What Our Clients Say
We serve a specific community: agricultural families. Here is what some of our clients and their advisors have said about working with us...
It is very easy for me to give my highest level of recommendation to Jack & Diana Sauther of Top Hand Realty. I have known Jack for over three years. He was highly recommended to us as an experienced CPA who specialized in finding income producing 1031 properties for ranch sales. I was impressed with his knowledge and frankness in answering questions. It took over two years to get the ranch sold (by the selling agent) at a price I was satisfied with. In the meantime Jack kept me informed and educated about 1031 options. We progressed from initially seeking a govt. lease to some of the better commercial ground leases. I was impressed that Jack was "Not out to Sell me something he had!" By the time the ranch closed, I had a good idea of what I wanted. This educational period is so important because you can't reserve or tie up any replacement properties until you have your own closing & then you have only 45 days to identify 3 properties. Then the greatest strength of Top Hand became evident! They are so good and thorough at analyzing commercial contracts and leases. I've bought and sold a lot of properties including 1031 exchanges, but the commercial contracts with the short time constraints and complex terminology require expert help. I learned that I could TRUST the team of Jack & Diana to do the most THOROUGH evaluation and move things along. We made offers on four different properties. We discarded two due to items discovered and then they skillfully negotiated the best of the two remaining ones into one contract that provides a 20 year lease with good rate of return.
John E. Dunn, Montana
I became aware of Top Hand Realty Advisors and its principals, Jack and Diana Sauther, through promotional mailers I received roughly the same time I negotiated an agreement to sell my ranch in the summer of 2012. I called Jack and learned they were specializing in assisting 1031 exchange candidates like myself identify and acquire suitable replacement properties. As I became more familiar with Jack and Diana and the service they were providing, I decided to hire them to help me acquire a suitable 1031 exchange property. Over the next few months (in late 2012) they worked tirelessly to present properties for my consideration. The properties were prescreened based on my goals. On properties I had initial interest in, they thoroughly analyzed the cash flows, the risks, the tenants (since I was looking for corporate rentals), and any other nuances I had questions about. When we identified the right property for me, they assisted with the purchase agreement, due diligence and closing. Through the entire process, I found both Jack and Diana to be completely ethical – they were trying to serve me, not just push a particular property. They were also extremely responsive with follow up on all details that arise with these types of transactions. I could not have been more impressed. Since closing on my 1031 exchange property in December 2012, I have used Top Hand Realty Advisors to identify other investment properties for me. To date, I have closed on 7 additional properties and have been highly satisfied with Top Hand on each of my purchases. Because of the highly professional, highly ethical and outstanding responsiveness I have received on my 8 transactions (in 4 different states), I highly recommend Jack, Diana and their firm, Top Hand Realty Advisors, to anyone seeking professional assistance in acquiring high quality investment real estate throughout the United States.
Michael D. Schauer, Wyoming
I appreciate the opportunity that I have had to work with you on numerous transactions over the past year. As you know, although I am based in Texas, I have a national practice and have closed 1031 properties for clients in nearly every state, including Alaska and Hawaii. In the course of completing those transactions, I have met and worked with many brokers throughout the country, many of whom profess to be professional and ethical in their craft. In reality, I have met very few who actually practice what they preach. You have lived up to the meanings of those words in every respect. I have personally witnessed your commitment to your clients and their personal and financial well-being. Your willingness to do whatever is in the best interests of your client, regardless of personal cost, is refreshing and difficult to find. In addition, you provide a level of expertise and service to your clients that is unmatched, doing not only what is necessary to complete the transaction, but also ensuring that even the smallest details have been satisfactorily resolved so that the client can have full confidence in their investment. Most brokers do not read transaction documents or try to understand the details. I know that when you are working on a transaction I can count on you not only having read the transaction documents but genuinely working to understand how they affect your client and what you can do to make sure that everything works together in harmony. That is a rare quality indeed. Your ability to work with other people and communicate with all parties involved in a transaction is incredible. I have personally witnessed the effect your calm and professional demeanor has on those working with you. Your clients and other parties appreciate the way that you approach your work. I know that I can count on prompt and effective communication from you when it is needed most. Finally, I simply believe in the two of you as quality human beings who do the right things for the right reasons. That trust I have in both of you is not easily earned or easily replaced. I would recommend that anyone that is looking for a “Top Hand” to handle their real estate transaction turn to you for help and expertise. I know that they would not be disappointed!
Ryan W. Crandall, Texas attorney
When we sold our ranch property, I was especially concerned with finding a safe and secure investment alternative, and was particularly interested in using the 1031 exchange to invest in commercial real estate that would provide our family with monthly income. Jack took the time to study and understand our financial situation before presenting us with investments to consider. Jack’s analysis of potential investments was very thorough and led us to purchase two government-leased buildings through a 1031 tax-free exchange. To anyone considering selling ag land, and looking for a solid investment, I would highly recommend Jack’s guidance.
