What is your specialty?
Real estate valuation is the foundation of all of the real estate support
services provided by Benchmark Agribusiness.
Nearly 90% of the appraisals are of agricultural and rural properties. All
three of the appraisers for the firm were raised on farms and have agricultural
degrees. Two associates own and operate North Central Iowa farmland. The
appraisal of modern, specialized use hog facilities has become our
"sub-specialty" within the agricultural industry.
Do you appraise houses?
Yes, only if it is in the country. Have you ever heard the expression "a jack
of all trades but, a master of none?" We choose to be specialists. If you need
a house appraised in one of North Central Iowa's cities or towns, we can refer
you to Certified Residential Appraisers with a good database of house sales.
Do you appraise commercial buildings?
Yes, but not every commercial building. We have developed a database of
comparable sales, and a database of replacement costs for commercial buildings
that we call the "big boxes." Machinery dealerships, warehouses, repair shops
and local industrial buildings fit in the category of "big boxes". Again, we
can refer you to very well qualified Certified General Real Property appraisers
for specialized use buildings like motels, restaurants, laundromats and strip
How much do appraisals cost?
Appraisals vary greatly in cost and complexity. Some properties are more
complex than others. Farms with buildings are more complex than farms with only
cropland. Farms with the potential to be converted to commercial or industrial
lots are more complex than farms that have always been and will likely always
be farmland. The appraisal of a typical rural building site will vary from $600 -
$800. The appraisal of modern farm buildings and commercial buildings is more
complex than houses.
How long does it take to get an appraisal?
Less complex appraisals can be completed more quickly. Last year, the average
turnaround time for a farm with no buildings and with no development potential
was less than four weeks.
What is your territory?
We've appraised modern hog facilities in nine states! However, over 80% of the
properties we appraise are within an hour's drive from Mason City. The
philosophy at Benchmark Agribusiness
is that there is a lot more involved in knowing the real estate market than
spending an afternoon at the local courthouse. The three appraisers at
Benchmark have over 80 years of combined industry experience in North Central
Iowa. We know the neighborhoods and the market makers within those
Does your firm also sell real estate?
Yes, but no. Fred Greder is a Licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Iowa,
but it was decided several years ago not to be active real estate brokers for two main reasons.
First, many clients specifically choose Benchmark Agribusiness
to find out what their real
estate is worth because they are considering selling the property. They want an objective
opinion from someone who does not anticipate a possible future interest in the property.
Second, Benchmark Agribusiness
has developed a valued relationship with a network of
real estate brokers. They are an excellent source of market information - the lifeblood of
our business. Real estate brokers are not as anxious to share hard-earned information
with competitors. Although we don't actively market real estate, we do help with the marketing
of real estate. Should you auction your property or list it with an agent?
Is one time of year better to sell than other times? Ask us.
The broker's license has come in handy a few times when it was possible to match up
a client who wanted to sell with another client who wanted to buy and all the parties
involved wanted to side step the hoopla of an auction.
Do you testify in court?
Yes. The number of appraisal and consulting assignments that evolve into
depositions and courtroom testimony has been increasing in recent years. Fred
Greder, the principal appraiser for Benchmark Agribusiness
, is also trained in the alternative dispute resolution technique of mediation.
If you have more questions that we can answer for you, don't
hesitate to call us at 641-424-6983 or email