What to Do When Your Land Isn’t Selling

by Laura Mueller

Real estate is a tricky market, and even the best of us might find ourselves sitting on a property investment that just can’t seem to snag a buyer. And while it might be tempting to get frustrated (or to assume that your land is just never going to sell), a better approach is to look for ways that you can optimize your listing and your approach in order to make a sale more likely to happen.

So how do you do it? Here are three things to do when your land isn’t selling.

1. Research the Market

If you’ve been working with an experienced real estate agent on your listing, then you should hopefully have a good idea of what market factors are possibly working against you. It’s possible that there’s just low demand across your area, or that lots of a certain size are selling while smaller or larger ones aren’t.

Of course, figuring out what’s going on in the market isn’t going to spur your sale—but it can help you strategize. Depending on unique market trends—both at present and historically—you may find that you’re better off pulling your listing for now and going live again later on. Alternatively, you may see that there’s plenty of land buying activity, which would suggest that there’s something else you need to work on if you want to find that perfect buyer.

2. Re-Evaluate Your Listing

Your land listing is a prospective buyer’s first window into your property. It’s also one of the most significant factors when it comes to determining whether someone requests a showing or not. If there are gaps in your listing, either in terms of information or imagery, then you could be unwittingly turning away otherwise interested buyers right off the bat.  

A good thing to do at this stage is to enhance your listing and make it more robust. That could mean adding some drone video shots, bulking up your property description, and/or bringing out a professional photographer to take more effective still imagery.

For assistance in this area, it helps to get an objective set of eyes on your listing from someone who isn’t yourself or your agent. Ask a trusted friend or advisor (ideally one with some experience in the land market) to look over your listing and point out any inadequacies or flaws.

3. Expand Your Network

Finding a buyer often just comes down to effective marketing. Is it possible that you’re being too narrow with your marketing efforts, or that you’re neglecting to utilize all of your channels for promotion?

Along with your real estate agent, go back to the drawing board and come up with a broader marketing approach that can help you get more eyes on your property. Make sure that you’re taking advantage of all possible marketing platforms, including aggregate listing sites, social media, and print media. The more you can expand your pool of potential buyers, the better chance you have of finding the right one.

Don’t get discouraged if your land isn’t selling. Instead, get creative. As with all business endeavors, sometimes a simple change in approach is all that you need to get over the hurdles standing in your way.

Why You Should Be Staging Your Land For Sale

So you’ve won the listing on your next great land deal. You have motivated sellers offering a slice of the country that will evoke a sense of idyllic countryside life and nature appreciation in any prospective listing client. So now what? Convention would dictate that the first step would be to head out, grab some photographs and get this thing on the market as soon as
possible in order to maximize your exposure to the market. But what if convention is wrong?

Land normally does not sell itself, and requires a special touch to maximize the inherent value to new clientele. That is why we all got into this business right? It is the unique ability of a land agent to communicate to new clients the promise of opportunity in a listing; what assets set this parcel apart from the rest, and how it is a strong investment value in a market which can offer many similarities, all competing for buyer views. So how do you set yourself apart from the fray? Let’s take a cue from the residential side of the business to see how a land agent can consider maximizing their resources to reach a better end result; staging a land parcel for sale.

Who Says Staging Works?
In considering why there is even a staging industry surrounding residential listings, the only conclusion that we can come to is – it works! But don’t take my word for it. ​The National Association of Realtors Research Department authored an entire study on the practice in 2017, and their own findings levy the reasoning as to why staging is not only a common practice, but a preferred practice. Respondents across the country noted that as sellers’ agents, 38% preferred to stage prior to listing, with 14% noting they only stage if a home proves difficult to sell. Combining those stats together, we can see that over one-half of all polled residential agents considered staging a must to move a property! Digging into the numbers further, the study shows just how important both the buy and sell sides find staging
to be.

Buyers’ agents responded that 49% considered staging had an effect on a buyer’s view of the home, in addition to 77% noting this staging made it easier for them to visualize the property as a future home. One-third went as far to opine that staging a home increased the dollar value offered between 1% – 5% compared to other similar un-staged properties on the
market. Sellers’ agents reported even more engaging numbers, with 39% citing that staging greatly decreased the amount of time the home is on the market, 29% noting a dollar value increase of 1% – 5% when compared to similar homes, and 21% reporting an increase in dollar value of 6% – 10%.

