How to Sell Land Online
In the past, when you wanted to sell land there were limited options. You could sell to a neighbor or someone else you know or you could list the property for sale with a real estate agent.
Both of those methods can still be effective, but the internet opened up new ways for land owners to sell land online. Selling land online may fit your needs better if you plan to sell by owner or want to sell your land quickly.
Below we guide you through the three main ways to sell land online 1) posting on free websites such as Zillow, Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist 2) listing on paid websites specific to vacant land and 3) selling your land to a land buying company like ours.
Why sell land online?
There are many reasons to sell land online these days. The main reason is the internet allows you to market the property for sale widely. Many people looking to buy land search the websites listed here because often raw land is not listed on the MLS (multiple listing service) the way that houses are.
Another reason to sell land online is to reduce costs. Selling land online without a realtor means you'll save the cost of commissions, which can be 10% of the sales price for land listings.
Still, you may not be able to avoid all costs unless you sell to a we buy land company which typically will pay for all closing costs. If selling land by owner, you're likely to have some costs such as photography, attorney's fees, and closing costs.
Sell land online safely
Even if you see the benefits of selling land online, you may be wondering if it's safe. After all, one of the benefits of selling land the traditional way is that would know your buyer.
If you follow these steps, selling land online is just as safe as selling the traditional way.
1. Research your buyer
Whether you're selling to an individual or a land buying company, be sure to do your due diligence on them before signing a sale contract. When selling to an individual, some things to consider are whether their intended use matches the land you're selling, how serious they seem, and how much they know about the property.
When selling to land buyers, you may want to check their reviews online, ask how long they've been in business, and if they've purchased other properties in your area recently.
2. Use standard purchase and sale agreements
Once you've found a potential buyer, the next step is drafting a sale contract which may seem daunting to some land owners. It doesn't need to be though because they are standard purchase and sale agreements available that make the job simpler and will protect both you and your land buyer.
One option is to use the forms created by the real estate commission of your state. For example, the Texas Real Estate Commission contract forms provide an Unimproved Property Contract suitable for land sales.
Another option is to use a contract from legal documents providers such as US Legal or Rocket Lawyer. These contracts are state specific and you can access the library of documents these sites have for a small subscription fee or maybe even get what you need with a free trial.
3. Close the transaction with a real estate attorney or title company
The most important step in selling land online safely for both the land buyer and the seller is to close the transaction with a title company or real estate attorney. As the seller, this provides protection by ensuring that the documents required to legally transfer title to the new owner have been prepared properly. Since the title company or real estate attorney will hold the buyer's funds in escrow, it also ensures that title will not be transferred to the land buyers until the purchase funds are ready to be sent to the seller.
Sell your land online for free
There are several highly-trafficked websites where you can list your land for sale for free. Three that are household names for most people include Zillow, Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist. Each has it's pros and cons, and since selling land online is all about maximum exposure for your property, we recommend posting to all of them.
When it comes to buying and selling real estate 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.
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. And Zillow has a specific category for lots and vacant land.
One drawback of Zillow is that prioritizes listings by realtors and makes it harder for a potential buyer to find for sale by owner listings.
Still, considering how easy it is to create a listing, and how many potential land buyers search the platform, Zillow should be part of your strategy for selling land online. For our complete guide, see How to Sell Land on Zillow.
2. Facebook Marketplace
Facebook is used by approximately 200 million Americans, and about 75% of them use Facebook on a daily basis. Facebook Marketplace is the 'classifieds' area of Facebook and you can sell just about anything there. It's not surprising then that it's a great platform for advertising land.
Marketplace is an easy way to sell your plot online with an ad that will be seen by many people, and as a social network your ad will also reach a wider audience when people share it with their friends.
There are a few downsides to Marketplace, as well. There's not specific category for land, although in our experience land listings get lots of views. You'll be using your Facebook profile to post the ad, which may create privacy concerns for some land owners. You'll also need to be diligent about reposting the ad as yours will get buried under many other ads within a few days.
As a free way to sell vacant land online though, Facebook Marketplace is essential. What's so powerful about it is that people that see your ad will share it with friends they know are looking to buy land. For our complete guide, see How to Sell Land on Facebook Marketplace.
