No, selling land is not just like selling a house, and if you’ve acquired land that you are ready to sell you will want to follow these steps to maximize your market value and get the land sold.
Depending on how you acquired your land you may or may not know all of the aspects affecting the value of your property. Doing the basic research to better understand your property and the factors that may be attractive to buyers is where to start. It is good to know a little about the history of the property you own, and it may even become a selling point if you can connect your property with some noteworthy historical event. You can usually find out public information about previous owners with an online search of the county property assessor’s office. If the land you own has been in your family for generations you may be able to tell potential buyer’s about the usage of the land over time and how your family came to acquire it.
Other aspects that will affect how you price and market your property include zoning, liens and deed restrictions, access to sewer, topography, and the presence of water in the form of creeks, streams, springs, and ponds. Try to have some basic understanding of these factors first and then form a general idea of what uses may be appropriate for your land and why someone might be interested in purchasing your land. The biggest question to answer early on is – What use will bring the highest value to your property?
2. Work With a Land Agent
An agent experienced in land transactions in your local area can be a great asset to your research efforts and should be most knowledgeable about the market conditions affecting your property. A good land agent will be able to help you in understanding the highest and best use of your land, as well as have a list of potential buyers in their database.
Selling land requires unique expertise, so just hiring a residential agent that you know is generally not the best in terms of the experience needed for the competent handling of land marketing and sales. A good land agent will understand local zoning codes and have existing relationships with developers in the area that may very well be your most likely buyers.
The biggest difference between selling homes and selling land is that the land market in general is much less active than the home market. This doesn’t mean that your land won’t sell, it just means that it is expected to take longer to sell land in general than a property that has already been developed for a specific use. Patience is key when selling land.
The most important decision to make when bringing your land property to market is the initial listing price. Too high and your property will sit there for months or even years with no action. Too low and obviously you are giving away money if you don’t understand the full value of your property before putting it on the market.
You need to understand your own urgency level when it comes to setting a price for your property. If you are trying to sell quickly then don’t overprice the property. If you have all the time in the world and are looking to only maximize the long-term value of the property then maybe you can be a little more aggressive in setting a higher price.
Understanding the recent history of land values in your local market provides you the most relevant information about the current market value of your property. Be realistic about your price in comparison with the recent sales history in the area. If your listing is competently marketed and still sits on the market for months with no inquiries from potentially buyers then you are probably overpriced.
4. Know Your Buyer
Once you have completed your research and partnered with a local land expert to determine your market value you then want to get a full understanding of the most likely buyers of your property. While it is not bad to cast a wide net when marketing a property it can be much more effective in land real estate to target your marketing efforts to the most likely buyers for the highest value uses of your property.
For example it is key to determine if the best use of your property will be for commercial or residential purposes. Marketing land for commercial use where traffic count is often a big selling point is much different than marketing land for residential use where zoning density would be a key factor.
Buyers will want to know if their intended uses for the property are feasible and profitable. They will need to understand the zoning, deed restrictions, and any liens or easements affecting the property. Of course buyers have to do their own due diligence, but providing all the info you can is best when working with buyers interested in your property. Having a recent survey of the property is always a plus.
5. Market Effectively
These days almost all marketing for land is done with road signage and Internet marketing. The Internet is the dominant marketing tool you have in getting your land sold, and if your property is on a low traffic count road where signs have less of an impact then you will want to focus your efforts even more online. Drone photography is now the standard when it comes to marketing land property online. Have your property looking it’s best and get drone photography to highlight the most alluring aspects of your land.
Always focus your marketing efforts on the highest value uses of your property. You want to attract the buyers that are willing to pay the highest price for your land. Clearly highlight all the aspects of your property that would be of most interest to a developer who specializes in the highest uses that you have identified.
In conclusion, selling land presents unique challenges. Research your property to understand the basic information. Then partner with a local land expert to determine the highest and best use of your land. Based on this information determine the appropriate initial listing price factoring in your own urgency level in selling the property. Then target potential buyers and market your property providing the most relevant information you can to qualified interested parties. By following these steps you can sell your property in the least amount of time and maximize your property’s value.
We Can Help
Whether you’re looking to lease, buy, or sell commercial property, now is still the time to do it in Atlanta. The Meridian Real Estate Group has been assisting commercial clients for well over a decade and would love the privilege of earning your business. Our goal is not just to help our clients with a transaction, but to support the building of financial legacies through real estate. Call us today at 678-631-1723 or visit us online at www.themeridianway.com. We look forward to serving you.