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. Both of the
appraisers for the firm were raised on farms and have
agricultural degrees. The appraisal of modern, specialized
use hog facilities has become our "sub-specialty" within the
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
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 $700 - $900. The appraisal of modern farm buildings
and commercial buildings is more complex than houses.
How long does it take to get an
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 two appraisers at
Benchmark have over 50 years of combined industry experience in
North Central Iowa. We know the neighborhoods and the market
makers within those neighborhoods.
Does your firm also sell real estate?
Yes. Fred Greder is a Licensed Real Estate Broker in
the State of Iowa. 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
We’ve become adept at walking that fine line between the
objectivity it takes to be an appraiser while still being
available to also offer the services of a broker.
Being a broker has made me a better appraiser. Now ,
when I sign an appraisal report, I ask myself, “Okay
Greder, do you think you could find somebody to pay that much?”
Or, “Okay Greder, have you gathered enough information about
these farms to answer all of the questions of a potential buyer
prospect?” If not, I still don’t know enough about the
farm to state an opinion of value.
I’ve gotten the sense from the farm community that I have more
creditability as a valuation expert by being in the arena with
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