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Selling Land . . . 

Be A Savvy Seller – Get Top Dollar!

Some landowners never learn. They overprice their land without benefit of clear title, deeded rights-of-way, road frontage, marketable timber and other amenities in demand by buyers.

So, how do savvy sellers manage to get top dollar from their properties? First, they make certain their agent has a history of exposing properties to the maximum number of potential buyers. Next, they make a special effort to offer their land in peak condition.

Most buyers feel it is appropriate for sellers to furnish a recent physical survey of their property, with all corners and boundaries painted and marked. After all, they reason, they should receive assurances that they are getting what they pay for, i.e. in the form of a survey. “Fortunately, for sellers here in the mountains, the buyer is responsible for paying for the survey.  This is not a legal requirement, but nevertheless the custom.  Although it is always a negotiable item, it is both customary, and our experience over the past 26 years, that the buyer, if they want a new survey, pays for it.”

Condition of the property is vital to attracting top dollar too. Fields and meadows should be neatly mowed or bush-hogged with driveways scraped and shaped up for easy riding. Trails and timber roads should be cleared of brush, downed trees, and other obstacles to facilitate buyer showings.

Sellers also understand the value of offering owner financing on their property. This makes it easy for interested buyers to say YES! Unimproved mountain land is not the collateral of choice for most banks. When asked to loan, they often require a large downpayment. Buyers may also face substantial unattractive closing costs charged by the lender.

Landowners often find that two factors improve their chances of achieving the most beneficial sale. First, they must price their property fairly. Second, having done so, they should offer attractive seller financing. Downpayments in the 20-25% range are common with the balance payable over a number of years at below bank rates, i.e. 8%-9%. Seller financing plays a vital role in attracting buyers. Because cash sales are infrequent, many sales depend on it.

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