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
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
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 malls.
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
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 neighborhoods.
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.
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
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