BY KAREN LIBIN
When you’re buying or selling a rural property, you may be tempted to hire a city real estate broker you have used before or perhaps one who is a friend. Rural or city – all property transactions are pretty much the same, right? Wrong! Buying or selling a rural property is much more complex. There are many issues with which city brokers simply don’t have experience. This lack of knowledge can seriously compromise or kill a transaction. On the other hand, a seasoned local rural real estate broker is an expert on issues such as:
Property Value Assessment
What’s a unique rural property worth? If you’re selling, you don’t want to leave money on the table. If you’re buying, you don’t want to overpay. Determining the market value of a property for which there are no sold comparables is a skill that is developed over many years and only after completing dozens of transactions.
Rural property surveys are more intricate than city ones. Often properties have long, complicated and sometimes unresolved issues. Thus the surveys are more expensive and can be a source of conflict during a transaction. An experienced rural real estate professional can offer solid advice for best navigating this process.
Water rights are critical to rural properties. They are highly complex and rarely comprehended by real estate brokers. Having a broker that understands values and deliveries, and has a relationship with local ditch operators is especially important to buyers. Properly handling the legal transaction of said water rights is also of high importance.
No one wants to talk about septic systems, but they’re an important aspect of most rural properties. Compliance with current septic permit requirements – more rigorous than past ones – must be achieved in order for a Boulder county real estate transaction to occur. Many a rural real estate deal has been derailed because of lack of this knowledge. Again, a rural real estate broker can help you handle this process.
Zoning, Permitting and Building
What can you do where? City rules are vastly different than those in the county. Additionally, no two counties along the Front Range have the same codes. A good rural real estate broker should have general knowledge of these rules to help you understand a property’s potential.
Unfortunately, getting loans for rural properties is often more challenging than those for city ones, especially for those with large parcels of land. Having a rural broker with expertise and connections helps achieve this step.
An experienced local rural real estate broker has industry connections – such as loan officers, septic professional and surveyors – to help make the transaction go as smoothly as possible. The broker may also have unique relationships with potential buyers or sellers who are not actively in the market (or in the MLS), but want to quietly buy or sell a property.