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If barn doesn't sell...what to do.

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  • #41
    I would raise rates or offer to let boarders earn money back. Not work FOR board, but pay them back for labor.

    Hope you find a solution that helps you. Perhaps let another trainer rent the facility?
    My herd for life:
    King: 21 year old Foxtrotter gelding
    Ruais: 8 year old Friesian/Arabian mare


    • #42
      ^ that is so odd. Is that usual in your state (or in the US), or is it a special clause he put in? I was able to relist immediately with a new agent when my initial contract with crappy agent expired.
      Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia


      • #43
        If you do nothing else, why not raise rates and hire the physical labor out? Give your boarders a lot of notice. They may move or you may find yourself with a smaller amount of boarders. They have to have noticed the place is for sale. It's not like you are springing a horrible surprise on them if you ask them to vacate instead. I think you like the company? Make it worth-your-while and raise rates. Also, why do you have to go to every local show they do? Sounds like they are at a lower level of show than you want to go to? Pick one a month and call it good.

        Alternatively, I also agree that boarders may be willing to do more chores. Heck, I cleaned stalls for money off board on the weekend and I was making a good salary. It justified driving all the way to the barn both days to me--weird I know. I also always showed up.

        These involve less commitment than renting to a trainer when you are trying to sell. It sounds to me like even if you found someone to rent out the facility, you still want to move...

        FYI, My friend house sits for a couple with a gorgeous private facility/lovely home year round, as they travel all winter and off and on the rest of the year. It allows her to train her dogs in an 200' indoor and on many acres and live rent-free. She just pays utilities and does chores/cleaning and keeps an eye on the place. She is a professional in her late thirties. You would be surprised what you can find through word-of-mouth. I actually told her about my other friend's farm and that's how they found each other.

        I don't get the six month wait. That seems like a terrible clause.
        DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


        • #44
          Originally posted by CHT View Post
          It seems we can't relist with another agent until 6 months after our expiry date with the old one?
          Are you sure about that? Our listing agreements used to say that you would owe a commission to the original agent within "x" number of days (30? 60?) after their listing expiring, if they were the ones responsible for bringing the buyer to the property and being instrumental to them buying it. But it does NOT prevent the owner from listing with someone else THE NEXT Day after their original agreement ran out.

          Of course in Canada, your laws/practices may be different. But I would think you could list with someone new the day after it expired...
          But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all. H.C.Anderson


          • #45
            I think you should be able to fire your agent as he didn't do the contract as stated. I would personally close the boarding and keep your own horses at home. You can always trailer out for lessons when you want. Might be good to keep a beginner horse and offer lessons on that. Don't go into another winter and try and suffer through. You are not making a fortune at boarding so why push it.


            • #46
              I don't see the problem here.
              your health requires you to move to an easier to live in home.
              the boarding business is too much for you.
              you want more free time.

              and the house is already on the market!!
              so get serious about neighborhoods, choose a few and go shop for a house or land.
              by all means buy an income property too if that makes sense.
              go girl go!


              • #47
                I vote for closing the boarding business and just keeping your personal horses until your farm sells, and here are my two reasons. 1) If winter is bad for you, I'm here to remind you that winter goes from October to April in most of Alberta. Don't push yourself so hard. And, 2), in hot markets, horse farms often get bought by non-horse people, wether it's to develop it, or make it into a private estate, or whatever. Closing the boarding business will make it seem less horsey, more flexible-use. Good luck, whichever way you go.


                • #48
                  Originally posted by CHT View Post
                  It seems we can't relist with another agent until 6 months after our expiry date with the old one? Which puts us into the dead of winter when I can't imagine a barn selling...might list it ourselves with the knowledge we would have to pay the old agent a commission if we sold it in the 6 month window. Or we can spend the 6 months do more renos to our house which may also make it easier to sell.
                  It all depends on the contract you sign - there are many negotiable points when you sign up with a realtor.

                  There is someone who claims to be interested...every couple weeks they send us some more questions, but not sure if they are bored tire kickers, or actually interested.
                  They sound more wishful than actively shopping.

                  Yankee Lawyer, not sure how easy it is to winterize a camper, but might be a good option for next spring/summer.
                  Check the temperature ratings - not sure if you're talking an actual "mobile home" or hoping to winterize a "camper" (the latter may require more than would be worthwhile - start with looking at required permits & water/waste lines)

                  Now considering raising rates so I can pay for some part time help, and trying to find a coach who wants to take over teaching 2 days per week and do the majority of the hunter/jumper show coaching. Then I could look for a part time job (bookkeeping or something) and get some additional revenue and get back in the general work force. We'd have to replace the indoor arena footing if we were to do this though, so would have to invest some money which is a major factor. (the footing is fine for flat work, but needs a better base for jumping).
                  Look at your area & either raise the rates or exchange a stall for labor - this works well IF you choose the right person.
                  Change out things like 25kg salt blocks for daily salt added to feed or organize farm work days with your boarders where this sort of stuff is a group project - if boarders are not inclined, then just increase your rates so you can hire local teens etc for these odd job days, e.g., choose one day a month & keep a list of what's to be done for each month.

