Farm Buying Checklist: 4 Things Every Farm Or Land Buyer Must Know

Buying a farm is much less common than the purchase of a home. Even though small farming ventures are enjoying increasing attention, this type of real estate transaction can be more involved and carry more risk for the buyer. If you are in the market to purchase a farm or parcel of agricultural land, the following information will help ensure that you make a great choice and enjoy the smoothest possible purchasing experience.

Learn about the surrounding properties before making a decision to purchase

Farm properties can be seriously affected by the actions and expectations of other property owners in their immediate area. A good example of this is when a working farm adjoins a residential housing development where the residents are unhappy with farm equipment noises or the sight, sound, or smell of livestock. In most cases, choosing a farm that has wide buffers of less inhabited land  around it will help to avoid this type of problem.

Understand any restrictions and how they will impact your operation

Many types of restrictions can affect the way farm land is utilized. Deed restrictions, county or state regulations, as well as utility or other easements can all create issues that can be difficult or expensive for the farmer to address. Before buying any property, prospective buyers should always make sure they fully understand every restriction or regulation that the land for sale may be subject to before deciding to move forward with the purchase.

Make sure that all documentation is current, correct, and available

Another common issue on farms is the lack of a current survey, or situations where the fencing does not correctly follow the actual legal boundaries. This can create conflicts and potentially expensive legal battles with neighboring landowners that will affect the success of the farming enterprise. To avoid this problem, buyers should always make sure that all information is complete, verifiable, and available for their inspection, including:

  • property surveys
  • information about soil or water testing
  • deeds and title work
  • disclosures and inspections
  • information regarding any equipment, infrastructure, or livestock that is included in the deal
  • existing contracts with suppliers or vendors that will need to be honored
  • inventories

If possible, it can be very wise to have a real estate attorney examine these documents with your to make sure they are in order.

Work with a real estate agent who specializes in farms and land

Prospective farm buyers can get the best information about buying a farm and the local area by choosing to work with the right real estate professional. Look for one with a solid level of experience in successfully helping buyers find and purchase farms and land.