A somewhat surprising fact about selling real estate is that it can be far more difficult to find a buyer for a piece of vacant land than it is for most types of existing homes. The reasons for this are many, but often they are related to either the location of the land or the amount of work or expense that might be necessary to improve vacant land for a specific usage.
In recent years, however, a combination of extremely low interest rates on savings accounts coupled with fluctuations in the stock market have helped to increase interest in the purchase of land as part of an investment strategy. These conditions may seem negative, but they can be good news for land owners. If you currently own vacant property that you would like to sell, the following tips are designed to help you get your land noticed by more buyers, increase your chances of getting a great offer and move on to a successful sale.
Prepare the Land for Easier Access
Left unattended, vacant land quickly becomes overgrown with weeds, sprouts, saplings and other vegetation that can make it difficult for interested parties to view the property or imagine its suitability for a specific purpose. Even worse, prospective buyers may discount any offer they do make on land that is very overgrown or filled with garbage or other waste.
To help avoid these issues, land owners in Brentwood or elsewhere should consider having overgrown properties mowed and any existing garbage or junk removed before showing. If the property is too large to mow the entire piece, sellers should consider at least creating a convenient mowed area for parking near the entrance. In addition, establishing a few mowed walking or driving trails throughout the land can help to encourage prospective buyers to explore and view the entire parcel.
Have a Survey Done to Give Buyers Accurate Info
Although a survey is often required when transferring ownership in many areas of the country, a current survey can also be an excellent marketing tool to help market the property to prospective buyers. Surveys done by a licensed surveyor will clearly illustrate features of the property, including:
- Rivers, creeks, streams, and bodies of impounded water, such as ponds, or lakes
- Easements, including those used for roads, utilities, etc.
- Location of any structures or improvements that might exist on the property, such as barns or sheds commonly found on agricultural land
- Building setbacks
- Roads, bridges, rail lines, etc.
- Placement of property boundary markers
- Deed or other restrictions on the land
The land's topography and any specific land usage rights that currently exist for the property, such as beach access, can also be included to help ensure that prospective buyers get the most complete information available for the property being sold.
When having a new survey done or an older survey updated prior to marketing the land, sellers should make sure that surveyors clearly mark boundary lines and property corners. This will make it much easier for prospective buyers to find them when viewing the land and help to eliminate misconceptions about how the property lays.
Remember to Market to the Most Likely Buyers
Land that is well-suited to specific uses can often be sold more easily by making sure that marketing targets the most likely buyers. Good examples of this type of targeted marketing include:
- Marketing pasture and cropland to farmers and ranchers
- Marketing large tracts of wooded land to logging companies
- Marketing hunting land to hunting guides and hunting groups
- Marketing rural land to homesteaders or recreational activity providers
- Marketing land located near growing municipal areas to developers and investors
Curb Appeal for Undeveloped Land
The land you are trying to sell should look good from the street, even when the land itself hasn't been developed. It's important to take care of the land, mowing any open lawn and reducing the amount of overgrowth on the property. You want potential buyers to drive by and get excited about the parcel of land, picturing what they are going to do on the property if they buy it. If the land looks unkempt, with fallen branches everywhere and no easy access to the property, it is more likely to be passed by. Pay attention to the accessibility of the land, as you want potential buyers to be able to navigate the entire lot to see if they are interested in buying the property.
Find the Right Price
While approximate land value calculators and charts are available online for most areas of the United States, sellers should use these figures only for broad estimation purposes. Arriving at a more exact price point to use as a listing price is best done by a real estate professional with a solid track record of successfully selling the type of land being sold.
Real estate agents can use the most current listing information and recent sales data for similar properties within the local area to determine the best listing price for your property. In addition, agents will use their broad networking skills and connections to make sure that land buyers from other areas are also informed about your property.
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