6 Free or Cheap Ways How to Sell Land Without a Realtor
Selling land without a realtor doesn't need to be complicated or cost much. We'll show you ways how to sell land without a realtor that get results. We start with the basics - getting a for sale sign up and letting each nearby land owner know that your property is for sale with a neighbor letter campaign.
While essential, those two steps alone may not be enough to sell your property. So, next we cover how to sell your land online.
These steps will give you the best chance to sell your vacant land in a reasonable amount of time without spending much on advertising.
Need more detail on any of the ways to sell land without a real estate agent? Check out the rest of our for sale by owner posts.
In this guide:
Why try selling land without a realtor?
For many people, the motivation to learn how to sell land without a realtor is to save costs and keep more of the sale price in their pocket. Cutting out the sellers agent - or realtors altogether - can certainly reduce your costs, although it can also be a lot more work.
For other people, it may not be easy to find a realtor that's willing to list your raw land for sale . Rural areas especially don't have as many professional real estate agents.
If you do find a real estate agent, they may not be excited to take your listing. Commissions on land sales can be high at 10% of the sales price. Still, for a small piece of land this still may not add up to a very significant commission.
Whatever the reason, if you've been asking yourself 'Can I sell my land without a realtor?', our answer is a definite 'Yes!' Going into the process though, you should know that in most places it is much harder to sell land than to sell a house. There are many reasons for this, but the simplest is just that everyone needs a roof over their heads, but not everyone needs land.
Steps before selling your property
Getting photos of your land
Most of the ways to advertise your vacant lot for sale will require photos, so consider taking care of that before getting started. Not sure where to start? Check out Should I Hire a Real Estate Photographer? to see whether you need to hire someone and how much it will cost.
Setting a price for your land
You'll have to decide what asking price you want to set your property at before you put your sign in the ground. Once people start calling you, you'll need to be confident what your listing price is. Do your research, come up with your number, and then be firm with the prospective buyer.
Do I need a second phone number?
You may want to consider getting a second phone number for selling your land. This can be done free or very inexpensively, without getting a second phone, and helps to protect your privacy. Many of the ways to market your land for sale involve publicly listing your phone number. Using a second number will keep your own phone number private.
If you already have a smartphone, Google Voice is one option for adding a second phone number to your existing phone. The first number in Google Voice is free and when someone calls that number it will ring to your phone.
1. For Sale Sign
Cost: Less than $100
Why use a For Sale sign to sell your land?
A sign is a low-tech way to let people know that your land is for sale. A sign's main purpose is just to let people who are already passing by your property know that your land is for sale.
A for sale sign serves to:
- Alert passersby that your land is for sale
- Help potential buyers find the property
Where can I buy a real estate For Sale sign?
One solid option to get your For Sale sign for less than $100 is Signazon.com. Based in Plano, TX, Signazon offers many types of custom banners and signs that they can print and ship to you.
For more detail and to see the specific sign we recommend, see Sell Your Land for Less than $100 with a Sign.
2. Neighbor Letter Campaign
Wouldn't it be great if there was a simple way to reach everyone within a certain distance of your property?
That's exactly what you can do with a neighbor letter campaign. What do we mean by campaign? It's an organized approach to sending out many letters at once. Done correctly it won't take forever or cost much. After all, the goal is to sell your land fast.
Why send a neighbor letter campaign?
People that already live near your land are some of the most likely buyers of your land. A neighbor letter campaign will reach this pool of potential buyers with very few steps and little cost. For that reason, this should be one of the first things you do to sell your land.
The keys to this approach are:
1) using a data service to get a list of mailing addresses
2) using mail merge or a printing service to make printing the letters easy
Getting the Mailing Addresses
Regrid is an excellent source of land maps and parcel data - including mailing addresses. You can find your land parcel by searching by address, Assessor's Parcel Number (APN), GPS coordinates, or using the 'Locate Me' function.
You'll need a Pro account with Regrid for this next step if you want to get neighbor mailing addresses without manually copying them.
To get started, select Draw from the toolbar menu and click 'Draw Focus Area.' Starting from your property, you can draw a radius outwards of any distance by clicking on the circle icon on the left hand toolbar. Once you have the desired radius, let go of the left mouse button and Regrid will prompt you to save your focus area. You can name it something like 'neighbors' and click save and go to the area.
