Judging the value of a property is an art, not a science. This is particularly true in specialist areas such as rural land and farm properties.
You may have an idea of what price your property can achieve based on your own research, but a knowledgeable agent will be honest about whether your estimate is realistic.
Choosing the right estate agent when you have land for sale can sometimes feel like a minefield.
What agents look at when valuing property include property type, size, location, condition for example, they will also take into consideration:
- Market reports
- Local knowledge, including micro markets
- Knowledge of previous sales and current demand in the specific market
- Development opportunities or unique features
A selling agent should always be able to explain how they’ve come up with their valuation and give examples of what comparable properties such as land and farm, and houses with land for sale have sold for.
It’s not all about the numbers - however tempting it might be choose the agent who has provided the highest valuation - after all, you want the best price for your property, but if a property is over-priced for the market, it won’t sell.
The longer a property is on the market, the more likely prospective buyers may perceive ‘there’s something wrong with it’, and the more likely you are to have to drop the asking price.
An agent should also take into account their knowledge of active buyers in the market; inevitably they are the ones who are the likely buyers.
The first six weeks of marketing are the golden window of opportunity, the key to achieving a successful sale is keen and accurate pricing in order to generate viewings and interest from buyers. An over-ambitious valuation, although tempting, will deter buyers from coming to view or inspect, prolongs a sale process and almost always results in a lower selling price.
Of course, getting the best price for your home isn’t always your top priority. If you’ve already had an offer accepted on another property, then finding a reliable buyer who can meet your timescales may be the most important factor.
Valuations of rural property, such as farms, estates and country houses with land for sale, can also be required for a variety of other reasons, such as secured lending, inheritance tax, capital gains tax or other taxation purposes, probate, separations of partnerships as well as pre-sale assessments, development appraisals or even to aid purchase negotiations.
Most land agencies will have Chartered Surveyors undertaking professional land valuation work on behalf of lending institutions and private clients. At Best Property Services we have the largest team of Chartered Surveyors outside of Belfast. Our valuers work alongside the land sales team and share information, market trends and commentary, all of which contribute to the accurate valuation of properties.
It should always be borne in mind that a valuation is an opinion of market value at a single point in time and depends on the expert knowledge of the valuer and their interpretation of the available information.
Land agents like Best Property Services have a close connection to agriculture with roots firmly in the rural sector and are able to provide a deep knowledge and appreciation of what affects agriculture, the wider rural economy and individual farm businesses.
Whether you have inherited land and seek advice, or are considering a partial disposal or inter-family transfer, ensure that you choose qualified professional people who will provide you with unbiased advice, backed up by experience.
AUTHOR: Jonathan Bell is a Surveyor/Land Agent with Best Property Services, joining the practice in 2014, as a graduate of Harper Adams University with a degree in Rural Property Management.
Jonathan comes from a farming background and is knowledgeable in supporting the land team dealing with farm and site sales and acquisitions. In his downtime he enjoys working on the family farm, consisting of arable and livestock enterprises alongside diversification into renewable energy.