Doug Stevenson, Montana rancher
My business partners and I hired Top Hand Realty Advisors to assist us in purchasing several commercial properties as part of our 1031 exchange. We were selling a high value property in North Dakota and were interested in purchasing a portfolio of commercial properties that would provide us with long-term, stable monthly income that would not require any management responsibilities on our part. Over the course of several months, while my partners and I were consumed with other business endeavors, Jack and Diana took charge and took care of our needs. Through meetings and conversations with us, they made sure they understood what we were looking for, and then methodically searched nationally for properties that would accomplish our goals. They didn’t waste our time by presenting properties to us that were outside our parameters, but instead focused only on properties that were suitable for us. Throughout this process, there was no question that they were representing our best interests. They were extremely responsive, and communicated with us on a daily basis so we always knew where we stood on a particular property. They handled every aspect of our deals in a highly competent and professional manner. Their property analyses were thorough, and contained both the strengths and weaknesses of the properties, and they did not hesitate to recommend that we walk away from a deal if they discovered potential issues. In addition to property-specific details, Jack and Diana were invaluable to us from a cash flow planning standpoint, providing constantly updated and detailed cash flow analyses for our property portfolio as it took shape over time. They also were instrumental in assisting us in securing financing for part of our portfolio. We were continually impressed with Top Hand Realty Advisors through our entire process of locating and ultimately purchasing our properties. It was such a relief for us to know we were in the hands of pros. We highly recommend Jack and Diana to anyone interested in purchasing high quality commercial real estate across the country. You will not find better brokers anywhere.
Scott Johnson and John Rosa, Bozeman, MT
If you are considering listing your property for sale and would like to participate in the 1031 exchange, or simply purchasing a long term investment commercial property you will not find better representation than "Top Hand Advisors." When I first had contact with Jack & Diana Sauther, the Principals in Top Hand, I shared with them that with a business name like that, they had "tall boots" to fill! My ranch was listed and I knew that I didn't have immediate needs, however Top Hand, said they would call me every month or two, to see how things were going and I could set the calendar by the phone calls to touch base. Using the Expertise and Experience of Top Hand quickly developed my long term investment strategy. My ranch went under contract and within a week or so, I had a dozen prescreened properties that fit my investment goals. I was amazed at the quick response and multitude of data presented! Within a few days, we were down to the "short go" with two choice properties that had the best demographics, long term leases in place and highest rate of return. We quickly got these commercial properties off the market with Letters of Intent. By this time I was thoroughly impressed with Top Hand, however I hadn't seen anything yet, the Diligence that Top Hand demonstrated from Letters of Intent to Closing was far more than I ever had envisioned, this attention to detail, eliminated one of the properties, when the actual paid expenses didn't match up to the realtors published sale flyer which lowered the actual rate of return. We were fortunate as we let this property go, and still managed to find another top notch property within my 45 day window to name replacement properties. We completed the purchase of 2 replacement properties fulfilling the requirements of the 1031 exchange with no pressures of meeting deadlines, thanks to the work ethic of Top Hand! The diligence of Top Hand from the initial introductory phone call thru locating, contracting, closing day and continual follow up is truly amazing. Top Hand Advisors, is without a doubt not only the best Real Estate Advisor's you could get as they are truly "your Top Hand." The professionalism, honesty and integrity exhibited was second to none. I admire and respect Jack and Diana Sauther as individuals and for the Top hand professional advisors they truly are!
Vaughn Swanson, Arizona
I met Jack Sauther through my CPA who has bought and sold numerous properties over the years, and he recommended Jack at Top Hand for my investment needs. I had just sold my ranch in Wyoming and was interested in reinvesting the proceeds into commercial real estate through a 1031 exchange. I bought several large buildings with the help of Jack. I had no idea how much there was to this process. There is no way I could have ever done this without his expertise. Together we looked at 50 to 60 different properties all around the country which I could have never found on my own. Most importantly, the steps and the process of choosing a good location that would work for me for many years to come, I could have never done without his help. Jack would never just recommend something to get it over with or to get paid. You will always get honesty and knowledge from this man. I would not deal with anybody else. I will also say his partner and wife Diana is also very good.
