Tips For Selling Residential Land

Nov 27, 2021

When selling residential land, you want the highest price and best overall terms you can get regardless of market conditions and location. So, what can we do to get the best deal?  Here are five simple tips for selling residential land.

Before we start – these tips apply to any properties for which the bulk of the value is in the land. The property might have been used previously for agricultural or commercial purposes, have a tear-down home that adds little value to the property (or might negatively effect value), or land that has never been developed for any specific purpose. Let’s get started!

1. Investigate Current Zoning And Land Use Regulations

The value of land is based upon what a buyer can do with it. Sellers can’t guaranty that a buyer’s building plans will be approved, but they can disclose current applicable land use and zoning information, provide contact information for the local authority that approves land use, design, and construction permits, and base their asking price and marketing strategy on potential development that utilizes the land’s highest and best use.

2. Clean Up The Property

Prepare the property by removing junk, trash, brush and excess foliage. Remove structures that are fire hazards, dangerous to enter, or might detract from the value of the property. If needed, have fences repaired and trees trimmed. Look for ways to make the property more visually attractive (even unimproved land can have “curb appeal”).

3. Have The Land Surveyed

The surveyor will stake the lot’s corners, mark lot lines, and file an updated survey report with the county if necessary.  If the survey indicates that either you or a neighbor has built across lot lines or created an accidental encroachment or easement, you will want to fix the problem and settle any issues before putting the property on the market. Take photographs and obtain precise GPS survey stake locations to make sure the stakes are not moved during the night by vandals or neighbors who dispute the lot line. Spray high-visibility paint on the ground around the stakes to deter this.

4. Conduct Preliminary Tests

Have licensed contractors perform tests that buyers are likely to perform. Whether you’re selling an individual lot in an established residential neighborhood or a large parcel on the edge of town that is likely to be subdivided for development, successful up-front testing for clean soil and ground water may add to the value of the land.

5. Pre-Sell To Your Neighbors

Your immediate neighbors (those whose property actually shares a boundary with yours) may desire your land as an extension of theirs and offer an even higher price than you might get on the open market. For example, a client purchased a one acre vacant parcel on which to build their house. They realized that the adjacent lot, also for sale, was significantly elevated relative to theirs and if someone built on it would have a direct view into their new back yard. To protect their privacy, they purchased the adjacent lot, too.

In Conclusion…

These are just some of the strategies you can implement to generate offers with the best possible price and terms when selling residential land. If you have any questions or need help with sale of your lot or land, drop me a line using the form below.

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