Dr. Sandra Weaver, a longtime client of the Halderman Companies, recently sat down with Lindsay Humphrey to chat about the sale of her family's farm and why the Halderman Companies was their best decision from management to the sale of their farm many years later.
Growing up on the family farm near South Whitley, Indiana, the three Weaver daughters saw their loving parents' devotion to the farm while raising their girls to be intelligent, independent, and strong in the face of adversity.
Each one ventured off to find their role in the world. None returned to the operation full-time but always kept a vested interest in it from afar. Finally, knowing they wanted the best for the property, the daughters contacted the Halderman Companies. After meeting the initial meeting with Jon Rosen, they knew their family property would now be cared for as their parents had done all these years.
August 2022, the family made the tough decision to sell the property. In a packed room, the auction was quick and active. With the sound of the auctioneer's gavel, the farm sold. It was a very successful sale, resulting in $2.4 MM over the release price established by the family.
Now sit back and enjoy as Sandra Weaver sheds some light on her family journey with Halderman's services and what that process looked like for them.
Q: How did you connect with Halderman?
A: The owner – Howard Halderman – his mom and I worked together years ago. I was a school superintendent, and she was the on-site psychologist. I wasn’t exactly sure what Halderman did, but my sisters and I needed someone to help us when my dad passed away. We knew when the corn was up and ready to harvest, but that was about it. Farming and agriculture is a high-tech industry that is very different from what it was when I was growing up.
Q: What services were you looking for when contacting Halderman?
A: We needed someone who understood the technology and could talk to us about what was produced and how it compared to previous years and then make recommendations about what we should do from there. When we met with Howard, he didn’t try and sell us on his company. Instead, he just explained what his management team did for people in our situation. We walked out of their office knowing we needed their help to make good decisions.
The farm manager in our area – Jon Rosen – looked at our rental agreement and said we could do better. He was extremely professional throughout the process; he never said anything negative about our tenant or anything he was doing on the property. Jon suggested we bid out the land to other tenants and how he could help us through that process. We went ahead with it and eventually realized that Jon could make us an additional $50,000 a year, which is incredible, and we would never have known it without his help.
Q: How did you make the difficult decision to sell?
A: Both of my parents had Alzheimer’s, which is devastating. We expected my mom to live well past my dad, but she had a massive stroke and died unexpectedly. While my sisters and I were raised on the farm, the third generation in our family was not. We felt it was best to sell the farm rather than pass it on.
Q: What was working with Halderman like after deciding to sell?
A: We debated if we should sell outright to the tenant or do an auction. We didn’t know which would be best. We entertained a bid from the tenant and then interviewed Halderman about what they would do for an auction, and we talked to another auction service. It took us no time to know we wanted to stick with Halderman. As a young man, my dad was a bit of a gambler. When he needed dual tires from the farm implement store, he’d take out a 50-cent piece and tell them double or nothing. Then he’d flip for the tires. More often than not, he would win. We decided to follow dad’s lead and gamble that the auction would achieve better results than selling the farm privately.
Halderman has contacts worldwide, so we had people up in New York and overseas looking at our farm. They did a broad range of advertising that caught people's interest worldwide. Halderman thought the farm would sell, and they gave us a price they thought it might be, but they didn’t just pull that out of their hat. They came with a wealth of statistics that made us feel comfortable about their appraisal, which went beyond that.
Q: What was unexpected about working with Halderman?
A: The night of the auction, I felt like I was going to be sick. Jon told us beforehand that the bidding would start out low and slow. He told us to take a deep breath, keep a poker face, and trust the process. The farm was divided into lots, and as the process went along, they would put things up on the board so we could see what was happening. When we left for our predetermined floor, Jon came to us quietly and asked if he could announce that the farm would sell. That spurred a flurry of bidding. What was interesting to me was all the men from Halderman working the auction ring were watching the folks who were interested and talking to them. I think that changed the outcome in the right way. From start to finish, it was an incredibly professional experience. They told us what to expect and gave us all the info we needed to make good decisions, and I know my parents could never have dreamt of what that farm sold for. I’m sure they were smiling down, knowing that we did well.