As any landowner can tell you, selling a piece of property and getting your money's worth can be a tricky subject because everyone has different opinions about the value of your land. However, at the end of the day, it's important to remember that you are, in fact, the owner of the land, and that you don't always have to sell until the conditions are in your favor.
The problem is that, more often than not, some sellers pull the trigger too quickly or rely on their own knowledge to price their land. These approaches can hurt the odds of finding a buyer.
1. Not knowing the value of their property
Brad Morrison, broker for Mossy Oak Properties of the Heartland Woods N' Water Land in St. Joseph, Missouri, noted one of the biggest mistakes sellers make is not knowing how much their property is truly worth.
"[Sellers] hear stories from their neighbors about how much land sold down the road and do not verify it to be true," said Morrison. "Being a landowner myself, all owners are proud of their land, the improvements they have made as well as the big bucks they grow. But they have to realize the neighbor's property [grows bucks just as big] and produces the same bushel an acre of crops as their land."
Because sellers want to get the most out of their property, they frequently overprice their land. This is a common issue that goes deeper than just money because landowners need to be aware of a variety of factors that determine the real value of their land.
Just because a plot of land with the same acreage sold for a high price doesn't mean a piece of property of the same size should come with the same price tag.
For instance, the type of soil and the taxes incurred on the sale could affect the overall sale price more than landowners know, according to Morrison.
2. Not knowing the market
Being aware of just how much a piece of land will go for on the market only works to the benefit of the seller if he or she knows the conditions and the proper timing to sell.
The same piece of land can sell for more during one season compared to another, which is why it's best to do some research beforehand.
"While hunting ground sells all year round, the best time to look at hunting ground is winter, when you can see the features, deer trails, signs and the true layout of the land instead of just relying on an aerial map," Morrison said. "The same is true of agricultural land, as the optimum time to sell is usually fall to early spring. That way farmers can report to the FSA [Farm Service Agency] to be tillable and plan on the upcoming season of growing."
Morrison also suggests that soil tests be conducted on the land to determine exactly which types of crops are capable of growing on the land, which may affect the decision making process of buyers.
In addition, knowing how the market is performing both locally and regionally can help give a better level of understanding when it comes to pricing - not to mention, during certain economic times, it may be harder for buyers to secure loans from banks and other lending institutions. This could make it difficult for a seller to complete the sale despite the land being priced reasonably because of the lack of financing available to buyers.
3. Not reaching out for advice
Though being independent and confident are good qualities to have, the backing of a certified land specialist can be even more important when it comes time to sell.
There are a lot of factors, both internal and external, that go into completing a large sale, and both buyers and sellers want to be sure they are getting the best deal possible. Sellers may be too quick to simply take the first offer and move on. However, it could turn out that the land was more valuable than originally thought and that profits from the sale could have actually been higher.
It's always best to speak directly with an experienced professional, which sellers may not take advantage of as much as they should.
Morrison stated brokers at Mossy Oak Properties can, "give [sellers] an idea of the market in their area and the demand for their type of property."
Brokers can also bring price comparisons, recent listings of other properties and speak from experience with sellers about how quickly they can expect their land to sell. These factors are crucial things to keep in mind for any seller, as the trust and support of a specialist can go a long way in securing a profitable deal.
Don't make mistakes that can be easily avoided when selling sand. Instead, reach out to a professional from Mossy Oak Properties to getter more insight before making a sale.