Buying Land

You Snooze, You Lose!

You Snooze, You Loose!

After the events of the last few weeks, I felt obliged to let all the buyers out there in on a secret. I wanted them all to understand that change is underfoot in the land and farm market. I want them all to know that their laid-back, wait-and-see what happens attitude toward the market may not be the best choice right now. Lots of buyers have this, “Nothing is selling, and I am the only one interested” way of going about things.

Mr. Buyer, here is some advice. Don’t wait. If it fits you, it fits someone else too. There are buyers in today’s market, and sales are at a brisk pace. I know of at least three different instances in the past month where I either had multiple offers on a property, or someone who had their heart set on buying a property, had their heart broken because they bought into the popular notion that nothing is selling. They waited and got bit. You only need to look at our recent results to know that’s not the case, but some folks just don’t seem to get it.

You Snooze, You Lose! You have now been warned.

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About the author

Robert King

Robert is a Land Agent with Southeastern Land Group. He specializes in helping buyers and sellers of farms, poultry operations, and timberland throughout Alabama and Georgia. Robert is a regular contributor on The Land Show radio program and the Southeastern Land Group Blog.


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  • We’re finding the Minnesota market is the same……lots of activity and many buyers are pulling the trigger. Over and over, we hear people say that the price is outrageous and they wouldn’t consider buying at that price only to find out another buyer saw it as a good value. Once the, “right” property is gone, it may never come back on the market for you.

  • not same in NY. i have a 1.3ac wooded residential lot, assessed at $20k, listed at $14k and still no calls

  • It’s only because the excess money that was pumped into the system by the Fed – post 2009 is beginning to now re -inflate real estate. Pricing is far removed from the fundamentals. As an investor in timberland myself, my partner and I have pulled back from purchasing any since 2012. We made some good deals between 2010-2012, but since then euphoria has entered the marketplace. We make offers that reflect reality but very few get accepted. Such is life. When the next serious downturn occurs it will once again be a buyers market for those with cash. When it comes to getting a good deal – a tough view of the numbers coupled with a cold dose of reality always wins. Buying on emotion is a great way to remove all of your profit margin form the deal.

  • Thanks for your comment. I’ve not reviewed this article in 2 years, but in so doing I realize we are 3 plus years into recovery now. Most of the active market today is bought emotionally and sold logically. I still see a fair number of real timberland deals, but you are right…the underlying values are generally a little higher than timberland can self sustain…which exactly supports the premise of the article. In 2011 and 12 you could buy on timberland numbers. In 2013 when I wrote the article you could as well, but it was changing. I do suspect that QE had something to do with that. But it has brought many back into the market now…which is good for everyone. We spent 15 years previous to the downturn where numbers did not add up for timberland investment without assigning some rec value…and that spanned two other downturns. Most people don’t desire to wait 15 years to make an investment. Fortunes are won and lost times over in that span. The pendulum has swung. Multiple offers are very prevalent in the market now….which is why timberland based offers are getting declined. Sell some of that land you bought during the bust if you don’t have any confidence in the market. If you are still holding, then it must have greater value of some sort to you.

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