Most real estate agents and sellers understand the benefits of staging a home when it’s on the market. Vacant lots are really no different than homes, but very few agents ever coach sellers on how important it is to have a vacant lot ready for sale. Land typically does not get shown the way a home does. A buyer will grab a bunch of MLS sheets and then go on a road trip without their agent, expecting to find all the lots on their list. Imagine their frustration when they can’t find half of the lots and the other half just have a sign on a tree that may or may not actually be on the lot.
These are the things that should be done before the sign goes up.
- Have a current survey of the property
- Clearly mark all corners. If the lot is large, have a surveyor blaze the lines so a buyer can walk the entire perimeter of the lot.
- Clean up the lot. Remove any debris, dead trees, etc. Land is like a home, it should not be a mess when you put it on the market.
- If the lot is heavily wooded, clear out a trail or path so you can walk from end to end without needing a machete
- Know what utilities are available and where they are located. Never assume that just because the property is on a town road that power and phone run to the lot
- Have a current soil test done (if the property is not serviced by municipal sewer) One of the first questions a buyer will ask is “does this property perc?”
- Know what kind of road the lot is on. Is it a town or county road, or is it a private easement road that has to be maintained by the owners.
- Get information on zoning and recorded restrictions and covenants.
- If the lot is on a lake or river make sure that there is a path leading to the water.
- Complete a Real Estate Condition report. Disclosures on vacant land are just as important as disclosures on homes. Buyers want to know if there are wetlands on the property, if the property is in MFL, etc