10 Tips to Help Sell Your Tractor

for_sale2We all love our tractors – for now. Inevitably, another one will come along that we will want, whether it has better technology, looks nicer, can perform more work, or we just feel like changing things up a bit. Maybe our old workhorse just isn’t doing it for us anymore. Quite often, we’ll want to keep it around for old time’s sake. We get attached to tractors. Sometimes though, there’s no room, or the other half gives an ultimatum.

Should this time come, you want to make sure your old tractor can fetch the best price possible, either as a trade or as a private sale. There are some key things you’ll need to remember during the course of owning your tractor, as well as when you are preparing to sell it, to make sure you get what it is worth.

Make it Look Good

A buyer’s first look can draw them in or push them away – it’s all about the first impression. If you are advertising your tractor online, in a magazine, or in a newspaper, you’ll want to make sure you use the best pictures possible. If you are selling it online, you may even want to consider making a walkthrough video that also shows operation of the tractor, so buyers can see from the outset that it is in working order.

Regardless of how you are advertising, even if you are just setting it out on your front lawn with a “For Sale” sign on it, you need to make sure it looks clean. This means banging out dings in the sheet metal, removing and repairing rust spots, and filing in severe scrapes and patches. Repair rips in upholstery, replace cracked or missing covers for dials, and replace decals that have worn off. In the end, tractors with higher hours but that look clean can demand more on the market than tractors that may have a few less hours but look rougher. To many buyers, a rough tractor has less value because it clearly has been used hard over the years, even though the clean tractor might have also been used just as hard.

A Record of Regular Maintenance

We all maintain our tractors religiously, but if you don’t keep a file for your equipment, how will others now just how well you have maintained it? You should be keeping a file that includes receipts, schedules, and all other paperwork that can be used as proof of maintenance. Even if you are handy and are doing much of the maintenance yourself, receipts for grease, oil, filters, and other parts will at least demonstrate to the buyer that you tried to keep the best record possible. These can also help answer buyers questions regarding whether or not original manufacturer parts were used in repairs, if parts recommendations were followed, and also may help them get an idea of yearly maintenance costs or what parts may need repairing or replacement in the near future.

Provide Original Literature

manualThe original owners’ manual, any original literature, and the original purchase agreement for the tractor are all good to have on hand. In our digital age, these things are falling by the wayside a bit, but there is still value in them during the sale. These can help confirm specs, and will give the potential buyer a good idea of exactly what the tractor was like when new, allowing them to compare it to its current condition.

Know Your Specs

A combination of your original literature and a little bit of research online can likely provide you with all the specifications of your tractor, and you’ll want to make sure you have access to all of them at the ready. Many potential buyers may have certain specs they need met that you might not have. For instance, you may have bought a tractor with a short axle option – a buyer who need a tractor with dual wheels won’t be able to use your tractor. On the flip side, rare options may allow you to charge a premium price.

Make Repairs

Starting your conversation with a prospective buyer with a list of things that do not work or will need to be replaced can kill the sale quickly. It may be hard to swallow, but you’ll likely need to invest a little more cash in your tractor before the sale. Few buyers are looking for a project, so fix anything that could potentially be a safety issue or an operational issue. Major component issues, such as a smoking or hard-starting engine, or a balky transmission, need to be addressed. Minor issues don’t necessarily need to be addressed, but you will need to tell the potential buyer up front about them.

Use and Include Tractor-Specific Spare Parts

During your maintenance, always use parts specified by the manufacturer, or at least recommended for use in tractors. Using bits and pieces and rigging together repairs might work for you in your daily operations, but they won’t fly for buyers. If that’s how you have done repairs in the past, take some time and do it right before selling your tractor. Also, if you are changing models or brands and will no longer need spare parts that are specific to the tractor you’re selling, it’s a great idea to include them in the sale.

Make it as Original as Possible

Customizing your tractor is part of the ownership experience, but not everyone is looking for the same aftermarket features, whether they are cosmetic or operation-minded. If you have altered your tractor through your ownership, do your best to restore it to nearly-original condition where possible. This includes removing stickers and decals and de-personalizing the tractor.

Consider Selling Attachments as Well

JDP002G3F81858_GC_642x462Unless you are selling your tractor as a collectible, which for many of us is unlikely, the tractor is just a way of powering, pushing, or pulling other equipment. If you have attachments that you will no longer be using or that you are considering replacing, you should consider including them in the sale. For some tractors, attachment availability is limited, and there may not even be any compatible attachments still available. In that case, selling the attachments with the tractor may be the only way you’ll be able to make a sale.

Price it Fair

In the end, the price what makes or breaks a sale. If your original price is far above comparable products, you’ll drive away potential buyers from the outset. There’s no excuse for it either particularly with the internet at your fingertips. There are plenty of sources out there where you can find used tractor pricing, so do your legwork and start with a good price. You may still have to negotiate the final price, but it will guarantee that you get some bites.

Be Honest

Simply put, transparency is the most important part of the buying and selling process. Potential buyers can detect lies faster than you may think, and failing to tell the full truth can cost you the sale before you even try to enter negotiations. Be open about the flaws in the equipment, be honest about your usage, and answer any questions to the best of your knowledge.

Getting the best value out of reselling or trading in your tractor is very important, particularly if you are counting on that to help you upgrade to something bigger and better. By following these ten tips, you give yourself the best possible chance to sell your old equipment and move on to the new, shiny tractor you’ve been eyeing up.


  • Why would I sell my 2004 Kubota 3130 with backhoe and loader only to put up with the new emission control hassles?

  • Im downsizing a Massey Ferg 1652 for a MF 1736.. not as much work to do anymore…im trading with dealer because they gave me as much as a private sale , perhaps even more. That made it easy. These are great tips tho for others, thanks

  • Thanks for the article. Good timing. I am going to sell my Kubota 3430 HST and all attachments as it is about 8 years old and only has right at 500 hours on it. Hardly ever use it except for giving the grandkids rides. Thanks again.

  • Sometimes a person outgrows the need for the tractor. I have a compact Case, but only one acre of land which is mostly pecan orchard and shop. I no longer have the energy to do some things, like gardening, I did when younger. My health is starting to become an issue, so I want to do some of the fun things (camping, RV’ing, and 4-wheeling) before I pass on. I appreciate the tips, since any money I make will go into upgrades on my Jeep or RV. Most farmers in my area are selling their land or converting to pecan orchards, which require different equipment. Very few people use the small compact units since they are limited in capability.

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