COVID-19 and Land Sales: A Full-Service, No-Contact Approach for NYLand.forsale
On March 22, New York State issued an executive order directing businesses classified as nonessential to shut down on-location offices and work remotely if possible. For real estate brokerages, that meant finding a way to continue operations from afar – a challenging concept in an industry that’s so personal.
Meanwhile at NYLand.forsale by Canaan Realty, a leading land brokerage based in Syracuse, Allen Olmsted and his team made the transition to working from home a seamless process thanks to the firm’s preexisting business model. By offering clients thorough listing information and user-friendly mapping technology, the brokerage is encouraging buyers and sellers alike to support the local economy by completing land transactions virtually.
“We recognize the significant loss people are going through, from job loss to the stock market. And from our little part of the world, we’re doing what we can to keep the economy moving forward,” says Allen. “Now is a great time to be in New York State’s land marketplace, and our transactions can be fully negotiated without in-person contact.”
How Virtual Land Transactions Work
According to Allen, NYLand.forsale’s listings have seen an uptick in inquiries since early April, partially due to buyers with time on their hands, increasing opportunities for sellers to complete transactions faster. This increased demand is also thanks to the brokerage’s easy virtual setup that allows buyers to tour properties safely.
“Over the past 30 years, our business model has been to know our properties very well,” Allen explains. “Because we have very comprehensive information, quality photos, and advanced mapping, many people over the years – and especially now – can view any of our properties online, as well as conduct their own personal tour.”
From the type of land and acreage to a vivid picture of a property’s stunning views, NYLand.forsale allows clients to view land listings through an interactive smartphone app. With GPS-like technology and detailed information about each property, buyers can explore the property and find out what they need to know to make an informed decision. To accommodate buyers who’d like to view the property in person, Allen is monitoring state social distancing orders to adapt to a new, contact-free process.
“We’ve been doing virtual and self-guided tours for decades, and our clients love how easy it makes the process,” says Allen. “But using this feature doesn’t mean you won’t get our personalized attention. I need to know everything about the seller’s property and buyers’ goals, so there’s always an open line of communication.”
Anticipating a Busy Market
From Allen’s perspective, buyers and sellers who are ready to proceed with their land transactions shouldn’t hesitate due to the social distancing measures associated with COVID-19. The New York land market has persevered through the pandemic, offering fair market prices while maintaining appropriate social distance.
“Based on what we’ve seen so far, there’s a trend of buyers from the Tri-State Area looking for more rural land in response to COVID-19, while others are simply looking for a vacation or recreational property,” says Allen. “In the markets in the Southern Tier and a few hours outside of New York City, we do see that potential for a busy spring and summer.”
“If you’re considering selling, now is a very good time to be on the market,” Allen adds. “We’re not guaranteeing it’ll be sold today, but being out there will expose your property to a new wave of buyers who will see it.”
To learn more about buying or selling land in NY, be sure to check out the Ask Allen video blog series, which answers important questions from both buyers and sellers. Submit questions to Allen or ask about his featured properties in New York State by emailing [email protected] or contacting NYLand.forsale by Canaan Realty today.
Questions to Ask Yourself When Buying or Selling a Plot of Land
For those looking to buy or sell a plot of land in the state of New York, many different factors can impact the success of a transaction. Property values can fluctuate based on the plot’s proximity to fuel supplies, municipal sewer or septic lines, and much more, making it important to work with a professional who knows the ins and outs of this real estate niche.
That’s exactly who buyers and sellers find when they choose to work with Allen Olmsted of NYLand.forsale by Canaan Realty, a leading land broker based out of Syracuse, NY. Having helped countless people buy and sell land, he primes each of his clients so they know exactly what questions to ask when as they enter a transaction.
“When you know exactly what questions to ask, you can get all the information you need about a property and foster an open, honest line of communication with your buyer or seller,” Allen says. “This way, you’ll be much more likely to strike a great deal on your land, whether you’re buying or selling.”
