Condition of equipment has a profound effect on value, Hendrix says. Tractors in good condition usually command a premium. “For example, farm tractors from the Midwest are often so clean that brokers call them ‘Midwest clean,’” he says. “They tend to have very low use-hours and better-than-average care and maintenance. On the other hand, a tractor from south Florida or the Mississippi Delta usually has much higher hours, is faded from being parked outside, and has 15 or 20 drivers instead of one.”

If the machine comes with onboard electronics, check for obsolescence. Don’t pay extra for an option that is not current or upgradeable.

To check for internal problems, ask for a detailed inspection. IronPlanet is one of the only auction houses that provides detailed inspections of the products it sells and guarantees the outcome. Ask for oil samples, too, which can show problems with the engine or transmission.