So you're thinking about selling the lower 40 or carving out a building lot next to your home because the yard is getting too big to keep up? Perhaps you're leaving the area, retiring, or the market has really risen and you just think it's time to diversify your investments. There are lots of reasons for selling land, but most people don't have the skills or time to see that through to fruition. They need professional help and they usually call a real estate agent they know, maybe a friend or the one who helped them when they bought their home. In many cases, this may not be the best move because the agent really doesn't know the ins and outs of land, as he or she does the housing market. Perhaps the agent's firm is local but not well known outside the area. By now you've gone over all the reasons and you're sure it's the right decision. So here are Phil's Top Ten Tips for Sellers:
To be sure you optimize the outcome, hire an experienced Realtor with a wide variety of knowledge about land and the ability to market extensively to draw buyers from a large area. Since 1979 Harsch Associates has been known as one of our area's top Realtors, concluding multimillion dollar sales over almost 30 years of continuous presence in our marketplace. From our central location in Williamstown, MA, we have wide coverage of our market area and the credibility to back up what we promise.
Tip # 2:
Be realistic about what your property is really worth. Buyers aren't often foolish and when they are working with a qualified Realtor, they will have a very good idea of the market. Being optimistic is great, but being practical is the key to success. We can help you in this process.
Make your property presentable and accessible. Buyers are turned off by unattractive features that you can do something about. This means trash, debris, old cars and junk. Pay a visit to your local dump or recycling center and clean the property as best you can. This also means mowing, brush hogging, snowplowing and other means of allowing easy access to agents and buyers. If they can't get on the property, people lose interest or just go on to the next one.
Gather up anything you have about your property that will help the agent in the evaluation and marketing process. This means deeds, surveys, plot plans, tax bills, foresters' reports and management plans, appraisals, lists of improvements, easements, prescriptions, mineral rights, legal actions, etc.
Be familiar with the boundaries and features of your property, and if you are able, walk the property both prior to and with the agent when you are discussing the listing.
If you or others use your land for any activity like hunting, paintball, ATV or snowmobile recreation, farming, active logging, or things like that, be completely clear with the agent from the beginning about this. Are these activities going to continue after you sell, and would that impact both the price and salability of your land? Would it be best to discontinue this prior to marketing your property?
Be aware if any illegal dumping or other illegal activity has occurred on your land, and disclose that to the agent at the onset of the listing.
Make sure all your taxes and assessments are current, and that there are no liens on your property other than mortgages or those that are easily cleared at a closing.
If your sale necessitates a new subdivision of your property, do you have the surveyors and other help you need to facilitate this? Is your proposed sale a legal one meeting the minimum requirements of your town? We can help with this of course, but knowing these things in advance will speed up the process tremendously.
Improve your land. Many buyers don't understand how to take raw land and make it usable for building. Many others don't have the time. Buyers want to buy something that's ready for them to use. Get a jump on the competition by arranging percolation and soils testing if there is no sewer, clear out an access road, and do other things to make your land more readily saleable