Tips for selling rural properties

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Selling a property is never easy and when it comes to rural and regional homes, issues you’ve never heard of in suburbia will arise. Here’s our top tips for vendors selling farms, cattle stations and more.

What’s in the sale?

When it comes to a city apartment or house, it’s easy to find the answer to this question. Not so for a big rural property though! You’ll still need to think about your house, land, and outbuildings. But you’ll also need to consider any equipment, machinery, livestock, crops and water, with all these items needing to be listed in your contract. 

Don’t forget timber values and wildlife quality as well. If you’re transferring water entitlements to the new owner, notices, statements and licences may need to be signed off and lodged. Allow sufficient time to obtain and lodge these details as well. 

Depending on the area you live in, livestock being handed over to the buyer may need you to have a national vendor declaration in the contract or similar. For crops, you and the buyer will have to settle on who is entitled – and when – to this vegetation.

True value, smart marketing

Once you’ve decided what’s really on offer with your house, hunt out a savvy rural real estate, or stock and station agent well versed in such properties, and have them help you with understanding your property’s true worth. It’s helpful to explore and research comparable sales but these often don’t give you exactly the full frame of your property. 

Once you have the accurate value in your hand, sit down with your agent and talk about marketing. For starters, it’s a good idea not to just rely on for sale signs, even if you’re in a larger regional town. Rural buyers often begin their hunt online, checking out the geography and whereabouts first, before zoning in on local real estate options. 

So, ensure you have a great online presence as well as that for sale sign and a spot in the local media. And of course, always feature professional photos and good grammar.

Access and retrieval

Depending on what you and the buyer are entitled to, it’s crucial to have right of access well organised and planned as either you or the buyer may need access to the property before and after settlement. For example, you may want to wait until after settlement to muster your livestock and move them on. 

The same goes for clearing sales and storage. On the other hand, your buyer may want entry before settlement for their own livestock, to look after a crop they’re entitled to, or to plant another crop. All these points should be included in the contract along with access provisions, obligations and liabilities.

Patience and time

While you’re organising all of the above, do as you would with any house you’re selling: get cleaning! From the front main entry to the outer paddocks, you want the gardens, façade, interior and verandas to sparkle and shine – or at least be neat and tidy, with every fence fixed, all lawns trimmed and no trash or rust anywhere. You may have to do a good clean several times however as rural sales can take a lot longer than city and suburban ones.

Don’t forget….

Remember to consider any environmental issues potentially affecting your property as well as details such as stock routes, road reserves and forestry areas. Then there’s potential disagreements which could occur between you, your neighbours, the government and other places so check for bore arrangements and agistment, share farming, land and water, and mining and energy agreements.