Trainer Darla Lee's Ten Helpful Hints for Selling Your Horse
- 8:00 a.m. CDT
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"If you have not sold your horse in the amount of time you desire consider lowering the price," trainer Darla Lee says. Pictured here with husband, Brian.
Trainer Darla Lee of Ohio, recently offered 10 helpful tips when buying a horse. In this story, Lee puts the shoe on the other foot and gives 10 helpful tips when selling your horse. Important tips include taking your time, videos, pricing and
negotiating the price, selling to appropriate level of rider, signing
bill of sale, and commissions.
Ten Helpful Hints for Sellers
1. It takes time- Just like real estate or auto sales, sometimes it takes a while to sell a horse. So don't think just because you just put your horse on the market it's going to sell in a week. Even the best horses in the business can take weeks, months or years to sell.
2. Be Prepared and Use Your Resources- Times have changed in the horse world and it is much harder to sell a horse without a great photo and video. Have a video ready BEFORE you advertise your horse. The first question they will ask is "Do you have a video?" When making your video try to keep it under three minutes unless it's in a class or doing a longer pattern. If the first minute of the video is of your horse walking, people will lose interest and not watch the whole video, so get right to the point. Also make sure it is a complete video, walk, trot, lope both ways.
3. Price your horse right- Get advice on pricing your horse from a trainer, broker or appraiser. These are the people who are out selling horses and are aware of what horses are REALLY selling for. Compare your horse to others for sale that are selling. Remember that just because you paid a certain amount for the horse does not mean they are still worth that amount. Also, understand that you cannot add up every dollar you have spent on the horse and make that your price. Feeding a horse is like putting gas in your car, you cannot get that money back when you sell your car.
4. Don't sell to the wrong buyer- If you know your horse cannot be handled by a youth or novice rider, DON'T sell it to a youth or novice rider. The last thing you will want is an unhappy buyer.
5. Negotiate- Consider all offers and don't be afraid to give a counter offer.
6. Don't play games--It's better to disclose any problems that a horse has rather than get all the way to a vet check or have a buyer find out you were trying to hide something from them. Every horse has information that the owner knows that they should pass along. If you know your horse has a condition or problem, it is better to disclose the problem and to explain how you maintain it rather than have the buyer surprised.
7. Return every phone call- Treat every call or email as if they are going to buy the horse! Never leave a call or email unreturned.
8. Lower your price after time- If you have not sold your horse in the amount of time you desire, consider lowering the price. The market does not lie. If your horse is not selling, it may be overpriced.
9. Pay a commission and sign a bill of sale- Be willing to get some help selling your horse, and be ready to pay for those services. Brokers and trainers that help you sell your horse may answer 20+ calls and emails about your horse and that takes time. You are paying a commission for not only that time but negotiating the sale as well. This does not mean you have to pay 10 commissions. But, if you are getting help, just be ready to compensate the people who help you. Just as real estate agents make commissions; the same goes for selling horses. Always make sure you have a bill of sale signed by the seller and buyer, so, the horse's price is clear. And remember as the seller, it is your choice how commissions can be paid. Communication is important in this relationship between seller and broker/trainer.
10. Don't blow a sale- It's a hard selling world out there. If you get a offer that is close to your asking price, consider taking it. If you have your horse in training the day you sell, you start making money by not having training bills.