Published on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 by Land Century
Last updated: April 2018
Selling a piece of land is nothing like selling a home. Many sellers go into the process thinking theyll have no trouble unloading their property, but finding a committed buyer can prove to be a difficult task.
Because land buyers are nothing like home buyers. Home buyers want a property thats move-in ready with a gorgeous kitchen and a backyard for the kids (or the fur kids). But land buyers are looking for the perfect location and a lot that will fit their needs, be it home development or an income-producing venture.
It's also not as easy for buyers to fall in love with a piece of land as it is for them to fall in love with a home unless your land has stunning views.
The market is also less active, so sellers need to be patient. Sure, there are lot of challenges to selling a piece of land, but not all hope is lost. If you know where to list your property and how to market it properly, you wont be waiting months or years to secure a buyer.
Where to List Your Land
When it comes to listing your land, you have several options: local classifieds, online property portals and land dealers to name a few. There are benefits to each.
• Classified ads are posted in local papers, where youre more likely to find a serious buyer.
• Property portals have an established audience, so your listing will get more views and more potential buyers.
• Land dealers or buyers. Dealers specialize in land sales, so they offer a targeted audience. Buyers will actually buy your land from you at a fair price, which makes the process as quick and painless as possible.
Ideally, you want to make sure that your property is listed on as many relative outlets as possible. Exposure will open up the opportunity to find more buyers and in the end of the day, this is why we created Land Century - to help you maximize exposure for your properties by directly listing your property with us.
But if youd rather just get the property off of your hands, you always have the option of selling to a land buyer. Just be sure to do your research on the buyer to ensure they're legitimate. Do your market research, too, to make sure you're getting a fair price.
Know Your Buyers and What They Want
If you've decided to go ahead and list your property, its important to understand your buyers and what theyre looking for.
Try to look at your property from a buyers perspective. Is your buyer more likely to be:
• Someone looking to build their dream home?
• A builder or developer looking for property for its next big project?
• Someone looking to build a home and rent it out?
Your buyer may be a combination of these, or someone else altogether.
Once you've identified who your buyers are, you can consider what they want, and market the beneficial aspects of your property. If your buyers are families looking to build their dream home, you may include information about local schools in your listing as well as the propertys proximity to restaurants and shops.
Developers will be interested in the propertys zoning and whether the lot has favorable conditions for water and sewer installations. The key here is to tailor the information in your listing to the needs of the buyer.
Stage Your Land
People stage homes to sell them quickly. Staging makes the property look better and appeals to the buyers' visual sense. Land is no different in this regard. If a potential buyer pulls up and sees trash all over the property, they probably won't even get out of the car.
You don't have a very big margin for error when showing a piece of land. It needs to look pristine and welcoming from the moment the buyer pulls up. When selling residential land, many owners will go as far as planting wildflowers to make the lot more beautiful and appealing.
You don't necessarily need to go that far, but you should, in the very least, mow the lawn, get rid of the weeds and clean up the trash. And while you're at it, make sure that you hire a professional photographer to take photos of your property when its looking its best.
Have a survey performed in advance to mark the boundaries of your property. If you're selling a home lot, make sure that you include setbacks as well. A survey will help you sell the property more quickly, and will let buyers see the potential that your land offers.
Choose the Right Price and Offer Financing
When selling land, choosing the right price is crucial. Setting your price too high will scare off buyers, and it will wind up taking longer than usual to sell your land.
Finding the right price is no easy task. With a home, you can choose a price thats in line with recent sale prices in the area. There may not be any other vacant lot sales to compare your property to. Consider your needs and how the price will affect buyer interests.
You may also consider offering financing. Remember, land buyers have a harder time securing financing for vacant lots. Banks aren't interested because they dont offer a great return if the buyer defaults. Offering financing will attract more potential buyers, especially if you have a lot of land to sell. Just make sure that you work with a good real estate lawyer to draw up a contract with the buyer.
Talk to Your Neighbors
Before you list your property, take some time to talk to your neighbors. Many people would love to purchase the lots next to them. They just haven't had the opportunity to do so.
Let your neighbors know that you're the owner of the property and will be selling in the near future. Tell them that you would be willing to give them the opportunity to purchase the property and that you will make the decision easy for them. Offer an incentive, like cash or great terms. You may just find an interested buyer right next door, which cuts out much of the work you would have otherwise had to do.
Is Seasonality a Factor?
Fall, winter, spring or summer - does it really matter what time of year you sell your property? The answer may surprise you. While homes & land sell all throughout the year, some months are better than others for attracting buyers. And selling at the right time of year will allow you to demand a higher price.
The National Association of Realtors says property sales tend to increase in the spring and early summer. Sales start to dip in the fall and winter. But the NAR says that sales are fairly constant throughout the year.
If you’re hoping for a quick sale and list your property in the winter, you may wind up having to drop the price considerably before you find a serious buyer. While you may face more competition in the spring and summer, you may be able to demand a higher price especially if inventory is limited in your desired area.
Serious buyers, however, are likely looking to buy because they want to take advantage of lower prices and fewer buyers to compete with. If you must sell in the winter, consider lowering your price slightly to encourage a quick sale. Prices tend to decline when the winter weather gets bad, so lower prices may be the only way to attract serious buyers.
So, seasonality does affect how quickly a property sells and for how much. Spring and summer are ideal times to list, although fall and winter can still attract single buyers and couples without kids. Just be sure to price according to the season and be prepared to offer bargain prices in the dead of winter.