Dear Land Guy,
“I am looking to buy a piece a property near my hometown. I want to make this a diversified farm focusing on wildlife and recreation. The present owner told me there is a CRP contract on the property. Should I be concerned about this? What about other cost-sharing programs?” -TJ, Missouri
You should definitely find out as much as you can about programs that could affect the property such as the CRP contract you mentioned. The Conservation Reserve Program, known as “CRP,” was established by the government to take land out of production. Most of the CRP contracts are 10-15 year agreements. CRP is one of the most significant programs in history affecting landowners. It has definitely benefitted our nation’s wildlife and forever made its mark on conservation and habitat enhancement. With that said, landowners have certain obligations in the CRP contracts attached to their land.
There are numerous programs designed to assist landowners and provide cost-sharing assistance, far too many to discuss in this letter. These programs are administered by both Federal and State agencies and serve as the friend of landowners in respect to conservation, stewardship and habitat enhancement. These agencies are also a great source of information. Trained professionals are available to help landowners understand the various programs and in most cases will conduct on-the-farm visits.
The first thing you should do is contact the local NRCS (Natural Resource Conservation Service) office to discuss programs currently affecting the property you are considering. They can also tell you other programs that could enhance your dream property if you buy it. Some of the other government agencies that can assist landowners are the FSA (Farm Service Agency), and the State Forestry Commission.
Most counties/parishes have these offices located in the county seat. However, during the last ten years, consolidation has combined many of the county offices together. Therefore, an office may not be located in your county but an office and its staff will be able serve you from an adjoining county. I encourage you to explore all the programs available and consider these agencies your best friend in regards to conservation, stewardship, and habitat enhancement.
Dear Land Guy,
“I am selling my farm and am going to list it with a friend of mine who has a real estate company. What is an exclusive listing?” –John, North Carolina
A Listing Agreement is a written service agreement between a licensed real estate company and property owners. This agreement specifically outlines the responsibilities of both parties. There are several different types of listing agreements and the responsibilities can vary greatly. An Exclusive Listing Agreement basically puts the full responsibility of selling the property on the listing company. If the property sells while the listing is in place, the listing company is entitled to its commission as agreed upon in the listing agreement regardless of who is the procuring cause of the sale. If the listing company is assisted by another real estate company, then the commission split is determined between the participating real estate companies.
I am a big proponent of giving the listing company all the tools necessary to represent the property at the very highest level. One of these tools is an exclusive listing which assures the listing company they will be compensated for all their efforts, including advertising and marketing of the property. A meeting with the real estate company would be in order to assure that all parties are aware of their responsibilities and to discuss expectations, of which should be reduced to writing in the form of the listing agreement.