How To Choose An Auctioneer To Sell Your Farm
For weeks this post has rolled around in my head, several times I committed points to paper only to scratch one and add another. I wanted to be sure I covered the most important points. It was only supposed to be 5, then it was 10 but I narrowed it to only the 7 very most important topics. In the end hopefully you’ll better know the questions to as of the auctioneers you are considering to ensure you have picked the right company for the job.
1. Not All Auctioneers Are Equal: When it comes to methods, we are all different, this is really what sets auctioneers apart. When I say methods I am talking about how the actual sale is conducted. I’ve had sellers ask me “why would I pay you a commission when I could just do it myself, I don’t have to be able to talk fast to get up in front of a crowd to ask for bids” Lets be honest, if it was that simple, wouldn’t everybody do it? I’ve in fact seen people try it thinking it was easy, and they got an hard lesson in the value of a professional auctioneer. People tend to forget, people do not come to auction to pay top dollar. Every buyer in the crowd is there to buy it as cheap as possible. Until you have sold thousands of acres of farmland like we have you’ll have no idea how to act, what to say, when to say it, and all of the other things that must be done. An auctioneers methods are his/her “secret sauce” it is sort of like the Colonel’s 11 secret herbs and spices. Its learned over time with a lot of experience, hundreds and thousands of hours of practice.
2. Not All Brokerages Employ An Auctioneer And Not All Auctioneers Are Licensed to Sell Real Estate: Despite the fact that may companies have added the word “Auction” to their name in recent years, they have no auctioneer on staff. Their websites will even boast their prowess in the auction world. Realize this is about market share, picking up an extra commission here and there. Some may have a very very part time auctioneer they will pay a small fee to call your sale, but that is rare.
Another important point to consider, not all auctioneers are licensed to sell real estate. Some auctioneers without a real estate license sell farms but the restrictions on such a sale make it difficult in my opinion to provide effective service to a client. In fact, it became necessary for the State of Iowa to clarify the rules in 2012 and boost the penalties. You can read about that here. Is it important to you that the auctioneer selling your farmland real estate be licensed to sell real estate and have the full ability to market, show and close your farmland transaction?
3. Not All Auctioneers Sell Farmland: There are many auctioneers across Iowa, and most of them will take your listing if they can get it but if you are looking for an auctioneer that sells farmland and is good at selling farmland you’ll need to do some digging and question asking to find out. I know many auctioneers that have never sold a farm in their entire career, but they would love for your farm to be the first. Is it important that the auctioneer you choose have experience in selling farmland? Would you trust a surgeon doing his first surgery? Would you hire a carpenter to build your home if you knew it was his first build?
4. Not All Auction Companies Have The Same Resources: At DreamDirt we’ve built many resources over the years. These resources include contacts all around the state, buyers from around the nation, marketing and advertising resources such as mailing lists, email lists, websites, subscriptions and even physical resources such as auction sound toppers, tents, tables, trailers, technology, signage, mailing and many more things. At DreamDirt long ago we decided to be the best at what we do, we have invested heavily in the resources that help you be more successful, resources that help you sell fast, higher and with the least amount of stress.
5. Farm Management Companies Are Good At Managing Farms: I love my farm management friends, they are good at what they do, they manage farms that is their primary business. Somewhere along some of them decided to sell farmland, why not? They have a captive audience and it would make a nice secondary income right? Maybe that’s a fit for you? Consider this though, when you want an auctioneer that will do the best for you and have no competing interests, an auctioneer who does farmland auctions as a primary activity with no secondary activity would you do better?
6. Bigger ISN’T better, Bigger is “Cookie Cutter” Auctions: I had a client that was considering our services tell me “we are looking at a bigger company, I just think they will be able to do a better job” I was lucky to have that opportunity and I was glad they shared that perspective with me when they did. In the end they hired us to conduct their sale and I’ll share why they made that decision. Large auction companies lack flexibility in many ways medium and small companies don’t. Large auction companies enjoy “big reputations” and all the luxuries that come along with that. Their sales volume puts them in front of a lot of people, they get more opportunities to sell which just continues to snowball. When you stop and think about it though, the majority of the time your sale is being handled by a person that won’t even be at your auction, probably have never attended many auctions. Through the marketing and inquiry phase your asset is being handled by an office worker that is stamping out your auction exactly the same what the last one and the next one will be stamped out. The exact same things are done for each one of them. Your auction does not always have trained eyes on it as many of the tasks are pushed off to others to oversee until auction day when the auctioneer will arrive. This keeps their costs down, maximizes the company profit. When auction day arrives you’ll be dealing with an auctioneer that might be getting a flat fee for calling the sale and no interest in doing a “great” job and if he is a commission auctioneer he probably going to sell 3 farms that week, will he be hungry enough to do a “great” job on your sale? Do you want individual attention every step of the way? Do you want your calls answered? Do you want to ensure that trained eyes are directing the presentation of your assets every step of the way? I bet you do, but if a cookie cutter auction is fine with you then I won’t say it will be a disaster, but it won’t be as good as it could have been!
7 Full Service Isn’t Always Full Service If You Know What I Mean: One of the most misleading statements I’ve seen in auction advertising is this “We are a full service Auction Company” Just what does full service mean? I suppose to everybody it could be something different. To some full service auctioneering is providing the auctioneer, clerk and cashiers for the sale. To some it is providing real estate brokerage services and auctioneering services is full service. To us, its all of the above plus being flexible enough to pick up every possible loose end. I’ll give you a few examples. Recently a client from another state was flying to Iowa to sell his family farm of 70 years. When he arrived at the airport in Des Moines, we were there to give him a ride to the farm 100 miles away. The next day when the old farm pickup would not start we were there to give him a ride to get a new battery. In fact, our presentation crew completely cleaned the entire house, washed the windows and made every asset shine. For another client that lived out of state our crew met them onsite and then spent 4 days pulling every item from 2 barns, power washing them and photographing them for the sale. Its not uncommon when we sell a farm to have other assets that are sold at the same time, that might be machinery, or household contents, perhaps a home and outbuildings. The largest auction companies in Iowa will only sell your farmland, they realize that’s the asset with the most value. We won’t leave you hanging, we are full service and will ensure every lose end is tied for you when we finish. To us, that’s what a full service auction company does… literally everything that has to be done. We pride ourselves on making selling easy.
Choosing an auctioneer is something most people will very rarely every do in life. Its usually a task nobody wants to be faced with. If you do not live your entire life everyday inside the auction business it will be very hard for you to tell the difference from one auctioneer to the other. We ensure that every seller gets an auctioneer that fits them and is there with them literally every step of the way. Our auctioneers are responsible for every facet of their clients sale and responsible for the constant oversight of it, and they have the tools to
Every client we have worked with has different parameters that are important to them, we have built off of their requests and built an auction company with a primary responsibility of being auctioneers. We specialize in farmland and farm assets.
If you want to visit with somebody about selling farmland in Iowa, or a farm estate please call us today at (855)376-3478