Why use a Land Agent or Auctioneer to Sell your Land

A landowner has the option to sell their land on their own or use a real estate agent or auctioneer. Many times a landowner has been approached by an adjoining neighbor or acquaintance that is familiar with the property and told if they ever wanted to sell, the neighbor or acquaintance would purchase the land. So, why use an agent or auctioneer and pay a commission? The answer to this question can be found in countless stories from land specialist real estate professionals.

The following two actual real world stories can help illustrate the value of properly marketing your property with a land professional.

“The Widow”

A widow owned 100 acres she and her husband had purchased years prior. Her neighbor and long-term friend had helped her with numerous projects as needed on her property after the death of her husband. He also owned 100 acres adjoining her land.

The day came when the widow needed additional cash to fund her retirement. Her friend and neighbor learned of her intention to sell her 100 acres and offered to purchase the property at a “fair market price,” which he was familiar with since he owned an almost identical adjoining property. He offered her $250,000 based on his assessment of their property values. The widow was somewhat upset, not with the offer, but with the value as she had always assumed the land was worth more and it was her final asset to fund her retirement. None-the-less she trusted her neighbor and resigned to selling to him.

She was sincerely concerned she would run out of money in retirement and discussed her plight with one of her best friends. Her friend had a son, who was a land specialist real estate agent with United Country Real Estate. She recommended before the sale to let her son do an assessment of the land value just to be sure. She did, and the real estate agent asked that she let him market the property and do a sealed-bid sale as he felt certain she could get more than the neighbor’s offer. She allowed him to do so with the condition that the neighbor could also participate. The neighbor bid $300,000 and the property sold for $350,000 to another bidder.

“Out of Area Buyers”

A farmer had sold numerous large farms over the years and was familiar with recent local farm sales and the value of farm ground in the area, about $3,000 per acre. Therefore, as he prepared to retire and sell his last 1,000 acres, he felt he may not need an agent as he knew the going price per acre and local farmers who would pay that price. Nonetheless, he did know a land real estate professional and interviewed him for his point of view.

In general, the agent agreed with the farmer’s value assessment, but felt with proper marketing – both locally, but importantly outside of the local market – a higher price may be possible. He agreed numerous local farmers would buy the property at $3,000 per acre, but recommended they market the property more broadly and then hold an auction and let the buyers set the price. The farmer agreed and ended up selling his last 1,000 acres for $4,300 per acre, over $1 million more than his original estimate. Interestingly, a few out-of-area buyers bid the price up, but a local farmer ended up winning the bid. Both the seller and agent agreed the bid would not have been realized without the out-of-area buyers setting the true market value.

So, yes, it’s true that the adjoining neighbor many times will end up purchasing the land, but a professional land real estate agent will help ensure they pay the fair market value. And the difference in final selling price can be substantial. Selling your most valuable asset deserves the professional assistance of a real estate agent or auctioneer who specializes in land, as United Country agents do.

Value a Land Real Estate Professional Can Offer

As a land property owner, if you decide to sell your property make sure to interview and find the best real estate professional that specializes in land (versus for example residential). A great land real estate professional will provide the following value to you:

  • Proper Land Value Assessment
    • Advice on recent land sale values, local and regional market conditions, commercial value, highest and best use, possible recreational value, timber value, mineral rights, water rights, wind value, division of property strategies and more
  • Property Land Value Maximizing Strategies
    • Third-party and objective advice on property infrastructure and design (roads, ponds, buildings, etc), property/farm management, wildlife management and food plots, easement value potential etc.
  • Attract more buyers with broader marketing of your property
    • Exposing your property to more buyers to ensure you have the best chance to realize true maximum fair market value and sell as fast as possible (reducing carrying costs). They have the marketing tools and know where/how to advertise and market land listings. Additionally, they naturally provide access to their client base of previous land buyers.
    • Selling to the adjoining neighbors without setting the fair market value by exposing it to all interested buyers rarely results in maximum fair market value. It is a basic law of economics, increase demand on a limited asset and the price will increase.
  • Professional Showings
    • Saves you time and significant effort by allowing for proper distance and more objective discussions with potential buyers until fully qualified. A land agent will be comfortable talking land issues, walking/touring the property, pointing out property specific attribute values and answering land real estate related buyer questions.
  • Expertise in Land Real Estate
    • A proven professional in land real estate will offer you and your potential land buyers experience, information and a level of comfort in making the large real estate sale or purchase decision. Understanding land issues, current real estate laws and experience is key to providing this value.
  • Professional Negotiation
    • Allows for proper negotiation separation between you and your buyer; providing a buffer and time for you to thoroughly consider offers and counter offers. Offers third-party credibility on land value justification to the buyer.
  • Wealth Creation/Protection
    • Advice on 1031 Tax Deferral programs, structured sales programs, timing and tax strategies
  • Closing Services
    • Since land real estate closings are large, sophisticated and can get complicated, a land specific real estate professional can best ensure the process is done correctly and as smoothly as possible. Experienced professionals deal in complicated land real estate transactions regularly and know how to navigate closings. Often times a professional can get a closing that runs into issues back on track versus losing the sale.

