Why Winter is Actually a Great Time to Sell Land

by Laura Mueller

In the world of real estate, winter is often considered a dead zone as far as sales go. But the same logic that applies to the housing market doesn’t quite translate to the land market. And in fact, there are actually a few reasons why winter might just be the ideal time to go live with your listing.

There’s no perfect time to list your property (we promise—we would tell you if there was!), but there are also no rules about certain times of year when you should wait it out. Below, we’ll cover some of the primary reasons that you should consider listing your property in the winter, and why you might have a lot more luck than you think.

1.Winter Doesn’t Mean Fewer Buyers

The biggest problem with selling a house in the winter is lower rates of demand. People are loathe to move in dreary weather and in the middle of a school year, so they usually stay put until early spring. But land buyers don’t have these same limitations. If a buyer wants land—for development, for recreation, or for any other reason—they’re going to stay on top of what’s out there so they don’t miss out on what they need, no matter what time of year it is.

2. Buyers Are Getting Ahead of the Game

People buy property for a lot of reasons, many of which are weather dependent. If a buyer wants land for building or planting, winter isn’t going to be the ideal time to do it. Instead of being an impediment though, it’s actually an advantage. Buying in the winter means that there’s still plenty of time to get everything in order before the ground starts to thaw and improvements or adjustments can be made. And a strongly interested buyer is going to take advantage of that and give themselves wiggle room to get the sale finalized and plans underway.

3. There’s Less Competition

A lot of land buyers still mistakenly believe that the seasonal slog of the housing market applies to land sales too. As such, you’re likely not going to be seeing as many new listings pop up as you would during other times of year. That’s very good news, especially when taken into consideration with the points above.

4. Winter Can Highlight Key Features of Your Property

Instead of thinking of all the things that winters takes away in terms of appeal, think of what it adds. There’s nothing like a blanket of snow to really show off the scope and size of a property, plus it gives you an opportunity to show buyers what winter access will look like. And with no A.C. to facilitate a comfortable walkthrough in the heat, it can actually be a benefit to forego a hot and humid showing in favor of a chilly one. Even better: no bugs!

There’s no way to predict how fast your land will sell, but don’t let winter weather deter you from going on the market. There are a lot of benefits to listing in the colder months, and it may be just the ticket to getting a leg up on the competition.

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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.

Most Costly Mistake Ranch Sellers Make

by Buzz Tatom
Engel & Völkers-Big Sky

The decision to sell a ranch is something that sellers usually have thought about for a period of time before the final decision is made to make a phone call to us. There are exceptions to this from sudden events, but even in that situation the thought has long been discussed over the dinner table. Some of our clients biggest regrets after working with EVRanchLand are that the Broker is not brought into the planning process of selling the property early enough. The most costly mistake is not getting started years before the ranch goes to market so there can be a long term plan that is considered and implemented over the last several years before a property hits the market. The reason I say this is in any selling of an asset timing is critical. There is always a range in the sale of a ranch, business or most any asset. If we are representing the seller, we try to hit the peak of that range and we can do it by spending some time preparing the asset for sale with the owner.

Here are several items that having a few years of effort and planning can lead to more dollars at time of sale.

Is the property clean and organized both physically and legally. Has it been decluttered? Most buyers don’t have the vision to see what the ranch could be so you need to try and paint a picture for them. Get rid of old equipment you aren’t using anymore and take the time to catch up on maintenance. House and all outbuildings need to look well kept. Buyers don’t want to take on cleaning up from years of living. If they do buy a property in disrepair they want to be compensated for the effort it will take to clean up the property.

Tax planning should be done well in advance so that Uncle Sam gets as few of the dollars you have worked so hard for. If the layout is where a house is near the entrance or border think about dividing it into a parcel where you can get your primary residence exemption sale that exempts $250,000 gain for singles and up to $500,000 for a married couple. Have you taken all losses on equipment that are possible? Do you want the money to go to a Trust for heirs? Are you going to consider doing a 1031 to shield some of the gains. These are all potentially huge savers of money and need to be planned out a few years in advance.

Legal planning is also incredibly important and can have a big impact on what a property will sell for. Make sure all easements are recorded. Water rights and mineral rights need to be understood. DNRC is an excellent resource to help you understand your water rights. Any legal actions should be put to bed before the ranch is put on the market. Uncertainty is not a good thing from a buyer’s perspective.

Wildlife management has become a huge factor in today’s world of recreational ranches and recreational values. If someone is looking for a recreational ranch and there are pictures of trophy animals or fish going back five years and you can show the progress in size and antler growth the job of selling that property just got a lot easier. Nothing makes a buyer reach for his wallet quicker than pictures of trophy animals and big fish. This can be done through extensive management of forage and harvest of the right animals. There is a science to it but it really isn’t hard to do and it can make a large impact in what you receive for the ranch.

Not overbuilding the property. This is the only one that doesn’t require the time factor but is important to mention. You don’t want to overbuild a home or outbuildings for the size of the property. I have seen more people take a beating by building a massive home or large outbuildings on a property with acreage of 500 acres or less. Properties that are 200 acres or less are really in danger of not getting their investment back if they outbuild a property.

If you consider and follow all of the above factors it will make a difference in what you sell your property for and what eventually goes in your pocket. Not difficult issues but you don’t need to be trying to do these things at the last second before you put the ranch on the market. Remember how hard you have worked through the years. Finishing the process off right gives a sense of pride and likely helps you sell your ranch at the top end of the range.

