Selling Commercial Land in Michigan (The Easy Way)

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Selling Commercial Land in Michigan (The Easy Way)

Bart Waldon

Selling off vacant commercial land in Michigan can unlock major capital for both individual owners and real estate investment firms if transacted strategically at opportune moments. However, finding qualified buyers willing and able to commit at acceptable pricing often proves challenging without the right expectations, preparations and marketing approaches tailored for the nuances of commercial development land sales statewide.

By understanding recent value indicators from comparable inventory analysis, properly evaluating highest and best use potentials based on local zoning constraints, and leveraging both traditional brokerage listings plus enhanced visibility among online investment deal communities, commercial landowners enhance sale success odds earning desired profit at optimized timelines. For those needing to liquidate development land holdings for pending reinvestment or personal financial needs, this guide outlines measures facilitating smooth exits.

Current Michigan Commercial Land Value Factors

As an initial step before formally listing development-grade holdings on the open market, retaining appraisal services forms an objective baseline for mapping pricing strategy or setting reserves for auctions. Key valuation inputs to analyze include:

  • Local municipality zoning codes governing potential buildable envelopes, maximum densities and allowable uses whether industrial, warehousing, office space or mixed developments. More permissive parameters translate to greater valuations from investors modeling future exploitation possibilities after acquisition.
  • Recent closed sales prices per acre on undeveloped land parcels in the general vicinity zoned for comparable commercial purposes as yours fall under. Major variability gets introduced based on urban vs. rural locales as infrastructure access influences worth substantially. Search public records to uncover actual selling figures to ground current value estimates.
  • Proximity and ease of access to local highway on-ramps / intersections or availability of existing paved roads and essential utility stub outs at property boundaries influence perceived desirability among commercial developers already paying for such improvements internally. Presence of these elements adds a pricing premium over raw land needing substantial site work preparations for tenants or vertical builds.

Preparing Land Assets to Attract Commercial Buyer Interest

While residential homeowners place heavy emphasis on aesthetics and livability aspects when evaluating properties, commercial land purchasers focus principally on fundamental factors like reasonably flat terrain lending itself to simplified construction processes, soil stability reports assuring support for foundations and paved features for truck access purposes plus overall square footage suitability to accommodate building footprints/floor plans for intended usage cases down the road whether warehouse distribution bays or small industrial flex office spaces. However, owners can take select measures upholding curb appeal and site viability such as:

  • Tidying overgrown brush obstructing sightlines or hiding potential issues detracting aesthetic perceptions among potential investors touring the property at initial visual inspection stages.
  • Ensuring outdated or deteriorating infrastructure elements like fencing, outdated signboards, remaining foundations, etc. get addressed through removal or rehabilitation moves conveying general upkeep avoiding eyesores.
  • Maintaining boundary markers clearly delineating deeded acreage offered if discrepancies against public record plot data exist. Buyers want total transparency on what gets conveyed if deals culminate.

Marketing Options to Surface Viable Commercial Land Buyers

While hiring experienced commercial real estate agents proves instrumental towards ensuring sufficient digital and print advertising exposure among localized small business owners and entrepreneurial developers seeking expansion space, land holders selling privately can deploy select promotional initiatives bridging awareness gaps and forging connections with promising prospects:

  • Feature the land as email spotlight inventory among Michigan commercial real estate investment group newsletters and association communications nurturing relationships with market players already aggregating holdings.
  • Network in person at regular gatherings of statewide chapters of key professional organizations like NAIOP and ICSC, orchestrating onsite group tours while conveying development visions based on zoning realities and neighboring site uses to sell ideas seeding further interest.
  • Complement yard signage and local paper listings by advertising the land on niche property clearinghouses like Lands of America visited regularly by commercial real estate investors with excess capital to deploy for projects at the right risk-adjusted returns.

Evaluating Buyer Offers with a Commercial Land Lens

As interest accrues via sustained marketing efforts, weighing legitimate purchase offers on development land requires considerations beyond simplistic pricing reconciliation alone to include terms impacting value retention possibilities:

  • Seek contractual legal confirmations that usage parameters align sufficiently with applicable municipal zoning codes and stated developer plans for buildings eventually erected there ensuring concerns don’t surface later devaluing land.
  • Scrutinize contingencies and right of reversions that could rescind ratified deals if problems securing permits or environmental remediation complexity arises - demand firmer offer commitments.
  • Comparison against appraised fair market figures should factor build timeframe assumptions, nearby lease rate analysis and construction hardship premiums warranting higher pricing above precedents.

Sophisticated sellers think beyond raw acreage valuation to craft deals structured around recipient intentions and development realities augmenting commitments. Market peaks and dips introduce timing considerations as well - economic cycle stage analysis informs successes.

Streamlining Sales Through Commercial Land Buying Companies

Rather than riding unpredictable open listing sale cycles for months or years awaiting ideal offers that align with expectations, offloading commercial land to local specialized buyer firms like Land Boss means securing respectable cash compensation at fair market rates quickly based on due diligence validation avoiding down cycle risks or anxieties holding aging assets. Pre-vetted buyers possess capital access and construction acumen elevating site potentials based on location fundamentals. Sellers gain swift and profitable exits unlocking capital for portfolio growth elsewhere while buyers expand market share. By understanding Michigan commercial land values from an investor lens and foreseeing development hurdles, established groups pay equitable rates benefiting both parties. Contact Land Boss anytime online for a free quote or property value assessment.

Final Thoughts

Selling commercial development land in Michigan can be complex, but also financially rewarding when executed strategically with reasonable expectations around timelines seeking optimal buyer matches prepared to unleash property potentials based on zoning and local area demand drivers. Orderly marketing efforts attract those visualizing future usages aligned with local infrastructure while appraisals, public data comparisons and specialist guidance inform deal structuring and pricing promotions. By understanding the interconnected dynamics between land value, permissible development types, construction lifecycles and market timing for buyers entering or expanding, commercial landowners enhance deal success odds and liquidity events fueling additional portfolio growth across the state.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does vacant commercial land take to sell in Michigan?

Average market times range between 6 months to several years for commercial development land in Michigan, contingent largely on location, site readiness for builds, asking price conformance to values and flexibility around buyer contingencies delaying settlements.

What sales costs apply when selling commercial land?

Beyond real estate commissions if listing with an agent, key expenses include legal fees tied to purchase contract reviews and ownership title transfers plus applicable conveyance taxes that vary by Michigan county - typically small percentages of the gross sales price.

What land improvements help attract commercial buyers?

Clearing impediments obstructing building conceptualization, ensuring usable acreage aligns with public records through updated surveys, removing outdated structures/debris and investing in graded pad sites or utility stub outs adds buyer appeal significantly by reducing initial site prep costs post-purchase.

Should an appraisal be ordered before listing commercial land?

Absolutely - certified appraisals establish accurate baseline valuation estimates informed by zoning codes, neighboring sites and verified land sales comps. Appraisals help sellers avoid mispricing assets while providing justification during buyer negotiations around fair market values that determine listing prices.

What steps confirm commercial buyer credibility on land deals?

Scrutinizing past project completion track records, requesting proof of capital/financing abilities beforehand and pursuing buyer references provides due diligence validating partner suitability for sales dependent on future site improvements that elevate land values over time.

Are commercial land transactions typically cash or financed?

Smaller development sites may transact all-cash, but commercial land sales often utilize seller-financing arrangements allowing partners flexibility meeting pricings while customizing payment timelines contingent upon project completion milestones. Portions sell outright too.

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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