Next, you'll download a list of all the properties in your focus area by clicking List on the left hand menu. Next, click Download to CSV in the bottom right hand corner.
That's it, you have your list of neighbors to mail to. Next, we move on to writing your letter before wrapping up by combining the neighbor list and letter.
What to Say in the Letter
Keep it short and simple. You just need to let them know that your parcel is for sale, make it easy for them to locate your parcel, tell them the price, and let them know how to contact you.
Your letter needs to:
- Notify neighbors of the sale
- List the asking price
- Locate your parcel for them
- Tell them how to contact you
Getting the Mail Out the Door
You have two options for mailing the letters:
- Printing them yourself and addressing the envelopes by hand
- Sending your letter and list to a bulk mail company
Print Yourself for a Personal Touch
To do everything yourself, you would need to:
- Print the letters
- Hand write the mailing addresses on the envelopes
- Stuff the envelopes
- Add postage to each envelope
This can be tedious and take a fair amount of time. The benefit of this approach is that people may be more likely to open a letter with a handwritten address on it.
Save Time with a Bulk Mail Company
If you decide you don't want to address all your neighbor letters by hand, the alternative is using a bulk mail company to print and send them for you. This can be very cost-effective with the total cost of a mailed letter of $0.75 per letter or less, which is not much more than the cost of a postage stamp.
One of these companies is Click2Mail. Their service works well for a neighbor letter campaign because they don't have a minimum order size. They offer templates that speed up the process of printing your letters. Also, their prices are good.
To send your mail campaign, you'll need just two things: your neighbor list CSV file and one of Click2Mail's letter templates. Once you've uploaded your list and template, you'll have a chance to view a proof of what your letter will look like. From there, you can add the campaign to your cart and complete the checkout process.
Creating a neighbor letter campaign takes time, but it's one of the best ways to notify people nearby that your land is available for sale. Since these are some of the most likely buyers for your land, a neighbor letter campaign also gives you great bang for the buck.
To learn more about neighbor letter campaigns including exactly what to write in the letter, see Sell Your Land with a Neighbor Letter Campaign.
With millions of visitors per month, Craigslist.org is one of the most visited websites in the US. If you think of Craigslist as just a place to pick up used furniture, think again. Craigslist is home to millions of real estate listings.
Why use Craigslist to sell your land?
The main reason is that Craigslist is a very high traffic website. The map search function makes it ideal for real estate listings. They also have a specific category for listing land for sale. It's also free.
Craigslist does have some drawbacks though. There tend to be a lot of 'tire kickers' - people that will ask questions, but are not serious about buying. The most dreaded question from anyone who's ever sold land on Craigslist may be 'Is it still available?'
Buyers also associate Craigslist with bargains, so it wouldn't be ideal for selling the most valuable types of properties.
- Very high traffic website
- Specific category for land
- Upload up to 24 photos
- Responding to 'tire kickers'
- Bargain buyers
- Need to repost often
What category to list land for sale?
Everything in Craigslist is organized into categories. There is a specific category for land sales in Craigslist, but it's not intuitive to find. To list your land for sale, first select 'housing offered,' then 'real estate - by owner.' This will take you to the listing page where you can select 'land' under the dropdown menu called 'housing type.'
Sell land with a listing that stands out
Create an appealing title that will grab people's attention. You're likely competing against many other listings and standing out starts with the title. The title should make it clear what you're selling and what's most appealing about it.
For example, Build 🏠 on Scenic Hilltop in Frostburg emphasizes the lot for sale is buildable and that it offers a scenic view. Six 🌲Wooded Acres near Water 💦 let's people know right away that it's a wooded lot and highlights being near the water as the main selling point.
The first couple of sentences of your property description will do more as a way to sell your property than anything else besides your photos and title. What's unique about this property? What can the land be used for? Is the land near conveniences like shopping or attractions like a lake or state park? Here's an example a of short description that calls out the most important features:
Add quality listing photos
The final step before posting your listing is to add your photos. Pay particular attention to which image is first (the featured image in the top left corner). That's the only photo that people will see unless they click on your listing, so it should make it clear exactly what you're offering.
