Dealing with Land Sales
Preparing land for sale isn't quite like getting a house ready for potential buyers, but there are some tasks you and your seller must complete before anyone attempts to show it. You must determine the boundaries of the land, mark them, and have a full stock of clear and informative handouts to provide to potential buyers.
Vacant land is often shown on a moment's notice. Because there is not an occupied house involved, agents do not often call to make an appointment unless they aren't sure how to find property boundaries. Make it easy for them. Buy outdoor brochure boxes for your land listings and be sure they always contain copies of your handouts.
The first thing you should do is locate the property lines, using brightly colored surveyor's tape to flag permanent markers and any other spots along the boundaries that will help identify the property. The seller should go with you to mark the lines if possible.
A copy of a boundary survey will be a big help to you when you try to locate property lines. If your sellers don't have a survey, they will have to decide whether or not to order one. Visit your county courthouse and ask staff to show you how to determine if a survey for the property was ever recorded. You'll find that owners do not often have copies of older documents.
Prepare handouts for other agents and potential buyers and offer as much information as you can to help them locate property boundaries. The packet could include tax maps, which are available at your county courthouse, surveys, topographic maps, aerial shots, or even a text description that points out identifying features.
Does my seller have to pay for a survey for the buyer?
Customs regarding surveys differ across the United States. In some areas, lenders require surveys to approve a buyer's loan, but sellers are expected to pay for them. In other areas, surveys aren't as critical. Ask your broker-in-charge to tell you how surveys are handled where you work.
Small lots are easier to mark and identify than larger land tracts, but do your best to find property boundaries no matter how large or small the acreage is. You might be surprised how many agents stick a sign on a piece of land but don't bother to determine anything beyond whether the sign is actually on the property. Do those tracts get shown? Not usually. Making a piece of land easy to find is your best ticket to getting it sold.