Questions All Buyers Should Ask
When scouring the market for the perfect piece of land, buyers should err on the side of caution to make the smartest investment possible. But with so many factors to consider, property hunters must be sure to do their research well before visiting their first plot.
“Buyers should always do their research, whether it’s online or by speaking to a broker, so they can determine exactly what their property goals are,” Allen says. “They should ask themselves how many utilities they want, what sort of fuel they prefer, and other important determining factors.”
Oftentimes, buyers prefer their land to have access to natural gas. But they also should ask themselves whether this feature will make or break their purchase. In many cases, alternatives like propane and fuel oil are often available in its place, warranting some deeper consideration from buyers.
Aside from these power sources, buyers should also determine their potential land’s access to municipal sewer or septic lines. While extensions can be put in place to reach these regulated systems, some buyers may want to consider putting in their own septic system. In these cases, the importance of testing cannot be understated, especially when even more money is on the line.
Important Considerations for Sellers
Although their goal is different from that of buyers, sellers should still consider the same things. For example, sellers should be able to answer any questions about their property’s utilities, including electricity, cable, high-speed internet, and other capabilities. Most importantly, they should be able to relay the extent to which their property is usable and buildable to prospective buyers.
“Sellers also need to talk to their brokers to find out exactly what they should learn about their property,” Allen says. “I often suggest that my clients learn whether their lot has been approved by the local town, how much it might cost to get connected, and anything else that will help them become the expert on their land.”
No matter what, sellers should always take the appropriate steps to keep their eyes wide open about the reality of their properties. With a limited pool of land buyers, they need to be able to wow whichever prospects come their way with honesty, good communication, and the right price.
“Sellers should always have their property tested for whatever their buyers will want to know,” Allen says. “That way, if any issues come up, they can address it directly with the buyer from the get-go. In my experience, sellers who follow this advice have more success.”
For those interested in receiving more insights about land buying or selling, Ask Allen is a video blog series that answers pertinent questions from buyers and sellers alike. To ask questions directly or learn about Allen’s featured Upstate New York properties, contact him at [email protected] or contact NYLand.forsale by Canaan Realty today.
Navigating the Evolving Market of Rural Land in New York State
There was once a time when rural land was primarily purchased by dairy farmers or beef operations seeking a sustainable location to conduct their businesses. While these operations continue to be strong options across the state, New York land owners have been forced to consider how a once traditional pool of buyers has significantly changed over the past decades.
Yet for rural land owners looking to sell their property, there is good news. According to Allen Olmsted of New York Land for Sale by Canaan Realty, a leading brokerage for land sales, the uses of rural land are evolving, affording sellers opportunities to attract new kinds of buyers.
“We’ve seen several alternate uses for rural land, from alpaca farms and different types of livestock to windmill operations,” says Allen. “Sellers have to think outside the box, which is where we come in. There is good reason to use a land specialist who can identify alternate land uses that would be economically viable, as well as generate market value for the real estate.”
Identifying Alternate Uses
Across the state of New York, Allen has noticed that agricultural types of rural properties aren’t as appealing to traditional dairy and cattle farmers – especially for those who operate small businesses. Whether the industrialization of these industries or emergence of alternative products to meat and dairy are to blame, rural land sellers have been forced to change their game.
“Right now, we know there are a lot of rural properties in some financial trouble across New York, and a lot of smaller operators are going out of business,” Allen explains. “Therefore, sellers must know how to position their property for the changing real estate landscape of New York’s rural properties. They must ask themselves, ‘Are there other commodities we can promote to obtain this land’s value?’”
To help its clients navigate this evolving rural land market, New York Land for Sale by Canaan Realty has taken the lead in identifying alternate uses for their property. For instance, solar farmers have become a
favorable target audience across the state, thanks in part to some of the tax benefits that come along with harnessing the power of the sun. Operations producing hops are also eyeing real estate in New York, as well as those who maintain greenhouses.
But perhaps the biggest trend now happening in the New York rural land market is the increase of hemp companies interested in these properties. According to Allen, numerous hemp operators are currently looking for developing areas to grow, produce, process, and market their hemp products.
