Some land sells almost immediately; other properties linger on the market for months with minimal interest from potential buyers. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to improve your chances of making a quick and profitable sale.
Make a strong first impression
When selling land, as in most other situations, first impressions matter. Buyers don’t expect your land to be perfect, but they do want to get a sense of its potential. Before you show your land to prospective buyers, make sure it’s looking its best. Cut the grass, get rid of weeds and spider webs, trim overgrown trees and bushes, and plant some grass or wildflowers on ugly-looking bare patches.
Remove any trash or debris on the property and make sure any buildings are neat and tidy. You may be used to having things lying around, but imagine the way things will look through the eyes of a prospective buyer seeing things for the first time. Barking dogs or biting horses can also make a negative impression, so make arrangements for disruptive animals to be elsewhere during showings.
Ensure your property is easy to get around, with no holes in the roads or fallen trees blocking trails. If you have a fence, make sure it has no gaps and isn’t overgrown, and that gates swing open without sticking. Views are often a property’s biggest selling point, so if you’ve got one, make sure it’s visible and accessible.
Eliminate any potential problems
The last thing buyers want it to inherit a boundary dispute or other problem. If there are any issues related to your land, make sure you resolve them before putting your property on the market.
If you’ve been at odds with neighbors about where your property ends and theirs begins, sit down with them and work it out. If you don’t know the exact boundaries of your land, hire a surveyor. If your property is landlocked but you’ve always had informal access through a neighbor’s land, enlist legal help to get that access made official.
Solving these sorts of problems will generally involve an investment of time and money, but they’ll pay off in the long run when you close a deal that might otherwise have fallen through.
Set a fair price
Ultimately, success or failure in land sales comes down to whether or not you’ve set a reasonable price for what you’re offering. Obviously, you don’t want to set your price so low that you end up feeling cheated, but if selling your land quickly is more important to you than getting the most money possible, it may make sense to ask for a bit less. If your price is too high, you may turn off potential buyers and slow down the sale.
Whatever your circumstances, it’s essential to have an understanding of the current land market in your area before advertising your property. Working with a real estate agent or hiring an assessor to determine your land’s value will help you set a reasonable price.
Read more: Find Out What Your Land is Really Worth
Market your land
The first place to start marketing your land is within your network. Let your neighbors know you’re selling—they may want to buy your land to expand or protect their own property. Contact builders, farming associations, and other people in the area who might be interested in your land. If you use social media, let your connections—especially local ones—know you’re selling. The more people in your network who know your land is on the market, the better your chances of finding buyers through word of mouth. You may also want to place an advertisement in the local paper or post flyers at local markets.
A great online land listing can make the difference between lukewarm interest and a quick sale. High-quality photos are essential to attracting potential customers. In your property description, describe your land’s attributes, location, and surroundings in a clear and compelling way. Including maps and aerial shots of your property will also help prospective buyers get a sense of the land’s layout and potential.
Read more: The Anatomy of the Perfect Land Listing
Don’t forget to put up a sign on your property. Instead of using a generic “For Sale” sign, have a customized sign made with information such as acreage and key property features. Post it in a well-lit, highly visible spot and make sure it’s easy to read from the road. Include a contact phone number and a website if you’ve got one.
Working with a real estate agent specializing in land is generally the easiest way to sell land quickly. An experienced agent with an understanding of the land market will help you set a price, advertise your property, and navigate the legal aspects of the sale.
Annika Hipple is a freelance writer and photographer who covers travel, environmental issues, sustainable development, and other topics. Her work has appeared in BBC Travel, Sierra Magazine, Time Out, in-flight magazines, and numerous other publications.