Saturday, January 5, 2013

Tips on Selling Your Land

As a Land REALTOR and Registered Forester, I look at and show a lot of property. So, I thought I would pass along some ideas about selling your property.  

1. Unique Features: Anything unique that can be identified will help set your property apart from others. Probably the number one feature I’m asked about is water. People want some type of water, whether it’s a stream, pond, or frontage on a main river or lake. Obviously, you cannot manufacture this if you don’t have it, but extra time to photograph and highlight what you do have will pay off.   Example, I had a land-locked tract listed for sale for about two years, it was priced accordingly, and I could not get a serious inquiry. One day I was walking across it and came across a small but scenic stream. I squatted down and took a photo with my phone. I posted it on the internet as the feature photo and put it under contract in about three weeks. This is the actual photo:

We also can use topographic maps along with ArcGIS mappng software to show potential lake/pond sites.

Other Unique Features: Large hardwoods are hard to find these days, game plots with hunting stands make the property ready to hunt, people love a scenic view, old home sites just add character, and well kept open land enhances aesthetics.

2. It’s Not What You See; It’s What You Don’t See: People do not want to drive into a property and immediately see something they need to fix. For example, I’m a Forester and I drive in the woods all of the time and limbs dragging down the side of my truck do not bother me at all. However, if I’m showing a tract to a husband and wife and I have to push my way through a woods road where limbs are raking both sides of my truck, it’s an immediate turn-off. More importantly this is an easy and inexpensive fix. Another situation, if I’m showing a property and driving down a primary internal road and have to lock my truck into four-wheel drive, not good. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of things you can do: trim limbs along roads/trails, fix roads, cut limbs or trees to provide a view, mow/bush hog where possible especially road right-of-ways, provide for an easy pull-off to access property, manicure entrance to property, install gates, and PICK UP TRASH.  

3. Be Realistic on Pricing: If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been told “It’s a buyer’s market” I could retire comfortably. It appears activity is picking up, but there has been a definite “reset” of prices as compared to what they used to be. Does this mean you have to sell your property cheap, absolutely not? However, there is a sweet spot on pricing and you have to be in that range to get people to look. I monitor my internet activity; if a tract is priced too high, people will not even click on the listing.

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I hope this helps. Please comment if you have any questions or additional ideas.

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