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Land Selling Tips: How to Increase Your Land Value before Selling It

Published on Monday, December 07, 2015 by Land Century

Land can be a valuable asset, especially if it’s located in a high-growth area. When time comes to sell your property, you can maximize your return by taking steps to improve the value of the land. Increasing your land value will allow you to sell the property for the highest price possible.

Here are some tips on how to increase your land’s value before you put it up for sale.

Boost Curb Appeal


Curb appeal doesn’t just apply to properties with homes. Improving the land’s appearance is one simple way to boost the value of the property. Depending on the size of the property, this is a task that you can likely take on yourself.

Walk through your property, and make note of things that you can improve, such as:

* Removing junk and garbage

* Clearing overgrown shrubs

* Pruning trees

* Pull weeds

* Clear brush

* Remove environmental hazards, such as unused wells or chemicals

* Add a fence around the perimeter of the property

If you don’t have the tools or time to take care of these tasks yourself, you can hire a landscaper to do the job for you. While installing fencing can be expensive, it’s a worthwhile investment if you can stretch your budget and will increase your land’s value.

Many land owners overlook the importance of appearance. Buyers will pay a premium for high quality land that only requires minimal work to develop. You’re far more likely to find buyers for cleared property, and they’re going to be more willing to pay a higher price for it, too. An uncleaned property will demand a much lower price.

Improve Access


How difficult is it to access your property? If your property doesn’t have road access and you don’t already have a formal agreement in place, it may be time to speak to your neighbor about creating a legal easement. It’s relatively simple and inexpensive to create an easement and road maintenance agreement, but be sure to consult with the title company and a real estate agent to ensure that your agreement is legally binding.

Land can be difficult or impossible to sell if it has no access, and will diminish the value of your property significantly. Ideally, you want to have an asphalt or concrete driveway that leads to your property. If these are not affordable options, you can use gravel.

No matter which route you take, improving access is essential. No buyer wants to pay a premium rate for property with difficult access or no access at all.

Run Utilities


If you have the budget, consider running utility lines to your property. Although this can be a costly venture in some cases, having utilities in place will increase the value of your land significantly. For buyers, properties with utilities are the ideal choice.

If your property is located within city limits or in an established suburb, running utilities may be as simple as connecting to lines on the street and paying for hookup fees. However, if your property is located in a rural area, it will require more time, planning and money. In this case, you may be required to obtain permits, get a perc test, drill a well, install a septic tank, and pay to have electricity lines run. Although this can be a daunting, costly task, it will be a worthwhile investment if you own property in a desirable location.

In many cases, such an investment will add 10% to 20% to your land’s value.

Before you make the decision to run utilities to your property, sit down and determine whether it will be a worthwhile endeavor. Even if it adds 20% of the value of your land, the value increase may not be enough to cover the cost of running utility lines. You may also consider alternatives, such as solar or wind to provide power. A septic or well may also be more cost effective than connecting to city water or sewer lines.

Install Drainage


If you’ve purchased a vacant lot of raw land, there’s a good chance some areas of the property have drainage issues. If the land does not drain well or holds onto standing water from heavy rains, the value of your property will decrease as a result.

Luckily, drainage issues can easily be resolved by installing underground drain tiles. These tiles ensure the water is dispersed, which will increase the value of your property by making land more favorable for farming, grazing or even building.

Tiling is typically inexpensive (under $1,000 per acre), so this is an investment that just about every land owner can make.

Plant Trees


Just as clearing the property can help add value, planting trees can add value as well. If the land is flat and open, planting trees can not only add privacy, but beauty as well. Make sure that when you plant the trees, their placement does not block any scenic views that your property offers.

Trees will do more than just add beauty and privacy. They will also add significant value. The value of timberland continues to rise each year, and often offers a higher return than stocks. In addition, land owners can take advantage of tax benefits if they own timberland.

Build Structures


Another simple way to add value to your property is build a structure, such as a hunting cabin or pole barn. While this isn’t an improvement that’s affordable or practical for every piece of land, it’s something to be considered – especially if you plan on marketing the property as hunting, farming or recreational land.

While building structures can add value, it’s important to bear in mind that doing so may add to the cost of property taxes. In addition, you may turn away potential buyers who are looking for vacant, raw land. Consider the types of buyers that purchase land in the area and their needs. If they typically purchase land to build their dream home or vacation home, it may not be worthwhile to build a structure of any kind on the property.
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