Dave D., Wyoming
During the sale of the ranch, we really felt supported by Jack. He was always available, very ethical and we would certainly do business with him again. Jack came for meetings multiple times when our family group couldn’t agree on the type of exchange and whether one group could separate with their share of the money. He gave very reasonable and easy-to-understand answers to our questions and we were then able to move forward as one whole group, saving us significant tax dollars in the process. Now all our heirs will have a continuing source of income provided by the commercial property that we purchased through our 1031 exchange. With Jack’s guidance, we had focused on an initial commercial property that we were pleased with and were moving forward through the purchase process. Mid-way through the process, Jack had learned of another property that he recommended we take a look at. This property turned out to be of higher quality and provided a better return, so upon Jack’s recommendation, we terminated our agreement on our first property, got our earnest money back and moved forward on the new property. We were impressed that he actually suggested we purchase the second property because he had already spent a lot of time on the first property. It was clear he was representing our best interests and not his own. We could not have done the sale and reinvestment without Jack and his company. We are very grateful for everything he has done for us.
Gene and Dolores Jurovich, Montana
If you are looking to sell your property, invest in commercial real estate and interested in saving tax dollars by using a 1031 exchange, it would be well worth your time to contact Top Hand Realty Advisors in Bozeman, MT. We talked to several people about what we wanted to do by selling our farm and ranch and not giving the biggest share to Uncle Same via capital gains taxes. When it came to commercial realtors, Jack and Diana stood out. They worked diligently to find us a variety of different types of commercial properties around the country for us to consider. They analyzed each property in detail and gave us lists of the pros and cons of each. This was extremely helpful and made it much easier for us to make our decision on which properties to purchase. We didn’t want properties we had to manage or hire management people, so we opted for triple-net lease properties, which require no management on our part. Jack and Diana did a great job for us and we would not hesitate to use them again. We would highly recommend them to you.
Harold Sorenson, Sorenson Farms, Forsyth, MT
This is just a short note to thank you for all you have done for us in the previous six months. During the process of selling our cattle ranch in eastern Montana, we were referred to Top Hand Realty by our Billings attorney. At first we were a bit skeptical as we had been warned about "investment brokers." We met with Jack in Bozeman and both Jim and I felt he was not only knowledgeable and informed about the 1031 real estate process and commercial investment properties, but also very honest and straightforward about the impending process. Because Top Hand was referred to us by our attorney, we decided to take his advice. We are so relieved and thankful that we became a part of the Top Hand investment process. Jack and Diana listened to our goals, dreams and concerns and never once did they make us feel as if we had made the wrong decision. Although our ignorance of the entire 1031 process was obvious and astounding, we felt our input, questions, fears, and ultimate desire for our retirement was respected and encouraged by Top Hand. Jack and Diana held our hand and walked us through every step of this sometimes complicated process. When we were hesitant about a property, they respected our concerns and led us to properties and locations with which we were more comfortable. We appreciated the fact that they kept us informed about every step of the entire process, sometimes receiving a dozen or more emails a day. They answered countless questions, and we were continually impressed with the questions they presented about potential investments -- questions that we would never even have thought of asking. Although the process is admittedly tedious and sometimes frustrating, Jack and Diana kept their positive and upbeat attitudes throughout and until we closed on our properties. Six months later we are finally finished with the entire 1031 process and could not be more pleased with the final outcome. Thank you Jack and Diana and Top Hand Realty.
Jim and Tammy Kane, Montana
Upon the recommendation of my accountant, I contacted Jack Sauther of Top Hand Realty Advisors about Triple Net ground leases for a 1031 exchange. I was looking for a stable, relatively safe lease with no management responsibilities on my part. Jack was diligent in searching for properties within my parameters. He communicated daily with me and offered in depth analysis of many different properties. He gave me his honest recommendations and answered my many questions. 1031 exchanges and Triple Net leases were new to me. Jack was invaluable in leading me thru the process. I appreciated Jack's competence, constant communication and professionalism in this transaction.
I had already closed on a sale of a campground I owned in North Dakota and was looking for a commercial property for my 1031 exchange. I was having a tough time finding the right property, and my 45-day ID period was winding down. That’s when my accountant referred me to Jack. He didn’t have a lot of time to work with, but he quickly presented me with a number of properties to review and I settled on a government building near my home in Texas that worked for me. I’d never met him, but I could tell right away in talking with him that he was much more than just a salesman. I knew I could trust him and was very pleased to have someone in my home state to deal with. In Montana, a man’s word means something, and Jack lived up to this and then some. Jack kept me updated through the entire process of buying my building, and called me regularly. He was always available and never put me off. Anytime I had a question, he’d make sure he got me the answer. To this day, he calls me several times a year to check in just to see how things are going with my property. He’s always there to help if I need it. If someone wanted a government-leased building, I’d damn sure recommend Jack. I would definitely use him again if I were ever to buy another one. He did a super job for me, and I can’t recommend him highly enough.
Gary Woodard, Texas
I have worked with both of you on a number of transactions involving the sale of property and the acquisition of replacement property using IRC Section 1031 structures. Each of you has displayed a level of dedication and professionalism rarely seen in your contemporaries who work in your fields. I expect that without your hard work and commitment, some of our deals would not have closed, because of the lack of dedication and professionalism of persons representing the other sides of transactions. Your willingness to work tirelessly through days, nights, and weekends to achieve success is rarely seen these days. I consider myself fortunate to have worked with you on these transactions and hope that we might do so again. You may certainly quote me if you wish.
