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What is your property worth?

Provided by Mossy Oak Properties


Selling land comes down to a number of factors that landowners need to be aware of. In many cases, personal judgment should be weighed against the expertise of certified land specialists. However, landowners can sometimes price their land too high for sentimental reasons or too low for the current market. That's where a land specialist can aid not only the seller, but the buyer as well, creating the best arrangement for all parties and securing a deal that is true to the value of the property at hand.

Pricing is determined by knowing how much a piece of land is worth, which is calculated namely by location, according to Jake Ivanoff of Mossy Oak Properties of Wyoming 307 Real Estate in Cody, Wyoming.

Location is the most significant factor when pricing land because buyers are looking for the optimal conditions for which to make use of the land. If a property is located in a preferable climate and is able to produce the crops or game that are highly sought after, then the listing price is likely to be higher.

Other factors to keep in mind are the available assets on the property, such as ponds, rivers, cabins and timber to name a few, Bud Cook of Mossy Oak Properties NC Land & Farms in Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina noted. Not only do these assets create a more appealing image for buyers, but they inherently add value to the land itself.

Going through the valuation process
Individual landowners may not be able to accurately compare their own land to properties nearby because they don't have all the available market conditions readily at hand. A land specialist is the key component to reconciling the demands of the seller and the realities of the current market. 

Land specialists rely upon their expertise and knowledge of the market to make accurate appraisals, but the key is to use fair comparisons of similar pieces of land.

"We try to compare apples to apples," said Ben Rudolph of Mossy Oak Properties Howell & Howell Land and Estates in Carthage, Mississippi. "For example, timber tracts are compared to other timber tracts of similar age, species and location. If a property has an established history of producing trophy whitetails, consistent limits of greenheads, endless stringers of bass and crappie from a lake or stream on site or other recreational value, that often drives the property's value higher than the dirt and timber alone."

Of the particular market factors taken into consideration, Cook indicated the following:

  • size of property
  • available tracts
  • number of acres
  • price per acre
  • amount of timber

Understanding the value of land
The market for any type of product or property is susceptible to change at any moment. Realizing this fact and using it to the advantage of the seller is how Mossy Oak Properties land specialists are able to provide landowners with the best opportunity to sell their land at a price that's appropriate for its worth.

Some issues that affect a person's ability to sell land are external while others are closer to home. For instance, Rudolph stated fluctuations in timber value can drastically change the suggested listing price of a piece of property. Additionally, downturns in the economy can affect land values for long periods of time, which can hamper a sellers chance of getting an agreeable price.

However, during any market condition, how a landowner takes care of his or her own land can have an equally large impact on the overall ability to sell. Commonly, neglect and poor maintenance are key factors contributing to the decline in land value.

"We [Mossy Oak Properties] see properties on a regular basis that were often inherited and have not been farmed or actively managed in years," said Rudolph. "Many times the sellers live out of town or out of state and do not visit regularly. Fence rows can quickly disappear. A quaint little farmhouse can quickly become an eyesore with major problems within just a few years if not properly maintained. Fields that aren't farmed or grazed can get so far out of hand that a combination of chemical application, controlled burning and mechanical work is necessary to make them marketable."

And the costs of returning a property back to marketable condition can sometimes exceed the costs of maintaining the land in the first place.

Trusting an expert to get the best price
During stable market conditions, the difference between one piece of land and another can be a matter of appealing to the right buyer. This is where it is especially important to price property at a reasonable level and put in the work to attract interest.

It should be an easy and enjoyable experience for prospective buyers to walk or drive through a certain property, which is why a good road system can go a long way. Further, food plots, internal trails and shooting lanes can help a landowner's property stand out.

The important thing to remember is that making dramatic, expensive improvements may not pay off if too much is invested. To increase the value of the land and raise the listing price, Ivanoff suggested land owners make "proper improvements without over-improving." Unwisely spending too much money upfront on new land features may not be in line with what buyers in a certain region are actually looking for. 

These tips from Mossy Oak Properties land specialists aren't just simple pieces of advice, they are proven techniques to help sellers get the most out of their land. Selling land doesn't have to be difficult when a specialist is there to lead the way.

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