Buyer's Eye Checklist for Rural Property
by 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 of sale.

  • 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.



Previous Issue:
October 2001

Miniature Horse Issue
Front Cover: Miniature Miracles Ranch

The Inland Empire Miniature Horse Club

Pony Club,
Not Just For Ponies

Many Mini Smiles

Historic Silver Valley Commemorative Drive

Richard Shrake - Strides To Success

The Gallop Pole

Baxter Black -
Toxic Coffee

Vet Corner -
Warts & Aural Plaques


For Sale

Buyer's Eye
Checklist for
Rural Property

October 3, 2001 11:21 PM