The prospective purchase of agricultural property will be motivated in a different way. Primarily, the buyer will be interested in the productive capabilities of the land. It is reasonable to assume that the buyer will be familiar, at least in a general way, with the productive capacity of the farm he proposes to buy. When the appraiser appraises agricultural property for local tax equalization purposes, he must rely heavily upon prices being paid for comparable farmland in the community and use the market data approach. When determining the land's productive capabilities, the land must be divided into various classes according to specific types and uses: tillable, pasture, woodland, and wasteland. The appraiser may then compute the acreage and value for each class individually or compute an aggregate price per acre that includes the amount and type of each class. The appraiser must consider soil types and each soil type's fertility and make an effort to use soil and land maps that are available through agriculture extension services and state universities.
The appraiser must also take into account the buildings on an agricultural property. Since the main purpose for a rural dwelling (like an urban dwelling) is to provide a family with a home, the appraiser should value a rural dwelling in the same way he values any other residence, with the market data approach. The appraiser's approach to other farm buildings, however, must be somewhat different. When appraising farm buildings, the appraiser's primary objective is to arrive at the value the building's presence adds to the land's productivity, and the building's degree of utility or usefulness.
The appraiser must equally consider all other factors that affect property value, such as the property's location relative to the marketplace, the property's relative accessibility, the topography of the land, the shape and size of the fields, the existence and condition of the fences, drainage, water supply etc.