Repost as frequently as permitted
This step is critical because recently posted ads are viewed much more than older ones. Fortunately, Craigslist has a built-in way to do this. Check on your ad three days after posting it by going into your account. If it's ready, there will be an option to renew that looks like this:
If it's not ready yet, check back in a couple more days. Once you know how often you can renew your listing, create a schedule and reminder for yourself to renew as often as possible. That might be twice per week or every other week.
Find this step tedious? It is, but if you're not willing to do it, it's not worth posting a Craigslist ad in the first place. Craigslist is not a 'set it and forget it' strategy for selling your land.
Craigslist is a powerful advertising platform for selling land because of how much traffic it gets and the ability to create listings with detailed descriptions and lots of photos that showcase raw land really well.
The main thing to emphasize with Craigslist marketing strategy is you have to commit to refreshing your post often.
To learn more about selling land on Craigslist including a full walkthrough of creating an ad and examples of successful land listings, see How to Sell Land on Craigslist.
4. Facebook Marketplace
Facebook is used by approximately 200 million Americans, and about 75% of them use Facebook on a daily basis. It's not a surprise then that it's a great platform for advertising land.
Why use Facebook Marketplace to sell land?
Marketplace is the 'classifieds' area of Facebook and you can sell just about anything there. Unfortunately, you won't find a specific category for land. Don't worry, we'll show you how you can still get lots of views, saves, and shares for your land listing in Marketplace.
What's unique about Facebook is that people will find your ad and share it with friends that are looking for land. This helps to get the word out for you. The power of this social network should make Facebook Marketplace one of the first places you list your land for sale. It's also free to post!
- Very high traffic website
- Profiles create trust
- Social sharing
- Free to post
- No specific category for land
- Responding to 'tire kickers'
- Need to repost often
- Privacy - being personally linked to an advertisement
Listing your property
You can access Marketplace on either your desktop or mobile device. On desktop, the Marketplace icon is on the left hand navigation menu. On mobile, it's on the navigation menu at the bottom of the screen.
Once you're in Marketplace you can create your listing. To get started on desktop, click Create New Listing. On mobile, click on the Selling icon, then Create New Listing.
Next, Facebook will ask you to choose a listing type. For your land listing, click Item for Sale or Items.
Once on the listing page, you have the option to add up to 10 photos. Having great photos including aerial drone imagery is something that can differentiate your listing from the competition.
Once the photos are uploaded, you can rearrange them. Pay particular attention to which image is first (the featured image in the top left corner). That's the only photo that people will see unless they click on your listing, so it should make it clear exactly what you're offering. Oftentimes, this will be an aerial shot identifying the property boundaries.
Next comes the title. Create an appealing title that will grab people's attention. You're likely competing against many other listings and standing out starts with the title. The title should make it clear what you're selling and what's most appealing about it.
For example, Build 🏠 on Scenic Hilltop in Frostburg emphasizes the vacant lot for sale is buildable and that it offers a scenic view. Six 🌲Wooded Acres near Water 💦 let's people know right away that it's a wooded lot and highlights being near the water as the main selling point.
Price, Category, and Condition
Unfortunately, there isn't a dedicated category for land sales in Marketplace. Instead, we recommend placing in 'Miscellaneous'. Condition isn't really relevant for a land listing, so just choose 'New'. Enter your asking sales price, and you're ready to move on to the description.
The first couple of sentences of your property description will do more to sell your property than anything else besides your photos and title. What's unique about this property? What can the land be used for? Is the land near conveniences like shopping or attractions like a lake or state park?
You may have owned this property for many years, but try to see the land as a potential buyer coming across it for the first time. Things that may seem obvious to you might be overlooked by a prospective buyer that doesn't know your property or the area. Here's an example a of short description that calls out the most important features:
The most important part of the final section is Location. In case you don't live near the land you're selling, keep in mind this is the location of the land, not your location, which Facebook defaults to. Location is critical because it allows Facebook to show your ad to people in that area.
Marketplace allows you to renew your listings every 7 days, so set yourself a calendar reminder to renew your listing every 7 days. The views you'll get will drop off significantly as the days pass, so it's important to stay on top of this. You can only renew a few times before Marketplace will give you the option to relist your ad. Then, you'll be able to renew it a few more times before repeating the process.
