How to Sell Land

By: Steve Gillman

When you sell land, as when you sell almost any real estate, you may have to choose between getting the highest price for the land versus the quickest sale. The tips below will hopefully help you get a higher price AND a fast sale, but remember that if speed is of the essence, lowering the price is the surest way to sell faster. Also remember that a lower price doesn't always mean less money for you. Selling faster means avoiding some of costs of holding onto your land and the costs of continuing advertising.

Three Things To Do When You Sell Land

1. Have Your Land Ready To Sell

Everyone knows that they should clean a house when selling it, but many think that with land there is nothing to do to prepare it for sale. This just isn't true. Suppose there is a pile of brush, some rusty barbed wire, and a few muddy puddles. Certainly some people can imagine what the property will look like, but do you want to limit your market to only those buyers who have good imaginations?

Help buyers see the potential in a property by cleaning it up a little. Get rid of piles of brush. Fill those puddles with dirt and level them off. Tear down any old worthless fences. Outline a driveway if there isn't one, even if this means just raking an area out for cars to park. A days labor can easily help you sell your land for more and faster. Pay someone if you don't want to do it yourself.

Also consider that most people want to know what they are getting, but they can't visualize it from a legal description. If you don't want to pay for a survey before the sale, at least put a post at each corner of the parcel and paint the top white. A can of spray paint is less than two dollars, and you can use wood from your land. The point is that you should be able to clearly show the buyer what they are getting.

2. Sell Land By Offering Financing

The first piece of real estate I ever bought was a couple acres of land. I sold it two weeks later for 35% more than I paid. The biggest reason I was able to do this was because I bought for cash, and offered easy terms when I sold it ($250 down, $100 per month). The buyer even mentioned that they thought it was overpriced. I agreed and told her that's why she was getting easy terms. She didn't have the cash to buy land any other way.

If you can offer financing when you sell, it's the simplest way to add value and raise the price. Unlike houses, which can be trashed and worth less if you have to foreclose, when you sell land this way you are much safer. The 11% interest I received in the above example is another nice benefit of selling with terms.

3. Be Prepared For Buyer's Questions

No buyer likes uncertainty, and the less there is, the more likely a buyer is to make a decision when looking at your land. Know what the zoning is. Prepare a map showing the nearest town, store, or whatever. Have the name and phone numbers of companies that can drill a well, prepare a building site, cut trees, or whatever might need to be done.

Before you list the property for sale, bring a friend out to look at it. Have him ask you every question he can think of. Then be sure you are prepared for those questions and more. You will always sell land more easily if you have answers to all the buyer's questions.

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