Is Your Realtor® Qualified?

Knowledge and experience is one of the keys to success in real estate sales. A real estate license allows an agent to sell any kind of real estate. Most will select a certain area to work in, a specific market and product to sell. Many select residential real estate, but there are a number of real estate licensees that choose to specialize in the land and agri-commercial market.

When selling land an agent or broker needs to become familiar with not only residential, as many farm and ranches have homes, but also with:

  • Water rights
  • Mineral rights
  • Boundary questions
  • Tax deferred 1031 exchanges
  • Events that affect crops, cattle, and other agricultural industries

They also need to be familiar with many local, county and state laws that deal with the use of the land. Realtors® working in land must have education, a greater competence specific to land, evidenced by a history of closed land sales. The National Association of Realtors® added the discipline of “land” to the National Association of Realtors® – Code of Ethics in December, 2009.

Land is a Specialized, Professional Service

Article 11, of the Realtor® Code of Ethics, says that land is now recognized as a specialized, professional service. Article 11 describes that Realtors® are in violation of the code of ethics if they participate in a land listing, or a land deal, if outside their level of competence and training. Realtors® with little or no training and experience in land sales need to hire a professional with sufficient brokerage experience, such as a professional Accredited Land Consultant, to help them if they wish to work on a land related transaction. Otherwise, the Realtor® must disclose, in writing, that he or she does not possess expertise, specialized education, or competence, so the parties in deal are aware that the Realtor® they are working with does not have the specific marketing knowledge or training.

Continuing Education is Essential

Agents and brokers should take advantage of the educational opportunities available specific to marketing and selling farms, ranches, timber, land development that will enhance their ability to work with you.

The World Organization Land Federation (WOLF), The American Land College, and The Realtors® Land Institute each offer advanced land education and marketing courses, lectures and events for real estate practitioners relating to: (1) farm and ranch; (2) undeveloped tracts of land; (3) transitional and development land; (4) subdivision and wholesaling of lots; and (5) site selection and assemblage of land parcels; (6) land development (7) land brokerage; (8) Site Selection; (9) timber (10) Land Valuation (11) (12) Orchard (13) Vineyards (14) And other specialties relating to land and land brokerage.

Each of these organizations offer valuable classes and lectures real estate agents and brokers can complete to fully understand all the options and operations in the land brokerage business. And each offers instruction and mentorship leading to various land brokerage designations. The ALC (Accredited Land Consultant) designation is one such designation a land broker can attain and is indicative of a broker who has conscientiously applied themselves, to acquire the knowledge and practice of a professional. Other land specialty designations buyers and sellers should look for include the CLB – Certified Land Broker, CLA – Certified Land Agent, the CLB – Chartered Land Broker, and the CLC – Certified Land Consultant.

When You are Ready to Buy or Sell

When you are ready to buy or sell, ask your agent or broker what experience and training they have in selling land, and more particularly, the type of land you own. If they don’t have experience or training, you should consider finding another agent or broker who does.

Knipe Land Company agents and brokers come from farming and ranching backgrounds; take classes that enhance their knowledge; and stay abreast of current events that affect the agricultural and land markets. KLC sponsors the Western Land Symposium in Boise, Idaho every year that brings in speakers that speak on the economy, commodities, current land issues and other topics that affect land owners. Speakers have included

real estate experts, business leaders, the Governor or Idaho, and several US Congressmen. We service the Northwestern United States and work with buyers throughout the United States on all types of land transactions. We have been serving clients since 1944 and would like to help you.

For more information on educational and marketing opportunities, or the Western Land Symposium, contact John Knipe at or 208-345-3163.

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