What is My Land Worth? How to Calculate Land Valuation
Finding out the market value of raw or vacant land can be challenging in a fluctuating market. There are so many factors at play when determining land values that often, landowners can overprice their properties resulting in more time on the market.
The tips in our guide can help you price your raw or vacant land effectively and bring buyers to the table, allowing you to sell your land quickly. Read on to learn more.
Comparable Land Sales
One of the easiest ways to estimate the value of your land is by looking at comparable sales in your area. Using online search engines can usually provide a rough idea of past land sales in your area and how long listings have been on the market. Or, if you’re not having much luck finding recent sales comparable to your listing, then speaking with an experienced real estate agent who specializes in vacant land can often prove beneficial.
Where to find comparable land values
If performing a general online search isn’t getting the results you expected, you may need to research specific sites. There are many real estate websites, but two of the most popular are listed below.
If the property you are trying to value is situated in a rural setting, this site will probably bring the best results. Landwatch is best known for providing listings for vacant land, farms, ranches, and mountain property.
This site offers everything a potential buyer or seller could need when it comes to real estate. From current property listings to mortgage lenders to recent sales, Zillow has a lot of information available to consumers.
Both sites offer search parameters by state, county, and acreage, meaning you can get recent sales specific to your area. As with any search, findings will show recent sales and probable estimates of current listings. Ultimately, the value of anything is determined by the agreed-upon price between buyer and seller.
What factors change raw or vacant land values?
Suppose you’re considering listing your land for sale and have a general idea about its value from searching comparable listings. In that case, there are other things to consider which could increase the estimate. Read on to learn more about why your land may be worth more than you thought.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average size of a lot for a residential home is around 8,892 square feet or roughly one-fifth of an acre. Therefore, if the land you are selling is several acres or larger, the potential for selling it at a higher price is significantly increased. Not only are buyers looking for larger lots to build new homes, but if the property is big enough, developers and investors might be interested in building new subdivisions or for commercial development.
But it’s not just buyers looking to build a new home that might be interested in your land. Some dream of living out in the country or owning a farm, and if your land meets these requirements, it can increase the amount buyers are willing to pay.
Some of the features that many land buyers look for are listings that have access to utilities already on-site or are available nearby. A lot depends on what potential buyers intend to do with the property they purchase and which utilities they prefer. For example, buyers looking to build a new home may pay more for a listing that already has access to electricity and water.
Conversely, buyers looking for land for recreational purposes such as hunting and fishing might not need any utilities, except perhaps, a road to access the property, thus saving you money by not making unneeded improvements.
If your land is in a desirable location, such as close to the beach or near a famous attraction, chances are your listing will sell quickly if it’s priced correctly. If your land doesn’t fall into this category, then the next step is to highlight any special features or usable space.
Does it have a view? Is there room for the kids and dogs to run? Any natural habitats or wildlife nearby? These characteristics are great to include in your listing and are what buyers are looking for. Plus, they can also add thousands of dollars to the value of your land.
Can buyers get to your land easily? Does it have road frontage and a driveway already in place? If so, this can increase the value of your land by thousands. There are many factors to consider when estimating costs for a driveway, such as the type of material used, the length of the drive, and the professional crew performing the work. Sometimes, a load of gravel is all it takes to make a parking area on unimproved land and make it more desirable to interested buyers.
As the saying goes: Location is everything, and that’s especially true when buying and selling real estate. But, again, the appeal of your land will vary greatly, and some who are interested in oceanfront living won’t be as interested in a listing with five acres and room for a pool. The key to selling any property is pricing it at fair market value and finding the right land buyers.
As we mentioned previously, the value of your land depends a lot on its intended use. For example, if the land is suitable for recreational purposes, buyers might not pay as much for it as land close to a major attraction or a prime building location.
Hiring a Real Estate Appraiser
If you’ve done the research and spoken with agents and are still finding it difficult to estimate the value of your raw or vacant land, then it might be time to hire a real estate appraiser. Not all appraisers are created equal, though, and you should make sure they are knowledgeable about vacant land and not just appraising homes.
A smart idea is to ask for their license number and speak with the real estate governing board in your state to make sure they are legitimate with an active appraiser’s license.
By using the tips mentioned above, estimating the value of your raw or vacant land can be a simple process. Do your research, set your price, and let the buyers come to you.