Potential buyers are increasingly turning to private sales to try and purchase land without it being available to the public. So if you are thinking of selling, should you pursue a private sale or go to the open market?

In some circumstances, private sales can benefit from discretion, speed, and premiums paid. The reasons why sellers may choose to sell off-market include privacy, or wanting to test the market and see how much money they are offered, before committing to a sale. A neighbour, for example, may be willing to pay a worthwhile premium to stop a property being launched on the open market.

However, in some circumstances, it may be advisable to test the open market, create competition and to have the confidence that the best price is being paid.  Trustees and Executors tend to be less inclined to sell privately, as they have a duty of care to achieve the best possible result for their beneficiaries.

Whether to sell land in the open market or privately depends on many factors.  These include the strength of the market and the desirability of the particular property, the existence of special buyers, the ability to achieve the most efficient sale in terms of process and timing, and the ability to influence the continued farming arrangements.

Butler Sherborn’s knowledge and understanding of the local market is therefore key to helping sellers make the judgement between private or open market sale, and how best to optimise the price. 

We have a significant number of buyers on our books looking for small areas of amenity land, larger farms and specialist equestrian property. 

“The number of new buyers registering with us since the beginning of 2022 is unprecedented” says Richard Greasby, Partner and Head of Butler Sherborn’s Rural Department.

We need more land and farms to sell to satisfy the demand from those buyers registered with us.  If you are thinking of selling in 2022 or 2023 then contact Richard Greasby on 01285 883740 richard@butlersherborn.co.uk 

We can discuss your plans and provide a marketing appraisal free of charge and in complete confidence.


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Mrs Tucker June 2020

Butler Sherborn was a delight and pleasure to work with. Once again thank you so much for all you help and exceeding our expectations and much more.
— Nicki and Brian Lee, January 2021