How to Sell a Virginia Winery
Looking for help selling your Virginia Vineyard?
In recent decades, Virginia has become the premier destination for wine tourists on the East Coast. Virginia’s award-winning vineyards and wineries provide a quainter, quieter, and more affordable destination than Napa Valley. This means Virginia is also a hotspot for real estate agents looking to break into the wineries and vineyards in a buzzing emerging market. With a little know-how, the state’s popular wine trails, stunning mountain views, and charming historic towns, Virginia wineries are a dream to market with the right know-how.
Key Selling Points of Virginia Wineries
Wine has long been part of the culture of Virginia, with Virginia vineyards and wineries thriving due to the state’s distinctive terroir since the colony’s early days. Virginia vineyards and wineries for sale offer interested buyers the chance to break into the East Coast’s most successful wine industry. Over the past few decades, Virginia wineries have caught international attention at wine competitions and have become one of the region’s most popular destinations for tourists. As the wine industry in the Commonwealth continues to grow, sales of Virginia vineyards and wineries increase year after year along with the price tags of those properties.
Take Advantage of Virginia Wine Trails
Virginia’s dense and highly-regarded network of wine trails is a critical ingredient to the success of its vineyards and wineries. And for realtors, the proximity of a wine trail is a huge draw for potential buyers eager for high volumes of visitors. With 14 different wine trails to choose from, research the nearest wine trails and make sure to include this information on your marketing materials. Even if the winery or vineyard you’re selling isn’t currently considered part of the wine trail, you can advertise the potential of joining to any prospective buyers.
Research – and Sell – the Location
In addition to marketing the nearest wine trails, research as much as possible on the winery’s region to inform prospective buyers. Each region in Virginia has its own microclimate that is ideal for certain types of wine grapes. Some wine grapes flourish in the verdant fields of the Piedmont, some do best in the sandy soil of the Tidewater, and still others grow best when tucked away in the rolling hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Leveraging the full capacity of Virginia’s microclimates requires know-how, so be sure to have a working knowledge of the types of wine grapes grown in the state and where they thrive.
Setting the Right Price for a Virginia Winery
As every real estate agent knows, one of the most important steps in ensuring that a property will sell in a timely manner is pricing it appropriately. Many vineyards and wineries in Virginia are not priced to sell, and you can set your property apart with the right price. A realistic asking price can mean the difference between a quick and clean deal or a property that’s languishing on the market without any real prospects. Oftentimes sellers feel an emotional attachment to the property, which can lead to unrealistic expectations for pricing. It’s important to have a deep understanding of the winery’s value – and research to back it up – to present to your sellers in order to agree on the right price.
It’s never a good idea to agree to a higher price than the winery is worth in order to secure the listing, as the winery won’t sell in a timely manner and will cost more than it’s worth in marketing expenses. Ask sellers if they are willing to make the investment to get a professional market value appraisal, which shows that they are serious about selling and setting a realistic price.
Potential Legal Issues When Selling a Virginia Winery
While an agent’s hope is that the seller has taken care of any potential legal issues before putting the winery on the market, it is good for an agent to be aware of legal issues that may crop up or that buyers may have questions about.
- If your seller has not gotten a preliminary title report yet, suggest that they do so. Any issues with names or other changes on the title as well as any outstanding liens or recorded deeds need to be straightened out ASAP. This can help to put potential buyers at ease that there will be no issues after the contract is signed once the title is pulled.
- Confirm the boundaries of the property. A surveyor will likely be required for this. Your seller will need to verify that their vineyard does not encroach on neighboring properties and that they have all needed easements.
- Verify with your seller who owns the intellectual property associated with the winery. Potential buyers will need to know if they are buying the trademarks of the brand alongside the land, or if the intellectual property rights will be sold separately.
- Make sure that the seller has copies of all of their federal, state, and local licenses and permits. It’s also a good idea to be aware of the potential for increasing the permits for the winery, as this can entice buyers looking for a larger operation.
- Ensure that the seller has all third-party consents necessary to complete the sale. If the seller does not have all needed consents, often the sale cannot close.
- Encourage sellers to be honest and upfront about any defects, as greater concessions can be demanded if the buyer discovers the defects after signing the purchase agreement.
Final Tips for Selling Virginia Wineries
When sellers look for the right advisors to support the sale of their Virginia vineyard or winery, they need advisors with the right knowledge base. It’s important for real estate agents working on winery sales to be knowledgeable these aspects:
- Recent sales prices of comparable properties
- The value of different wine regions and wine trails
- Whether additional home sites can be created on the property
- Permit requirements and whether permit capacity can be increased
Virginia wineries and vineyards are gaining greater acclaim, so there has never been a better time to jump into this expanding market!