How to Sell Your Virginia Land Without a Realtor

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How to Sell Your Virginia Land Without a Realtor
By

Bart Waldon

If you've inherited or purchased vacant land in Virginia that you're looking to sell, you may be tempted to list it with a real estate agent to handle the process for you. But while hiring an agent can certainly make your life easier, it also means paying commission fees that take a significant chunk out of your final sales price. Savvy landowners in Virginia know that with the right preparation and marketing approach, you can navigate the sale yourself and potentially earn thousands more without an agent's help.

Selling land on your own does require more time and effort on your end. But the payoff can be worthwhile if you're able to successfully close the deal without a realtor. Here's a helpful guide to the major steps involved with for sale by owner land sales in Virginia, along with tips to help you get your property sold while keeping more profit in your pocket.

Brush Up on the Real Estate Market in Your Area

Before you even think about listing your Virginia land for sale, it’s essential to understand the current market conditions and comparable land values in the local area. Recent sales of similar vacant parcels will give you an idea of what buyers have actually paid. Drive the neighborhood to observe other FOR SALE signs. Peruse the MLS listings to see undeveloped lots currently on the market and their asking prices. And chat with real estate professionals to get their input on pricing trends and demand.

Armed with this market intel, you can realistically assess the value of your property based on its location, size, road access, zoning, utilities availability and other attributes impacting worth. Setting a competitive list price from the outset will position your listing to garner genuine buyer interest.

Verify Ownership and Resolve Any Title Issues

Nothing complicates a land sale more than ownership questions or clouded title. Before even thinking of listing, confirm you have full rights to sell the Virginia property through proper deed documentation. Work with a local real estate attorney to run a title search and turn up any easements, liens, encroachments or other encumbrances attached to the land. It’s much easier to deal with any title problems ahead of time rather than after you’ve already listed it.

If you’ve owned the property for many years, it’s also wise to get an updated survey done establishing the legal boundaries and total acreage. The last thing you want is a boundary line dispute derailing a potential sale partway through the process. Taking the time upfront to verify clear title and define the land boundaries eliminates major headaches down the road.

Create Eye-Catching Signage for Maximum Visibility

Once you’ve confirmed you’re ready to sell the property, it’s time to grab attention and let buyers know it’s on the market. Investing in custom For Sale signs is a must. Place them prominently at the front of the property where passersby can easily see them. Make sure to highlight important listing info like price, acreage, your name and phone number.

Bright colors, large text and creative logos will make the signs stand out. In areas where allowed, placing signs along the property perimeter at key intersections or entry points can further boost visibility. You want buyers to notice your signage from a distance and remember it when looking for land in the area.

Tap Online Land Listing Sites to Widen Your Reach

While roadside signage targets local traffic, listing your Virginia land for sale online helps you reach motivated buyers across the region and state. There are a number of specialized land and lot listing sites like Lands of America, Land and Farm, LandWatch, and Landflip where you can create a detailed listing and connect with buyers hunting for properties just like yours.

Take time to write an engaging description highlighting the property’s best attributes and potential uses. Include boundary maps and multiple pictures capturing the parcel from all angles. Specify details like zoning, utilities, road frontage and other specs buyers want to know. Paid upgrade options on these sites can give your listing extra visibility in search results and buyer alerts. Casting a wide net improves your odds of securing a qualified buyer.

Spread the Word Locally Through Flyers, Ads and More

While the internet is great for expanding your buyer reach, you also want to whip up interest in your listing among potential buyers in the immediate area. Some easy local marketing tactics include posting flyers on community bulletin boards, taking out a classified listing in nearby newspapers, telling neighbors who might pass along your listing to others, and leveraging social media by sharing the FOR SALE announcement on your Facebook page and other accounts.

For pricier or more sizeable listings, it may be worth taking out print ads in regional luxury magazines or real estate zines distributed across your part of Virginia. The more exposure through different channels, the better!

Price Your Virginia Property to Sell

Even the most brilliant marketing campaign won’t help you sell your land if it’s overpriced from the start. That’s why properly pricing your Virginia property based on its unique attributes and recent comparable sales in the area is so important. The right list price attracts buyers while leaving wiggle room for negotiations later.

If selling without a realtor, you have more flexibility on price than an agent might advise. But you still don’t want to overprice and scare away buyers. Do your homework to find the listing price sweet spot that optimizes visibility and serious buyer interest.

Respond Quickly to Listing Inquiries

Once your Virginia land listing starts garnering attention, it’s crucial to be responsive to inquiries that come in from potential buyers via phone, email and through listing sites. Providing prompt replies, scheduling showings as soon as possible and readily supplying additional details shows buyers you’re an engaged seller.

