Eye Checklist for Rural Property
Tina Allerdings of Real Estate Marketplace NW, Inc.,
Deer Park, Washington. 509-458-7787
Each rural property
is unique. Likewise, each buyer has a different view of the ideal rural
property. Some want seclusion and peace and quiet. Others want enough
of the type of acreage to raise animals. Still others want to create
a wildlife habitat. For others, the ideal is to have productive land,
whether it is in the form of timber or crops. Many want a combination.
The trick to achieving top value for your rural property is to assess
what its best use is then enhance its attributes. Creating a good first
impression is important.
- General. As with
a home make your first job general cleanup. The yard sale applies here.
A trip to the junkyard may be necessary.
- Derelict Vehicles,
Tires & Equipment. Guaranteed! Nothing will devalue your property
more than having a "parking lot" of junked vehicles and equipment. Get
rid of it! No one wants to be responsible for someone else's junk. This
goes double for buyers who are paying to buy your junk.
If you have to
hire someone to haul it then do it. If you have the time, you can sort
metal by type, strip wire, break down electric motors etc. Haul it yourself
this way and even with low metal prices you should make some extra money.
If vehicles are impossible to get rid of, be prepared to produce titles,
or pay WSP to inspect and issue lost title documents. If you don't,
be prepared for an offer to purchase to require you to do so as a condition
- Drives & Private
Roads. Grade and fill in the potholes. Prune overhanging trees. Widen
if too narrow. For winter showings, keep well plowed. Don't let that
buyer who just fell in love get stuck leaving.
- Gates. Be sure
gates are working properly. Check and tighten hinges, brace posts etc.
Straighten and raise if they drag. Be sure they will not swing closed
while someone is driving through. Consider adding a gateway arch to
welcome people. For many people this simple entry evokes the proverbial
image of all that is "country".
- Fencing. Wire
fences should be checked for tautness. Replace or add more corner braces
and line braces if necessary. Repair broken stretches. Wood fences should
be repainted or stained if needed. Replace damaged rails and rotten
posts. All gates should open and close easily.
- Barns & Outbuildings.
As with the home, make areas appear roomy by organizing. Keep hay and
straw stacked, tools organized and equipment parked in lines.
Areas should look
clean. Keep floors swept or raked. Throw sawdust on oil spots. Keep
livestock area clean. Keep tack neatly organized. If leather is moldy,
clean it. Remember the odor dividend? Many people find the smell of
clean leather attractive. In summer, keep a screened window open in
pump houses to dispel musty odors. If there is no window, or pump house
is used for cool storage, keep it very clean to keep odors to a minimum.
The same goes for root cellars.
- Wood Storage.
Keep firewood neatly stacked. If it is in piles drying, keep piles conical
rather than spread out. Keep bark and chips cleaned up.
- Noxious Weeds.
The presence of controlled noxious weeds is to be reported on the mandatory
property disclosure statement. If you have noxious weeds on your property
try to get them under control. Your county agricultural extension agent
can help you develop a management plan. If your county has a noxious
weed board, contact them.
- Other Considerations.
Inform your agent about all aspects of your operation. Situations such
as manure lagoons, irrigation schedules, harvesting schedules and so
on, should be known ahead of time. This is for safety reasons obviously
however, showing your property during certain times can enhance its
values if buyers area aware this is a paying operation.