As discussed in the first two parts of our ongoing series, it is extremely important that ranch buyers and sellers evaluate ranch brokers based on their experience and their education. Extensive, proven experience and a commitment to ongoing education are the building blocks for the third Essential Ranch Broker Characteristic: Understanding of the Issues.
No two ranches are alike and therefore every ranch transaction will be completely unique. A large-acreage, rural, hunting, and agricultural property such as Red Hill Ranch will present a completely separate set of issues from a smaller, densely entitled, resort area property such as the Promontory Ranch. Red Hill Ranch requires knowledge of BLM leases, agricultural grazing potential, wildlife habitat, and local hunting regulations, while Promontory requires an understanding of conservation easements, county development processes, and federal land leases for recreation. In both cases, the only way to acquire the knowledge and expertise to effectively understand and communicate the issues is through first-hand experience and continued education on ranch-related issues.
Why is it so important that ranch brokers understand such a wide variety of land and ranch issues? The answer is simple: It will save their clients significant amounts of money, allowing them a greater return on their investment. Many potentially negative issues associated with ranches can lie dormant for years or decades without ever becoming a problem for the landowner. When these issues do finally rear their ugly heads, they can be expensive and time consuming to fix. Even a buyer who purchased a heavily discounted ranch could lose a great deal of money should an expensive issue arise that significantly increases their cost basis.
From a buyer’s agent perspective, it is important for ranch brokers to help their buyers fully understand all potential negative issues associated with a property, so that the issues can either be fixed prior to the sale or so that they can walk away from the purchase if necessary. The reality is that many landowners do not even fully understand their own property, so it is wise to perform a fully independent evaluation of the ranch that does not rely on the seller’s information. From a seller’s agent perspective, an effective broker will work with the landowner to uncover any potential issues prior to bringing the property to market, so as to avoid any complications during the sales process. In both cases, it is preferable that buyers and sellers are aware of all issues (both good and bad) and preemptively address them, rather than being taken by surprise and having to spend unnecessary money to remedy the situation.
It is a ranch broker’s job to identify all immediate and potential problems, but no matter how experienced, educated, and knowledgeable a broker is, it is impossible for one broker to solve every issue that emerges. However, a top-level ranch broker does have an extensive network of professionals – attorneys, appraisers, accountants, water rights engineers, conservationists, etc. – to whom they can refer both buyers and landowners. Having a strong network of professionals capable of solving problems quickly can be invaluable for buyers and sellers. Knowing that these professionals will do thorough, cost-effective work ensures that resources and time are being used wisely. The importance of a ranch broker’s professional network will be discussed in more detail in Part 5 of this series.
At Mirr Ranch Group, our team takes pride in our experience and education that allow us to fully understand issues associated with western ranches. No matter what the challenge – water rights, agricultural production, conservation easements, federal grazing leases, federal land, access issues, development entitlements, mineral rights, hunting tags, wildlife habitat, forest management, or environmental concerns – we can identify the issue and ensure that it is fixed quickly and in a cost-efficient matter.
Check back next week for Ranch Broker Essential Characteristic #4: Understanding of Ranch Values.