If you’re considering selling a piece of land, chances are you have a lot of questions. You’re probably also hoping to sell your land fast and for the best possible price. That’s why it’s essential to list your land with an experienced broker who knows exactly what they’re doing.“Anybody can put a sign up on a piece of property,” says Allen Olmsted of Canaan Realty, which specializes in land sales across the entire state of New York. “But you need to ensure you work with a broker who has the depth of understanding to be fully competent in evaluating the property and all of its unique qualities, as well as how and where to market it.”
So what can you do to make sure you partner with the right land broker? With 30 years of experience in selling New York land and the highest volume of land sales across the state, Allen offers a few insights to help you select the best Realtor for your needs.
When choosing a land broker, one of the most important qualities they must possess is a full understanding of the four types of land: commercial, residential, recreational, and agricultural. Each type also has multiple subcategories that can change a seller’s circumstances. For example, if the land is agricultural, the agent must be well versed in its various uses, such as equine, beef cattle or dairy.
In addition, brokers must be adept in what is happening with the local zoning and tax laws that apply to the location of the land. If you’re looking to subdivide your property, each municipality has its own regulations for doing so. And then there are properties associated with wetlands, which present an entirely different set of challenges.
Needless to say, many factors must be assessed before the land is sold. “Finding somebody who is experienced with the uniqueness of the land is very important, as there are nuances in certain areas that may affect the timeline or long-term value of your asset,” says Allen. “They need to be alert to aspects of the property that may dramatically change its marketability.”
Finding the Right Buyer
After a thorough evaluation of your property, your broker should help determine a target buyer and how best to reach them. For instance, residential land is almost always sold to a residential buyer, but agricultural and commercial land can appeal to a variety of buyers, such as recreational companies or investors. These issues will influence the marketing of your property and help identify interested buyers who are most likely to make an offer.
One telltale indicator of a seasoned land broker is his or her willingness to utilize multiple listing services. However, with over 100 websites to list properties on, Allen says it’s essential for Realtors to choose the ones that would be most beneficial for your specific type of land – even if it means paying a high premium to be featured.
You may also have questions about when to sell your land. From Allen’s perspective, the answer is quite simple. “The best time to sell is when you’re ready – period,” he says.
The right broker will offer accurate advice about the current land market, how your property fits in and what to consider as a reasonable timeline. They can also help you understand the ups and downs of the market cycle. However, they can’t make you any promises. A skilled Realtor can help determine an appropriate price for the current land market and promote your property to the best of their ability, but ultimately the length of the sale will be determined by the number of interested buyers.
Ready to List Your Land?
Though listing and selling a property can be difficult, complete transparency between you and your agent will contribute to a successful sale. “The simple fact is the truth will set you free,” says Allen. “Brokers need to show buyers compassion and the understanding of value.”
NYLand.forsale, a branch of Canaan Realty, leans on Allen’s expertise to offer land and real estate listings across New York, including the Catskills, Albany, Buffalo and Rochester areas. If you’d like to learn more about buying and selling land, contactAllen today.
You can also check out his video blog series, Ask Allen, in which the latest episodeexplains how using a Land Realtor Specialist can help you buy or sell land. If you have additional questions about the land market, let Allen know what you’d like to hear him vlog about next by sending an email to [email protected].
If you’re thinking about purchasing land in New York, now might just be the best time to do so. Allen Olmsted, a Syracuse-based Realtor with 30+ years experience in buying and selling land, says that market trends are looking especially good at the moment. As thousands of his clients have found success over the years, Allen and his team at Canaan Realty have seen firsthand just how smart an investment in land can be.
Buying Land Is an Excellent Investment Opportunity
According to Olmsted – who has sold over 100,000 acres of land across the state – most buyers love the simplicity of land investment. It’s stable, long-term and hands-off. Especially when compared to the stock market, owning land is far less stressful. It doesn’t wear out or depreciate with time. And most importantly, even though it’s a finite resource, there’s a lot of land available in New York right now.
Currently, Canaan Realty has more than 100 listings on their website, spanning from just outside New York City all the way to Buffalo. “In my opinion,” Olmsted says, “land is always a great investment. If purchased correctly at a fair market price, land will retain or even increase its value even if it’s never developed.”
In order to get the most value for your investment, however, it’s important to choose land with discernment. It’s all about understanding what the land has to offer and how other factors might influence its value. With that said, even if you don’t have any prior investment knowledge, you can still find success with buying land as long as you have the right guidance.
The Buying and Selling Process Is Easier than You Think
By nature, the land real estate market is fairly complicated. Not to mention, less familiar than buying and selling houses. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Olmsted says all you have to do is make a few decisions about what you want, and the Realtor can take care of the rest.
One of the first things to decide is which type of land you want to purchase. There are four main types:
Next, you have to think about what you want to do with the land. Do you want to build today, or perhaps in the future? Will you use it for camping or hunting? Then it’s time to identify your top three priorities. Some examples of common features include location, size, views, school district, slope and waterfront access. At this point, you’re ready to weigh your top priorities against your budget.
Olmsted, who’s deeply passionate about land and has regularly navigated complex land sales, says that there may be additional factors to consider. For agricultural properties, you’ll want to know how much open ground is available and how much is tillable, as well as the soil composition. Additionally he says that hops, hemp and marijuana are some other emerging markets for land and present particular considerations as well.
For commercial properties, he suggests looking to see if there are any incentives, like tax breaks, to take advantage of. In addition, Olmsted says he likes to help buyers assess traffic conditions as well as navigate through different approval processes that may be required in regards to state permits or municipality approval.
If you’re looking at a residential property, it’s important to find out what utilities are already in place. For those that are missing, figuring out how to get them there is key. And finally, for waterfront properties, Olmsted encourages his customers to think about how floodplains and zoning might affect the land.
“Something new that’s been coming up more and more recently is solar,” he adds. “I’ve helped a lot of land owners navigate that process, too, issues like obtaining interconnectivity agreements from the local utility to conducting environmental studies of the land.”
Lenders Are Expanding Their Land Financing Options
In the past, buyers struggled to get financing for land. In many cases, banks simply weren’t familiar with land sales and were hesitant to lend. “Back when I first started,” Olmsted recalls, “there were very few lenders who would finance land. But that’s really changed in the last 10 to 15 years.”
Right now, it’s a lot easier to find lenders who are willing to finance larger properties at the right value, all in one piece. For example, buyers can finance a house on a 50-acre plot in a single package rather than splitting them up.
So far, Canaan Realty has had the best luck with privately held institutions, like credit unions and savings banks. They often recommend Syracuse Securities, Community Bank Farm Credit East, among others, to their buyers looking for financing help.
Learn More about Land Today
As Olmsted and his team at Canaan Realty demonstrate, the buying and selling process can go much faster and smoother if you have someone with the right industry knowledge, an intimate familiarity with the area and an understanding of the language to explain everything and walk you through the process.
If you’re interested in buying land in New York, browse the current listings available at nyland.forsale. And if you have any questions about investing, financing, marketing or selling, you’re welcome to contact Olmsted by calling 888-457-6261. As one of the leading land experts in the state, he’s happy to lend a hand wherever he can.
Allen talks about the complicated process of buying and selling commercial properties and land.
Allen explains why fall in Upstate New York is the perfect time to buy or sell land.
Allen discusses his philosophy on being involved in helping clients buy and sell land real estate.