                  The alternative (if I can't find someone to do the show coaching/training) would be to close the business and just keep my personal horses. I am beginning to see the merit of this.
                  Decide on your intended market - are you selling a business in good standing (improving the indoor footing is likely worth the investment) or a private horse farm ...

                  What is your surrounding area like - are there lots of indoors, do you have an indoor that is well suited for jumping (re dimensions) - can you make reasonable money if you just rent out the facility to various groups, haul-ins, clinics etc, dog training is great IF there is the demand in your area.


                  • #49
                    I would close down the boarding operation and make your day to day workload as easy and simple as possible. I was killing myself and years ago sent everyone packing. Best decision I ever made. Every year my workload got lighter and for the past few years the stalls are empty and the horses are out 24/7 with a run-in shed. They're happy as clams. (it's a big run-in shed with a deep 12' overhang, so the only difference from the stall is that it's open in front. It's kept them safe and dry through hurricanes and ice storms and snowstorms. My hay and grain is delivered and stacked. I cut the bales open and only carry a few flakes at a time. The grain bags are stacked about 3' from where they're dumped into the feedbin. I don't have to dump, clean, carry water buckets. The outdoor spiggot is on the side of the run-in with plug-in heat tape and in the winter a 4 foot cut off hose is long enough to fill them. I use heated water tubs.
                    I keep some bagged shavings on hand in case anyone's injured and needs to be kept in, but haven't needed any of that in years. I use a dolly to move in the 50# salt blocks when needed. The older and more decrepit I got, the more I found ways to make things easier.

                    You can offer dry stalls to anyone willing to care for their own horses. If you get any takers, all well and good and if not that's o.k. too.

                    Life's short. Winter sucks. Make it easy on yourself. Best of luck!
                    In an age when scientists are creating artificial intelligence, too many of our educational institutions seem to be creating artificial stupidity.—Thomas Sowell, Is Thinking Obsolete?


                    • #50
                      OP, I think your ideal outcome for this situation tends to be the rarity, not the norm.

                      Of course, if you're selling a farm, the best thing that could happen is someone buys it outright and takes care of your boarders just as things were, life goes on and people are happy. But that rarely happens. New management starts to change rules (completely within their rights, they own the place now), shift things around, boarders get upset and leave. OR, someone comes in who wants the property but not the business, and closes it down anyway.

                      It happens. It happens a lot. That said, even if someone DOES buy it outright, do you want to be living there and witnessing the changes as they happen?

                      You've got a lot on your plate, choose the option that is best for what you need right now and can work for the next couple of years if you need it to. IMO, that would be closing the barn (giving your boarders plenty of notice) and keeping your animals at home. Since money doesn't appear to be too tight, this seems like a no-brainer to me. At that point, you can then continue to market the property as it is, or take it off for a while a re-list when things calm down.
                      Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not. Remember that what you have now was once among the many things that you only hoped for.


                      • #51
                        Originally posted by CHT View Post
                        The realtor was supposed to be advertising in the national horse magazines that have real estate sections...and he did not, so yes, he will be fired and a new agent hired as soon as our contact is up. There is possibly one interested party that came out a week ago to discuss the business side, but haven't heard back. Wish we had some follow up regardless of what they decided!

                        We would LIKE to move for a few reasons. We want a house that is more friendly for my progressing disability...for example the stairs in our house are very hard for me to negotiate now. A lower maintenance/smaller yard would also be great as DH works long hours and I just can't do it. There is also the pleasant idea of having some $$ in the bank.

                        JanM, you do have some good points. I guess I thought having some clientele already in place might be a draw for a new trainer and help them get a loan...but maybe you are right.
                        You do understand that YOU can cancel your contract at any time if the realtor fails to perform as per your contract...non-advertising or incorrect information in advertisements or "failure to perform"?? I've cancelled the last three contracts due to these issues. No argument from the crummy realtors!! If you are motivated...don't waste another day with bad service!! Ask me how I know!!
                        Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


                        • #52
                          Get a house built to ADA specs, that will be all in one floor, shower without curb and rails in the bathroom, wide doors and hallways and no steps anywhere.

                          We built my house to ADA regulations and so much has come in handy already, thru several surgeries.

                          Sounds like moving is the best for you now, so you can live independently for much longer and without worrying about not being able to care for the farm and it's critters.
                          Better quit now while you can enjoy not to have to worry so much, than when a crisis happens and have to scramble then.


                          • #53
                            Your realtor broke the contract (didn't advertise as promised). One short sharp letter from your lawyer should sort him/her out pronto. That you can't list with another realtor for another 6 months is utterly ludicrous, and I have my doubts it's even legal. I'm in Canada too. Any issues with the realtor - say s/he gets really pissy - report them to the local real estate board, etc.

                            I'd suggest you give your boarders 2 months' notice, and get your barn down to a manageable size before winter kicks in, as running your barn really sounds like it's doing you in, and life's too short to be busting a gut to please everyone else but yourself. You deserve better, and it sounds to me like you've really earned it, too.