“Hemp can be grown in a large range of areas across New York,” says Allen. “Of course, the soil needs to be ideal for that, and having a qualified broker who can review your property and know if it would work out for a hemp operation is key. And if it’s not ideal for hemp, we can determine other types of operations that could be successful in that location.”
Avoiding Missed Opportunities
For rural land owners, however, identifying these alternate uses isn’t as simple as it may seem. There are many considerations that must be made – knowing what local zoning allows, how the sun hits the property, and the condition of the soil are just a few. But above all, it must come at the right price for buyers to make the leap.
“If you just assume the land will work for a certain use without looking into all of the aspects a buyer is considering, you could inappropriately price your property – or miss out on a sale altogether,” warns Allen. “The market has a very unique way of teaching sellers the value. If you’re overpriced, you’re going to be on the market for a long time.
“That’s why it’s so important to work with a brokerage like New York Land for Sale by Canaan Realty,” Allen continues. “We’re very comfortable with and aware of the unique diversities associated with rural land and acreage. We’ll help you understand whether your property will suit these types of alternate uses and price it appropriately.”
Those interested in selling or buying rural land can gain additional insights by watching the Ask Allen video series. For expert answers to your questions about the New York land market, send an email directly to Allen at [email protected] and suggest what he should vlog about next. For more information, contact New York Land for Sale by Canaan Realty today.
New York Land for Sale Brings Recreational Properties to Lovers of the Outdoors
From the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes region, and all the way down to the Southern Tier, an abundance of recreational opportunities can be found across New York State. This attracts avid outdoors lovers seeking the perfect piece of recreational land to call their own. And while selling to this type of buyer may sound like an easy task, property owners are learning that more goes into a sale than relying on the natural wonders of the great outdoors.
“Recreational property buyers consider several factors that sellers need to be aware of,” says Allen Olmsted of New York Land for Sale by Canaan Realty, a premier brokerage for land sales. “And these things influence the outcome of the sale.”
The Many Uses of Recreational Land
Hunting and fishing are often top of mind when it comes to the activities possible on a recreational piece of land. But according to Allen, there are many other reasons why buyers seek out this type of property, such as hiking, camping, snowmobiling, skiing, and boating. “A lot of times, we see families or groups of friends seeking out recreational land for a getaway in the woods,” says Allen. “Whether they want to hunt or use their RVs, buyers need to know the characteristics of the land to determine if that property will serve their desires.”
Sellers must take an accurate inventory of several characteristics when putting land on the market. For instance, the property’s location and physical composition are key, as the presence of water sources, hillsides, fields, and more dictate potential use of the property. Acreage, the types of wildlife, and other unique qualities can also influence the type of buyer interested in a plot of land. “The nicest type of recreational property to consider has a cabin or established structure in place,” says Allen. “It should also have clear trails, well-defined boundaries, and maybe even roadways. Easy accessibility enhances the property’s marketability and makes it easier for buyers to view.”
Special Considerations for Hunting and Fishing
While a property’s physical composition makes clear which kinds of recreational activities can be enjoyed, hunters and anglers have more to consider. For one, buyers need to know which types of hunting and fishing are permitted on the land, as well as which firearms and other hunting gear can be used.
“There are areas where you can only hunt with bows, and there are areas that can be hunted with everything – crossbows, rifles, shotguns, muzzleloaders,” says Allen. “Different areas dictate what can be hunted or fished, from whitetail deer, rabbits, and bears to salmon and trout. Daily limits are also a consideration.”
Hunters and anglers will also be curious about the concentration of their desired wildlife population, such as game birds and waterfowl, in any given area. And for the property to be especially appealing to hunters, it must have a reliable source of food and water to support the herds they’re after. “If the buyer wants to hunt whitetail deer, does the property have enough bushes, nuts, and other food sources that the deer can readily find and survive on?” says Allen. “Are there grass fields and a viable habitat for the species? These are questions buyers need answered upfront.”
