Texas Horse Property, What you need to know before you sell yours.
For many owners of Northern Texas horse property, their land is their biggest asset. Once the decision to sell a horse or acreage property has been made, it is often one of the most important affairs of their lives. The process can be a hard nut to crack.
We want to provide the information and tools necessary to make short work of a complicated task. This article includes current market trends, a step-by-step guide, and a final section of potential pitfalls to avoid.
Anyone who has tried to sell their horse property alone will tell you it can be a pain in the neck. In fact, two-thirds of people who sell horse property without a realtor say they will never do it again. Truly, there’s no substitute for a professional. In fact, if we could boil down the advice of this article into one phrase, it would be this: get professional help.
Feel free to get in touch with us to help ensure the best possible outcome. We’re proud to be ranked the No. 1 agents in our area for sales of residential homes on acreage and horse property for multiple years running.
Current Market Status of Texas Horse and Acreage Property
Recent years have witnessed strong improvement in the market for horse property and acreage. Population spikes in the Fort Worth and Dallas area have increased demand, leading to more sales and higher value per acre. Dallas News has an excellent article on the general 2017 market for Northern Texas.
North and Northeast Texas small land sales increased 20.9 percent from 2016 to 2017, totaling 2,230 sales. The average price per acre for small land sales also grew 13.3 percent year-over-year to $8,315 per acre. Finally, Northeast Texas was home to 31.9% of statewide sales, a significant chunk of the overall market.
These trends should hold steady in upcoming years. For highly comprehensive and up to date information regarding the region’s market statistics, you can check out the 2017 Small Lands Report from the Texas Association of Realtors. Additionally, North Texas Real Estate Information Systems publishes monthly reports of future market indicators.
Step-By-Step Guide on Selling Texas Horse Property
As mentioned previously, acreage property and especially Texas horse properties are often complex facilities sold in a highly niche market. Unless you are highly knowledgeable about the market and process, any objective party will tell you to get a real estate agent with at least 5 years of experience in the Northern Texas horse property market.
Do Your Research
- Know Your Motivations
- Do Your Homework on the Surrounding Market
- Consider Getting an Appraisal
- Set Your Listing Price Wisely
- Get the Timing Right
- Spruce Up Your Texas Horse Property (With Video Example)
- Gather Useful Information for Prospective Buyers
- Understand and Communicate External Benefits
- Market Well
- Gather Info on Your Prospective Buyers
- Keep Emotions in Check
It is important to understand clearly why you want to sell. The more time you have, the less pressure there is to set an especially enticing listing price. No matter what your timeline or reasons for selling, keep that information to yourself. No potential buyer is entitled to that private information. If they ask, simply give a generic answer like, “Our housing needs have changed,” or “We are ready for a different lifestyle”. This is the surest way to prevent buyers from having a bargaining chip during negotiations.
Look up other listings online and visit as many open showings as possible. Ask owners about their motivation to sell (hopefully they haven’t read this article first!). A strong sense of the market will not only help you price your property advantageously, it will help you understand the perspective of prospective buyers.
Perhaps there are several similar properties in the area that must sell urgently. In this case, you’ll have less room to drive a hard bargain. Alternatively, they may be very little available in your region. In this case, you’ll have an advantage over buyers with their hearts set on your area.
Appraisals can be an excellent marketing tool, but they can also turn out fairly useless. If you have a turn-key horse property, one that is well-maintained and ready-to-use, an appraisal can function as strong evidence that the property is ship-shape and worth top dollar. It can also show buyers that financing is available. On the other hand, the value estimate may be less than you hoped or may expire before you can sell.
This is perhaps the most important step in the process. It requires objectivity and foresight. Even if you’re in position to wait for a well-paying buyer, overpricing will work against you. First, it reduces interest, and some buyers who might eventually be persuaded to pay close to listing price will overlook your property entirely. Secondly, overpricing can be used against you during negotiations. Once the offer-counteroffer process begins, it can be a slippery slope.
To set a proper asking price, consider your minimum and realistic maximum offer prices. Keep this information to yourself, but weigh it against factors like how long you have to sell in order to come out on top.
Peak selling season for Northern Texas horse ranches is typically between April and Thanksgiving. Properties priced to sell quickly in the middle of winter is a dead giveaway of highly motivated sellers. If you’re able to wait until the spring to list your property, then do so. Not only is your property simply worth more, the land and facilities will look more beautiful, raising the perceived value of your property in the minds of buyers.
Prepare Your Property
The more cosmetic makeover you can accomplish, the better. A coat of paint is almost always worth much more than the cost of the can. Clean up trash, remove eyesores, paint and repair fences (especially those closest to roads and buildings), mark property lines, clean the house and barn, do some landscaping (especially mowing), kill odors, set up barrels in a cloverleaf pattern, and drag your arena. For general home staging, we recommend Langford Interiors.
Pay attention to detail! A cracked mirror in the foyer can turn off buyers far more than you might expect. Also consider getting the opinions of friends and realtors about the strengths and weaknesses of your property.
When your horse farm looks the definition of the American dream, it takes on an air pricelessness. Of course, what that means for you is significantly increased interest and higher offers. Here is a GREAT example of a property that WE staged as part of the selling process.
Consider issues like tax assessments, the nearest farrier and horse veterinarian, utility information, water access, zoning ordinances, a complete list of renovations and repairs, and a disclosure list. The smart seller discloses issues in order to prevent law suits and consequentially major losses. The American Farriers Association has a useful directory. A similar resource is available from Texas’ Horseman Directory.
Perhaps your neighbor is helpful carpenter, willing to share her riding lawnmower, or committed to keeping his land undeveloped. It could be that a nearby town has a wonderful atmosphere. There are numerous external factors for your property that can raise its value. The wise seller taps into these and leverages them as selling points.
Take pictures of your property after you’ve spruced it up and during excellent weather. Consider pictures will full daytime light, but also take pictures during the sunset and sunrise. If you would like to invest in drone photography, you can find a professional in Northern Texas here.
Then market your property online, in newspapers, with customized roadside signs, and via social media. Yes, like the sprucing up stage, this task can require lots of work. But savvy sellers know that it is more than worth the effort.
Understand what motivates them to buy. Learn exactly how much they can put down and pay on a mortgage. Know how soon they want to close. Arm yourself with as much information as possible in order to negotiate most effectively.
Be as business-like and emotionally detached as possible. Avoid being offended by low offers, simply turn around with a high counter-offer to communicate that you won’t take low-balling seriously. Finally, if you live on the property that you’re selling, ensure you sell your property for signing a contract on a new one. Keep your excitement about your next step in check, or that excitement may sour into buyer’s remorse before you know it.
Potential Pitfalls When Selling Horse or Acreage Property
- Getting burned-out and neglecting to do sufficient sprucing-up or marketing
- Hovering over prospective buyers during a showing
- Employing a real estate agent with less than 5 years of relevant experience
- Failing to anticipate questions prospective buyers will have
- Failing to disclose every issue to prospective buyers
- Overlooking additional costs involved in selling property
- Using poor quality photos
If you’d like to learn more about us, check out our story here. We would love to turn a dizzying, stressful, and complicated process into a smooth, energizing, and profitable experience. Get in touch today for more quality information on selling your Northern Texas horse property!