Private Sales of Farms, Land and Estates.

There are many reasons why vendors may consider a private sale of their farms or land, however, the main driver we see is privacy.

For some people, the idea of having a “for sale” board at the farm gate is very emotive and painful, especially where a farm has been in the family for many generations. Some vendors feel strongly that they would like to influence how the land is farmed and managed with a similar ethos. Whilst others would like their agent and solicitor to deal with a purchaser so they can be less involved in a process that is already so upsetting for them.

Private sales can be structured in several ways, where land is offered directly to a particular neighbour or offered confidentially to parties who you anticipate would be interested. If the neighbours know the land type and area there is less restriction on the timing of a sale in terms of waiting for land to looks its best in the traditional sale times of spring and summer.

These sales can take place with greater speed than going to the open market and a neighbour may well pay a premium to prevent an open market scenario. My recent experience has shown that a private sale can go from agreement to completion in less than seven weeks with the help of excellent solicitors on both sides.

There is also the ability to consider a sale to a party who would like to own land for the tax advantages but do not necessarily want to farm it, we have structured several deals to enable the vendor to continue farming both arable and grassland on a contract farming basis.

There are reasons why a vendor may not want employees, contractors and others associated with the business to be aware of a sale, so the privacy helps with business continuity.

There are many factors to consider when deciding the best way to sell rural assets, and knowledge and understanding of the local market is key to ensure the discussions around value are based on market experience. At Stephensons Rural we have a database of buyers looking for a wide variety of rural property.

We offer a confidential free marketing appraisal, please contact us to discuss if this is of interest.

Sarah Hogg BSc (Hons) MRICS FAAV

Tel: 01904 489731


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