How Low Land Inventory Benefits Sellers



By Laura Mueller

We’re in the midst of a serious seller’s market, and if you’ve been thinking of listing your land, right now just might be the best time to do it.

All real estate markets ebb and flow between buyer’s markets and seller’s markets. In the former case, an influx of inventory puts buyers in the driver’s seat, providing them with more control over prices and contract terms. In a seller’s market, however, there are more buyers looking for properties than there are properties to sell—and that creates steep competition that savvy sellers can put to use to increase sale prices and close more lucrative deals.

The land market saw a surge of increase in 2020, with many buyers opting to ditch their small urban homes for private and expansive rural properties—a trend that’s been burgeoned by a sharp uptick in remote work opportunities. Combine that with record low interest rates on loans and it’s easy to see how the land market has quickly become the place to be if you’ve got property to sell.

So how can sellers take advantage? Here are three big ways that a land seller can benefit from today’s high demand, low inventory market.

1. They can sell for more

Low inventory helps sellers make more money in two ways. One, they can list properties for more, and two, they can often drive up the sale price even higher through competitive bidding.

Bidding wars are common in a seller’s market. And because the right piece of land can be even harder to come by than the right residential home, competition is even fiercer among new land buyers than it might be otherwise. That offers huge potential for sellers to make an impressive return on their initial investment, and is an opportunity that likely won’t stick around when the market eventually shifts.

2. They have less need to make improvements

The steeper the competition the less that buyers are willing to risk complicating a potential sale in post-offer negotiations. For sellers, this means a heightened ability to sell their land “as is,” without the need to make hefty (and often expensive) improvements in order to lure in more buyers.

Some improvements might make sense if you’re a seller trying to attract residential buyers—such as putting in utility lines and an access road, if you haven’t already. But they’re not necessarily going to make or break a deal, and you might even be able to skip them entirely if demand is high enough in your area.

3. They have more control over sale terms

Whoever runs the market holds more power over contract terms and conditions. This is good news for sellers, who in addition to raking in more cash on their investment also have a chance to create more attractive deals on their behalf. This could be financially based—such as putting the full burden of closing costs on the buyer—but it can also be more personal, for example, choosing to only sell to a buyer who promises to continue with native planting or conservation efforts or who won’t hunt on the land.

Such a great seller’s market won’t stick around forever. If you’re thinking of listing, now is the time to get on board—and fast. Call your local agent to learn more about selling potential in your area, and use our easy online listing platform to get more eyes—and more offers—on your property.

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