What’s being billed as BC’s biggest-ever auction of farm and ranch real estate is accepting bids on seven farm properties in Abbotsford, Langley and Quesnel through November 3.
The properties include a former dairy farm, a ranch, acreages and farmhouses. Together, they total 1,905 acres. John Glazema of BC Farm and Ranch Realty Ltd. is the listing broker. Future of Real Estate, a US-based online auction house, is conducting the auction.
Two weeks before the close of bidding, FRE told Country Life in BC that nearly 300 people from Canada and the US had signed up to receive updates.
“We typically see most of the bidding and action taking place in the last few days leading up to the deadline,” FRE reported.
The seven properties each have a minimum price, and a reserve amount below which properties will not be sold. This guarantees the seller a minimum price in any sale.
“It doesn’t mean we don’t come off that reserve price; we do. But it’s up to the seller,” explains Bill Lange, CEO of FRE.
The auction process is designed to generate competitive bids, ensuring that sellers receive the best possible price for their properties at a given point in time. FRE’s online marketing campaign ensures broad exposure to an international buyer group.
“Our job is to get as much money as we can, be as transparent and open as we can, and then let the public determine the value,” Lange says. “Some of these properties, especially these farm properties, are very hard to value.”
Rising interest rates and other factors have induced a so-called “price discovery” phase, with buyers and sellers trying to determine the fair market value of some assets as the market slows.
Bids on the seven BC farm properties must be submitted by 5 pm Pacific time on November 3. When the deadline passes, the highest sealed bid for each property will be posted and last offers invited. The outcome will be known a week to 10 days after the deadline.
Demand for farmland has been strong in BC this year. According to Farm Credit Canada, farmland values in the first six months of this year increased by an average of 6.5% in the period. While this was below the national average of 8.1%, it came at the tail-end of 12 months that saw values rise 15% – second only to gains in Saskatchewan.
FRE has previous experience in Canada, with more than 30% of its current work in Alberta. The auction November 3 is FRE’s first farmland sale in BC.
The company is also preparing to auction another, 160-acre farm property in Coombs.