Selling your rural or lifestyle property

The idea to sell your property is a big decision and sometimes it can take you months of emotional thinking and talking with friends and advisors before you take the next step and list your property.

Engaging a Real Estate professional is the next decision. 

You may already have a sales person in mind, or have a recommendation but you should choose someone that you feel confident with and you would be happy to leave in your home and make a cup of tea without you being there. Your salesperson of choice has got to be to be a professional because they are going to represent perhaps your biggest asset and they need to understand your farming business or lifestyle block.
The REAA has a Public Register of all licenced Salespeople (see www.reaa.govt.nz) so you can go on line and look them up.
Check to see if the company you are choosing is using the standard clauses for agency agreements and this again can be found on the REAA website. Most companies have chosen to use these but some have not as they are voluntary but you have more protection as a Vendor than some companies’ agency agreements.

Method of Sale (see other detailed info on our site about these)

Price by negotiation, Tender or Auction? These methods of sale need to be explained carefully to you so that you can make the right decision for you (not the salesperson). Are you going to give them a sole agency, a general agency or joint agency. You need to understand the benefits and negatives for each of the sales methods for you.

Be clear on whether the selling entity is Registered for GST or not and how the sale is to be handled in this respect.

This may be different from the trading entity in the case of a farm sale i.e the farm ownership structure could be different from the farming activity.
Information gathering this needs to be comprehensive.

Do not let the buyers try and guess something or some detail they will guess wrong! Arm your salesperson with the tools, they must understand your business, know how much fertiliser went on, understand all the consents held by the property, are the sheds on the property permitted – if not it’s best to disclose and don’t hide it. Other detail may include water line sizes, what type of water pump, electric fence unit, is the gear in the woolshed staying, what farm implements may be for sale. You can never give too much detail.

Some of the detail you can have ready for the Salesperson is a copy of your rates, fertiliser records, a recent soil test, farm and paddock maps and stock numbers that you may be running or trading policy. This is only a small amount of the detail needed but you will need time with your salesperson to go through the detail. An experienced Rural salesperson can guide you through this.
In-house complaints and disputes procedure. This provides a clear understanding for yourselves, if you are unhappy with your salesperson or have a problem, the process to raise that concern and deal with it.
Have a clear understanding of your obligations as a vendor.
• You need to be aware of the commission being paid at the end of a successful transaction. Don’t let it be a surprise, negotiate a fee at the very beginning that you are happy with.
• Understand the marketing and advertising costs spent on your behalf. You can expect a campaign schedule to agree to before any costs are incurred.
• Also ask to proof a copy of advertising before it goes online or into press. Feel free to edit and comment – after all you know the property far better than the salesperson who may have only seen it for a few hours thus far.
• On the listing form there are several client warranties and client acknowledgements that you will need to read carefully and acknowledge.
Be very aware of the term of the agency.

The Term of Agency
A residential house and lifestyle block can only be listed for a maximum of 90 days. If it takes longer to sell, an extension will need to be signed. A farm can be listed for a much longer period.
The listing agreement will need to be signed by all the owners. In the case of a Trust, all trustees or an appropriately nominated person need to sign. Once a listing agreement is signed and you have received your copy of the listing form, you have the right to cancel within the next 24 hours.

Selling your property is a significant event. Remember to ask questions of your salesperson along the way; don’t be rushed. Be absolutely happy and confident that your property is in the hands of the person who you want representing your biggest asset. And remember, at all times you are in charge.