If you’re in the business of selling real estate, chances are most of your listings are for properties featuring houses or buildings on-site. You’re a pro at getting these listings up and running on the MLS, and know exactly how to stage a room, what photos to take (and at what time of day), the language to use when describing a building and property, and each neighborhood’s draws to include in your description. The job is by no means easy, but you have the benefit of being able to describe the existing features that turnkey buyers seek.

A land listing is different from a standard home listing, and thus a different approach is required. When you’re selling a parcel of land, those existing features and structures don’t exist. Read on to learn the best ways to optimize land listings and increase your chance of closing on an unimproved property.

What is a land listing?

A land listing is an agreement in which a real estate agent handles the sale of a parcel of land or unimproved property for a fee or commission for service. (Unimproved land refers to a property that lacks services and utilities and is simply a large, open patch of dirt.) Parcels of land may be zoned as recreational, commercial, or residential. 

Best practices for creating a land listing

Know your potential buyer.
Consider the piece of land you want to sell. What are its most attractive features from a buyer’s perspective? Is the land convenient to shopping and the interstate or is it off the beaten path? Is there a view or access to water? Is the parcel located inside a neighborhood or out in the country? Answers to these questions won’t help you know who your buyer is, but they’ll help you target your marketing. 

Great photography works wonders.
The right picture really is worth a thousand words. Using a professional photographer to get great shots of the sunrise or sunset on a piece of property makes a world of difference in how potential buyers see a landscape.

As tempting as it may be to post a single image of a piece of land, it’s best to use many photos, just as with home listings. The property you’re selling may be the most important purchase of a buyer’s life, and they want to see all the flora and fauna they can while searching for the perfect spot on which to build their dream home.

READ: How to Take Picture-Perfect Photos for Land Listings

Give them a virtual tour.
A high-quality video tour is another great tool for selling a piece of land. Video gives potential buyers a clear sense of what a property is like without having to travel. Traditional video taken from the ground combined with aerial video shot via drone can make an excellent presentation. Music can be added to your virtual tour to evoke emotions like relaxation or excitement and encourage a buyer to purchase.

Describe the life they want to lead.
Instead of restating the basic features of a piece of land (“3 acres, mature trees, easy access to Route 66,” etc.), paint a picture of the life your ideal buyer wants to lead. It’s much more appealing to say something like, “Imagine coming home at the end of a long workday to your own private retreat on Miller’s Mountain. Admire the gorgeous sunset and listen to the sound of crickets chirping as you settle in for the evening, relaxing next to the burbling creek.”

Give them all the details.
Buyers want and need to know exactly what they’re getting into when they purchase a piece of land. A good real estate agent anticipates the needs of both buyers and sellers and includes all known details in the MLS. Important details include acreage, comps, history, condition, taxes, deed restrictions, and HOA information.

Map it out.
Local buyers are familiar with the area, but newcomers may have difficulty figuring out where a piece of property is located based on directions alone. Include a map in your listing data so potential buyers can estimate their commuting distance or travel time to other important places.

Price it right.
A Comparative Market Analysis is just as important when listing a piece of land as it is when listing a home. Choose three or more similar unimproved properties located close to the subject property. Look for the ones with the most recent closing dates.

READ: How to Write a Land Listing That Sells

Honesty is the best policy.
It’s never a good idea to exaggerate a property’s features to the point of inaccuracy. Overblown descriptions might get more showings, but ultimately lead to disappointment in the property and irritation with the person who misrepresented it. It’s a fast-track to a reputation as a dishonest agent, and it won’t help build a thriving business. Be sure your details and descriptions are true and accurate while positioning your property in the best possible light.

Residential land buyers often have a vision of the perfect place to build a home. They want to realize that vision and then customize their home with their own personal touches. Optimizing your land listings from a buyer’s point of view is the best way to make your customers’ dreams come true.

Have a land listing? Join our Preferred Agent Program to sell it faster and get paid more.

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