Selling a farm can be a daunting process that takes planning and patience. John Robson, a director of Robson & Liddle, offers five tips to help farm owners sell more quickly and maximise value.
Determine when you want to sell and plan backwards
Timing is key to any successful farm sale. If you’ve already made your mind up that you want to sell, or even if you’re only considering a sale at this point, decide when would be your ideal selling time and plan backwards from there. It might still be a few years away, or you may want to achieve a sale in a tighter timeframe, but knowing how much time you have will enable you to formulate a plan and determine all the hurdles you need to jump through before a sale can happen.
Ensure the farm looks its best when it comes time to sell
You will want to ensure that potential buyers see your farm at its best. While you could argue that a working farm isn’t always going to look spick and span, it needs to be presentable. Although there are many factors that might dictate when you begin marketing your farm, it’s often recommended that spring and summer are the best times as this is when crops will be flourishing and the farm will look its best. You should also make sure that yards are tidy and clutter-free and that fences and gates are well maintained. This will create the best impression when potential buyers come to view.
Reduce the risk of a sale ‘falling through’
Having all the necessary paperwork in place to give to the team advising the buyer will put you in strong position to move to a contract stage at the earliest opportunity. This will reduce the risk of the buyer being spooked and the sale falling through. A detailed information pack and sales particulars, as well as a farm management plan that offers information such as cropping rotations and yields, demonstrate a farm that’s well-managed and operating at its best. Offering information on the potential of your farmland, such as any planning permissions for development or renewables projects will also help a buyer understand how they can unlock future value.
Don’t let tax planning be an afterthought
You will need to have a thorough understanding of the tax implications of selling your farm and this needs to be considered at the start of the process. The last minute realisation that a sale could leave you with significant tax liabilities will slow the process or even put the sale at risk. Take professional advice at an early stage to understand the Capital Gains Tax liabilities, as well as tax reliefs that might be available.
Get the right professional advice
A trusted professional team will help you consider your farm sale from every angle, ensuring the process runs as smoothly as possible and that any potential barriers to a sale are addressed. Appointing an experienced team of legal, accountancy, valuation/farm sale experts will help you complete your sale in the required timeframe and for the right price.
Robson & Liddle has a strong track record in advising farming clients on the sale of their farming business, land and assets. To discuss selling your farm, call John on 01768 254 354.