How can we help?

I'm looking for ideas or advice.

Start a Conversation

I'm ready to list my land for sale!

List My Land

Let's Get In Touch

Let's Get In Touch


Discovering Your Land's Value is Easy!

For Immediate Assistance Call (765) 427-1619


Download the Free Guide!

For Immediate Assistance Call (765) 427-1619

Going once, going twice… Auctioneers, real estate and farmland sales, oh my!

“Most importantly, for our clients, is that the auction method – whether it’s sealed bid, live auctions or online auctions –  helps us provide a better level of service and client satisfaction for buyers and sellers.” – Johnny Klemme | Land Broker, Advisor, & Auctioneer

Start a Conversation About Auctions


Next Arrow Link Next Arrow Link

Looking to sell your farmland or real estate for the best possible price? Or are you in the market for a farm and all its fixings (tractor, farmhouse – even livestock)? Then take a look at the auction listings in your local paper or favorite land website. There’s bound to be a few – and the best part? As long as you out-bid the other interested parties, you can skip the lengthy real estate trappings and go home with the property in pocket that day.

For nearly 2,000 years, auctions have been a way to sell goods, services and property. In fact, according to the National Auctioneers Foundation (NAF), some of the first auctions occurred during Roman times and even King Henry VII licensed auctioneers during the 13th century. Of course, American auctions began much later in the 1600s when the Pilgrims arrived and used auctions to buy and sell furs, crops, imports and livestock.

About three hundred years later, the first auction schools were founded, cementing auctioneering as a viable career and part of the American economy. In the early 1900s, real estate auctions became the norm and, according to NAF, in 1904, it was thought that half of the real estate in New York had been sold at auction. Even during the Great Depression, auctioneers were tasked with liquidating the assets of bankrupted individuals and businesses, according to the National Auctioneers Association (NAA).

Land and farm auctions are still popular today, which doesn’t surprise Peter Gehres, who began his career as an auctioneer back in 2003.

“Auctions appeal to the competitive side of the human condition,” says Gehres, who compares winning an auction to winning a sports trophy or bet. “Competing for the prize and winning that piece of land. We’re going to get the very best price possible on that given asset.”

Schedule a Call with an NAA Auctioneer

“For our clients, selling land is often a once-in-a-lifetime transaction. The sale of farmland or real estate at auction is the best way to have certainty, transparency, and truly maximize the value for sellers and buyers.”

That’s because of true price discovery, which is the true market value of a piece of land or any item up for sale. Bidders all have the same opportunity to preview the property, review the literature and make an informed decision prior to the auction.

“They compete on a level playing field because the terms are always the same,” says Gehres. “Everyone’s equal.”


Purchasing and closing dates for regular real estate transactions can stretch for months at time, delayed for a variety of reasons. Auctions eliminate that part of the process and essentially create fair competition for a known item for a specific amount of time.

“Farmland and real estate auctions are ideal for sellers who want the sale to happen on their own terms and schedule,” says Johnny Klemme, a salutatorian from the Reppert Auction School (the top auctioneer school in the country) and NAA member. “We set the sale date, we set the terms and select the type of auction that provides the most value to the seller.”

There is also a level of transparency since purchase prices are negotiated during the event and once it is agreed upon by all parties – as in the highest bidder has won – that purchase is completed the same day, providing real-time response to bids. There are no extras that must occur after the sale like inspections or contingencies.

“The terms of sale are known upfront,” says Klemme. “And you close on the deal within 30 days or less.” Buyers have the opportunity to do inspections or visit open houses on their own terms ahead of the sale and know what they are buying beforehand. This both speeds up the process and gives more transparency, clarity and confidence.

So, what makes an auctioneer, well, good?

Experience, says Gehres, who points out that anyone can learn the auctioneer’s chant; however, knowing how to use that chant to actually move the merchandise at the prices the seller wants can take several years to learn – even if you complete the auctioneer coursework at one of the many reputable schools and pass the certificate test. Many states even require auctioneers to complete an apprenticeship before going off on their own.

Understanding how to read a crowd not only benefits the sellers (and buyers!), but also showcases an auctioneer’s abilities and helps to establish the credibility necessary to build trust and clientele.

There’s also an unspoken rule that you typically don’t sell the best item or asset first.

“Everything that you’re going to sell, you want to lay out like a bell curve,” says Gehres. “You’re going to build up to a crescendo of value and then go down the backside.”

Time is also something to keep in mind – a switch from the olden days of an auction being a day-long affair.

“In the 80s and 90s, it was very common to be there for breakfast, lunch and maybe even dinner,” says Gehres.

An experienced auctioneer also understands how certain auction items may be paired together even if that’s not how they’re originally advertised. For example, if someone is bidding on the farmhouse, often, they’ll also want the appliances and other miscellaneous items that could otherwise be sold separately.

For those who are driven to become auctioneers, a lot of that has to do with an overall enjoyment of what auctions are and the benefit to local communities.

“I’ve been around farm auctions my entire life and enjoy the process, energy and results (whether that’s selling or buying),” says Klemme. “Most importantly, for our clients, is that the auction method – whether it’s sealed bid, live auctions or online auctions –  helps us provide a better level of service and client satisfaction for buyers and sellers.

“For our clients, selling land is often a once-in-a-lifetime transaction, selling farmland or real estate at auction is the best way to have certainty, transparency and truly maximize the value.”

Email Call or Text

Johnny Klemme


Start a Conversation