Does anyone have a time machine? When selling a farm with a tight deadline provides excitement and an opportunity to shine.
In early September, we were approached by the owners of Elm Farm, Sheepy Magna, with a request to have their 227 acre farm at Sheepy Magna sold by the end of October in order for them to realise their dream and move to a farm, triple the size, in Scotland. Selling your farm is a lengthy process so to say this timeline was tight is quite the understatement, but ever ready for a challenge, we took up the mantle and got to work. Instructed on the Monday, the particulars were written and measurements taken on the Tuesday. Photography was booked for the Wednesday and a breakdown of the property to four lots confirmed by the Thursday evening. Brochures went to print on the Friday and by early the following week, we were ready to launch. Significant traditional marketing in publications such as the Farmers Weekly were planned and executed to land on newsstands and doorsteps by the Friday, co-ordinated with a substantial social media campaign across LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to hit all demographic bases over the weekend. At just 2 weeks from the first appointment, we had hit our target launch date and interest began to be registered and viewings booked.
The property was advertised for sale as a whole but also as four lots:
Lot 1 being a two bedroom farmhouse (subject to an agricultural occupancy condition) the farm buildings, and 191.62 acres
Lot 2 comprised a second larger house, with a small range of buildings and about 9.36 acres
Lot 3 comprised 10.79 acres of pasture land split in to two fields with a fishing lake and caravan pitches
Lot 4 was an arable field of about 16.15 acres
Our initial advice included a suggestion to work on some of the aesthetics of the property – simply cutting hedges, cutting back the tracks through the land and laying some hardcore would enable potential applicants to see its potential. With a number of opportunities for diversification via a cattery, fishing lake, caravan park and self-contained apartments, each of the lots brought significant interest, with some applicants interested in one or two lots, and others in the whole.
As chance would have it, our residential sales team were in the process of selling another property, separate from the farm but sitting on its boundaries, which belonged to a completely different vendor. The prospective buyer was approached with the information that the parcel of land behind the property was being brought to the market, and the first of the four lots was sold – although there was a call for best and final offers on this and all lots as the interest for each was so high.
The agricultural tie did not dissuade bidders for lot one – expectations are traditionally that properties with agricultural ties are less attractive and therefore command a lower price than the same property without such a tie would. And this is just as well, as there was absolutely no time to even contemplate the removal of the tie if the deadline of the end of October was to be reached!
All four lots were sold well within the timeframe, and three of the four exchanged in time for funds to be released for our clients to sign for their dream farm north of the border.
Our clients were delighted with this result, and we were able to breathe a sigh of relief! Not always does it happen that the stars are aligned, and we can turn the seemingly impossible into a reality, but on this occasion, that is exactly what happened. Our clients were drawn to us as we had successfully marketed land in two nearby localities in the recent months. Our residential sales department had contacts at just the right time for the first lot to be sold subject to contract and our fast, targeted, and broad-brush marketing strategy provided enough exposure to drive significant interest to force a best and final offers deadline on each of the four lots.
We are delighted for our clients that their timeline has been achieved and look forward to a visit up to their new farm in Scotland for the moving in celebrations.
If you have a complicated sale, wish to discuss issues with an agricultural tie, would like independent, transparent, and honest advice on selling your farm or have a challenging timeline to hit, please call our team and we will do all that we can to help.
If you are considering a sale of your rural property, land, farm or development site and would like to speak to a member of our team, please contact your most convenient office for a no-obligation consultation.
If you are selling a farm, we are also able to advise on successful farm sales for equipment, farm dispersal, collective machinery and auctions for other farm items. Please click this link to find out more: H&H Farm Sales
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