See if the land has been surveyed and make sure it matches the details of the offer. If the land hasn’t been surveyed, work with your attorney to determine the acreage based on the legal description or consider having the land surveyed and determine who will pay for it.

Woolsey cassidy
Managing Editor / Ag Proud – Idaho
Cassidy is a contributing editor to Progressive Cattle and Progressive Forage magazines.

Make sure there are no special easements tied to the land. If there are, make sure you spend time studying them and understanding them completely.

2. What does the land appraise for? Are there some comparable sales in the area? Appraisals are expensive, but they are the best way to establish land value.

Even if you don’t get a full appraisal, attempt to find some comparable sales to determine if the purchase price is reasonable.

3. What is the soils story? What is the capability of the soil you are buying, and how does this impact your revenue forecast?


Good soil is paramount. Know the type of soil you’re buying and the history of annual crop rotation. Any seller should be more than happy to provide you with a soil’s profile and information about past farming practices.

4. What is the water source? Is the property irrigated? Do the water rights convey with the property? Adequate water is essential to establishing the value of the property.

Account for water cost in your financial plan to ensure this cost doesn’t negatively impact your return. Make sure all water wells are registered with the appropriate authorities.

Each state has its own water laws, so make sure you are familiar with the state you’re doing business in.

5. What do you know about the gas, mineral and wind rights for the property? Do these rights convey to you as the purchaser?

Have they been surveyed or severed from the surface rights? Are they currently under lease? If so, under what terms? Have a thorough knowledge of property rights.  end mark

Cassidy Woolsey is a freelance writer based in Utah.

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