Why Do You Need a Professional Farmland Appraisal?

Rod Johnson

UFARM Appraiser Rod Johnson

Dean Batie

UFARM Appraiser Dean Batie

When it comes to farmland ownership, having an accurate indication of what the land is worth serves as the basis from which many important decisions are made. Estate planning, dividing land among children, determining fair rental fees or lease terms, and tax or legal issues all depend on an accurate farmland appraisal. Especially in the last several years, which have seen burgeoning farmland values, it is more necessary than ever to have an accurate assessment of land value.

Land appraisers are rigorously trained and are licensed or certified in all aspects of property appraisal, and can help walk you through the steps in determining the value of your farm. They provide objective, impartial, and unbiased opinions about the value of real property, by putting together various aspects of the property—its physical characteristics, size, uses, and location—and develop a value based upon those specific characteristics.

Since knowing the value of the farm and land is such an important part of managing it, it is to the benefit of all involved to seek an expert appraiser to aid in determining its value. Even more, seeking an appraiser that is a member of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA) is a sure-fire way to ensure that your property is valued correctly. All of UFARM land managers have undergone the extensive study that becoming an ASFMRA designated appraiser requires.

The ASFMRA accreditation process is one of the most intensive in the industry. Members meet stringent standards that substantially exceed all state and federal licensing requirements. ASFMRA appraisers have successfully completed a rigorous process that includes education, work review, a comprehensive exam and an experience requirement. They also commit to continuing education requirements to ensure continued professional competence in an ever-changing world—an important qualification, especially given land value fluctuations over the last three years.

ASFMRA appraisers work in all areas related to real properties, including farms/livestock operations/dairies, commercial properties, conservation easements, timber properties, vineyards/orchards, and rural residences.

In addition to appraisals, ASFMRA appraisers are qualified to aid in a number of other situations, including eminent domain, estate planning, gift valuations, or inheritance issues, litigation involving land valuations, damages, or crop losses, partitions, loan purposes, expert witness services, as well as providing assistance to banks and trustees in handling real estate holdings.

When it comes to any number of aspects of farmland ownership, it pays to know your worth. If you are trying to sell farmland, failure to accurately assess the value of the farm and surrounding farmland results in less interest from potential buyers, and the maximum value attainable from the farm may be missed.

Experts and those who have learned the hard way agree: Don’t miss out on the knowledge that an experienced, ASFMRA-designated farm appraiser can offer. Decisions about your farm are among the most important you will make.

UFARM offers appraisal services from ASFMRA certified appraisers. They possess years of practical, local land market expertise, and combine it with the latest appraisal technology in order for you to gain a clear and accurate value of your land.

Sources consulted: “Considering a Career in Rural Appraisal?” ASFMRA.org. American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. Web. 24 Jun.2015.  “Appraiser – Learn How to Become an Appraiser or Find a Qualified Appraiser.” ASFMRA.org. American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. Web. 24 Jun.2015.