Pointers for perfect performance when you want to sell
Selling a farm can seem a daunting prospect with what appears to be a long procedure and not knowing where to start.
So here are my "seven Ps" to help you tick off what you need to do.
Preparation. If you are thinking of selling give everyone, including tenants, time to prepare. This includes the physical aspects of the farm, the paperwork and also the emotional implications. A land agent like Halls can help prepare you to bring the farm onto the market, advise you on the process and work with your accountants and solicitors. They will act in your best interests, as a mediator, negotiator and confidant in this valuable time.
Planning. Consider your tax position before you go ahead, including how the sale impacts future generations. Investigate too the planning potential of any buildings, edge of village land and any overage agreement terms agreed. Plan the sale process too with your agent.
Paperwork. Your solicitor will have a large pack with many questions that need to be completed prior to the sale. Documental evidence may include, but not extended to, cropping records, drainage plans, title documents or land plans, tenancies notices, wayleaves or easements, third party agreements, access and rights of way, location of services, boundary responsibilities, planning permissions or proposals.
Proactive. Put together paperwork, pick up the phone and carry out your agent’s and solicitor’s recommendations. You may want to apply for local authority searches yourself which could save weeks of waiting for the buyer to complete them. Recent experience has shown us that if you, the agent and your solicitors are proactive, it is possible to exchange and complete on a substantial farm within five working days of an offer being accepted.
Presentation. First impressions are so important and while we all know a messy farm is a working farm, ensuring that the property is tidy gives you a head start. Consider if you need to remove old machinery, sweep yards, repair fencing, kill weeds or muck out livestock sheds for example.
Persevere. Not everyone will want to buy the farm, but someone will want it. Trust the agent and listen to their advice as they are working in your best interests. Listen to feedback from viewings and if possible act upon them, but don’t take it personally.
Positivity. Each farm is unique. The supply of farms available on the market is currently limited but there are a range of buyers out there in a position to buy. Stay positive throughout the process. Even if there are bumps in the road, think of the end sale result.
Jessica Robins, rural chartered surveyor and RICS registered valuer, Halls Holdings