How To Sell Vacant Land: 7 Tips
This is the next post in our “How To” series: “How to Sell Vacant Land”
Buying and selling real estate is not new… but that does not make the process easy. Selling unique real estate is challenging, and one of those challenging areas of real estate is selling vacant land.
In this post, we will look at 5 challenges to selling vacant land SO that we can come up with some tips and strategies on how to sell a vacant parcel.
[If you understand the theory already… you can skip to the bottom to see our tips on how to sell vacant land]
Why is it harder to sell vacant land?
The procedures of selling vacant land is not complex. The difficulty lies in the demand for vacant land. Many people are actively
looking to buy homes, or buildings for their business. But there are many fewer people looking for a piece of land with nothing on it.
- Vacant means the buyer will have to put money into it or hold on to it for a long time. It is not ‘move in ready’.
- Making money on vacant land is harder. You can ‘land bank’, rent out the land for farming or livestock… but these require very specific kinds of land. Otherwise, land usually needs to be developed…. that means more money.
- The value of land is harder to know. What is a good price? What is a fair price? How do I know if prices are going up or down? Land is often sold off market, so running comparables does not always tell you the value of a property.
- It takes longer to sell.
- Less ‘liquid’ of an investment and many people don’t want to have their money tied up in something that can take a while to sell.
We know it is hard to sell, so on with the Tips already!
How to Sell Vacant Land? >> 7 tips for selling vacant land
Tip #1: Go to the types of people that buy vacant land
If you want to sell fast, then you can’t afford to hope that they come to you. Get your listing in front of the people where they are looking. Unless your land is extremely attractive and sought after, you will run into problems if you just list in on MLS and hope that the right buyer comes along. “Hope is not a strategy” and you need to go to the buyers. You can call land buyers, home developers,etc. You can search on the web, and you can ask for referrals. But go to the buyers and don’t wait for them
Tip #2: Post in forums and listing websites where land buyers go to look
This is one way to go to your buyers. Find popular land selling websites and post your property. Most cost money, but some are free for now (Zillow, or Craigslist are free listing sites at the time of this blog post).
Tip #3: Get a good agent that knows land and knows your county well
A good agent is worth more than the cost. But a bad agent can destroy the value of your property. Land is often slow to sell because it is listed to high, or the description is incorrect or not written well, or if the photos are not excellent, etc. Any real estate that sits on the market for a while becomes tainted and people wonder what is wrong with it and why didn’t someone buy it. The number of days that a property sits waiting for a contract is called Days on Market. A good agent will understand your piece of land, who the buyers are, and what price they are willing to pay for it. Agents that don’t typically list land assume it is just like listing a house and you will pay for it with by loosing value on your property as it sits unsold.
Tip #4: Get great pictures
People don’t look at properties with bad pictures. Sunny day, show features, shoot a video or even get drone footage. Don’t be deceptive with your photos, but show the true location and feature it’s strengths. In this photo, we had a lot that was not on the lake, but had a great view of the lake. We were able to highlight the view while showing that it was not actually on the lake:
Tip #5: Make sure to Price your property appropriately
As mentioned previously, price is one of the greatest factors that can make or break your listing. Land buyers are sensitive to price. If you have to sell your vacant land fast, price it aggressively lower to attract more buyers. Ryan Lundquist (owner of Sacramento Appraisal Blog and a certified appraiser in the State of California) says: “[Land is] worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. At the end of the day, the value is more contingent on finding the right buyer, for the right property, at the right time.”
Land is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it
Tip #6: Be ready to wait.
Land does not move as fast as land with houses, and because it can be more complex to research valuations and features, land buyers are slower to purchase… even in an up market. Expect the process to take a few months at the least.
Tip #7: Selling Land is Selling a Product
Imagine a store that needs to sell some inventory. What do they do? They will place it in a viable location. They will advertise it to the types of people who are interested, and run a sale if they want to encourage shoppers to come in. If they really need to get something out of it, they will put it on clearance, and worst case, sell the product to a consignment store. You need to treat this like a business. Price it correct. Make sure it is visible. Market it and put the best features forward with great pictures. If it is not selling fast enough, you may need to put it ‘on sale’ and aggressively drop the price to attract a buyer looking for a deal.
I hope these tips help you understand the land selling process better.
If you need to sell vacant land quickly, I invite you to reach out to let us know. We post our buying criteria on the main page. If you think your vacant property might qualify, please let us know by filling out a form. Give us as much information as you can and we will get back to you with a formal offer: