It can be challenging to sell a home in a changing real estate market. Dirt sales can be even more challenging … in any market. In this article, we provide landowners and real estate professionals with tools on how to sell lots and land, and why your vacant residential land strategy needs to be different from selling a home.
Many people expect lots and land market dynamics to be the same as the existing homes market. They don’t. If you understand some of the differences between the land market and the existing home market, you’ll be better prepared to sell your home lot or land:
While we’ve noted that there are many differences when selling land, the concepts are similar to selling a home at the same time. To sell this type of property, you simply need to tailor your strategy, tools and focus.
When selling a home you typically know that your target market is a home buyer within a certain price range. But when selling vacant land you must assess who will be among many other factors your likely buyers will be.
When you advertise on realestate.com.au without agent your buyer profile can depend, among other criteria, on what type of property you are selling, whether the land is already being developed, its location and market conditions. Is your likely buyer a person looking for a whole lot of a new home? Or will your buyer be a builder or a developer seeking land for their next project? Or is your buyer some combination of those, or somebody different? In a thriving new home market, there might be different buyers for finished lots, rural acreage or a parcel of suburban land.
Try to think like them after you have identified your likely buyers so you can focus your message to convey what they need to know about your property. Have ready information about schools, shopping and other conveniences nearby. For developable land, zoning information and insight from local authorities on the location and capacity of the water and sewer service can be prepared. Each property is different, so customise your information to suit your situation and the buyers you are targeting.
If you’re not familiar with these details then do some research. You can make the process easier for potential buyers if you are prepared and knowledgeable about your lot or land, and inspire faith with solid answers to their questions.
Pricing can determine your success in attracting potential buyers, and pricing too much of your lot or land is one of the biggest mistakes that sellers make … and regret. The wrong price will both scare buyers away from even inquiring about your property, and cause your property to sell for longer.
Pricing land can be more tricky compared to pricing a home. Developed lots in communities may have a clear “market” price based on similar lots recently sold. But raw land may have fewer “comparable” sales to use to determine your price. Moreover, the price you can ultimately attract for a single lot or undeveloped land can vary considerably depending on the intended use of the property by the purchaser. For example, if a buyer feels that your acreage is suitable for high-end home development, it will likely bring a higher price per acre than if a buyer is only planning to build a single home there.
Consider when pricing your own needs, and understand how pricing might impact the interest of buyers. Sometimes you have to choose between getting the highest price and possibly selling faster when selling immovables. Plus, if you need to sell for financial reasons your pricing may be influenced. In addition to your situation, in the end, pricing your property requires an understanding of the land market as a whole, why people buy lots of land in that area and who these people are. In this process, a good real estate agent with land expertise can be of great help.
Target Land Searches
Probably it’s obvious you are marketing a home to homebuyers. So you should market your lot or land directly to buyers of lot and land.
Online listings are an important component of any real estate marketing plan and you should use all the tools available. When you market your property online you want people looking for lots and land to target.
MLS is usually the first step for property agents when they get a new home listing, and it should certainly be part of any real estate marketing plan. But remember that MLS is focused on marketing existing built homes, and shouldn’t be the only online marketing tool used for your lot or land listings. LotNetwork.com was specifically designed to sell residential lots and land and attracts targeted buyers such as potential homeowners, builders, developers and investors.
When preparing your listing, your understanding of your buyers and of the market comes into play. Create your message in your listing to provide the information your buyers probably need.
Present The Land In Best Possible Way
Marketing vacant residential lots and land when you advertise on resalestate.com.au it can be challenging because there’s no moving-in-ready home. Homes are visual, they convey a sense of place and evoke buyers’ emotional responses. But when lots and land are sold, there’s no house for an Open House.
Be sure to use the visual tools beautifully and compellingly to tell the storey of your lot or land in your online listing. Use attractive home site photos, natural land features, view from your property and even community amenities (see tips to create a great lot and land listing photos). Use maps and surveys to show the boundaries of the property and where it lies. Read more about 5 tips for selling lots or land using online listings in our related article.
And while it may not be the same as an Open House, you should always offer a potential buyer to “walk the property.” You can show them the lines of the property and tour stuff like a neighbourhood pool or walking trails. Use this opportunity to highlight the positive aspects strategically, and minimise the negative aspects.
Use A For Sale Sign
Besides online listings which target lot buyers and land buyers, effective property signs should always be part of your marketing plan. Don’t just use a standard “For Sale” sign; we suggest you have a custom-made sign to sell your lot or land (which can be done relatively cheaply nowadays). By including a few key points like the acreage and property features, you can help tell the storey with your custom signs. The sign(s) should be located for visibility, should look professional and should be kept upright and clean.
Use Focussed Strategies
Try some marketing strategies which are focused too. Usually, when selling a home you wouldn’t go to the adjacent homeowner to see if they’d like to buy your house, but when selling a lot or landing the adjacent property owner can often be one of your best opportunities to find a buyer.
Call the neighbour – they might want to buy your land for an extra buffer, add it to their property holdings, or just control what’s being built next door. Another strategy is to contact active builders in the area directly to see if they are interested in your estate.
Trade with the Pros
Having a skilled professional on your side always helps when selling your land and lots. There are many advantages to having specialised expertise on board, so we encourage you to work with a real estate agent specialising in sales of lots and land. They will help the right buyers understand the market, set a price and market your land.
Compared to selling a home, selling lots and land has its unique challenges and strategies and these are several ways you can boost your selling effort. Whether you are just beginning the process of selling your lot or land, or you need to reinvigorate your efforts, we hope these tips will help. So take action and find a way to reach the home buyers past and get to that active lot and land buyers pool.