Selling land by auction reaps rewards

In the world of rural land sales, unlocking value while strategically managing land assets requires a nuanced approach.

Such was the case with a 60-acre parcel of arable land situated on the outskirts of a bustling market town in Warwickshire.

This case study, outlined by auctioneer Matt Burrows, looks into how a decision to leverage the auction process not only facilitated a swift and secure sale but also maximised value for the seller amidst complex considerations.

The land and the challenge

The seller’s objective was clear: to release equity from a portion of their farming estate while strategically retaining parcels for potential future development and access purposes.

The land in question possessed strategic significance, including a two-acre parcel with potential for future commercial development and a strip of land with a vital access point to the main road.

Balancing the need for equity release with strategic retention posed a unique challenge for the seller.

Exploring options

Given the seller’s desire for a quick and secure sale process, traditional methods such as an open market sale carried the risk of delays and complications, particularly concerning offers incorporating retained parcels.

Recognising the need for a competitive and expedited sale process, the option of a public auction emerged as the most suitable choice.

Decision and execution

Initial appraisals conducted by both the rural department and the auctioneer provided insights into the land value and market potential.

With a keen understanding of the seller’s motivation for a quick and secure transaction, the Lot was launched six weeks before the auction, accompanied by professional photographs to showcase its potential.

A competitive guide price of £675,000, just over £10,000 per acre, was set to attract interest from prospective buyers. Despite pre-auction offers that included the retained parcels, the seller opted to proceed with the auction, confident in the value it would yield.

The outcome

The auction generated significant interest from both investors and the local farming community, setting the stage for fierce bidding on auction day. The culmination of the bidding war resulted in a final sale price of £1,300,000, equating to £21,666 per acre, exceeding initial expectations and maximising value for the seller.

Importantly, the seller achieved not only a favourable price but also retained strategic parcels as desired, ensuring long-term flexibility and potential for future development.

The successful sale, executed in a quick and secure manner, met the seller’s objectives while unlocking the full potential of the land.

Key takeaways

Several key lessons emerge from this case study: auctions can facilitate competitive bidding and achieve prices that exceed initial expectations, maximising value for sellers; effective marketing, coupled with a competitive pricing strategy, is crucial in attracting bidders and driving interest in the property; and auctions offer a fast and secure method of sale, making them ideal for motivated sellers seeking equity release while strategically managing land assets.


The success of this agricultural land auction exemplifies the power of strategic decision-making and proactive execution.

By embracing the auction process, the seller not only achieved their objectives of equity release but also maximised value while retaining strategic key parcels for future development.

This case study serves as a testament to the efficacy of auctions in navigating the complexities of agricultural land sales, ultimately enabling sellers to unlock the full potential of their land assets.