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 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 successfully sell land. 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.
Do you need more details on selling land without a real estate agent? Check out our guide to selling land by owner in 4 steps.
In this guide:
- 💰 Eliminating the listing agent's commission can save you money when selling land without a realtor.
- 💸 Savings may not be significant as you may still need to pay a commission to the buyer's agent of 2.5 to 5%.
- 💵 Flat fee listings on the MLS typically cost between $100-$500 and may include a small real estate broker commission.
- 💲 Selling to a land buyer can provide a quick and hassle-free cash offer for your property.
- 🔁 To maximize exposure, it's recommended to utilize multiple methods mentioned in the article.
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 seller's agent - or realtors- can reduce costs. But, it can also be a lot more work.
For other people, finding a realtor willing to list your raw land for sale may take a lot of work. Rural areas especially have fewer professional real estate agents.
If you 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 may not add up to a very significant commission.
If you've been asking, 'Can I sell my land without a realtor?,' our answer is a definite 'Yes!'
Going into the process, you should know that it is much harder to sell land than a house in most places. There are many reasons for this, but the simplest is that everyone needs a roof over their heads, but not everyone needs land. You may need to sell more than someone needs to buy.
Steps before selling your property
Getting photos of your land
Not sure where to start? Most ways to advertise vacant lots and land require photos, so consider taking care of that before getting started. Check out Should I Hire a Real Estate Photographer? to see whether you need to hire someone and how much it will cost.
You'll have to decide what asking price you want to set for your property before putting your sign in the ground. Once people start calling you, you'll need to be confident about your listing price. Do your research, come up the fair value of your land, and then be firm with the prospective buyer.
Do I need a second phone number?
You may consider getting a second phone number to sell your land. This can be done free or inexpensively and helps protect your privacy. Many ways to market your land for sale involve publicly listing your phone number. Using a second number will keep your personal phone number private.
Google Voice is one option for adding a second phone number to your existing smartphone. Adding a phone number in Google Voice is free. When someone calls that number, it will ring on your personal phone.
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 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. Signazon offers many types of custom banners and signs. They can print and ship the signs to you.
For more detail and to see the specific sign we recommend, see Sell Your Land for Less than $100 with a Sign.
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 a 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. For that reason, this should be one of the first things you do to sell your land. A neighbor letter campaign will reach this pool of potential buyers with few steps and little cost.
The keys to this approach are:
1) using a data service to get a list of mailing addresses
2) using mail merge or 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. Regrid will prompt you to save your focus area. You can name it something like 'neighbors.' 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'll write your letter. Then we'll wrap up by combining the neighbor list and letter.
What to Say in the Letter
Keep it short and simple. Your letter just 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
- Handwrite the mailing addresses on the envelopes
- Stuff the envelopes
- Add postage to each envelope
Handwriting 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 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. The total cost of a mailed letter of $0.75 per letter or less. That's 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 reasonable.
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. Lastly, 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.
See Sell Your Land with a Neighbor Letter Campaign to learn more about neighbor letter campaigns, including what to write in the letter.
Craigslist - tap into online land market
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 many 'tire kickers' - people who 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 to sell the most valuable properties.
- Very high-traffic website
- Specific category for land
- Upload up to 24 photos
- Responding to 'tire kickers'
- Bargain buyers
- Need to re-post often
What category to list land for sale?
Everything on Craigslist is organized into categories. There is a specific category for land sales on Craigslist, but it's not intuitive to find. To list the land for sale, select 'housing offered.' Next, click '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. The title should make it clear what you're selling and what's most appealing about it. You're likely competing against many other listings and standing out starts with the title.
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 💦 lets people know right away that it's a wooded lot and highlights being near the water as the main selling point.
The 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 of a 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 attention to the first image (the featured image in the top left corner). That's the only photo people will see unless they click on your listing, so it should clarify exactly what you're offering.
Re-post 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 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, check back in a couple more days. Once you know how often you can renew your listing, create a schedule and reminder 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. You can also create listings with detailed descriptions and lots of photos that showcase raw land 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 examples of successful land listings, see How to Sell Land on Craigslist.
Facebook Marketplace - market vacant land socially
Approximately 200 million Americans use Facebook, and about 75% of them use Facebook daily. It's not surprising then that it's an excellent 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 many 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 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 property 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 re-post 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 can add up to 10 photos. Having great images can differentiate your listing from the competition.
