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Land sale showcases 2 types of bidders

Andy Gustafson Updated: 08/15/2011 @ 2:20pm

Atlas 1031’s Andy Gustafson attended a farmland auction held by Schrader Auctions and shares his insights into the bidding process. He learned there are two types of bidders simultaneously accessing the value or price points. The individual bidder considers one or a combination of tracts while the whole bidder is analyzing price points for the whole or entire farm. Each has their value point they will not exceed. It is a fair and expedient process pitting the sum of the individual bids against bids for the whole.

In a large banquet facility located on the Boone and Hamilton County line, a couple hundred registered bidders and interested bystanders listened to veteran auctioneer Rex Schrader, CEO of Schrader Auctions, cover auction procedures. For the next two hours, a 681-acre farm parceled into thirteen tracts representing high quality cropland, fenced pastures, woodland and streams, recreation areas and ½ mile rows with good frontage and updated drainage would be the focal point of competitive bids for the whole and individual tracts.

The room was laid out with a large screen showing a map of the farm in parcels numbered 1 – 13. Next to the map was a spreadsheet, continually updated with the parcel number, bid, bidder’s number, and price per acre. To the left and right of the screen, large whiteboards were used to show the bids by parcel number, combination of parcel bids, bids for the whole and current sum of parcel bids. The auction team began their orchestrated movements starting with updating the whiteboard when Mr. Schrader opened the auction for a bid on tract number one.

“$300,000 …, now $325,000,” rang the call of the auctioneer. “Now $350,000 for a 75 acre tract with 60 acres high quality cropland and 15 acres nice woodland.” The tract has county drainage tile and new drainage improvements. Indiana farmland has been sold for $7,000 and higher per acre. The current $4,666 per acre bid would later be replaced with a winning bid of $480,000 or $6,400 per acre. 

Schrader Auction agents walked the bidders’ tables, talking specifics with bidders and notifying  Mr. Schrader that they had a new offer. The spreadsheet and whiteboards were updated with the bid and the bidder’s number. The process would repeat itself over and over with individual bids, updates, combination parcel bids and ultimately, bids for the whole. It was a well coordinated event run by professionals that clearly understand the auction process. Mr. Schrader was helpful highlighting those undervalued parcels encouraging additional bidder consideration. When the whole parcel bid exceeded the sum of the individual bids, Mr. Schrader would suggest to the individual bidders to consider increasing their bids by $10,000, not to meet but rather exceed the whole bid.

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