When you decide to put your land up for sale, you usually have some sort of plan or strategy for a quick and profitable sale. However, when weeks and months creep by and you haven’t had an offer, or the offers you have aren’t what you were expecting, what can you do? Before you get frustrated, review two of the most common reasons why land sits on the market and what changes you can make to generate more interest.
It can be comforting to know that there are really only two reasons why your land isn’t selling: marketing and price. Thankfully, these are two things you have complete control over and can tweak and adjust to see better results.
When you’re selling land with a home already on it, there are a variety of features to consider when settling on a price. Upgrades to the home, the condition of the neighborhood, and nearby amenities can either increase or decrease the value of the home. It is also easier to compare an existing structure with other homes in the area to find a competitive price. Land is different. Most land in a particular county runs in the same price bracket, and the variables are things like timber, fencing, access to water, etc. Buyers usually don’t come to a piece of land with as much of an emotional investment as they do with houses, which means pricing needs to be strictly based on the market and not your emotional ties to the land.
Buyers are excited about the potential of the property, but nothing about the land is going to persuade them to pay significantly more than the other lots of land for sale in the area. If land in your area is selling for $1,500 an acre, you have to stay within that bracket, regardless of your emotional attachment to the lot or if in your opinion it is worth more. Just like when you’re selling a home, how much a lot is worth depends on how much buyers are willing to pay. The amount that buyers are willing to pay depends on the current market.
Working with a real estate agent who specializes in land sales will help you come up with an accurate price for your land that will fall in line with the other lots for sale in the area.
You may have a great piece of land and have decided on a fair market value for the home, but if nobody knows your property is for sale, you won’t see many offers. You have to invest in both traditional and creative marketing strategies to get the word out that your land is for sale, and more importantly, get the word out to the right people. If your land’s best use is farming, you have to find ways to connect with the farmers in your area. Your marketing strategy must focus on the aspects of your land that will appeal the most to your target audience. Knowing what land buyers want will help you design a marketing approach that gives the buyer everything they need to make an offer.
Because so many land buyers start their search online, it is vital that you list your lot on as many online platforms as possible. Websites like LandWatch and Lands of America can help get your land in front of motivated and qualified buyers. However, snapping a few pictures on your phone and uploading them on a few websites is not enough. Because you don’t have spacious bedrooms or beautiful architecture to show off in photos like home sellers do, you have to be very intentional with the kinds of pictures that you take. Different angles, different seasons, and different perspectives can help buyers get the full picture when they come across your listing online. Buyers make their decision about a property based on the first few photos they see, so each image must have a purpose. Consider these tips and tricks for land photography to ensure you make an excellent first impression.
Your photos are an important part of your marketing strategy but so is your description. Buyers are going to be clicking through hundreds of listings that all look the same, so your description needs to catch the attention of the reader. Your headline is a good place to start; focus on both the physical attributes of the property and the location to give the reader as much information up front as you can.
Along with listing online, there are a few other strategies you can use to reach buyers interested in what you are selling:
- For sale signs (although if your land is in a rural area that doesn’t get much traffic, this won’t be very effective on its own)
- Newspaper ads
- Social media
If you decide to work with a realtor who specializes in land sales, they will be able to list your lot on an exclusive database (MLS) to increase your exposure. Your agent can also use his/her network to market your land and broaden your marketing reach.
Another option for marketing is talking with your neighbors. Giving them the opportunity to expand their property cuts out a lot of the back-and-forth of a traditional land sale and could result in a quicker deal.
Someone out there is looking for land just like yours; the right buyer for your lot is out there. Carefully consider your asking price and marketing strategies to see where you could improve to generate more interest in your land. Making a few adjustments to these two areas can help you get your lot in front of the right buyers and get the offers rolling in.