SOURCE: Murray Wise Associates LLC

Murray Wise Associates LLC

August 29, 2012 10:35 ET

Redefining Local: Even Smaller Farms Benefit by Selling at Auction

CHAMPAIGN, IL--(Marketwire - Aug 29, 2012) - For years, a lot of small farms were bought and sold locally, often as not to a neighbor who said, "When you're ready to retire, I want to buy your land." But with farmland prices rising rapidly to $10,000 an acre or more in many cases, that may no longer be the best strategy for selling small farms, according to Murray Wise, who has been buying, selling and managing farmland for more than three decades.

"Two things have changed in the last few years. First, the stakes are higher, and selling to a neighbor without any competition may not get the best market price. Second, the growing popularity of farmland as an asset class has made it more beneficial to reach out beyond the local community to other buyers who are seeking to invest. So even if the owner still sells to a neighbor, he'll get a higher price if he's also received competing offers from other potential buyers, and that's why we're now recommending auctions in more cases for small farms," he said.

In the past year, he noted, Murray Wise Associates has auctioned Illinois farms of 143 acres ($1,565,000) and 52 acres ($468,000); and Iowa farms of 35 acres ($276,500) and 230 acres ($2,495,000). 

"Our firm has been known for auctions of large farms -- typically 1,000 acres or more. But at today's prices, even a 50- or 100-acre farm is a very substantial investment, and it's critical to market it in a way that ensures the best possible price for the seller. As a result, we have developed a marketing process that is cost-effective for small farms but still has the reach of an auction," said Wise.

Individuals interested in additional information may visit or call 800-607-6888.

About Murray Wise Associates LLC
Murray Wise Associates LLC, headquartered in Champaign, Illinois, with additional offices in Florida and Iowa, is a leading national agricultural real estate marketing and auction company. The company also manages farmland assets for individual clients in Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

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