Robert & Theresa Kirsch would only trust one company for their retirement auction

Advice for sellers Comments

“We absolutely fell in love with the property”

Robert and Theresa Kirsch met as teenagers, fell in love and married in 1967.

They built their early life together in a logging community in the east Kootenays of British Columbia, Canada. Robert eventually moved into heavy road construction, building his fleet in the 1970s through Ritchie Bros. auctions in one of the company’s first auction locations in Kamloops, B.C.

Through the 70s and 80s, Robert and Theresa were farming as a secondary business.

“We bought some farmland in Telkwa, B.C. and just absolutely fell in love with the property,” said Robert. “We farmed the land for years before we decided to build a house on the land and make it our permanent home. We’ve been living here for 27 wonderful years.”

On the farm, the Kirschs grew grain, oats, and barley, before focusing on hay production for horses.

“We sold our hay into Haida Gwaii, Kitimat, and Terrace,” said Theresa. “We’ve had customers that have dealt with us for up to 35 years. We’ve always taken great pride in the product we produced and the service we provide our customers.”

“They were so calm and organized that I never had any worries”

Bid catchers and bidders

In 2018, Robert and Theresa decided it was time to retire, sell the farm, their home and move closer to family in the Okanagan. They called Ritchie Bros. for help.

“There are some local auctioneers in the area, but we never thought about going with them,” said Robert. “No one can do what Ritchie Bros. can—they are so well-organized, efficient, and can reach a massive amount of bidders from around the world.”

“From the very beginning everything was so smooth,” added Theresa. “Ritchie Bros. came in, collected all the equipment information, looked over the yard, made notes and were off. Two weeks later they were back and in three days everything was set up and numbered. They were so calm and organized that I never had any worries.”

“There was a huge crowd onsite, and a bunch more online”

Bid catchers and bidders

The Kirsch’s auction was held on their property on March 28, 2018—it included more than 250 acres of farmland, their 2,032-square foot log home, and hundreds of equipment items. More than 750 people registered to bid in the auction from across Canada and 18 other countries.

“There was a huge crowd onsite, and a bunch more online,” said Robert. “I don’t own a computer myself, but I know how much the internet helps buyers today. We had people come visit our property months ago to check out the equipment and then they were bidding online.”

Approximately 20 percent of the lots in the auction were sold to online buyers.

“If you’ve got something to sell, you have to call Ritchie Bros. first”

Robert & Theresa Kirsch with Steve Martin

“There is no way we could have done this ourselves,” said Theresa. “It would have taken months or even years to sell everything. We would have had to deal with realtors, people constantly walking through our house, testing equipment and then never buying anything. With Ritchie Bros., they helped us through the whole process and it was all sold in one day.”

“And there’s no way I was going to write up receipts/invoices for 300 machines,” said Robert with a chuckle. “If you’ve got something to sell, you have to call Ritchie Bros. first.”

Now that it’s all sold, Robert and Theresa are moving down to the Okanagan area of B.C. to be closer to some of their family.

“We are going to miss the property, but it’s time for a new adventure,” said Theresa.


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