Responding to buyers
Be prepared to receive a lot of casual messages from people who are not serious, qualified buyers. After all, Facebook enables this by providing buyers with pre-written phrases such as 'Is this still available?' - all buyers have to do is click send. Others will ask questions that could be easily answered from the listing description. Still, it's worth providing a quick response to all reasonable questions as it's hard to tell who may have serious interest initially.
Tip: Download Facebook's Messenger application on a smartphone if you have one. This will allow you to respond quickly even if you're on the go. Any response - even just to say you'll answer their question in detail later - helps to build trust with your land buyer.
Facebook Marketplace allows you to easily create ads that will be seen by many people. Marketplace is powerful because it's a social network that allows people to share your listing with their friends.
It's also popular, so there are many competing listings on Marketplace. It's very important to be patient and diligent in renewing your listing and responding to buyers quickly.
To learn more about selling land on Facebook Marketplace including a full walkthrough of creating an ad and examples of successful land listings, see How to Sell Land on Facebook Marketplace.
When it comes to buying and selling land online, Zillow is the first website that comes to mind for many people, and with good reason. Zillow is the # 1 most visited real estate website , with tens of millions of visitors every month.
Why use Zillow to sell your land?
Zillow is a website dedicated to buying and selling real estate online - including land. And not just any website. Zillow is the most visited real estate site on the web . Zillow allows you to create detailed and very attractive for sale by owner listings, similar to ones posted by realtors. Zillow's interface makes it simple for people to contact you for more information. It's also free, so what's not to like?
The main problem with Zillow is that it makes it harder to find for sale by owner listings than ones listed by realtors. We cover why this happens in detail in How to Sell Land on Zillow. For now, just be aware that land buyers will have to go out of their way to find your for sale by owner listing on Zillow - if they can find it at all.
- Very high traffic website
- Specific category for vacant land
- Free to post
- Simple, attractive listing template
- For sale by owner not as visible
- No relisting required
- Sometimes shows wrong map location
Create your listing
To get started, head to Zillow's For Sale by Owner listing page. Don't be alarmed to see that Zillow asks for a full street address, which oftentimes you will not have if you're selling a parcel of land.
Enter the street name, city, state, and zipcode, and you'll have the chance to identify the property by the parcel number on the next screen.
The parcel number is the assessor's parcel number and you should be able to find this on your property tax bill or deed.
Next, Zillow will ask you to locate your property on a map. If the dot is already close to your property, you can click Yes to continue. The only purpose of this is for people to find your listing in map view, so the location shown doesn't need to be perfect.
If you need to change it, click No. You can zoom out if needed to get your bearings, then click on the map to move the dot. That's where your property will be shown.
Zillow's listing template is remarkably simple. To list vacant land for sale, the only steps are adding the price, the parcel size, a description, your contact information, and uploading your photos.
After entering your asking price, you upload your photos. Pay particular attention to which image is first (the Main Photo shown at the top) . That's the only photo that people will see unless they click on your listing, so it should make it clear exactly what you're offering. Oftentimes, this will be an aerial shot identifying the property boundaries. Each photo needs to be less than 25 megabytes, which should not be an issue.
Enter your listing description in the Describe Your Home box. Zillow allows you 250 words, but a great description can be much shorter. The first couple of sentences of your description will do more to sell your property than anything else besides your photos, so make them count. What's unique about this property? What can the land be used for? Is the land near conveniences like shopping or attractions like a lake or state park?
For many people, Zillow is the first website that comes to mind when thinking of buying and selling land online, and with good reason. Zillow's website gets a lot of traffic and it's free to post there, so it's an essential step in advertising your land for sale.
Unfortunately, Zillow prioritizes listings by real estate agents, so your FSBO listing may not be seen by as many potential buyers. Depending on your budget, consider paying a flat fee to list the property on the MLS. That's number 6 on our list of cheap ways to sell land below.
Once on the MLS, Zillow will automatically post it with the same price, photos, and description as your MLS listing. You'll get the benefit of the added exposure of the MLS and your listing will be as visible as the properties listed by realtors.
