4 Tips for Selling Land to Developers

by Laura Mueller

All empty land has the potential to become something great. And for individuals who purchase expansive plots in both established and up and coming towns, greatness may just mean a large payout from a commercial or residential developer. Developers are often willing to pay a very high price for land that meets their needs, and if you’ve gotten in early you can make a pretty penny on what might have been a small initial investment.

Selling land to developers is lucrative, but it’s not always easy. Regardless of their intentions, a developer needs to find land that fits their budget, is the right size for their project, and can be properly set up with utilities and other necessities required for their building plans. So if you want to compete, you’ve got to make sure you’re optimizing your chances. Here are four tips for selling land to developers that will help you stand out and—hopefully—close that deal.

1. Work with an agent

This one is a simple one, but it’s surprising how many people don’t realize the importance of working with a qualified and experienced real estate agent until they’ve been sitting on the market for months. Agents bring a few big benefits to your endeavor, including advice from their own experience helping clients buy and sell in the land market, as well as connections with developers and their agents. Find an agent who you enjoy working with as soon as you can, and make use of the fountain of knowledge they can bring to the table.

2. Know what your land is zoned for

Here’s another tip that seems obvious but often isn’t. Developers need to find land that is already zoned for their purposes—not the other way around. While it is possible to appeal for and sometimes successfully achieve changes in what a parcel is zoned for, it’s crucial that you know your zoning starting point. You likely already know what your land is and is not zoned for, but if you’re not 100 percent sure, work with your local Building and Planning Department to get the answers that you need.

3. Focus on expansion

The size of your land is a big determinant in how attractive it is to developers. Many developers have big plans that require purchasing multiple land lots, so why not own as many pieces of the puzzle as you can? If there’s land available adjacent to your parcel and it’s in your budget to make a purchase, consider expanding your plot. Not only will you make it more feasible for large development projects, you’ll also get a much bigger payout when you do find the right buyer.

4. Always be networking

You never know who’s going to make that key connection for you. While your listing will be published on aggregate listing sites, it’s still a good idea to spread the word about what you’re trying to sell and who you’re trying to sell it to. You may get lucky and have someone connect the dots for you by introducing you to a developer who is on the hunt for exactly what you’re looking to sell.

Selling land to the right developer may take time, but there’s the potential to make a lot of money in the process. Stay patient, and follow the tips above to increase your chances.

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