How to Sell Land on Zillow
If you’re looking to sell land on Zillow, it's probably because you already know that it's one of the top websites for buying and selling real estate online. In fact, Zillow is the # 1 most visited real estate website, with tens of millions of visitors every month.
To start with, you may be wondering, "Can I sell my land on Zillow?" Yes, you can absolutely list land for sale on Zillow and it's a great source of potential buyers since it's a heavily trafficked site.
You'll learn how to sell land on Zillow in this detailed guide including how to price your listing, how to post your land listing without an address, and what to pay attention to in the listing description.
Warning - there are also drawbacks with for sale by owner listings on Zillow that you need to be aware of. We'll explain why your Zillow may not be seen by potential buyers - and provide one possible solution to getting the visibility you need to sell your land.
In this guide:
Why sell your land on Zillow?
Zillow is a website dedicated to buying and selling real estate online - including land. Not just any website, but the most visited real estate 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 below in 'Why your listing may not be seen'. For now, just be aware that 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.
Because of this limitation, consider paying a flat fee to list your property on the MLS (multiple listing service), even if you are selling for sale by owner. Your local MLS is the database that realtors use to list properties for sale. Properties listed there get picked up by Zillow automatically, and will be more visible than if you post to Zillow directly.
- Very high traffic website
- Specific category for vacant land
- Free to post
- Simple, attractive listing template
- No relisting required
- For sale by owner listings not as visible
- Sometimes shows wrong map location
Before you sell land on Zillow
Get quality photos
You’ll need quality photos to sell your land effectively just about anywhere online, but especially on Zillow where your listing will be competing with ones listed by realtors. For most land listings, getting your land professionally photographed will be one of the best investments you can make in selling your land. Still not sure if you need professional photography? Check out Should I Hire a Real Estate Photographer?
Do I need a second phone number?
You may want to get 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, including on Zillow, so using a second number will keep your own phone number private.
How to set your Zillow asking price
You’ll have to set your asking price before you start creating your Zillow land listing as well. Choosing the right listing price is one of the most important things you can do when selling land by owner. Value your land too low, and you may not get the best price for it or people may assume there's some issue with it. Price it too high, and you may scare off buyers who would otherwise be interested.
Research your local market to find land like yours that have recently sold, then consider whether yours has any qualities or defects that would affect its value. Land value is based on many factors, including location, size, zoning, terrain, improvements, and of course, market conditions.
The best way to value land is to compare your parcel to others that are currently listed for sale or have sold recently. This is called the sales comparison approach for determining value.
Zillow is actually a great place to get an initial estimate of your land value. At first, you may just want to get a quick visual check of the health of the land market in your area, which you can do by viewing all the for sale and sold land listings.
Filter 'Home Type' so you're only viewing Lots/Land. The red dots are currently for sale. Compare to the sold listings which appear as yellow dots in Zillow. Roughly the same number of red and yellow dots in your area means there is a healthy demand for land and that when land becomes available, there is usually a buyer for it.
When there are many more for sale listings than sold ones (more red dots than yellow), it's a sign that there aren't enough buyers for all the land that people want to sell in that area and it could take a very long time to sell land there. It also means there may be a big difference between the initial listing price, and the final sale price - if the property sells at all.
To analyze further, you can click on a sold listing and check how long it was listed before it sold. Many, but not all, listings will have this information. To find it on Zillow, scroll down to 'Price History.' There should be a date listed when the property was listed for sale, and also when it sold. Some listings may have several dates where the property was listed, removed, and relisted before finally selling.
By checking how long several similar properties to yours were listed before they sold, you can get an idea of how long it will take your property to sell if it's priced appropriately and marketed well. Still, land is often difficult to value precisely because sales are not as frequent as for homes, and very few comparable listings or sales will be exactly like yours.
How to Sell Land on Zillow
To get started, log in to your Zillow profile or register for a new Zillow account. Then 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.
By the book - do’s and don'ts
Zillow has a number of rules for listing properties on their website which they describe in the Listings Quality Policy.
The most important consideration for a for sale by owner listing is that you may be asked to verify your ownership by providing a certificate of title or other documentation. Without this, Zillow may remove your listing.
Zillow listings are for residential real estate only; their listing policy does not allow for commercially zoned or fractional ownership properties.
Finally, keep contact information out of the listing description. It’s prohibited to include your name, phone number, or email address in the listing description. Just use the contact information section for that.
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.
Under Lot Size, enter the property’s size in square feet or acres, whichever you have. In case you were wondering, there are 43,560 square feet in one acre.
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?
You may have owned this property for many years, but try to see the land as a buyer coming across it for the first time. Things that may seem obvious to you might be overlooked by a buyer that doesn’t know your property or the area.
Under contact information, provide the phone number you want to publish with your listing. Your email address is not required because Zillow will use the email address associated with the Zillow account you’re posting from.
Why your Zillow land listing may not be seen
Although Zillow makes it very easy to post for sale by owner listings, unfortunately they will not be very visible to potential buyers. This is because buyers have to go out of their way to see for sale by owner listings. Here’s an example that a buyer might see when searching for land for sale:
In this stark example, there are 53 properties listed by realtors and one for sale by owner. A buyer would have to click on the ‘1 Other listing’ button to see that property, while the other 53 are already displayed.
So, you can see how this means the for sale by owner listing is likely to be viewed far less than the other listings. You really don’t want your listing to be the ‘odd man out.’ We discuss a possible solution for this in the next section.
Alternative to Zillow for sale by owner
If you’re determined to sell your land yourself, but are concerned your for sale by owner listing may not be viewed by many potential buyers on Zillow, one alternative solution is to pay for a flat fee MLS listing.
The MLS (multiple listing service) is the database that realtors use to list properties for sale, but there are services that allow you to post without being represented by a real estate agent.
The main idea is that for a fee generally ranging from $100 to $500, a broker will list the property on the MLS for you for 6 to 12 months which makes it easy for real estate agents to find your listing for their clients that are looking to buy land.
Under this arrangement, you also pay a small percentage of the sales price to the broker - usually around 0.5%. You also have the option to pay a commission to a buyer’s real estate agent, if any.
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 for being on the MLS and your listing will be just as visible as other properties listed by realtors on Zillow.
To learn more about flat fee MLS listings, see Should I list my land for sale on MLS?
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does Zillow buy land?
No. You may have heard that Zillow was buying homes, but they decided to discontinue Zillow Offers. They will not be making offers on new homes and they do not currently buy land either.
2. How to list land without address on Zillow for sale?
You can sell vacant land on Zillow without an address, but you'll need the assessor's parcel number. The parcel number can be found on your property tax bill or deed. On the Zillow for sale by owner page, enter the street name, city, state, and zipcode. The next screen will give you the opportunity to identify the property by the parcel number.
3. What types of land listings does Zillow accept?
Zillow only allows residential land listings. They do not currently allow commercial, industrial, timeshares, co-ownership, or farm, and agricultural properties.
For many people, Zillow is the first website that comes to mind when thinking of buying and selling real estate 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, because Zillow prioritizes listings by realtors, your for sale by owner 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 to maximize the views your property will get.
Looking for more ways to sell land by owner? Check out 6 Free or Cheap Ways to Sell Land Without a Realtor.