Steffes Group


How to Get Top Dollar for Your Farm Machinery

July 2020

How to Get Top Dollar for Your Farm Machinery

Sellers offering their machinery in Steffes Group Auctions this spring and summer have seen some great prices, and if you’re wondering how you can get in on that trend, we’re going to tell you. 


Our $5 million AgIron event Wednesday demonstrated just what it takes -- and what might get in your way. Let’s look at some examples to illustrate what we mean. 


In the AgIron auction, a 2016 John Deere 670 combine brought an impressive $192,000 after 26 bids. As much as we’d like to take credit for our great marketing efforts, the truth is that it was the owner who did the work that got him such a price. To be sure, it was a late-model with a lot of great features. But it looked great, had been stored in a shed and included paperwork showing regular maintenance. It was a model of what brings a great price today, and it did so. 


“When it’s time to sell, nothing beats a solid maintenance program, with service records and anything to demonstrate that the piece has been well cared for,” said Representative Brad Olstad.


Want another example? How about a 2014 S680 that brought $139,000 after 12 bids? This one had 1600 hours but was another with a great maintenance “pedigree,” as well as new tires. The seller was well rewarded for his wise care of the combine.


The strength of the market for better machines went well beyond combines, of course. 


A  2013 Versatile 500 tractor sold for $141,000 after 20 bids. Track tractors were strong as well, which is to be expected given the wet weather that has limited farmers’ ability to work fields. 


On the flip side, bidders are quick to spot machines with high hours and evidence of poor maintenance. They priced such machines accordingly, as they always do. 


Some things, of course, are out of the seller’s control. Corn heads did poorly because of the low corn prices and the large number of areas where farmers were unable to plant. 


“It all adds up to the conventional wisdom that never goes away. Treat your machines with respect, providing maintenance on schedule and keeping complete records. Keep machines shedded and your investment will pay off when it's time to sell,” said Olstad.


View AgIron West Fargo Event Auction Results:

Ring #1 / Ring #2 / Ring #2