The value of each of these services a great land real estate professional can offer should not be underestimated. And as in almost anything in business, you get what you pay for. Agents and auctioneers who do not invest much in marketing will offer you low commission rates and hope for the best from the local market. Those professionals who are dedicated to helping you find the maximum value for your land will invest in differentiated land marketing to help you get the broadest exposure for your property. They will charge a fair commission and increase your ability to find the maximum market value and in the shortest time. What you should ask is: “Who is the best land agent or auctioneer to list my property, can offer me the broadest exposure for my listing, provides full consulting service for my listing and has an expertise in land.” In the end, the objective is what you net for one of your most valuable assets.

To connect with a professional land agent today for advice on your property, contact United Country at 800-444-5044 or visit UnitedCountry.com.

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Real Estate Trends and 2014 Outlook

by admin on February 5, 2014

Real Estate Trends and 2014 Outlook

Both residential and land sales showed strong growth and stability in 2013. Pent up demand, much improved consumer financial health, rising rents, low mortgage rates improving economic conditions and increased confidence in residential property as an investment all point toward an optimistic look at the real estate market outlook for 2014. Most industry leaders agree the market will show modest increases or remain similar to 2013. United Country recorded a 9% rise in residential sales volume, which gives insight into the non-urban, small city, town and surrounding property (non-urban) markets across the nation that the company specializes in.

Rents continued to increase in 2013 as mortgage rates remained near historical lows. Housing prices have adjusted to the market and now, according to the National Association of Realtors, housing affordability is strong and was up slightly at year’s end. Mortgage rates were down from November – which helps affordability – but an increase in inventory will help ease the pressure on home prices. Consumers wanting to take advantage of this historically strong affordability are moving now to beat expected increases in mortgage rates and home prices over the next few years as the economy improves and the fed reduces rate support.

Land – the other nearly half of United Country Real Estate sales – has continued to show strong sales and price appreciation, and again has proven to be a solid investment. United Country showed a 3% increase and all land sales in 2013 after a record breaking 2012 and an amazing 18% increase in recreational land (including hunting, fishing, equine and general use) sales in 2013. All segments of land sales remain strong and stable showing continued price per acre appreciation over the last few years.

“The economic conditions are perfect for lifestyle real estate demand as the economy continues to improve, affordability remains at an all-time high, consumers financial positions improve, technology allows for long distance commuting, more and more baby boomers retire and move out of urban America, farm commodity prices remain historically high, worldwide demand for U.S. crops continues to grow and consumers can finally purchase their dream property they have been waiting for”, said Mike Duffy, president of United Country Real Estate. “Even recreational property (a more discretionary segment) is moving strongly again and is seen as a key indicator of healthy buyer confidence, which is a major driver in any consumer market.”

“We all continue to pursue the American dream,” Duffy said. “Lifestyle property is a big part of this dream of truly owning amazing properties and enjoying the lifestyle afforded by non-urban real estate in the U.S. and resort areas of Panama, Costa Rica and Mexico, where United Country Real Estate operates over 500 offices.”

For anyone dreaming of owning a second home, vacation home, retirement home, ranch, farm, ski property or any other lifestyle property, United Country is the largest marketer of non-urban real estate and offers tens of thousands of these type properties online at UnitedCountry.com.

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Farmland Values Hold Their Value, Hit More Highs in Multiple States

February 5, 2014

With the continued growing demand for food crops both here and across the world, farmland in the U.S. ended 2013 holding excellent value again. This fertile asset has not only realized amazing growth in value over the recent years and held that value, but again has shown increased price appreciation in multiple states including Iowa, […]

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Housing Remains Best Investment by Gaining Traction in 2013

February 5, 2014

Housing prices continued to strengthen in December rounding out a year of recovery in 2013. CNN reported on the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, which showed a 13.6% increase in housing prices nationwide. United Country reported strong increases in nationwide homes in the smaller cities, towns and surrounding, non-urban, market they service in 2013 as well, […]

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Rural Housing, Land Market is on Fire

December 13, 2013

The housing market is looking up nationally and especially in the non-urban regions. CNBC reported a 25.4 percent increase in sales during the month of October. At United Country, we saw a 26.9% increase in October home sales versus 2012 and the numbers keep climbing. In November, we saw an impressive increase of 37.8%  in […]

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Jimmie Dean Coffey Named New Director of Business Development, Area Vice President

November 7, 2013

Congratulations to Jimmie Dean Coffey of United Country Coffey Realty & Auction on his two new roles within the United Country team! To learn more about this story, read the news release here.

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Happy Halloween from the nation’s lifestyle property experts!

October 31, 2013
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Recreational Land Buyers are on the Hunt Again

October 21, 2013

While the real estate industry saw farmland selling at all-time record highs last year given the dramatic increase in crop prices, this year’s story appears to be the return of more discretionary land purchases. For example, at United Country Real Estate, the nation’s largest seller of non-urban real estate, recreational property sales are up double […]

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The Timber Market is Growing Again

October 21, 2013

When Americans remodel or build new homes, that is good news for the timber industry and timber owners. Current trends are showing a great recovery ongoing in this lucrative market. United Country has seen a 33% increase in sales of residential building lots in August and a 45% rise year-to-date. Numbers like these show a […]

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Selling Land and Unique Properties

October 21, 2013

When considering selling land and unique properties it’s important to market strongly to out of area buyers. Many times, even if the adjoining neighbor is interested in the property, out of area buyers may be willing to pay more. Importantly, even if the adjoining neighbor does eventually buy the property, the additional out of area […]

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