So maybe I paid $50,000 for ten acres. Then I broke it in half and sold each five-acre tract for $50,000. And now everyone is asking me, “Huh? That makes no sense. Why didn’t your buyer just purchase the original ten acres for $50,000?”
There are a lot of reasons. The ten acres was maybe listed for $75,000, but I got it for $50,000 since I offered quick cash and negotiated hard. Then I made the land look like a golf course instead of a briar thicket. I fixed boundary or title problems or installed a culvert so that lookers could at least pull their cars off the road. I offered owner financing.
But Reason Number One is this: I make land shopping easy.
A listing agent stands to make $750 on this sale (1.5% of $50K) while I’m looking to put 50,000 new dollars in my pocket. With that in mind, let’s compare your experience dealing with me vs. dealing with that listing agent.
First, I always answer my phone and emails. You want to buy my land? You’ve got my full attention. The RE agent is much busier than I am, and she’s going in various directions at once. She may or may not take your call on your first attempt. And about half of us will forget to call back a second time. We have been unable to pursue appealing properties because it was just too much trouble to get the agent’s or owner’s full attention.
Even if you do get the agent on the phone, land is specialized, and he or she might not know much about it. Where is the land exactly? We’ve had agents show us neighboring tracts rather than the right one. It’s easy enough to do if you don’t have lots of experience.
Five minutes after hanging up the phone with me, you’ll receive an email package containing easy location maps, aerials, a simplified marketing plat, info about the deal, etc.
The RE agent? If she’s good, she’ll send you a plat, but often it will be indecipherable – a cluttered professional survey with odd wordings and complex numbers – and you may have a hard time figuring out how that plat fits in with the physical world.
My land has signs on it. FSBOs with my phone number – the same number you first called. But a realtor’s signs are more likely to be uprooted by the rural neighbors and tossed into the woods. We’ve seen that happen again and again.
My land has flagged corners, flagged lines, and lot numbers. So you’re sure you’re in the right place. If I gave you permission, you could walk around my property all by yourself. But of course there’ll be no need for that because I’ll be prodding you to please meet me out there in person so I can walk it with you (and have a face-to-face selling opportunity). A real estate lady? She’ll be nervous to go into the woods with you in the first place. Plus, she may have no clue where the corners are. There’s a good chance that the owner didn’t know the location himself and a better chance that he never showed them to the agent.
Five acres, 200 feet wide, will be 1,089 feet deep. (43,560 sq.ft. X 5 acres/200’ frontage = 1,089’ depth). Even a tough, male RE agent will be hesitant about walking with you a quarter mile into the brush. For a possible $750? Nah. That’s not a good ROI for him.
But I’ll do it. Happily. Chatting you up all the while about the features and benefits of owning this property. And I’m the actual owner. You can make a deal with me on the spot rather than speculating with the RE agent about what the owner might or might not do.
Rural land is a specialized business and I’m an experienced full-timer. Very few RE agents can keep up with me when it comes to marketing my land.
It’s the main reason I can sell my five acres for the same price as you’ve listed your ten acres.
But there are many more reasons. Let us know if you have questions about any of them.