According to statistics provided by the National Association of Realtors, land sales showed promising growth during 2021, increasing by 6% overall. Land sales surpassed all other types of commercial property, including single-family rentals.
If you own a piece of land, and you’ve given up your ideal of building a home on it or simply have no use for it, now is probably a good time to sell your land.
When you sell land, you don’t need to worry about improvements and home inspections, but you can still lose out if you make these property seller mistakes. Keep reading to find out what not to do when selling land.
1. Neglecting Market Research
Gather as much information as you can about the real estate land market in your area. If you want to make the most of your property sales, you must understand any market conditions that could affect your property.
Try to find out if abundant, eager buyers are snapping up land in your area, or if other sellers are having a hard time finding buyers.
This information will guide every aspect of your land sale, especially pricing and marketing it to potential buyers.
2. Selling at the Wrong Time
Pay attention to any recurring trends in the property market, these can help you determine the best time to sell. If you sell your property at a time of low demand, you’ll lose money on the deal.
Holding onto it for a few more months and selling it in a more favorable market means you could make more money from the sale.
Real estate trends are unpredictable, depending on several factors. Make sure you know what these factors are for your area, and use this knowledge to time your sale.
Talking to a reputable real estate agent, or looking at property sales records for your area may help you discover trends in increased sales.
Common sense also comes into play when selling land. Spring and summer are widely considered the best time to sell houses, but the same rules don’t apply to land.
When you’re selling a vacant piece of land, you needn’t worry about preparing for home showings during the winter holiday season, or waiting for flowers to bloom in the spring.
Land sales are usually consistent all year round, but they may spike during the cooler winter months in very hot areas and vice versa. Consider conditions in your location before you place your land on the market.
3. Property Seller Mistakes Regarding Pricing
Pricing your land too high is a surefire way to delay the sale. Potential buyers might not have the imagination or foresight to envision the potential you see in your land.
If you want to set a fair and attractive price, you need an objective opinion on the value of your land. Consider getting a professional valuation done, or comparing prices on similar properties in the area.
Researching comps is one of the best ways to price your property, as long as you focus on land that’s already sold.
Entering your property’s address on a website that advertised, “we buy land” is a quick way to get an idea of what your property’s worth, without having to do too much legwork.
While you may need to achieve a certain price for your land due to money you own on your mortgage or taxes, you could end with no buyer interest if you don’t price your land accurately. In these cases, you’ll need to take a ”something is better than nothing” approach.
4. Being Picky About Payment Options
If you want to sell your land fast, you should consider all types of offers. Although a cash sale is always the first prize, you’re limiting your market by dismissing other offers.
Owner financing is an attractive option for some buyers. This means you accept a low initial payment for your land and let the buyer pay off the remainder monthly.
There’s a lot of paperwork involved in owner financing, and you face the risk of the buyer ceasing their payments. If you’re wary of the risks involved, you should consider accepting mortgage-based offers, too.
Offering different payment options increases your pool of potential buyers and can help you get your home sold faster. You could also pay fewer taxes on the sale when you accept offers other than cash.
5. Hiring the Wrong Real Estate Agent
If you decide to work with a real estate agent, it’s vital to choose someone who specializes in land sales.
Most real estate agents are well versed in selling homes. They have no idea about the intricacies involved in land sales.
A professional agent who is well versed in selling land can offer you invaluable advice and guidance during the sale of your property. They’re also more likely to have a pool of buyers interested in land rather than houses.
Unresponsive, uncommitted agents are not worth your time. If your agent doesn’t give you the attention you need when you need it, consider finding someone else.
Likewise, don’t hire a relative or friend to help you sell your home, you need an experienced professional by your side. Don’t go the ”for sale by owner” route unless you have plenty of time to dedicate to the matter.
Using multiple agents can confuse buyers, who also tend to play one agent against the other. This can result in a lower selling price.
If you’ve subdivided your land, you’re technically a developer. Most developers use specialized land marketing companies to sell their properties, and you’ll be vying for potential buyers in the same market as them.
Make sure you hire a specialist in land sales if you want to compete on an equal footing with these professional outfits.
6. Being Lazy About Marketing
It’s vital to market your home correctly, whether it’s for sale as residential land, agricultural land, or recreational land.
Nowadays, 97% of real estate shoppers start their search online. So it makes sense to market your property in the digital realm.
Take Great Photos
Successful online marketing begins with appealing photographs.
Consider hiring a real estate photographer, or take photographs yourself. Be sure to get creative with your shots and take advantage of free online tools to help you edit the results.
High-definition photographs are best as they appear crisp and clear on screen. Fuzzy photographs will cause potential buyers to scroll by your listing.
Compose an Appealing Listing
Next, you need to compose a well-crafted listing to advertise your land. Include all the important details, such as size, vegetation, and location, and be sure to fact-check any claims you make in your listing.
Before you post your advertisement, ask a reliable third party to proofread your property description. Typos and spelling errors can put buyers off.
A small typo can have a big impact. For instance, misplacing a decimal point can change your property description from 21.5 acres to 2.15 acres, turning off potential buyers.
Highlight your property’s best attributes. Does it have a creek or beautiful views, or is it close to a major attraction? If so, make these benefits known to prospective buyers.
A video walkthrough is an excellent way to attract more views to your property listing and showcase these unique characteristics. Good quality videos and photos combined with compelling copywriting are excellent ways to draw attention.
Get the Basics Right
Be sure to advertise things like onsite electricity, water, and septic services. These aspects are important to potential buyers.
Avoid clichés and gimmicky advertising, like withholding the price. No buyer wants to jump through hoops to find out the price of your land. Rather, state the facts clearly and concisely.
Be sure to place more than one advertisement online, and don’t neglect old-school advertising methods, either. A ”For Sale” sign goes a long way toward attracting passersby who are shopping for land.
If you have a highway close to your vacant land for sale, you can place a sign along the way with directions and contact details.
7. Allowing the Listing to Go Stale
If you aren’t getting any interest shown on your listing within two weeks, consider some tweaks.
New property listings usually attract the most attention, so if you don’t have any inquiries at the outset, you must rethink your tactics. Consider listing your land on another website, tweak the copy or add new photographs.
Keep refining your listing until buyers start to show an interest.
8. Letting the Land Go to Rack and Ruin
Taking care of vacant land is a lot easier than maintaining a home, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect your vacant property. Long unkempt grass, overgrown shrubs, and an abundance of weeds will drive buyers away.
Make sure you take care of the following aspects regularly:
- Garbage and debris removal
- Lawn mowing and weeding
- Fence maintenance
- Pruning trees and shrubs
Make sure you demarcate your boundaries clearly, too.
9. Not Checking the Deed
Finally finding a buyer makes all the hard work worthwhile, but there’s one more stumbling block to overcome. If the deed isn’t in your name, you’re not legally entitled to sell the land.
Any holdups in the dying stages of the deal can scare off your buyer. Rather, conduct the necessary research to ensure a smooth sale before listing your property.
The best way to do this is to arrange a title search on the land or conduct one yourself.
More Real Estate News
When listing your property, a little extra work goes a long way. Do some more research about your property’s potential, so you can highlight this to buyers.
For instance, try to find out if there are any new developments in the area that could add appeal to your land, or inquire about whether it has the potential for alternative zoning.
The best way to avoid property seller mistakes is by staying informed. Our blog has plenty of information about a wide range of real estate topics. Keep browsing for the best tips and more about the latest trends.