From hunting to holidays, the seasons affect every part of our lives, and selling land is no different. However, the question for land owners remains: What time of year is best to list?
Time of year makes a big difference
It's no secret that the different seasons of the year can impact selling property. For instance, if you were to sell a house, chances are you'd be advised to enter the market in spring.
This time of year is known as prime selling season, as the weather is nicer, pools, gardens and other amenities are looking their best, and, most importantly, potential buyers aren't cooped up indoors because of a blizzard outside.
At the same time, some experts may say that listing during winter makes sense, too. With fewer home sellers entering the market at this time of year, it means less competition and the chance to fetch a higher price from dedicated buyers.
Still, selling land comes with its own unique ebbs and flows.
"In Arkansas, time of the year is important," said Robert J. Eason, co-owner and principal broker of Mossy Oak Properties Delta Land Management Company. "We always have several people looking all year especially for row crop farmland. That said, we have an increase in activity in the fall and winter months for waterfowl properties and most other hunting tracts."
In short, the type of land you're selling will likely impact when the best time to list is.
"When listing a farm we typically like to list during the summer growing season," Eason continued. "For hunting property, it is easier to sell it during the winter. It is easier to sell a waterfowl property when waterfowl are present."
Put yourself in the buyer's shoes
According to Eason, one rule of thumb for deciding when to sell land is to think about how the real estate will look to potential buyers.
"Many people do not have the imagination to visualize what a property looks like under flood," he said, using hunting land as an example. "When properties have ducks on them, they sell easier. I try to make sure that all my waterfowl listings are active throughout the winter."
Another important factor to consider is how different fluctuations in the economy may affect the value of land.
"A recent reduction in commodities prices may be a ticking time bomb for farmland prices," Eason continued. "If a property owner plans on receiving record prices for farmland, they need to act on it soon."
Timing matters, but it isn't everything
As important as the time of year can be for land sellers, it's also essential to not let the season dictate all your decisions.
"It is always possible to get a good deal," Eason said.
The season is just one of many factors sellers must take into account, in addition to elements like buyer demand.
Also, land owners should keep in mind how vital their marketing efforts will be to the overall process, just one reason why investing in the services of an experienced land broker can give sellers the edge they need.
Finally, the listing price a seller lands on, as well as the visual presentation of their real estate, will play a role.
"With the superior marketing ability of the mop network, the listing price is one of the main reasons properties do not sell," Eason said. "Also, a well-manicured property, whether a farm or recreational tract, will typically bring a premium."
In the end, it's a good idea to keep the time of year in mind when gearing up to list. However, don't forget to think about other factors in play, from the state of the current economy to how well maintained your land is.