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How to Sell a Farm

Showing your farm in the best light possible will mean attracting lots of buyers!

The South African government is promising to back policies of land redistribution, so this may be the ideal time for you to look for a willing buyer!

Getting a good price for your farm takes more than luck and there are a few things that you should do to make sure that the sales process goes through without a hitch.

Sector overview

The agricultural industry in South Africa has seen a sharp rise in production costs in the last few years. Due to this, there are many farmers that have decided to take advantage of selling their farm.

The market of farms for sale in South Africa has become quite competitive and so it is extremely important that you plan carefully for the sale of your farm. 

Preparing for sale

If it’s possible, keep farming while you’re trying to make the sale. Your farm will appeal far more to buyers if there are crops or animals in the field. When buyers come to your farm, you need to try to sell them ‘the dream’.

Carry out any general maintenance you have let fall by the weigh side in recent years. Having your farm in a good working condition will encourage buyers to pick your farm to buy over other ones.

Your farm records will need to be completely up to date. The buyer will want to have a clear idea of how your farm was run and what kind of money you were making. Try and have detailed records of the finances of your farm for the last 3 to 5 years.

It is a lot better to be honest with potential buyers than for them to find out later during the due diligence. This scenario would usually lead to the buyer backing out of a sale.

There are also options for subdividing your farm if you don’t want to sell the entire property. This will require a lot of preparation and planning. You will need to consult a professional that is familiar with The Subdivision of Agricultural Land Act of 1970.

Valuation of your farm

One way to get an idea of the price at which you should list your farm is to do research on what comparable farms are selling for. This can be difficult because you will not know the kind of profit that these properties have been making but, if you look at enough properties, you should start to get an idea.

You can look to a professional in order to get help with the appraisal of your farm. Getting a professional who has experience in understanding the agricultural industry can help you to get an unemotional price tag.

Make sure that the person that is appraising your land has experience in valuing farms in particular as this is very different from evaluating other types of properties.

The assets that you have on your farm are going to impact the value of your business. Will you be selling the livestock, grains, farming implements and other assets other than the land? If so, you will need to establish a value and understand the rate that those assets will depreciate while the sale is pending.

Marketing your farm

It is a good idea to let potential buyers know that the farm has room for diversification and future profitability. Make sure that you point out how the buyer is going to be able to make money from your farm if they purchase it.

You could market to neighbouring farms to see whether they might be interested in purchasing your farm in order to expand their own holdings.

If you want to appeal as a serious option for buyers, you will need to point out the positives of your property. Are you close to markets or transport routes? Do you have a soil test that shows that your land is in good condition?

Selling your farm can take a lot more time than you think because there is a lot of preparation that you will need to put in in order to attract the right buyer at the right price. Don’t try to rush the process and make sure that you advertise your farm in a place where it will be seen by a lot of potential buyers.

Find out everything you need to know about selling your business!



Anthea Taylor

About the author

Anthea Taylor is Assistant Editor at Dynamis and writes for all titles in the Dynamis stable including BusinessesForSale.com, FranchiseSales.com and PropertySales.com as well as other industry publications.

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