Farm Horizons, April 2015

Online land auction draws interest

By Gabe Licht

When siblings Reuben Roos and Darleen Gutknecht passed away, much of their property was sold in an online auction. That included seven parcels of land totaling nearly 604 acres in Wright and McLeod counties.

“They had some bequests to give their assets to each other and some to other entities or nonprofit organizations,” said Jim Fahey, of Fahey Sales, who ran the auction. “It was decided by the people in charge of the estate to use the auction method to sell the property.”

Fahey worked with realtor Greg Witt, of Edina Realty; Security Bank and Trust, of Glencoe; and legal counsel from New Ulm to organize and oversee the sale.

“The assets were appraised by a third-party appraiser,” Fahey said. “Proposals were brought forward as to how to sell the property and our approach was chosen.”

Bidding was open for 22 days, ending Feb. 26.

In that time, there were 11,041 catalog views and 532 bids placed by 38 registered bidders. Successful bidders have entered into purchase agreements, with sales closing at the end of March. Sales were not final as of deadline, so the winning bidders could not be identified.

“The lion’s share of the bidders were from McLeod, Wright and Carver counties,” Fahey said.

Parcel 1 is 51.29 acres along Highway 7 northwest of Lester Prairie. It sold for $6,300 per acre or about $323,000 total.

Parcel 2 is 167.03 acres north of Lester Prairie. It sold for $6,000 per acre or slightly more than $1 million total.

Parcel 3 is 40 acres between Parcel 2 and Highway 7. It sold for $5,800 per acre or $232,000 total.

Parcel 4 is 98.84 acres near the industrial area on the south end of Winsted. It was the most expensive parcel, selling for $8,500 per acre or about $840,000 total.

Parcel 5 is 79.5 acres northeast of Winsted. It sold for $6,100 per acre or slightly less than $485,000.

Parcel 6 is 86.94 acres along Wright County Road 33 west of Buffalo. It sold for $3,400 per acre or about $295,000 total.

Parcel 7 is 80 acres south of Parcel 6. It sold for $5,900 per acre or about $472,000 total.

A 5 percent buyer’s premium will be added to each of those purchase prices.

Fahey called the sale unique.

“As far as number of acres, there are much larger sales,” Fahey said. “As far as number of parcels, it was somewhat unique, but not unheard of. The other thing that was unique was the parcels were not cookie cutter. They had many different influences.”

For example, the property near Buffalo had some non-agricultural influences because it was near high-end housing.

“It was a unique project in that each of the parcels was so different from the others,” Fahey said.

Some land in the estate was not sold at auction.

“There were a couple small parcels identified not to be sold at auction,” Fahey said. “They had unique challenges, whether they were access challenges or things like that.”

Those sales were not closed at deadline time, so the buyers have not been identified.

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