Why Stage It Anyways?
I get it, land real estate is not residential real estate, so that make these numbers irrelevant right? Well, not so fast. There is more than meets the eye when it comes to the ​concept of staging a property, rather than how it is actually staged. While we may not be talking about modern living room sets and finely placed decor accents, any land property, improved or not, can still take some lessons from their residential cousins. Staging your land listing can create an emotional impact, offer a sense of scale, and lead to a more positive impact for your prospective buyer, as well as the surrounding community.

Make A Connection: An unimproved parcel is a blank canvas for sure, but it can also feel like a vapid, empty space for some buyers. Not all prospective buyers have an improvement/usage vision in mind, and many who do, might not have an idea ready for your specific property. So, help your buyers get there and connect emotionally with your listing! Staging a land listing, whether for photos or showings as well, can make what was once just another acreage parcel now seem full of life and purpose.

Put It in Perspective: Just as with creating an emotional connection to your listing, help buyers get a sense of scale with the property. A pasture that is overgrown and has failing fence lines can feel not only neglected, but also appear smaller and less usable. The fix? Consider investing in a little time with a bush hog and some post hole work. What about a vast parcel with million-dollar views you might ask? Hereto, consider lifestyle subjects for your photographs, such as horses and riders, giving not only a sense of scale to those vistas, but also implying to buyers that this is a property to be experienced, not just looked at.

Keeping Up with The Joneses: ​For rural land parcels, whether a small ranchette or a thousand-acre ranch, a sense of pride in the land is evoked in every owner. While some properties may fall into disrepair over time, small investments in the properties along the roadway are noticed by adjacent neighbors, and they too will often consider the ‘curb appeal’ of their landholdings. With the data from NAR to back up the idea that staging can bring in a higher dollar value, it can be reasoned that sprucing up the
property to bring that value up not only helps in your sale, but also increases the property values for the neighbors as well. And who wouldn’t be proud to invest in their land whose value just increased as a result of your staged sale?

To take the most advantage of these considerations, plan to reach out to a marketing specialist who can put a professional touch on your listing, and remove the stress from managing the maximization of your ROI. ​White River Ranch Marketing specializes in Lifestyle Staging on western mountain gentleman ranch listings to not only create an emotional connection via aspiration marketing, but utilizing our ​horses and riders as lifestyle
subjects​ also serves to promote that sense of scale in your online and print presentations.

Wait, How Do I Even Stage A Land Listing?
We all know this for a fact: first impressions matter. With that elementary concept out of the way, let’s look at how today’s land agent can take advantage of industry trends and use land staging to increase their business. First, in considering those first impressions, we should truly consider where your primary impression of a buyer is made in the 21st century. Is it at the ranch gate on a client tour? Not likely! In an article posted on ​RLI’s Voices of Land Blog​, I argue that “knowing that 9 out 10 of buyers used a website, with 7 out of 10 researching properties via a mobile device, any good agent should ensure their web presence matches
these up-and-coming trends and they are maximizing the extent of their online influence with websites, aggregations tools, and social media.” In shorter terms; buyers are finding your listing ​online, ​potentially before they may even reach out to an agent. So how does the new century land agent use this in their favor?

Enter staging! Whether you choose to stage for photographs or for ranch tours (or both) you can do so knowing NAR data backs up not only the need to do so, but also the benefit in focusing on the buyer’s experience. ​In my RLI article​, I quote NAR data showing that “greater than 8 in 10 buyers found photos and detailed property information the most important considerations in their research”. To follow, NAR’s Staging Study notes that 40% of buyers are willing to walk through a staged home they saw online. Bringing this all full circle, we can see that historical listing convention may not hold true, and the first step isn’t getting photographs and marketing your listing; but rather take a step back, consider your listing holistically from the perspective of the buyer, and work on a staging plan before your
first photos go out. Because that just may be the thing that brings you next buyer in!

Staging Plan – An Action Item List.
Having purchased dozens of rural land and ranch properties, I can attest from the buyer’s side what an impression a well-managed property can make on prospective client. It’s the details that matter, so work with your sellers to create a game plan and budget to elevate their property to achieve the maximum amount of interest. Here are a few actionable ideas to

Curb Appeal: ​Start with the basics. Fix the entry gates, spray for weeds on the drive, trim down low hanging branches and declutter the approach to the house or viewpoint of the property. Focus on making that good first impression to those who take the effort to tour the property.

Good Fences, Good Neighbors: Making a ranch ‘move in ready’ is just as important as with a residential property. Work with the sellers to mend the fence line, gates & livestock facilities. If the land is totally unimproved, consider placing brightly painted lathe stakes as boundary markers when showing, so buyers know where their land meets their neighbors.

