If you’ve ever tried to sell a piece of land yourself, you probably know that it can be a daunting process. Navigating the marketing, selling and legal issues can drive just about anyone crazy. However, by taking the right steps and getting the word out about your property, you can maximize your potential of finding the right (land buyer). Here are the 5 steps you can take to find land buyers quickly with as little hassle as possible!
- Research the Land
- Price the Land
- Market the Land
- Negotiate with the Land Buyer
- Close on the Land
Step 1: Research The Land
Investing some effort up front and researching the details about your land will significantly increase the likelihood of receiving offers soon after you list. The longer your land stays on the market, the harder it can be to sell. Consider doing the following:
1. Research the size in square feet or in acreage
2. Research improvements on the land
a. Does it have utilities (water, sewer, electrical)
3. Research the zoning
4. Research the flood map
Doing research upfront and answering these questions will allow you to find the right land buyer quickly. Not all land buyers are the same. Some are interested in raw land and others only purchase improved land. Researching in advance will help you set the right price and market the land to the right land buyers.
Step 2: Price The Land
The more land you have the more you stand to make. But, it’s not all about size. Land, like real estate in general, is location-dependent. This means that the value of your land is correlated to the neighborhood and town it is located in.
Improvements like access to water, sewer, and electrical services also make a significant difference. The cost of installing a water well or a septic system can exceed $5,000. Therefore, it is reasonable to ask for more if these services are already in place.
Use sites like Zillow and the local county GIS maps. Zillow is good for finding active listings in the general area of the land you are selling. I recommend looking for comparable lots within a one-mile radius. Anything further than one mile is too far to be considered comparable. Remember that the value of the land is driven by location above all else.
Active land listings are suitable for knowing who you are competing against. However, sold land comparables are the defacto way of accurately pricing land. Sold comps tell you what people have actually paid for land in the area. Similar to active listings, you want to search within a one-mile radius. You will also want to look for sales within the last 6 – 12 months. Zillow provides a filter that allows you to switch between listing types and date ranges. You can also use your local county GIS maps. These are free and capture all local sales. NEVER use the Zillow valuations. These valuations are notorious for being way off.
Step 3: Market The Land
The MLS is overrated. But, if you want it on there, there are several sites that will charge you a flat fee to do so. The ‘For Sale By Owner’ website FSBO.com offers land-selling packages for land owners. The packages include items like brochures and yard signs. Other options, that are free, are listing the property on zillow.com, trulia.com, and realtor.com. You can also post your land for sale on Facebook and Craigslist. You could even market your lot on TikTok. There are costs involved in advertising the sale of your house, but they will be a fraction of an agent’s commission.
Step 4: Negotiate With the Buyer
This is the easiest part. All the hard work has been done. You’ve found a buyer. Now you need to negotiate on price. Here is the most important thing to know. The person most willing to walk away from the deal always wins the negotiation. If you are desperate the buyer will sense it and capitalize on it. Same, you will notice when buyers are desperate for the house. Here are the steps to expect.
1. The buyer will submit a contract/purchase offer.
2. You, the seller, can accept the offer, counter offer, or reject the offer.
Until both parties agree and sign a contract, the process continues. In South Carolina, you can use any contact you like for real estate purchases. If you are not familiar with the contract, as with any contract, you should have it reviewed by an attorney.
Step 5: Closing on the Land
In South Carolina, all real estate transactions must be closed using an attorney. Be sure to call around your local area. I recommend googling the term “real estate attorney near me”. Be aware of the reviews. Attorneys are notorious for taking their time and not being very customer friendly. You could expect to pay between $500 – $2,000 in closing fees. This fee will vary based on the complexity of the transaction.
Finding a buyer does not have to be a difficult pursuit. If you have a competitive price, suitable to the location and size of your lot, finding a land buyer should be a sinch. Uninformed sellers struggle to find land buyers because they don’t understand the nuance involved with land. Above we covered several areas you, as the seller, should research. As always if you are interested in a quick sale, professional land buyers are available as well. These folks specialize in land purchases and have access to researchers and capital to make purchases quickly.