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Buying Farmland
Buying farmland is a confusing, risky business without professional assistance. First Mid Ag Services’ real estate services include assistance in helping clients buy farmland. Knowledge of markets, access to motivated sellers and investment analysis offers clients personalized service with expertise, integrity, and a focus on client goals.

Where to find potential properties for acquisition, knowing the price to offer, when and how to bid, are all areas that First Mid’s network of agricultural specialists can assist. Our staff has experience with and knowledge of Section 1031 Exchanges, Starker Trusts, sourcing credit, and structuring financing and terms. Due diligence examination of properties and assessing the attributes of particular parcels is also an important part of our service.

The farmland investor has an advantage when it comes to buying farmland as an investment. Most farm operators who want to buy more land prefer and usually have an economic incentive to buy in a nearby area. Most investors do not have to constrain themselves to a limited land market territory. With proper information to make a sound judgement, an investor can expect to find, acquire, and benefit from price imperfections in the farmland market.

Farm Appraisals — Buying or Selling?

First Mid serves individuals, family & investment groups, business firms, and institutions seeking experienced, competent, and high quality services for Midwest U.S. farmland ownership. We manage more Illinois farmland than any other firm.

Managing, buying or selling, or valuing farms to optimize benefits of farmland as an investment is a specialized and complex business. Owning land has been a basic privilege and a sound investment since America's founding. With the pride and heritage of farm ownership also come responsibilities and duties. The realities of today's global farm economy makes managing farms increasingly complex. First Mid Ag Services has for decades successfully helped owners of farmland manage this complexity providing clients with comfort, confidence, and optimum financial returns.

Farmland Real Estate Appraisals
Our experienced appraisers provide agricultural appraisals, real estate valuations, Certified Rural Appraisals, and consultations. Uses include:

  • Buying, selling exchanging or dividing real estate
  • Real estate valuation for IRS tax purposes, estate valuation, Special Use valuations, and gifting
  • Mortgage lending requirements
  • Property tax assessment
  • Litigation
  • Valuation of fractional interest in farmland real estate.

Selling Farmland
Reaching the decision to sell a farm is a difficult task, and First Mid Ag Services can help you address that decision. Consultation with our agricultural professionals can help you analyze financial goals and situations. We can identify the questions that you need to consider, or that should be addressed by your attorney or accountant so that a sound decision is made. Our staff’s knowledge of farmland, its production and income potential, and our broad network of contacts and interested buyers in the farm marketplace can pay off for anyone desiring to sell farmland.

Our real estate service includes consultation about farmland investments, acquisition of farmland for clients, and sales of agricultural real estate. Once a decision to sell is reached, we are prepared and qualified to do the following:

  • Assess the local farmland sales climate.
  • Evaluate the property to develop a market plan.
  • Determine, with owner's endorsement, the best method of marketing the farm.
  • Recommend an asking price, or a release price in the event of an auction format.
  • Determine the most advantageous time to sell within your time restraints.


Public Auction or Privately Negotiated Sale.
First Mid Agricultural Services is prepared to sell farmland at either public auction or through a privately negotiated sale. Each year land sold at public auction throughout the Midwest has proven advantageous for landowners that want to set a sale date and know when the farm will be sold. Another seller’s advantage of an auction is focused competition among buyers. Potential buyers’ confidence is increased when they recognize that other interested, competitive buyers exist.

Some farms, though are best sold by private sale. As each potential farm is evaluated and analyzed, First Mid Ag Services will recommend an opinion about whether the farm should be sold by private treaty or public sale.

How First Mid Ag Services Markets Farmland.
Following the decision to sell the land and after a determination has been made concerning the method of sale, it is important to develop a marketing plan. The First Mid Marketing Plan for your property will include the following features:

  • Brochure – A comprehensive presentation or executive summary is compiled that includes a complete description of the property, its unique features and benefits, and the terms and conditions under which the land is sold.  
  • Advertising – Develop and place appropriate advertising in local and regional publications.
  • Prospect mailing – Prepare a list of potential buyers and send by direct mail current farm information along with an invitation to purchase.
  • Signage – Place signs on the land to provide notice that the property is for sale and to identify the property being sold.
  • Property Prepared For Sale – Managing critical elements of an unimpeded offering is important. We help determine whether or not a land survey is available or needs to be prepared, and get it ordered if necessary. When, if, and how to divide the offered farmland into tracts is also sometimes relevant. We help determine the order and under what bidding structure tracts are offered. Ordering and obtaining merchantable title insurance, and working with legal advisors to clear potential title issues is also a critical step in marketing farmland.
  • Personal contacts -- The primary feature of our farmland real estate service is the personal contacts made prior to the sale. Direct contacts are made with local landowners plus other potential investors to make them aware of the property for sale and to encourage interest. Our company has a regional network of more than 20 licensed real estate brokers and salespeople prepared to work together to find the right buyer for a farm. In addition we have extensive contacts with other brokers and potential buyers throughout the area. Our wide access to buyers and sellers is a valuable asset in contacting the best prospects.

    Being in contact with potential buyers and others with interest in the property is critical to the sales process. It is in the seller’s interest to encourage bidding and to provide bidders with as much relevant information as needed. By interacting with interested parties and fielding inquiries we also gain insight into market demand and are prepared for subsequent negotiations or events as they unfold.  
  • Strategy – Our staff plans the strategy for the sale of each farm. This starts in the earlier steps with determining the size and number of tracts. Another factor is setting the order of sale, which is sometimes changed the day of the sale. Sale strategies help achieve the maximum price for the seller.

Closing the Sale.
The goal is to bring the buyer and seller together in order to consummate a successful conclusion to the sale of each tract. Our staff negotiates offers with prospective buyers in order to complete the sale. We work with the seller’s attorney in the preparation of the real estate contract. We attend the closing in order to see that the sale is properly closed. In summary, our knowledge of the real estate business offers the client a professional, personalized service with a high level of expertise and integrity.