An unresponsive seller or one who takes days to return calls and messages signals disinterest. You want buyers to know you’re eager to make a deal. Being available to handle all listing inquiries demonstrates your commitment to selling the property.

Expect Some Negotiation and Compromise on Price

Selling land yourself almost always requires some negotiation, particularly on list price. As offers start trickling in, avoid taking lowball bids too personally. Counter at a price reasonably below your original ask that you’d be comfortable accepting. Expect buyers to counter your counter. Don’t get caught in endless rounds of back-and-forth. Focus on discovering each side’s limit to find common ground.

Bring comparable land sales reports and the property survey to negotiations to back up your price argument. Stay calm and professional throughout the process. Make some compromises but stick to your bottom line price. With some give and take, you can settle on an agreed price both parties feel good about.

Lean on Legal Help to Handle Purchase Agreements

Once you successfully negotiate an accepted offer with a buyer, the real work begins! It's best to engage a real estate lawyer to help draft the purchase agreement spelling out the agreed terms and contingencies. Much of the language is boilerplate but you’ll want legal guidance to ensure your interests are protected.

Attorneys can also advise you on earnest money deposits, inspection timeframes, title insurance, contingency clauses, lien requirements, and the option period details buyers often request. Rely on the experience of a real estate pro to handle this critical paperwork correctly the first time.

Be Diligent About Due Diligence Items

Before closing, buyers will complete a final walkthrough inspection and take care of any due diligence items laid out in the purchase agreement such as appraisal, survey, title search, and environmental assessments. Be cooperative in scheduling these items quickly so they don’t hold up closing.

Grant access for contractors or agents the buyer needs to send to the property. Provide any documentation needed about the land. Following up diligently on your end prevents deal delays during this last stage.

Finalize Closing Logistics and Transfer of Ownership

As closing day approaches, work with your attorney and buyer’s agent to finalize details like meeting time and location, documents required, and wire transfer of funds. Call utility companies to have accounts transferred out of your name. Obtain a copy of the deed to deliver to the buyer. Walk the property one last time.

Closing represents the finish line, so handle any last steps attentively to ensure settlement goes smoothly. Once the buyer’s funds clear and the new deed is signed and filed, congratulate yourself on a successful FSBO land deal!

Selling Virginia land on your own takes effort, but pays off financially by avoiding agent commissions. Following this comprehensive playbook helps you successfully market, price, negotiate with buyers, and close the sale yourself. While not always easy, the thousands saved in fees make selling without a realtor a smart and rewarding move.

Final Thoughts

Selling your land without a realtor requires diligence, patience, and a motivated approach. But in most cases, the extra effort pays off. As long as you thoroughly research the local market, price your Virginia property competitively, utilize creative marketing tactics, negotiate professionally with buyers, and handle contracts and closing details responsibly, you stand an excellent chance of maximizing your sale price by going the for-sale-by-owner route. Listing your land yourself keeps more hard-earned profit in your pocket. And nothing feels better than closing a successful FSBO deal knowing all the time invested led to thousands in savings on agent commissions. With the right preparation and persistence, selling your Virginia land without agent representation can be one of the most rewarding real estate transactions you’ll make.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What legal paperwork do I need to sell my Virginia land myself?

At minimum, you need the land deed showing you own the property free and clear, a recent survey of the boundaries, and a title search confirming there are no claims or liens on the land. Consulting a real estate attorney to review documentation is recommended.

How do I determine a fair asking price for my Virginia property?

Research recent sales of comparable vacant land parcels in your county and surrounding areas. Also factor in property attributes like road access, utilities, zoning, site improvements and location that impact value. Drive by similar listings to compare.

What costs will I pay out of pocket when selling land without an agent?

You avoid the agent commission, but will still pay for a land survey, title search, attorney fees, signage, listing sites fees, advertising costs, and potentially buyer closing incentives.

What are the risks of attempting to sell land without a realtor?

Lack of real estate experience, pricing too high or low, limited buyer exposure, legal/title issues, inability to properly vet buyers, and handling negotiations and contracts. Hiring an attorney offsets some risk.

How do I market my Virginia land for sale without an agent?

Online listings, social media, print ads, yard signage, networking with neighbors, flyers, and contacting local investors are all great self-marketing strategies. Cast a wide net using multiple channels.

About The Author

Bart Waldon

Bart, co-founder of Land Boss with wife Dallas Waldon, boasts over half a decade in real estate. With 100+ successful land transactions nationwide, his expertise and hands-on approach solidify Land Boss as a leading player in land investment.

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