Many people dream about owning land. Sometimes, however, you might end up with a not-so-ideal plot of land that you’ll want to sell sooner rather than later. Whether you’ve inherited a lot that doesn’t align with your goals or simply fell out of love with the property you’ve bought, selling can be the right solution.
However, the process can be daunting. So, it’s not a surprise that your first thought is to call a real estate agent and hope for the best. While this is the easiest way to sell a tract of land, you’ll have to compete with dozens of other listings the agent has so you may not get the exposure you want. Also, you’ll have to pay broker’s commissions of about 5-10%.
So, if you’re up for the challenge and you want to do it without a realtor, here are six easy ways how to sell land yourself.
Evaluate Your Land
The first step when selling land by owner is to set a reasonable price. The soft spot is the price that will result in a fairly quick sale but not attract a stampede of unserious buyers to your door. To assess your land’s worth, it might be helpful to gather some essential documents and other information about your property. These include title reports, tax bills, a land survey, zoning information, accessibility, a legal description, and a list of improvements made to the property. Then, using the Internet you can easily find comparable properties. You can also hire a professional appraiser, use a land value calculator, or consult a real estate agent.
Market Your Land
Once you decide on the price, you can present your land to the world. Once again, the Internet is your best tool here. With so many free resources you can curate a professional-looking page in no time. Then, collect everything you think can accurately describe your property including high-quality images, aerial shots, road maps, information about the local area, and more.
Then, proceed to advertise your vacant land property. There are free advertising sites on the web that allow you to include a link to your website. However, to maximize the advertising outcome, you’ll have to pay for ads. Google Ads is a great option. You can set a monthly cap and you’ll pay only for the clicks you get. On the plus side, Google Ads integrates with Google Analytics, giving you accurate information about the traffic you get. Another reliable option is Facebook advertising. You can easily create ads for as low as $1 and reach a highly-targeted audience.
Decide on the Financing
At this point, you should decide if you want to finance the price or accept only cash in full. If you offer owner finance with flexible terms, you’ll attract more prospective buyers. Also, thinking long-term, you can earn more money at competitive interest rates. Moreover, you’ll get to keep a larger portion of the money you receive, considering you’ll have to pay income taxes in small installments over the set period, rather than all at once.
On the other hand, owner financing comes with a risk of the buyer’s failure to pay. However, there are several things you can do to protect yourself. For example, you can make a Contract for Deed where the potential buyer doesn’t receive the deed and title to the property until the loan is paid in full. Similarly, the Deed of Trust is an agreement wherein the title is held by a third party until the payment is completed.
Prepare the Property
Getting the property into top shape before starting to show it to potential buyers is an important step that shouldn’t be overlooked. A neglected property won’t look appealing to interested buyers.
First, ensure that the property’s access is in a good condition. The better the road, the better the first impression the potential buyers will have. The improvements don’t have to be costly. If the road leading to your piece of land is a country road, you can improve it using a tractor and blade. On the other hand, if the road is shorter, you can simply add a layer of crushed rocks.
The next step is to clean up the junk. Get rid of the garbage, trim the trees and shrubs, and cut the grass. Moreover, check the fencing and make sure the property lines are clearly marked. It’s also common to plant wildflowers to enhance curb appeal.
Prepare the Important Documents
If you want the sale to go smoothly, you’ll have to prepare the documents related to land ownership. It’s always better to have as much information about the property as possible. Additionally, you’ll need to compile the documents needed for closing the deal. For example, you’ll need a purchase agreement, land contract, purchase counter offer form, and preliminary title report. You’ll also want to have a closing statement and a deed. These will have to be signed by the buyer to finalize the process.
Negotiate the Sale
Since you’re selling the land by yourself, you’ll be negotiating the sale directly with the buyer. Keep in mind that they will almost always come with an offer that’s below your asking price. They might even try to impose specific conditions such as having you pay the closing costs. If the offer isn’t acceptable, you’ll have to go back and forth. Think about what’s your wiggle room and don’t accept a price below your lowest acceptable.
The initial negotiation will likely be verbal but once you agree on the basics, they will have to submit a formal offer in writing. The contract should outline the details of the sale, including the purchase price, closing costs, and description of the property.
Contingencies should also be written in the contract. For example, you may want to get a copy of the buyer’s mortgage approval within certain days of accepting the offer. Likewise, they may ask for a land inspection. The closing work may be done by a real estate attorney or a title agency.
Final Thoughts: How to Sell Your Land Yourself?
Thanks to the advancements of the Internet, selling land by yourself has become perfectly doable. By following the simple ways you can close a deal hassle-free. We outlined the simplest way to set the right price, compile the necessary documents, advertise your property, negotiate with prospective buyers, and close the deal. If you’re ready to sell land for cash, give us a call.