Buzz Tatom is an Advisor | REALTOR® with Engel & Völkers-Big Sky and is licensed in the state of Montana. EVRanchLand is a western land broker that covers the states of Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, California, and Washington. Our networked brokers have hundreds of years of combined experience and have been a part of numerous large transactions of legacy properties and ranches. Land Investments with Great Memories!

Benefits of Becoming a Wholesale Real Estate Investor

There are many different ways that people can invest their hard earned money. But most will say they feel far more secure in real estate investing or investing in property. At least they know they can hang onto it for the long term and have good expectations for a ROI.

Then there are others who like to see their investments grow much faster than that. For these individuals they may want to consider becoming a wholesale property investor.

What is Wholesale Real Estate Investing?

It is all about getting a contract for a house of interest. Then one immediately turns around and sells that house or the contract. Most often the buyer of these types of properties are those that want to buy a house cheap. Then fix it up and sell it for a profit.

Is This Allowed?

Every state has its own rules as to whether one can buy and sell houses this way. If they are not a licensed real estate agent. Each person interested in this has to check their State laws to see if it is permissible.

What is the Purpose of Wholesale Real Estate Investing?

The purpose is to make a reasonable amount of money with as little effort as possible. These type of real estate dealings are becoming quite popular. For several reasons.

  1. They are often a solution for the individual who wants to sell their house quickly. But their house is in poor condition. There are no expectations put on the seller to have their house inspected for the sale. Also, it is a cash deal so the seller gets all their money up front.
  2. For the Real Estate Agents who have these type of listings they can be time consuming, with very little profit. Being as they have to be sold for less than market value. Being able to sell to a wholesale property investor really makes it easy for them. There are no conditions being put on the house. No concerns about having to wait for financing approval.
  3. For the investors that are into the fixer uppers the wholesaler is a huge time saver. Trying to find these types of homes is time consuming. It means have to always be on the lookout and constantly searching all the various resources. If they are aware of the property wholesalers it is just a matter of checking out what they have available. It is quick and easy. Those that are fixing up houses want to concentrate on getting their purchase fixed and back on the market.

This type of system works for all parties. If they have reasonable expectations about what the value of the home is.  The home owner is usually happy to come out with something over and above their expenses. The realtor is making money even though less than what would be make on a standard type home.  The individual that is going to flip the home is still going to get the house at a good price. Maybe not as much as if they bought the house directly. But, they have saved on time, and time is money to these investors. Everyone comes out with a profit that they are satisfied with. Usually with traditional selling everyone wants the top dollar which quite often never happens anyway.

How successful Can One Be?

There are a lot of individuals that entering into this type of property investment. One individual  shares his success stories who was able to use the MLS as a resource for finding properties.

There are many more examples of this. This example is how twenty investors who are do very well are sharing their success.

The Right Approach

Don’t get caught up in the frenzy of everyone being an expert at this. Then pushing their educational products on how they can lead you to success. Becoming knowledgeable is going to be important. But, go about it the right way. Look for trustworthy courses and training. Or speak directly to some credible wholesalers who are going to guide you in the right way.

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When is YOUR Best Time to Sell Your House?

by Bella Scotton

A very common question when a homeowner is going to put their house on the market for sale is “When is the best time to sell”? A better question is “When is the best time for ME to sell”.

The general advice that is given in the real estate market industry for home selling is to sell your house when the market is hot. That’s fine in theory and it is tempting to make a good profit off the sale of your home, but what happens when the market is hot but the timing is not ideal for you. Is the profit you are going to make worth the sacrifices that you may have to make in your personal circumstances?

For example, it may be half way through the school year and the kids are at a pivotal point in their education. Or, will selling your home at a great price mean that you will have to buy another home in the area at a steep price because otherwise it may not be convenient to move elsewhere because of work  purposes.

Then you may be thinking that you can sell in a hot market and buy a fixer upper at a lower price so you don’t eat into the equity profits you have gained from the sale. However, what happens if you happen to have a very hectic lifestyle at the moment and there just isn’t any time to take on the home handyman role? But, if your personal circumstances will allow for it there are plenty of houses on the market for under $100,000. and depending on your flexibility this may be a golden opportunity for you especially if finances are big factor in your personal situation at the time.

These are just a few of the things that you need to think about when it’s the best time for YOU to sell your home.

Then there are times when you need to sell because of circumstances and the market may not be hot. Does this mean that you just have to bite the bullet and take a loss? Maybe not, as there is one success story when it comes to home selling that is quite unique in many ways but one significant way was in which the neighbors played a role in getting the house sold at a reasonable price.

In a nutshell the sellers lived in a very close knit community, and had reached a point in their life where they had to sell because of work reasons. The timing was definitely not right as far as the housing market went but this was a necessity and when the neighbors became aware of this they were split in their thoughts about the sale. The house needed to be prepared for presentation so half the neighbors pitched in to make this a reality. What it really came down to was presentation. Some felt that this was important while others didn’t. The conclusion was that presentation did play a very important role in this success story.

The bottom line is when you are thinking about selling your home, it has to be for the right reasons, and that the outcome of a successful sale is going to be a positive experience based on your personal needs. Plus, having some neighborhood support can be a great resource as well.



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