Time to Sell the Farm: How to Make a Tough Decision an Easier Conversation

The decision to sell farmland can be a highly emotional one. But with land values on the rise in many areas, the discussion will be brought up at many family gatherings as the year draws to a close.

Often, the idea is tough to come to a consensus on, even when the best answer seems straightforward. The key to having a healthy conversation around the sale of farmland is to have as much information as possible to make the most educated decision.

What do you need to know:

Range of value
Farmland is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. We’ve recently seen record prices for land sales in Illinois, so the market is hot for owners ready to sell. In some areas, farmland has seen a significant increase in value since 2020. At the current time, the farmland market looks good for sellers. Many owners who have been considering selling for a few years and just waiting for the right time have made their decision this year and have seen the benefits. If owners looking to sell potentially are iffy, having the data in front of them that puts numbers to a “strong market” helps solidify their choice.

Sale method
An auction is a good choice for many sellers, but it may not be the best fit for everyone. A sealed bid sale may be a better option for some properties, and a detailed listing may work best for others. But that’s a service Murray Wise Associates provides – we look at each property and, based on its attributes and the seller’s goals, decide what will work best in each scenario. Also, we use our connections to get in front of the right group of buyers for the properties we support.

Right now, it seems like a sale happens just as soon as owners decide to sell a property simply because the market has been so hot. In most years, we would tell sellers to wait until fall/winter to sell their property, as many times, farms have more available cash and are in between growing seasons. Auction season is typically in the early spring and fall when farmers have time to get the crop in or the ground ready for the next growing season. Many farmers have less cash available to purchase a farm in the summer. But in a year like this one, sales are set to happen as quickly as is feasible so sellers can take advantage of the premium opportunity.

Let Murray Wise Associates Help You
Connecting with MWA is an excellent way to start the information-gathering process. MWA can pull together a proposal to explain what the market looks like and what the farm could sell for if brought to market. MWA also provides a timeline describing how the process works and what would need to happen to bring the land to sale. Having this information helps landowners and families make initial decisions as to what they want their next steps to be.

Aside from just developing a proposal, the team at MWA can also facilitate the conversations. We often have conference calls with families looking to make the right decision about whether they should sell. These calls create an excellent forum to ask questions and get answers from a professional who knows the market and the process. It takes the pressure off the owners to have all the correct answers and allows everyone involved to feel heard and know they were a part of the decision.
MWA can help you achieve the highest return on your land investment through our broad network of buyers looking to buy properties like yours. Give us a call, and let the expertise of our team work for you.