the heartache of having a deal fall through. So I stopped looking and have ramped up my saving. Of course, with lower values, I don't want to sell my house right now either.
                              DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


                              • #16
                                You're lucky if anyone is even coming to look these days. That said, we too have a 4 stall barn. We had a woman who truly had some sort of mental breakdown that we did not have 8 stalls and an indoor as she'd "heard". Mind you nothing on website, promotional materials, etc. Her daughter sort of dragged her out and got her in the car. We also cleaned to a sparkle for someone this summer all the way from California who announced upon leaving that we were "absolutely stunning but he had the whole dilapidated big red barn thing in mind". Then why even come look?!? We are clearly an up-to-date working farm. Again, no falling down barns, etc. on website. Wait til you have no shows and cancellations hours before. I've just decided that some people are NUTS. Good luck!


                                • #17
                                  When we bought our farm, there had been no horses here in a long time (looking back, it seems it was about 50/50 horse owners to non-horse owners). The barn was being used for storage. I actually think it's a plus to be able to market to non-horse people.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
                                    When we bought our farm, there had been no horses here in a long time (looking back, it seems it was about 50/50 horse owners to non-horse owners). The barn was being used for storage. I actually think it's a plus to be able to market to non-horse people.
                                    Not to mention if you can cross use your property, it seems to show on your appraisal. And indoor arena doesn't fetch nearly as much as "storage barn" for WEIRD reasons (not that I have any current information but it seemed to be that way at one point). Comps out better I suppose unless you're in prime horse country.

                                    But really... the trials you're having are the same kinds as anyone selling a house these days. I've spit-shined for no shows, for people who think a house built in 1898 should look like one build in 2008, leave comments that make you think they have your place and another mixed up (or were drinking) and gotten that "we'd like to see the place in 20 minutes" when you clearly say "at least an hour" with your agent due to kids and dogs. I think it's par for the course in real estate during a buyers market.
                                    "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

                                    "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike


                                    • #19
                                      We had the opposite problem and ended up looking at a lot of places that weren't what we wanted because of mis-representation or omission by the selling agent.

                                      I.e. would be nice to know the place had asbestos before going to visit.
                                      - A picture of the hallway that more accurately represents the work that was done, and that it looked like it belonged in Alice in Wonderland, would save us all some time.
                                      - That the back half of the property is a swamp and next to a livestock auction.

                                      The last few people that had our house, none of them stayed more then a few years because none of them had animals to fill the acreage/barn with. I don't understand why you'd want to buy a country property, with all that extra maintenance, if you're not going to us it!
                                      "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


                                      • #20
                                        Yep. I inherited my family home and 10AC in west Broward County..... nice cement block 10 stall center aisle barn, manager's house, main house with pool..... only two lookers in 4 months. NO offers. The RE agent is focusing on South American clients - they seem to have $, but..???

                                        I would move back but I cannot take South Florida summers!