If you're new to the real estate business, buying and selling land can be mystifying. Knowing what to look for and how to get a good deal is important. It's also important to understand how buying and selling land is different from buying and selling a house. The following information can help.
All About Buying Land
Whether buying land to build a house or a building, it's important to understand the basics. Knowing what to look for on the plot of land before getting started can help buyers get the right plot of land for their needs.
Have a Pre-Determined Want List
Buyers who know what they want in advance can more easily identify a good property for them. Factors to consider include:
- Proximity to the road
- Busyness of the street
- Proximity to neighbors
- Lot size
- Number of mature trees
- Soil quality
- Proximity to water features
- Proximity to the nearest town or city
- Scenic qualities or views
Home buyers who know what they're looking for can avoid visiting plots of land that will be a waste of their time.
Ensure Land Is Zoned for the Development You Want to Pursue
Land zoning and usage restrictions can put a wrench in the works if they do not align with your plans for the property. You will need to explore the exact zoning regulations for the property parcel to ensure it allows for your development plans. The baseline zoning regulations should reflect whether the property was intended for residential, commercial or rural use. Specialty designations exist, as well, for historical, environmental and aesthetic areas. In certain areas, the residential and commercial zoning may also have subtypes that limit the type of structure you can build on the land.
You must verify that all your development plans align with the zoning and usage restrictions to move forward with your project. If your structure does not comply with the zoning laws, you could end up with hefty fines and orders to meet regulations. Therefore, confirm that the property meets all your development needs before buying to save yourself time and money.
You can also request zoning changes before you start working, but they are not guaranteed to be granted, especially if your project experiences much pushback from the public. If you want to pursue this matter before purchasing the property, you can place a clause in the purchase contract noting the approved waivers as a condition of the purchase. Make sure to include a cancel date within the contract verbiage to give yourself time to back out if zoning changes are not approved.
Plan to Get Tests Done
When buying a plot of land, it's important to perform environmental tests. In addition, a survey can ensure that the boundaries of the land have been properly marked. Getting both inspections done before purchasing the land will help ensure that the purchase is right for the buyer.
Pay In Cash
Getting a loan for land can be difficult because banks don't generally loan money for land without a house. The house or building on a plot of land is the leverage that the bank needs to ensure that the buyer will keep repaying the loan. Often, this means that land buyers must pay for their home in cash. Some buyers are able to find a lender who will finance land, but this is less common.
All About Selling Land
Selling land can be a challenge because interested buyers can be hard to find. The process of selling land can be time consuming, especially if the plot of land is not close to a populated area.
Pick the Right Price
It's important to pick the right price when selling land. Many land owners find picking the right price to be a challenge, because it's hard to find comparable properties. Working with a real estate agent can help.
Stage the Land
For many landowners, staging is a matter of keeping the property well trimmed and clean. Land owners who want to sell their land must visit regularly in order to keep the property in tip-top shape for buyers.
Take Professional Photographs
Working with a professional photographer can help ensure that there are good pictures of the land for the real estate listing. Pictures of the property should show it in the property's best light.
Landowners who finance the sale of the land may find it easier to find a buyer. It's helpful to work with a real estate professional and a lawyer to ensure that the paperwork for the financing is drawn up properly.
Work With A Real Estate Agent
If you're a Sitka landowner who would like to sell, or if you're a buyer who is looking for a plot of land, working with a reputable real estate agent is important. To get started, contact and interview reputable real estate professionals in your area.