Kevin C. Sweeney, Montana attorney
It has been two months since our Family closed on the purchase of 128 Main Street in Bozeman and this 1031 transaction would never have occurred without your total commitment of time and effort to this project. This was not an easy commercial real estate transaction, but your level of due diligence and transaction knowledge over the four plus months made this happen. I spent thirty-one years in the Financial Services Industry and cannot express how impressed I was with both Diana’s and Jack’s level of professionalism. Anyone contemplating a 1031 transaction would be missing a great non-biased independent partner at the negotiating table if they did not consider hiring Top Hand Realty. Thanks again for the great effort that you both showed in guiding my Family thru this transaction. It was truly a pleasure!
Tom Mcgrail, Montana
Not knowing what our future would hold for us because we were "fourth generation" on the same ranch, it was a very stressful time for John and Joan. Top Hand Realty Advisors was recommended to us by American Equity Exchange (Max Hansen) in Dillion to set up and help us find a suitable commercial property to do a 1031 exchange. Jack is a CPA, real estate advisor and financial advisor. From the very first instance that we met Jack and Diana in their office, they put a lot of our anxieties to rest. They were constantly reassuring us that they could find the right investment properties to safeguard our future. We were given several suggestions with documentations of their business in all aspects in several states to review. Jack and Diana really impressed us with the amount of time they expended not only searching for the right properties but also going over them with us. Jack connected us with an attorney who knew the state laws to assure us that the "Due Diligence" that is required is done to make sure everything is in order and that our future investments are secure. When we decided on a property, Jack, John and Joan traveled to visit the proposed properties, checking them out. The time and effort spent, showed us how much Jack and Diana really cared. Jack calls or emails us frequently to make sure everything is going smoothly with our property. Jack and Diana are not only good advisors but have become our friends.
John & Joan Jackson, Montana ranchers
I was impressed with the timeliness and thoroughness of Jack’s work on behalf of [my client] and, yes, you can quote me on that. We have an extensive real estate practice and your professional approach to due diligence is second to none in my experience.
Alex Davison, Wyoming attorney
We arrived at the difficult and complicated decision to sell our farm. We have both been born and raised on family farms, and have come from generations that have known no other lifestyle. We had utilized the 1031 exchange process in the past as we had expanded our farm. We decided that we were not interested in exchanging into farm property at the present time. As we began exploring options, a person at the exchange company recommended that we consult with Jack Sauther at Top Hand Realty Advisors. After our initial consultation, Jack compiled a tax projection for us confirming our view of the financial consequences of not utilizing the exchange process. He also presented us with some exchange scenarios of our financial position given different amounts exchanged, and comparing paying off our loan vs. replacing our debt. He presented some cash flow scenarios with an investment in commercial property that would carry a long-term lease and generate monthly income. His CPA experience was evident and an asset. A few months before our projected farm sale closing date, Top Hand began e-mailing us sample properties to familiarize us with the process and to expose us to different deals available at that time around the country. Each property was evaluated and compared along with notes on each one in a spreadsheet which exposed us to the comparison terms, the properties, and the different financial projections. Our projected 45-day identification period changed when our buyer experienced a financing delay. We were forced to remain flexible for the property that was available in our time frame. Jack and Diana prioritized our situation and were professional, capable, efficient, conscientious and reliable. Their years of broad spectrum experience and recommendations of other reliable professionals were greatly appreciated since we were treading on unfamiliar ground! We received timely service from an experience real estate attorney, financing from a recommended banker, and liability insurance from a local contact. We relied on their strategy to negotiate the deals. We closed on 2 properties a short time after our 45 identification period had ended. Throughout the process both Jack and Diana have provided valuable assistance and were a pleasure to work with. At this point in the process, we prefer to remain anonymous as we continue to adjust to this major life change!
I want to express to you the gratitude that we have with all that you did for us over the whole process of our 1031 exchange. It was a big process and knowing that you and your firm were leading us in the right direction with confidence made it easy. We knew that you were and still are attending to every detail, even after closing. You are an absolute pleasure to work with, and you are always available to answer any questions and see to it that even the smallest detail is handled. Thank you for your wisdom and advice all the way through. Having someone with your knowledge and experience was priceless. We are very pleased with the outcome and look forward to having a top quality, income-producing property for the future. This Panera property fit perfectly with our exchange and we have you to thank for finding it. Thank you again for your firm's hard work. We are so grateful, and we would recommend Top Hand Advisors highly to anyone considering an investment.
Amy Lenhardt, Cheyenne, WY