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Explaining the sales process: Part 1
Selling property may seem like a simple task: Find a buyer who will pay the listing price and close the deal. However, as anyone who's been through the sales process or works in the land sales industry will tell you, that's not quite how it works.
By Mossy Oak Properties

Selling property may seem like a simple task: Find a buyer who will pay the listing price and close the deal. However, as anyone who's been through the sales process or works in the land sales industry will tell you, that's not quite how it works.

Sure, a quick-fix sale could garner you the cash you need in the short term, but what about all the paperwork, legalities and market forces in play? With potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars at stake, it's always best to exercise caution and foresight. Finalizing a land transaction can be a tedious and time-consuming affair, which means you're best suited to lean on the expertise of a Certified Land Specialist from Mossy Oak Properties.

In a multipart series, we take a look at how landowners should navigate through the land sales process, hearing from some of the industry's best brokers.

Knowing how to begin
The first step to any successful land transaction is to understand what your true goals are. With this vital piece of knowledge you can begin to craft a plan of action moving forward.

Paul Thomas, broker/owner at Mossy Oak Properties Hart Realty in Munfordville, Kentucky, noted this opening conversation is important.

"I tell my sellers to sit down with us to talk about what their goals and hopes are," said Thomas. "Learn about the property and view it, and walk them through the process of what we can do for them."

Once you are honest with yourself, your broker can then begin the actual researching and listing process. At this stage, going it alone is never recommended. A proven, experienced land broker is the key to ensuring your sale is well-researched and completed in accordance with all laws.

Beth McLellan, broker/owner at Mossy Oak Properties Recreational & Timber Land Sales, LLC in Kosciusko, Mississippi, stated sellers should consult with an expert, such as a registered forester.

"Research to find a good REALTOR in the area to handle the marketing and sale of the property," said McLellan. "It would need to be someone who specializes in land sales. Also, get advice on what monies can be recouped for improving the property."

It's also necessary to understand just how much faith you're putting into a broker, as you should be contributing your own due diligence as well.

McLellan suggested sellers should let a realtor handle the process from start to finish. Yet, sellers should be prepared to ask insightful questions to ensure they are still on track to get the most out of the sale.

Putting the property on the market
Getting your property listed can be an arduous ordeal that requires the tandem effort of both you and the broker. To make sure this partnership is beneficial to everyone involved, Thomas noted you should build a relationship with the broker and only make a decision if it feels right.

"I think you should interview the brokers and agents you feel could meet your needs," said Thomas. "See how they promote themselves and your property."

McLellan followed up with how important it is to know the broker's experience.

"Ask for references," said McLellan. "Look at land websites and see who has listings in the vicinity of the subject property. Read some of the agent's listings to see if they are realistic or overpriced. Look at their marketing tools, talk to people in the area and ask the agent to come meet with you to see the property."

Once this relationship is established, you will want to discuss commission rates and potential listing prices. Setting a price that is marketable is critical to selling the property in a timely manner.

McLellan stated a good broker won't bring up hard numbers or commissions until after they have looked at comparable sales.

So just how long will it take to finally get your land listed on the market?

How soon your property is listed can depend on how much research is required and how much prepwork has already been conducted by the broker. Thomas stated it's reasonable to expect a listing by the third day.

Staying active
Just because your property has been listed doesn't mean you simply sit on your hands and wait for the market to do its job. In fact, at this point, the real process begins.

To secure a buyer and close on a deal that is acceptable means negotiating prices and agreeing on specific terms. Plus, you'll have to be aware of the market conditions that could potentially affect inventory and demand in the region in which you list your property.

All of these processions and more will be discussed in part 2 of this series, so be sure to check back soon for more information on how to navigate the land sales industry.

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