To learn more about selling land on Zillow including a full walkthrough of creating an ad and examples of successful land listings, see How to Sell Land on Zillow.
6. MLS (Multiple listing service)
If you've ever browsed real estate listings on a website like Realtor.com, Zillow, or Trulia, or leafed through a glossy magazine advertising real estate for sale then you've encountered the MLS.
What is the MLS?
First of all, MLS stands for multiple listing service and there isn't just one MLS. There are actually hundreds of MLSs serving different local areas and sometimes overlapping each other.
Basically, an MLS is a database for realtors to post their listings for sale. Those listings can then be seen by all the other realtors participating in that MLS. The public can also see the MLS listings through websites like Realtor.com and Zillow that publish listings from the MLS databases.
In short, MLSs are designed to help realtors and their clients buy and sell real estate. What not everyone knows is that it's also possible to list your property on the MLS without a realtor for a flat fee .
What is a flat fee MLS listing?
A flat fee MLS listing refers to an arrangement where the seller will pay a fee to a broker instead of a commission. The fee is paid upfront. This means that unlike a traditional listing arrangement the seller has a cost, even if the property doesn't sell.
Note that it's typical (but not required) to still offer a commission to a buyers agent in flat fee listings. In this case, the real estate commission paid by the seller is reduced by approximately half, but not eliminated.
Why list your land for sale on the MLS?
Get the most exposure for your land listing
The main reason to list your land for sale on the MLS is exposure. The MLS is the predominant way that real estate is advertised for sale, so if you don't take advantage of the MLS you're potentially missing out on buyers.
The exposure of the MLS is magnified because popular, high-traffic websites like Zillow automatically publish MLS listings and display them more prominently than for sale by owner listings.
Flat fee listings often come with perks such as for sale signs and contract forms. The flat fee broker may also be available to answer questions and provide limited support.
Attract high-quality buyers
Another benefit of listing your land for sale on the MLS compared to free options is that it tends to attract higher-quality buyers. The buyers that contact you about your MLS listing usually have a real estate agent representing them. That's a sign that they're taking their search seriously. Even the ones that aren't represented by agents are less likely to be tire kickers or bargain hunters.
Large potential savings
Despite the other benefits, the decision for land sellers to choose a flat fee listing often comes down to savings. Eliminating the listing agent's real estate commission could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Savings may vanish
Still, the savings may not add up as much as you think. The main reason is that it's still typical to pay a commission to the buyers agent. It's not a requirement, but agents don't have a reason to show your listing to the buyers they represent if you're not offering them a commission.
How much does it cost to list real estate on the MLS?
Flat fee listings generally cost between $100-$500. They vary by region and by how long the listing will last, with packages ranging from 3 to 12 months. When choosing a listing duration, keep in mind that in many cases 6 months will not be long enough to sell a parcel of land.
Some fixed fee listings also charge a small real estate broker commission, typically around 0.25%. This won't be a deal-breaker for many FSBO sellers, but for higher priced properties this can end up costing about as much as the flat listing fee itself.
Finally, it's customary, but usually not a requirement, to offer a buyers agent commission between 2.5 to 5%. That's why flat fee listings are mostly about reducing or eliminating the listing agent's commission.
Although the internet has opened up many other channels for selling land, the MLS is still the main way to advertise real estate for sale. For that reason, most sellers should plan on listing their property on the MLS, whether that means listing it traditionally with real estate agents or through a flat fee listing service.
To learn more about listing your land on the MLS without a realtor, see Should I list my land for sale on MLS?
That concludes 6 Free or Cheap Ways to Sell Land Without a Realtor. As we've seen, there are some traditional ways of finding a land buyer like a For Sale sign and telling the neighbors. There are also some that leverage the internet to reach a wider audience.
The steps mentioned here can provide lots of exposure for your vacant lot listing without costing too much. But doing just one or two of them may not be enough.
We recommend doing all six steps described here to advertise the property broadly. This will give you the best possible chance of selling your land fast. Selling land isn't hard, but it does require a lot of patience and persistence.
To learn more about selling your land yourself, check out the rest of our for sale by owner posts. We go in much more detail about each of the six ways to sell land by owner and more.