“It takes a lifetime to build, months to prepare, and a day to sell it”
Truer words were never spoken when dealing with farm auctions. Farm auctions are not limited to the sale of land. No, farm auctions can also include equipment and tools needed for farming as well as livestock and even personal property.
What that means is that bidders aren’t necessarily there to buy the whole kit and caboodle, but perhaps there to get a bargain on a quality piece of farm equipment needed for their own operation. It is for that reason that people come from miles around to attend a farm auction.
Every farm auction is unique
The circumstances for the sale vary. Often it is decades in a farming family that are coming to an end. The farmer may be retiring with no one in the family interested in personally carrying on the livelihood, or, it might be an estate being liquidated. Whatever the circumstances, a farm auction is always an emotional time for sellers and for buyers. Sellers might be sad to see the property change hands, and the buyers are eager for new opportunities.
Auctions are quick and easy for sellers
The great thing about real estate and farm auctions is that you know exactly when you will be selling. The sale is immediate, and final. Many auctions are cash-on-the-barrel, but at some auctions buyers are able to arrange pre-approved funds they can use for bidding. This is especially true for the purchase of land and real estate.
At an auction, everything sells in one day. Having it done in one day is a blessing for everyone. Especially with a farm sale, there is a lot of property to grapple with for the family. A farm auction is so much faster and easier than placing ads, having a variety of sales, you know, selling in the traditional sense.
Plus, when you work with a long-time professional group like LAWSON & CO., they take care of getting everything ready, advertising, and even setting up their mobile auction equipment so the auction is organized and runs smoothly.
It’s a little different if you are interested in an opportunity as a buyer, it would be a good idea to become familiar with farm auctions before you attend an auction on your own.
Farm auction advice
As a potential buyer, there are a few things to know when purchasing equipment or other items or land at auction.
Sales are final. That means you need to be an informed buyer. If you bid $15,000 on a piece of equipment that is normally worth $20,000, it is best to know the shape that it is in.
Inspect these pieces beforehand so you know their condition, look up their fair market value, and find out if the equipment is functional. If it is not functional, find out what is wrong, and how much money and work it will take to restore the item to working order. A bargain is only a bargain if you don’t have to spend twice as much money fixing it. Remember, at an auction, all sales are final!
Here are a few Dos and Don’ts for success at farm auctions
- Do make a budget so you will know what you allow yourself to spend. It’s really easy to get sucked into the action of bidding and overstretch yourself.
- Do try to attend any preview events that may be held prior to an auction. This is a good time to do a little research into what you may wish to purchase. If you are interested in livestock, bring a veterinarian or other animal expert with you to check for common problems with the animal (especially horses). If you are considering equipment, bring a mechanical person with you.
- Do dress appropriately and bring a folding chair. There’s not always a place to sit, and some auctions can take hours when there is a lot being sold. Dress for the weather, and be prepared to layer-up if the weather is supposed to be chilly. Umbrellas are as good for hot sunny days as well as rainy ones.
- Do check with the auctioneers beforehand to see what types of payments they accept (check, money order, credit card, or cash-only).
- DON’T get into a bidding war. The people competing for something at auction is not a personal battle, despite what you have seen in the movies. Having someone outbid you is not a particular slight against you. If someone bids above your budget, let it go.
- DON’T show emotion. Staying calm, cool, and collected will keep others from knowing how eager you are to purchase and prevent them from digging in about winning.
- DON’T bid unless you are sure you want to buy the item. If you win the auction, you must pay for it, whether or not you have changed your mind. It’s yours. From a different perspective, if you see something you want, bid. Once it is sold, it is gone.
- DON’T wait until you’ve won an item to ask about storage. If you don’t have room for that 60 foot combine you just bought, you had better make arrangements for it prior to bidding. While some auction companies will offer storage options, others do not. And the ones that do offer storage will charge you an extra fee. Be prepared. Likewise, consider what you need to have to transport your newly acquired item. Again, some auction houses will offer transportation, or have other transportation available, but it will come at a fee.
The lay of the land
We haven’t really talked about selling the farm land itself, have we?
A good auction house will be available to give you all the details about the land prior to the sale. Many, including LAWSON & CO often provide aerial photos of the entire parcel(s) and will provide information about the results of prior real estate auctions.
Auction dates are generally scheduled several months in advance so buyers have plenty of time to find out everything they need to know about the property. Technical details such as zoning, percentage that is tillable or wooded, existence of waterways, the current arrangements with tenant farmers, tax situation, etc. can all be determined.
Smart buyers know what they are buying and most of them have an idea of what they will do with the real estate once purchased and have planned accordingly.
Farm auctions can be exciting and fun. What we really suggest is that you attend several before taking the leap into making large purchases. Get the lay of the land, so to speak.
Once you see what bargains you can find, and how the process works, chances are good that you will enjoy the event, and maybe even become a regular shopper.
You will also see that farm auctions or real estate auctions are a good choice when the time comes to divest yourself of real estate or personal property. Talk to the most experienced and effective auctioneers in central Indiana at LAWSON & CO in Danville. We have been handling auctions for more than 50 years. We know the ins and the outs and as they say, “have seen it all.” Put our experience to work for you! It really is as easy as calling us at 317-745-6404. We are here to help.