Farmers looking to sell next spring should make sure the property is in tip top condition or stomach having to accept an offer below the asking price.

With harvest over, those who have an eye on a potential sale will use this quieter period of the agricultural calendar to work out how much they could potentially get for their property.

Careful consideration to the way the land is lotted, coupled with attention to detail on how it all looks, needs to be given in order to get the best price.

Ben Compton, rural affairs specialist at Bruton Knowles is all too aware on the pitfalls many farmers and landowners make when looking to sell and advises getting expert help so that they maximise their returns.

Ben said: “Now is the time of year many farmers and landowners will be thinking about a sale in time for putting the property on the market in the Spring. However buyers today are much more discerning and unless presentation of the property is good, in many cases the asking price may not be achieved.

“Over the last twelve months we have seen the first drop in land values for many years, as a result of falling commodity prices and the uncertainty surrounding “Brexit”.

“Looking forward therefore I believe it is going to be even more important to present your property for sale in the best possible condition in order to realise its full potential in the market.

“Any dwellings and buildings will need to be looked at, making sure they are well presented. Then there are items such as fences, hedges and gates which will make a good impression if they are all in good order.

“If for example there are hedgerows that need cutting back, then the buyer will quite rightly take that into consideration when putting in an offer. If a gate is missing or hanging off the hinges then this will not present the property in the best light.

“Consideration also needs to be given to prudent lotting of the farm or land, making it as attractive as possible to as many potential purchasers in the market at that time.

“Don’t necessarily view a farm as a whole. Splitting the land into lots if possible will attract potential buyers with different agendas. Recent sales we’ve been involved in, both at auction and private treaty, resulted in lots selling to people from away rather than to local landowners/farmers.

“This gave the owner a much better return than they expected and is a sensible course to take when looking to sell.”

With over 150 years’ experience of selling farms and estates, any rural property owner who thinks they would benefit from an expert assessment should get in touch with Ben.

For advice or further information please contact Ben Compton at ben.compton@brutonknowles.co.uk