Once the photos are uploaded, you can rearrange them. Pay attention to the first image (the featured image in the top left corner). Often, this will be an aerial shot identifying the property boundaries. That's the only photo people will see unless they click on your listing, so it should clarify exactly what you're offering.
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 relevant for a land listing, so choose 'New.' Enter your asking sales price, and you're ready to move on to the description.
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 of a short description that calls out the most essential features:
The most important part of the final section is Location. If you don't live near the land you're selling, keep in mind that this is the land's location, 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 seven days. Set a reminder to renew your listing every seven days. The views you'll get will drop off significantly as the days pass, so it's crucial to stay on top of this. You can only renew a few times before Marketplace allows you 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 many 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 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 on the go. Any response - even to say you'll answer their question in detail later - helps build trust with your land buyer.
Facebook Marketplace allows you to easily create ads that many people will see. Marketplace is powerful because it's a social network that lets people share your listing with friends.
It's also popular, so there are many competing listings on Marketplace. It's vital to be patient and diligent in renewing your listing and responding to buyers quickly.
To learn more about selling land on Facebook Marketplace including examples of successful listings, see How to Sell Land on Facebook Marketplace.
Zillow - steps to selling
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 attractive for-sale-by-owner listings. 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. 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 the wrong map location
- Create your listing
Head to Zillow's For-Sale-by-Owner listing page to get started. Don't be alarmed to see that Zillow asks for a complete street address, which you often will not have if you're selling a parcel of land.
Enter the street name, city, state, and zip code, 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. 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. You can click Yes to continue if the dot is already close to your property. 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 necessary 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 straightforward. To sell vacant land, add the price, the parcel size, a description, and your contact information, and upload your photos.
After entering your selling price, upload your photos. Pay attention to which image is first (the Main Photo shown at the top). That's the only photo people will see unless they click on your listing, so it should clarify exactly what you're offering. Often, 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 help sell your property more than anything else, 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 is free to post there, so it's essential for 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 six on our list of cheap ways to sell undeveloped land below.
Once on the MLS, Zillow will automatically post it with the same price, photos, and description as your MLS listing. You'll benefit from the added exposure of the MLS, and your listing will be as visible as the properties listed by realtors.
See How to Sell Land on Zillow to learn more about selling land on Zillow, including examples of successful land listings.
MLS (Multiple listing service)
If you've ever seen real estate listings on a website like Realtor.com, Zillow, or Trulia, or a glossy magazine 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. Hundreds of MLSs serve different local areas and sometimes overlap each other.
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 help realtors and their clients buy and sell real estate. Not everyone knows 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 buyer's 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
Exposure is the main reason to list your land for sale on the MLS. The MLS is the predominant way real estate is advertised for sale. If you don't take advantage of the MLS you're potentially missing out on buyers.
Popular, high-traffic websites like Zillow automatically publish MLS listings, magnifying their exposure. MLS listings are also displayed 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 can also 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 typically 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.
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 paying a commission to the buyer's agent is still typical. 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, remember that six months will not be long enough to sell a parcel of land in many cases.
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 cost about as much as the flat listing fee.
Finally, it's customary, but usually not a requirement, to offer a buyer's agent commission between 2.5 to 5%. That's why flat fee listings are primarily 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, either with a real estate agent or 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?
Alternative - get cash offer from a land buyer
If you want to sell your property without a realtor, but don't want to go through all the steps yourself, you may want to consider getting a cash offer from a land buyer. A land buyer is a company or individual who specializes in purchasing land, often for the purpose of developing it or flipping it for a profit.
There are pros and cons to selling land directly to a land buying company. Selling a lot for cash can save you a lot of time and make the process easy. Land buying companies also pay for all closing costs, saving you from title company fees.
Another benefit of getting a cash offer is that the process is much faster. There is no need to wait for a buyer to get financing. The entire selling process can take as little as two weeks.
Conclusion - sell land without a real estate agent
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. Other ways 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.
Selling land isn't hard, but it does require a lot of patience and persistence. 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.
To learn more about selling your land yourself, check out the rest of our for-sale-by-owner posts. We go into much more detail about each of the six ways to sell land by owner and more.