Farmers warned about farm sellers

FARMERS are being told to watch out for a marketing scheme being offered to wheat belt farmers wanting to sell up.

Fair Trading Commissioner Patrick Walker said the Ministry held concerns about the scheme which seeks farmers to contribute to a prospectus with a view to attracting buyers for their properties.

Under the scheme, farmers each contribute up to $6,000 to the preparation of a prospectus with the promoters or their agents receiving a 5 per cent commission upon sale.

If desired, the farmers can lease back their original property.

“Part of the marketing pitch is that the properties are attractive to prospective Chinese purchasers because their children will then have a right to an education in Australia,” Mr Walker said.

“The fact remains that there are significant and complex restrictions that apply to business immigrants to Australia which need to be clarified in each individual case.”

In addition to its own investigations, Fair Trading has contacted both the federal immigration authorities and the Foreign Investment Review Board.

“If approached, farmers should carry out their own checks or speak with their farm advisers and lawyers before signing up for any sales scheme, Mr Walker said.

Farm owners also need to be aware people in WA negotiating property sales need to be licenced real estate agents or representatives.

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