Pasture a Plenty​: Overgrown pastures signal undue work, and potentially property neglect. Nothing smells better than a freshly mowed field. Arrange for land assets to be properly taken care of prior to photographs and showings.

Know ​Thy Bounds​: Buyers today are incredibly computer savvy, and if you’re marketing a property online and they can only see a map with an address pinpoint, you’re doing yourself and your seller a major disservice. Invest in a quality online interactive acreage map, whether it be created in-house or utilizing a service company to build one for you. The small cost of this investment can pay multiples in convincing a potential client to call on your listing. Remember, 90%+ of buyers research real estate online! If you’re marketing land, get a true land map.

Early to Rise: If the property has hunting or fishing assets, spend some time with the seller to highlight and shore up these benefits. Make access easy and safe, and plan to include this in your description and tours.

Born in a Barn: If there are equipment or livestock improvements, cleaning up and repairing these assets can be a very valuable return on your time and dollar investment. Buyers want and may need to make use of these right away if transferring equipment or animals to the new property, so spend some time on making that farm or ranch look and feel like a working farm or ranch.

Water, Water Everywhere: Do you know where the water for the property is coming from? If it’s well water, spend time at the local water board to have title documents and well data available for clients to review. Know the share allotment and withdraw volumes, and seniority limits. Is the land ditch or irrigation fed? If so, know the controlling entity and their contact information, and have proof of the original shares transferable with the sale.

Accommodation Doctrine: Parcels large and small may be subject to underlying mineral right claims, and knowing how these may impact the surface estate can set a knowledgeable agent apart, and also influences the property valuation. Sellers may have simple knowledge you can pass along to clients on existing claims, but it’s always best to defer to a mineral rights attorney.

Warrantable Defense: Speaking of existing claims, not all happen underground. More readily available and verifiable are other outstanding surface easements or claims against the land estate that can impact the property. The status of easements, rights-of-way, or entitlement claims can put the brakes on any deal, so an agent should plan to research the clarity of title to the lands to paint a clear picture of the true ownership of the ground.

Now armed with knowledge and data on how staging can positively impact your next land real estate listing, be sure consider the above action items to maximize the value on your listing and attract the most views. Focus on your online presence and presentation first, and invest in those tools which can draw a large pool of clients into your listing. The more lines
you cast, the better the chance of a bite. The more bites, the better the better chance of a closed deal!

Reference Citations:
“2017 Profile in Home Staging”, National Association of Realtors, 2017
https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/migration_files/reports/2017/2017-profile-of-home-st aging-07-06-2017.pdf
“Real Estate Buyer Online Research Trends to Leverage in 2019”, RLI Voices of Land, Noonan, 2019

About the Author: Chris Noonan, CPL, MSc, is the President and Co-founder of White River Ranch Marketing LLC. An AAPL Certified Professional Landman, Chris is lending his decade plus of experience in energy land contracts, ranch buying, asset mapping and land use affairs to the farm and ranch land real estate industry via his startup, WRRM – designed to expand the virtual impact of land brokers and their listings throughout the US. www.whiteriverranchmarketing.com

Take Your Listing to the Next Level With Aerial Images

Aerial Images 1a

by Caroline Kirby

You may have an incredible piece of property that is completely unique, but the truth is if your listing is lackluster then you’re just making things harder on yourself. You may think your property is so great it could sell itself, but if your listing doesn’t do it any justice, then you won’t be attracting the attention you need to sell.

Nearly 90% of land buyers are looking online for their next purchase, and you should be taking the right steps to make your listing stand out from the rest. We’ve talked before about how to improve your listing photos, but today we have a new idea!

Using aerial imagery to grab attention and show off your property. Haven’t used a drone or considered using one before? Here’s why you should.

Using Drones to Sell Your Property

Give yourself, and your listing, a competitive edge with some high-quality drone imagery. Here are a few ways that photos from above could help get your listing sold!

  1. Highlight Key Features: Give potential buyers a real look at the land and show off any exciting or notable features. Potential key areas could be timber, rivers/streams, a cabin or hunter’s lodge. If you’re using drone imagery specifically for selling real estate then you could highlight a spacious backyard, a pool, or even impressive landscaping.
  2. Give a Tour: An exciting aspect of using drones is the ability to create a sort of virtual tour for potential buyers. You can program a flight path around the property (even through a home) and offer prospects a better, more intimate look that is likely to draw them in much more than stationary photography.
  3. Grabs Attention: When buyers spend hours looking through slideshows online a high-quality aerial shot accompanied with video is sure to get their attention. If you have a large piece of land or even estate this drone footage automatically offers a more accessible way to tour the property—rather than a couple of hours of walking through the property.
  4. Capture the Essence of the Property: Buyers know that real estate photos are staged and that they’re getting the best look at the property, but when you use drone imagery and video it makes the viewer feel as if it’s a more authentic look at the property and shape their experience before they even set foot on the property.

