Getting your horse property ready for sale might be the most important part of listing an equestrian property.
First impressions are made in an instant.
A good first impression helps a buyer see potential in a less than perfect property. But a bad first impression will cause a buyer to see any imperfections only as problems.
Cleaning Up The Barn and Residence
Start By Organizing and Decluttering.
There’s a reason every ‘tips for getting your home ready for sale’ real estate blog will mention decluttering your property. Organizing, cleaning and decluttering your home is the easiest way to put your property’s best foot forward.
It also allows buyers to envision themselves living in the home and imagine their horses enjoying the barn.
If you look at a mess on your property and think, “Ahh it’s not so bad, and besides, it’s a farm…” then the mess is probably going to look 10 times worse to a buyer and their agent.
Look, I get it. Barns are dusty and can be tough to keep clean.
Barn life isn’t the same as it is shown in magazines or on the ‘Beautiful Horse Barns’ Instagram page – with white walls, pristine lawns
But if you want your property to look its best, it doesn’t hurt to use these fanciful images as inspiration for getting your barn ready for sale.
For instance, I often see perfectly folded blankets on stall doors in these fancy barn images. I don’t know if that’s how the blankets look every day but they sure do for the photo-shoot!
Here is a
The Little Details
I like to pay attention to the small details as well. By this I mean details we may not notice instantly but subconsciously we appreciate them.
Sure a buyer may not instantly appreciate that you took the time to dust off the rosettes hanging on stalls or scrub the grout between the tiles in the bathroom, but they seem to notice when you don’t.
It’s like training a horse – if you don’t pay attention to the small details, the bigger picture doesn’t come together.
Here is What I Recommend
The following is a short list of what we recommend to clients for their property photo-shoot. Ideally, these items would also be taken care of, when possible, before showings.
- Neatly Fold blankets
- Sweep Floors
- Remove any Cobwebs from the stalls and barn
- Power Wash Stalls (for photos only)
- Clean Windows
- Organize and clean the viewing lounge
- Harrow arenas
- Fix, Repair and Paint fences where needed
- Organize bits and bobs that stay out for daily use (from cleaning supplies in wash stalls to mucking out equipment)
- Wash and Scrub water and feed buckets (this should be done regularly anyway)
- Empty muck out bins / wheel-barrows
Any residence(s) on the property should be properly cleaned and decluttered as well. Articles on this have been done hundreds of times, so I will spare you from more reading here. If you want home decluttering tips, this is a great article to get you started.
This goes hand in hand with taking care of the small details to give the buyer a great impression of your home and barn.
No need to go crazy here. I know landscaping can be expensive and you never really recuperate your costs for landscaping on the sale of your property.
But I do recommend taking care of the following for your property photo-shoot and before showings (if necessary and when possible):
- Mow the lawn
- If you have very weed-y paddocks, bush-hog and mow them. They always look better without overgrown weeds in them and this is probably better for the horses too.
- Flowers or potted plants at the entrance seem to do wonders for first impressions.
- If you have a gravel driveway, I know there are weeds growing in there. They should be removed.
- If there are weeds growing in the coner of your outdoor sand rings, they gotta go too.
- If your driveway is in rough shape (e.g. with potholes or perhaps could use spots of added gravel) do your best to repair it.
Take Care of Your Investment
When you buy a property, it is extremely important to take care of it for the future. A run-down property is not going to fetch top value.
A buyer can justify spending money on updating and improving a property if it has been taken care of. But a property with broken fences and a leaking roof is unappealing and will more than likely be avoided by buyers.
Equestrian property buyers will wait for the right one to come along and we don’t care what kind of “potential” your property may have. With horses always being the top priority, a barn in rough shape is hard to overlook.
Repairing roofs, fences, correctly managing grazing fields and making any necessary updates and repairs throughout the years will go a long way with maintaining a high value for your property in the future.
Taking care of your investment shows pride in ownership. A buyer can feel comfortable about paying a higher price for a property that has been well looked after by its current owners.
Make Sure The Major Systems are in Order
Many equestrian properties are located in a rural setting. This means water supply and sewage systems are likely coming from well and or septic systems.
These are costly to repair so the best thing you can do is ensure the
Wiring updates are crucial for horse farms, especially when it comes to the barn. Outdated wiring can be a serious hazard if not looked after.
Photo Shoot and Advertising
Each horse property has a story to tell – you need to tell it through your advertising.
Through photos and
You need professional lifestyle photos and videos that showcase your property in the best possible way. This, of course, is where you start to attract buyers.
Now, remember, if you present a beautiful property online and in magazine advertising, you need to present a beautiful property in person as well.
My days do not go well when my buyer is excited to view a property they loved online only for them to be disappointed by the property when they see it in person.
Our third and final article in this series goes into more detail on marketing the equestrian real estate lifestyle.