Allen also mentions that buyers reach out to him regarding glamping, as well as the specific factors associated with that particular type of land purchase. Glamping refers to resort-style services offered to people interested in an experience more “glamorous” than traditional rural camping.
Rely on Allen
Whether an individual is interested in buying or selling a recreational property, it’s vital to work with an expert like Allen. With over 108,000 acres and $200,000,000 in total sales, he knows what it takes to match the perfect buyer to the right piece of land.
“It’s important they find a professional that understands the unique characteristics of each property,” says Allen,” and how it compares to other similar properties.”
For more information, watch the Ask Allen video series for additional insights or contact New York Land for Sale by Canaan Realty today. 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]
How Taxes Influence the Real Estate Market
From residential properties in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse or Albany to commercial, recreational and agricultural sites across New York, all prospective property owners know that there will be taxes involved in their real estate transaction. However, the influence of taxes can impact more than just a buyer’s bottom line, as they also play a huge role in available inventory and how sellers are thinking.
“Taxes are inevitable in New York, but there are nuances that you should be aware of and consider as you’re buying,” says Allen Olmsted of Canaan Realty, a leading brokerage for land sales in New York State. “There are a few tricks to the trade for savings opportunities that a qualified and experienced broker can help buyers to navigate.”
The Timing of Taxes
Regardless of the type of land buyers are looking for, all property owners share a common consideration – how the timing of certain tax bills may influence their decision to sell. According to Allen, taxes at different times of the year tend to motivate a seller to list their properties on the market.
“Maybe they just received their next taxing bill, or they have a raw piece of land or asset sitting there that’s not really generating income,” Allen explains. “That would be a key time when they realize they don’t want to keep the property any longer and pay taxes on something they’re not really using.”
From mid-January to early February and mid-September to early October, Allen sees a higher level of activity in land for sale across the entire state of New York. There’s also generally an uptick around the time personal income tax and fiduciary tax returns are due each year on April 15.
“From a buyer’s standpoint, those certain seasons with a higher activity for land sale listings would mean potentially more inventory on the market for buyers to take advantage of,” says Allen.
Navigating Tax Exemptions
The timing and amount of their tax bills aren’t the only factors sellers consider when it comes to how taxes affect when they’ll sell and for how much. Buyers must be aware that certain property types may be subject to tax resolutions, which influence who the seller will sell to and may even yield savings opportunities for the right buyer.
“Depending on the composition of the property and physical location, you may be able to get some moderate to significant reductions on your taxes,” says Allen.
Allen highly recommends that buyers be informed of any tax resolutions that may apply to the type of real estate they’re seeking, whether it’s waterfront acreage or a hunting property. Deadlines vary for each type of land, something Allen helps NYLand.forsale customers navigate on a regular basis.
“With agricultural properties, for instance, if the buyer happens to be a farmer, the agricultural exemption can help reduce the taxes,” Allen explains. “There’s also a similar exemption for timber properties or land with trees that can be managed.”
Preparing for the Purchase
When it comes to taxes, New York is arguably the most difficult state for buyers to wrap their heads around. That’s why it’s so important to work with a broker like Allen, who knows how sellers think and draws on his experience of over $200,000,000 in land sales to advise clients on tax nuances for each type of land.
“Not all properties qualify, but you want to be aware of the ones that do,” says Allen.
Most importantly, buyers should be aware of how to manage the tax consequences that will impact their purchase. While most buyers won’t have this kind of knowledge at their fingertips, a broker or agent who understands the relevant timeline and all the applicable tax programs can provide a significant advantage when exploring the market.
And while taxes play a huge role in any real estate transaction, the right broker will never push clients to act on a property solely to take advantage of a tax break. Instead, their role should involve helping buyers consider the whole picture.
“When’s a good time to buy? The answer is always when the buyer is ready to buy,” says Allen. “That’s the best time to buy.”
For assistance navigating the process of purchasing any type of land in the state of New York, or to find a property, contact Allen at NYLand.forsale, a branch of Canaan Realty, today. To learn more about the New York land market, subscribe to his Ask Allen video series, which covers topics pertaining to buying and selling land in the state.
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].