These four reasons just scratch the surface of how drones could improve your listings, but we think it’s enough to get you thinking. Before we wrap up we would like to touch on two important restrictions to using drones for land listings.

Things to Consider

While not dire, the following two cons of using drones should be taken into account when planning for drone photography.

  • Security Risk: Aerial imagery offers unparalleled opportunities to show off your property, and when viewed by the right people it is innocent, but just as all things on the internet these pictures are available to anyone. You must consider that posting aerial shots of your home and property offer thieves a different perspective of your property and could pose potential security risks.
  • Privacy: Drones have been a touchy issue regarding privacy because when taking aerial shots you can assume that your neighbor’s property will also be in the picture. If you have neighbors, we advise you speak with them beforehand and ask for permission or edit the images by cropping or even blurring out neighboring property.

Sell Your Land

We hope that these tips have opened your eyes to exciting new opportunities for selling your land faster! Good quality photos will attract buyers and by offering a new perspective with aerial imagery you’re likely to get more attention on your listings!

If you’re ready to post your listings check out our plans here. Looking to buy? We have hundreds of properties across the country! Take a look at our site for more information on buying and selling property and don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions.

Like this article? Please feel free to share or post a link on your site: https://www.landhub.com/blog/take-your-listing-to-the-next-level-with-aerial-images/

Selling a Vacation Home vs. an Investment Home: What are the Differences?

Selling a Vacation Home vs. an Investment

by Mark Bingaman

As the overall real estate market continues its rebound, buyers are becoming more and more confident with the idea of purchasing a vacation home for their own enjoyment or an investment property to instigate cash flow and/or serve as a retirement stash.

If you’re a LandHub.com seller (or intend to list property, acreage or a vacation home for sale), the numbers listed below can help you frame a better understanding of potential buyers and adjust your advertising efforts (and copy) accordingly.

While statistics are not yet available for 2016 vacation home or investment property purchases, the numbers from 2015 provide some interesting details on buyers of both types of properties.

According to a report by the National Association of Realtors, the median sales price of both vacation and investment homes spiked in 2015. The median vacation home price was $192,000, up 28.0 percent from $150,000 in 2014. The median investment-home sales price was $143,500, up 15.3 percent from $124,500.

Profile of Investment Property Buyers

Most purchasers of investment homes or properties (42%) cite rental income as their chief reason for buying land or a house, with that number increased by 5% from the previous year. As you may expect, the other most significant motivations for the purchase are low prices, good deals, and the potential for price appreciation.

The average household income for an investment home buyer is $95,800, with the most common investment home purchase (62%) being that of a detached, single-family home with a median distance of 22 miles from the buyers’ primary residence.

Owing to the rising demand for rental housing in cities, investment purchases in urban landscapes increased to 29%, although the majority of such investments (41%) are still made in the suburbs, with the southern United States the most active geographic region overall for any of these types of land purchases.

Profile of Vacation Home Buyers

The majority of vacation home buyers (58%) lay down their money for single-family homes, while the number of those interested in condos (25%) or town homes (13%) has decreased.

Beach areas (40%) are the most popular spots for vacation home buyers, followed by a mountain or lake setting (19%) and country (16%) locales.

vacation-home1The typical vacation home buyer has a median household income of $103,700 and purchases property an average of 200 miles from their primary residence.

Most buyers intend to own the property for under a decade (7 years) and plan to use it as a vacation spot or family retreat (37%) or as a retirement (16%) option. Only a smattering of folks view their vacation home purchase as a potential cash-flow property via rentals.

The South claims nearly half of all vacation home purchases (47%) followed by the West (25%), Northeast (15%), and Midwest (13%).

A quick scan through LandHub.com makes it clear that our site is loaded with plenty of great properties ideal for vacation homes and investment purchases. As consumer confidence in the real estate market continues to increase, we’re pretty happy to be in a place to help folks sell your land, and land your dream!

Source: http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2016/04/vacation-home-sales-retreat-investment-sales-leap-in-2015



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