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 a used couch, think again - Craigslist is home to millions of real estate listings.
Craigslist has a specific category for listing land for sale. There is a map search function which is ideal for prospective buyers searching in a specific area. The Craigslist listing template allows you to upload up to 24 photos and there are many styling options to help make your listing stand out.
One the drawbacks of Craigslist is that it's known as a place for bargain hunters and there tend to be a lot of 'tire kickers' that will waste your time. Similar to Facebook Marketplace, you'll need to repost your ad frequently for it to get good exposure.
Still, considering it's free and the listing template is ideal for real estate, it should be part of your strategy to sell your land online.
To learn more about selling land online with Craigslist, see How to Sell Land on Craigslist.
Best paid websites to sell land online
Free websites are a great place to start selling your land online, but if you don't get the results you want or are looking for even more exposure on the internet, there are paid sites that can be worthwhile.
One is the Land.com family of sites which include Lands of America, Land And Farm and LandWatch. According to Land.com these are three of the most visited land listing marketplaces on the web with 12+ million visits per month to the network of sites.
One of the real benefits of these websites compared to the free ones we listed is that EVERYONE that visits these sites is actually looking for land, while land is not the focus of the free sites.
All the additional exposure will cost you though. The 'Standard' listing starts at $90 per month and would be displayed beneath the 'Premium' and 'Signature' listings which cost $175 and $550 per month, respectively. Considering it often takes 6-12 months or longer to sell land, these fees can add up. You also have to pay in advance, unlike a sales commission to a realtor that you only pay if there is a sale.
For some land owners, it may still be worth it. The larger, more expensive the property you're selling, the easier it is to justify to the cost.
2. Flat fee MLS websites
Flat fee MLS listing websites offer an arrangement where the seller will pay a fee to a broker to have a property listed on the MLS (multiple listing service) instead of paying the broker a listing commission (percentage of the sales price).
The MLS is a database for realtors to post their listings for sale, which can then be seen by all the other realtors participating in that MLS. The public can also then see the MLS listings through websites like Realtor.com and Zillow that publish listings directly from the MLS databases.
The fee is paid upfront whether or not the property sells and generally costs between $100-$500 for a listing package lasting for 3 to 12 months. It's also customary, but usually not a requirement, to offer a buyers real estate agent commission between 2.5 to 5%. That's why flat fee listings are mostly about reducing or eliminating the listing agent's commission.
There are a TON of flat fee MLS services to choose from, but here's a few to get you started: CongressRealty.com is only for western states, while ByOwnerMLS.com and BrokerDirectMLS.com are nationwide.
To learn more about the pros and cons of listing your land on the MLS, see Should I list my land for sale on MLS?
Selling your property to a cash buyer
The other option for selling land online is to sell your land fast to a cash buyer like us. The reality is that while there are many options for selling land online, it's not easy. It takes a lot of time to create advertisements, post them to various websites, and then respond to interested buyers. After that, you have the sales contract to negotiate and the closing to arrange.
Most sellers will also find there are costs associated with selling land online, whether it's getting professional photos or paying to list on some of the premium websites with more traffic and potential. And all of this effort comes with uncertainty about whether you'll actually find a land buyer or not.
For those reasons, convenience is more of a priority than getting the highest sale price for some sellers. The main benefit of selling your vacant land to one of the online land selling sites is the company does all the work for you. These companies can make the transaction easy and painless for you as the seller, such as not needing to take photos, put up a for sale sign, or take calls from prospective buyers. Typically, they can often buy your property quickly.
The downside to selling to a cash buyer is a discounted sale price since they need to make a profit (and go through all the steps to sell the land that you may not want to). For some sellers, this is a trade-off worth making when they consider the alternatives.
If you'd like to receive a no-obligation cash offer for your land, you can complete our simple cash offer form. Why not find out the cash value of your land before starting the process of listing your land for sale online?
In the recent past, there were few options for selling land. Today a property owner has many more options thanks to the internet. These options range from time-intensive but cost-saving methods like posting on free websites to time-saving options like selling directly to a real estate investor through a land buying website.