Selling a piece of land might seem like a simple thing. It is, after all, kinda just a field. And yet.
There are a few things that will make your life a whole lot easier (pun definitely intended) if you do them before posting your listing.
If you’re a real estate agent getting a lot ready to list, here are some things to consider:
- Get your papers in order… Ask the current landowner for any and all paperwork they have regarding the lot. This could be the plot plan, the deed, any restrictions, etc. It’s always better to have more than you need.
- Check that zone… Each municipality has a zoning map showing what the approved uses are for all of that land within that municipality. You can always find it during business hours at the municipal building, but some places may have it online as well. Any zoning questions you or a prospective buyer has should be answered by your municipality.
- Number 1 and Number 2… You know, public water and public sewer. You’ll need to know if the lot has the capability to hook up to both. If there have been lateral lines run off of the main lines and onto the lot, you’re good to go. If you’re unsure, check with the municipality or the current landowner.
- No lateral lines? No problem… Just because there aren’t current lateral lines, doesn’t mean it isn’t possible to hook up to the water and sewer. See if any percolation tests were run for a future septic system. Ask which company did the testing and for a copy of the results. If no tests have been done, arrange it! This is one less thing for the buyer to do, so it will greatly increase the marketability of the lot.
- Survey says… Has a survey of this lot ever been completed? If yes, are there any markings or pins that still exist? If there is any doubt regarding the lot boundaries, recommend that a survey be conducted prior to listing the lot for sale. Again, the easier you make this on the buyer, the more marketable your lot becomes.
- Protection first… To protect the landowner and yourself, have a Vacant Land Disclosure form completed. If everyone’s cards are on the table, everybody wins.
- Call in the experts… See if you can partner with a local homebuilder. You’ll have an expert on your side who can help answer questions that may arise if your prospective buyer wants to build on the lot. Builders are usually happy to help as there is a chance of connecting with a future customer.
- Is that a sign?… No seriously. Have you checked your signs lately? You want to make sure you have well-identified and easy-to-read signage on the lot. Vacant lots are notorious for having signs knocked down or taken and you don’t want that to go unnoticed for a long period of time. Also, clear any weeds and mow grass that could cover up or obstruct your signs. Make sure the landowner understands the importance of having the signage being clearly visible.
Bryan Entrekin is our East Region Sales Manager and Director of On Your Land Sales here at Berks Homes. He has been practicing real estate since 2003, specializing in new construction sales at Berks Homes since 2005. He’s been getting promoted over and over within our sales team for the past 15 years. He knows home building and he knows how to sell. Give Bryan a follow on Instagram and look for more articles like this from him in the future!