How to Sell Old Barns

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An old barn may become a private residence, office or retail business.
An old barn may become a private residence, office or retail business. (Image: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Weather-beaten barns no longer needed for farm use often find a new lease on life with a new owner. Old barn aficionados turn intact structures into offices, restaurants, retail outlets and private homes. The barn’s structure often dictates its use. For example, a smaller barn with lots of structurally sound windows may become an office or residence, while a larger barn with unobstructed interior space easily provides equipment storage capacity. Dilapidated old barns also have a dedicated market. Companies that market reclaimed lumber dismantle the barns and sell the sought-after lumber for construction or remodeling projects.

Things You'll Need

  • Reference guide for old barn wood
  • Contractor's measuring tape
  • Written copy and photographs for barn ad
  • Bill of Sale form

Evaluate the old barn’s condition. Determine the barn’s approximate age by examining its construction method. Hand-hewn beams secured by wooden pegs generally indicate a very old barn. Identify the barn wood, as buyers value some woods more highly than others. Measure the old barn’s size and establish its overall condition. Decide whether the purchaser must clean up the work site after the barn is removed, or whether you will assume that responsibility.

List the barns on a specialty website. Advertise on an old barn website that targets buyers seeking as-is or restored structures. Pay a small monthly fee and display your listing, description and photographs in the appropriate category. As another option, place a classified line ad on another old barn exchange. Photographs are not allowed, although you may place the ad for up to 60 days at no charge.

Finalize your barn sale. Create a Bill of Sale that includes the buyer’s and seller’s names and contact information. The form also includes a description of the property sold and the consideration, or amount of money that changed hands for the transaction. A Bill of Sale displays a signature and date line for both buyer and seller. Some buyers or sellers may decide to have the Bill of Sale notarized.

Contract with a barn removal and transport company. Locate a company with the equipment, expertise and insurance to tackle the challenging barn disassembly and removal. Barn removal experts generally adopt a dismantling process representing the reverse of the construction sequence. Crews remove the roof first, dismantle the structure and finally code the structural timbers and frames for transport and reassembly in the barn’s new location.

Tips & Warnings

  • Dismantling and removing an old barn can be a dangerous job. Avoid protruding nails, falling timbers and other hazards by calling a professional barn removal company.

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