14 Mistakes Land Sellers Make That You Want To Avoid At All Costs!
Most people don’t sell land for a living. “How” and “Where” you sell your land is a vital piece in the selling puzzle but ultimately it’s your land and your profit or your loss.
The “How” part is normally “do I hire a Real Estate Agent or try to sell it myself?”
The “Where” question must be answered if you do not hire a Real Estate Agent (The answer usually is Ebay, Landwatch, Craigslist, Zillow, Flyers, Facebook, Networking groups, Linked In, Landwatch, newspaper ads and social media websites.)
Whichever way you choose, don’t let these common sellers’ mistakes diminish your profits …or else it could be very, very painful!
1. Study your current real estate market! – As they say in showbiz, “Timing is everything”!
* If the current housing market is “HOT” you stand a better chance of selling your land at the
price you want. You need to know how many land parcels units are for sale and how many
sold last month. If you are sell in a “HOT” market, that means you will have to respond
quickly to offers, negotiate and make counter offers if necessary..
* If the current land market is weak you stand to lose a large percentage of what you have paid
into your land. To get a decent price you may have to spend money to make improvements
to your property and offer incentives to compete with other land on the market. Take
advantage of the cyclical nature of the real estate market and stay put (if you can) until
the market improves.
2. Don’t overprice! – Even 5% over market value can discourage buyers. It is important that you
realize that your selling price is determined by the current market and not by what you have to
get out of the deal, or even by an appraisal. If your land is not priced competitively for the
current market, people looking in your price range will reject your land in favor of other, larger
land for the same price. At the same time, the people who should be looking at your land will
not view it because it is priced over their heads.
Special Note: If circumstances dictate that you must ask more than your Realtor and the market
says is the optimum price for your land then re-evaluate your decision to sell at this time. If
possible you should stay put until the market improves or your property appreciates.
3. Don’t “test” the market! – If you insist on pricing your land higher than the existing market trend with the idea that you can always lower the price, you may be sabotaging your own sale. Just asking $2,000 or $3,000 more than market value can be a big mistake and mean the difference between selling quickly at a good price and delaying the sale. And don’t forget, keeping your land on the market for a prolonged period can incur additional expenses like carrying costs and upkeep. Consider how much bargaining room you can leave in your price.
4. Don’t become a “stale listing”! – The longer your home is on the market the less likely you are to get a full price offer. If a month goes by with no serious offers, do something! Review your price, offer incentives or make some improvements or repairs. Then hold an price reduction to announce the changes.
5. Don’t hire Aunt Agatha to sell your home! – Hiring a relative is one of the most common, serious errors committed by land sellers. Making this mistake could mean your land will sell more slowly and for less money than it otherwise would. Selling your land is one of your most important financial transactions.
If you are going to use a Realtor – having a professional Realtor in your corner can make all the difference in getting your price, fast.
6. Don’t get locked into a contract with your Realtor! – Chances are you will be perfectly happy with the efforts of your Realtor on your behalf, but circumstances can change. Protect yourself by getting a “guarantee of performance” clause with a right to cancel your contract with your Realtor if you are not satisfied. You must be able to work together as a team to get the best price for your land in the shortest amount of time.
7. Don’t Lie! – Tell the truth. It’s natural to be optimistic about your land but it doesn’t pay to deliberately misrepresent it. While most sellers wouldn’t commit an outrageous misrepresentation, there is a tendency to fudge about boundaries, road access, ability to perc, zoning, etc. You set people up for a disappointment when you misrepresent your land on the listing and once they’re disappointed, it’s difficult to recapture their interest. Don’t make this mistake.
8. Don’t scare off buyers! – Maximize your “Curb Appeal”! You have to get buyers to look because you can’t sell to someone who isn’t there! A well-kept piece of land, free of clutter will get them out of the car and walking the land. An unkempt yard will put off a prospective buyer before they even get out of the car.
9. Don’t waste your time with “Unqualified Buyers”! –
You don’t need to worry about this if you have listed your land with a reputable Realtor. Realtors will only bring qualified buyers, those who are ready, willing, and able to buy your house. An agent will determine how much a buyer can really spend for a house, how much he has available for a down payment, how good his credit is, how much he can pay each month, how much he will realize (realistically!) when he sells his present home – and about a dozen other similar questions. If you only show your land to qualified buyers the number will be fewer (but the quality much higher) than if you show your land to everyone who walks down the street with a dream of owning land…some day.
10. Are you flexible? – Cash is not always the most advantageous transaction. Income level, tax benefits and current legislation are all critical factors when considering purchase terms. Check with your tax advisor to see if a straight sale is the best option for you. You should also decide whether you are willing, and able, to carry financing or offer a “Lease with option to buy” arrangement. This would increase the pool of potential buyers you have to choose from.
11. Don’t underestimate the complexity of real estate law! – The contract for the sale and purchase of land is a legally binding document. Real estate law is extensive and complex and if you don’t have a legal background or real estate experience you should leave this to the experts. Did you know:
You can lose a sale or pay thousands in repairs or remedies for title defects because of an improperly written contract.
You need to know which closing costs are your responsibility.
You also need to know whether the property can legally be sold “as is” and how deed restrictions and local zoning will affect the transaction.
You or your Realtor must remedy any defects in your title and determine if your property is in conflict with local restrictions or you might have to pay through the nose for this mistake.
12. Are you helping or hindering? – You can make it easier for your Realtor to sell your land. For instance, most potential buyers call during business hours. Arrange to be available to take calls from your Realtor during the day, it could make the difference between selling your land and not.
13. Don’t just sit there, do something! – There are lots of ways to sell your land besides a “For Sale” sign and an ad in the paper. Request ‘round the clock and online advertising and take time to discuss your options with your Realtor, then be prepared to participate in marketing your land. Let your Realtor know if other Realtors have shown your land. This allows your Realtor to follow up “hot” leads.
14. Be positive! – Approach negotiations in a positive frame of mind, not as an adversary of the buyer. After all, you both want the same thing – a sale. Reply immediately to an offer. When buyers make an offer they are in the mood to buy at that moment. Moods change and you don’t want to lose a sale because you stall in replying. Participate when asked but leave most of the discussion of price, terms, possession and other conditions up to your agent.
Don’t make costly mistakes when selling your land. There are lots of things you can do to help with the sale. Most are common sense, some may be new to you but all will contribute to a fast sale at a fair price. Do your homework before you put up the For Sale sign and be a Winner.
Why do I offer these tips free of charge?
I am offering these helpful tips free of charge because I want to earn your business as your trusted Land Adviser. I offer more than just great service: I’ll personally advise you on how to use and apply the principles contained in this report. Worried that you can’t remember all of what is contained here? Call me. Again, I want to earn your business. Please contact me at 843-564-8438 to get your FREE all cash offer on your vacant land today.
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