Jay, I'm tracking a lot of land listings in San Diego that'd been sitting on the market for over a year without any movement and without any price changes, because they were listed by residential brokers with no experience in selling land, so you are right about looking for somebody experienced with land sales. That being said, here are some other points:
- Before putting the land for sale, make a trip to the city or the county, find out everything you can about wht you can or can't build on the land, zoning, set-backs, height restrictions, use restrictions. Find out if any zoning changes happend to any other parcels surrounding your parcel. Have the entire package of information ready for the buyer, it saves them time on due diligence, and makes your land more valuable.
- Analyze the best and highest use of the property based on the neighborhood. If the property is surrounded by commercial properties and you have residential zoning, then may be building residential SFR is not the best idea.
- Once you know what is best for the property, spend some time and money doing some conceptual designs or renderings that you can use in your advertising. It helps buyers visualize the future of the parcel, otherwise all they are looking at is dirt. Most people are not visionaries.
- PRICE IT RIGHT! This is the biggest mistake sellers of land are making, as if they are hoping for the next idiot to buy dirt for some incredible amount of money that doesn't make sense. San Diego MLS is full of year-old listings that start from "Potential to build ..... " You can't price the land as if "potential" is "approved state of entitlements", two different things!
- Whatever is the project for this parcel, figure cost to build the finished product, entitlements, all other soft and hard costs, don't forget about 10-15% profit/contingency for the buyer because no buyer is stupid enough to get into construction project just to end up with the finished product at market value, and then by the way of subtraction figure the cost of land.
- Be creative - most land sellers don't want to carry financing. It's Wrong! Seller financing for land is one of the best ways to sell the land, and it's one of the best ways for the land sellers to increase value. Most sellers don't do it because they either don't understand it, or have complete misconception about the seller-financing, or are ill-advised by the selling broker.
- Finally - DON'T SELL NOW, if you can help it! That's right. Market bottom is the worst time to sell land. There are no lenders financing land, the buyers are hesitant to start construction because they can buy a better bargain by buying discounted existing homes, you will end up selling land at a discount anywhere from 50 to 75%. If you can hold on to it, do it, or if you have money to build, it's an option too, because with so many builders sitting unemployed you can build for about 20% less than just a year ago.
If you need to talk about it, contact me, will be happy to help.