Created on Wednesday, December 09, 2015
Updated on Monday, February 26, 2018
by Land Century
Now, you can buy and sell land right online. While the process is simple, getting from point A (listing or browsing the property) to point B (closing the deal) may be more complex than you imagined.
If you have plans to buy and sell acreage exclusively online, heres what you need to know:
Selling Land Online
Be Prepared to Spend Time Creating Your Listing
Buyers want to know as much as possible about your property, so be prepared to spend a lot of time creating your listing.
To attract potential buyers, youll need to make sure that your listing is enticing. How can you do this? Consider the characteristics that make your land so attractive. Does your property offer water, great views, excellent access, trees, or hunting opportunities? Play up the positive aspects of your land, use colorful adjectives when describing your property.
While its important to emphasize the positive qualities, its also important to include facts, such as:
* Deed conveyance
* Driving elections
* Water, sewer and utilities
* Mineral rights
* GPS coordinates
Potential buyers will be expecting this basic information to be included in the listing, but remember, its your description of the land that will really sell the property.
Do Your Homework When Setting a Price
Setting a price for your land is, arguably, the most complicated part of selling acreage online. Be realistic, and do your research. Check prices of similar properties in the nearby area, and get in touch with the County Assessor to obtain information on comparable sales over the last two years.
Remember, if you price your land too high, youll never attract buyers. On the other hand, if you price your land too low, you may:
* Have difficulty selling the property because buyers assume something is wrong with the land; or
* Sell quickly, but miss out on potential profits.
Getting the pricing right is key, so take your time and research before setting a price.
Know Where to Sell
Knowing where to sell is just as important as your price. There are multiple outlets online; some paid, some free.
Free online classifieds include:
While you can add a description of your property along with images, youll need to continually update your listing every day. Otherwise, it will be much more difficult for buyers to find your listing in the sea of new listings being posted every day. Theres also the drawback that these sites were not designed exclusively for selling land or real estate, which may make it more difficult to find buyers.
Alternatively, you may consider selling your land on well-known property portals, or to professional land buyers online.
Be Prepared for Closing
If youre not familiar with deeds, closing and deed conveyance, its best to work with the title company to help with the closing process.
While you will have to pay a fee to use their services (sellers typically pay for the title policy, while buyers pay for a portion of escrow fees), its well worth the extra cost if youre inexperienced with this part of the process.
Buying Land Online
Research, Research, Research
If you plan to buy land online, expect to do a lot of research. Theres a good chance that you will going about this process on your own (i.e. without the help of a real estate agent), so you want to learn as much as you can about the process of buying land and what to look for when purchasing acreage.
If a property piques your interest, make sure that you understand exactly what you will be getting when buying the land. If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Another important thing to consider is whether the property has a clear title. Ideally, you want to look for properties with a Warranty Deed as properties with taxes, liens and easements can present issues in the future.
Understand Your Financing Options
Before you start searching for properties, know whether you want to pay in cash, or opt for financing via the seller or a traditional lender.
If youre considering obtaining a loan through a traditional lender, it may take more time to find a property and close the deal. Lenders are wary of handing out loans for land because they typically dont provide a great return for the bank. Owner financing, on the other hand, is a viable option if you dont have the cash on hand.
Consider Zoning and Utilities
What is the property youre interested in zoned for? If youre planning on building a home, youll need property in a residential area. On the other hand, if you have a commercial venture in mind, youll need to invest in acreage zoned for commercial use. Remember, zoning regulations will determine what you can and cannot do with the land.
In addition to zoning, you want to find out if utilities are available on the property. If not, find out how much it will cost to run utilities. In some cases, its not practical or feasible to run utility lines on the land. This is typically the case in rural areas where the nearest utility line is very far away. If you're searching for property in a city area or established area, the cost to run lines will likely be minimal.
Forge a Good Working Relationship with the Seller
The process of buying and selling land can be short and sweet, or long and drawn out. In either case, its in your best interest to forge a good working relationship with the seller. This will make communication simpler and easier, and ensure that youre only dealing with a seller you trust.
Buying and selling land online doesnt have to be complicated. If you know what to expect, the process will go much smoother. But if you find yourself feeling completely lost, you always have the option of working with a real estate agent or consulting with a real estate attorney.