You've read the statistics that say it's best to sell your home in the spring or early summer.
Landscaping is in bloom, offering excellent curb appeal. Prospective buyers are shaking off their winter coats and looking to attend open houses. Families want to get in their new digs before school starts back up in the fall.
This makes sense, but industry experts disagree on its accuracy.
However, what about putting your empty lot on the market?
The reality is that you can drive yourself crazy wondering when to sell land. Are the warmer months best? What about the end-of-the-year buying frenzy?
Today, we're breaking this subject down to the basics, so you can stop stressing and start turning that dread into dollar signs.
Ready to learn more? Let's jump in!
Tourism Spikes Make Autumn Attractive
When it comes to the best time to sell land, think outside of the springtime box.
Instead, embrace the fall and early winter months. This is especially true if you're looking to sell your land in Florida.
Why? The answer has to do with the tourism spike that the state sees during this time of year. As temperatures cool down around other parts of the country, they're nice and warm in the Sunshine State.
For that reason alone, many consider winter to be the high tourist season. You'll also see a high number of snowbirds in autumn. If there isn't a hurricane threatening the coastline, November is often Florida's driest month.
In addition to transient vacation-goers, the state also attracts a healthy population of international visitors looking to put down roots in the form of a vacation or retirement home. They'll visit during the cooler seasons to beat the summertime crowds, enjoy the comfortable weather and take a look around.
While most homebuyers across the state tend to cool their brakes in winter, land buyers aren't the same. Their needs, desires, and motivations are different, and this drives them to stay the course. You can expect to see continued momentum moving into the end of the year and the beginning of the next.
Do you have a wooded lot for sale? Take your pictures and post your listing in autumn, when the leaves are at their peak and the foliage looks its best.
Catering to the Construction Industry
Another reason to sell your Florida land in autumn? Developers looking to construct a building on your lot or homeowners visualizing their dream estate can go ahead and get the ball rolling with construction contractors.
This way, they have a few months to prime the land and get it ready to begin official construction in the spring. At the beginning of this year, construction workers regained their confidence in the direction of the market, and that optimism continues to hold strong.
In fact, more than 70% of contractors plan to increases their staffing levels in the next six months, and more than 56% anticipate a rise in profit margins as they enter the second quarter of 2019. These metrics speak to a thriving building industry across the country and one that Florida echos with its rising home sales.
From low interest rates to high rental costs and a dwindling housing inventory, there are myriad reasons why this industry is at a boom. Regardless of how it happened, it's great news for those with vacant land to sell.
Low Winter Inventory Decreases Competition
Home sales tend to dip in winter. They begin to decline around the November-to-December timeframe to be specific.
However, land sellers don't have to sweat. This doesn't apply to your sector.
Think about it. Your land isn't tied to the same time restrictions or lifestyle needs as a house is.
No one needs to move onto your lot before school begins. At the same time, no one is looking at it and dreading the idea of lugging all their belonging over in the cold. In other words, your lot has infinite potential that isn't time-sensitive.
Another reason not to pull your listing in the winter? Selling land involves less prep work on your end. Many home sellers choose to deactivate their listing during the winter to avoid the hassle of keeping their home show-worthy during the holidays.
They don't want to contend with cleaning carpet, scrubbing windows or picking up after the kids when friends and family members are around. That makes sense for their situation, but it doesn't apply to yours.
Besides seasonal maintenance and upkeep, you don't have to visit your property in person and get it show-ready every time someone books a tour. For this reason alone, you can keep your listing active even during the slower winter months. Your family time and personal life don't take a hit when your listing finds an interested eye.
Some Properties Shine in Snow
Not lucky enough to call warm and sunny Florida home? That's OK! Your property may get lots more snow in the winter, and that in itself can be an alluring sales factor.
For instance, if you reside in Colorado, advertising a field full of fresh-fallen snow will appeal to the residents and visitors in your area who come to your locale for the great skiing, snowboarding and tubing adventures that abound!
Especially in winter-themed resort towns and ski areas, these colder months often mark the busiest land-selling season of the year. People fall in love with the idea of a winter wonderland and want one for themselves. This is another reason not to deactivate your listing, as you never know when a hotel guest will hop on a smartphone and search for land for sale nearby.
Do you have a lot with a water view? Wait until winter to snap and post your pictures. Without leaves on the branches to block the view, you can advertise the unique vantage point in a gorgeous way!
Desert Dwellers Capitalize on Cool Showings
Do you live in a part of the United States that stays sweltering from January to December? If so, winter is also an ideal time to list your property!
Why? Although the temperatures may still be in the upper 80s, they're lower during these months than any other time. This makes showings and tours of your land that much more accommodating.
Keeping Your Listing Fresh
Despite knowing this, land sellers will often take down their listings in the winter. That's good news for savvy landowners! Lower inventory means less competition during this critical time.
One smart move you can copy? Some agents will pull their MLS listing in the winter to "reset" it in the MLS system once they're ready to put it back on again in the spring when they'll list it as a new property.
If your land has been sitting around for a while without any bites, this can be an ideal fix. Too many days on MLS can give your property a stigma, as people will wonder why it hasn't sold after so long. Even if you do go this route, remember to keep up your marketing efforts on a non-MLS website as you could still find the perfect buyer on a less traditional route.
Throughout the year, snap pictures of your property looking its best in every season. Update your listing with fresh imagery and descriptions every so often so browsers always have something new to look at and consider.
Why Every Season Works
As a landowner, you're in a unique position.
The market will be hot throughout the year. As such, it's smart to tend to your marketing efforts on a continual basis.
Don't let your listing grow stagnant. Update it with fresh images, pertinent details and all the maps and line markings that a serious buyer will want to see.
Let's take a look a few reasons why you can expect year-round traffic when you deal with land over houses.
The Internet Facilitates Year-Round Searching
A decade ago, well-meaning real estate agents would slow down their selling efforts in the autumn and winter months, driven by the belief that buyers wouldn't want to get out in the cold to tour houses.
This was back during the time period when finding a listing involved tracking it down in the newspaper classifieds section, calling an agent on the phone and driving around to view different properties in person. While Florida is still warm at this time, that isn't the case for the rest of the country. Who wants to sit in a cold car and get out every 10 minutes?
Along the same lines, land sellers also followed the same pattern. If no one wanted to head inside a slew of warm houses during the winter, it's doubtful they'd want to tramp around a frozen field. So, they would divert their focus for a while until the temperatures and interest both ramped back up.
Today, we live in the Digital Era (and are about to enter the Post-Digital Era). Anyone can hop online from anywhere and search for property listings. They can be in pajamas or in a conference room, and it doesn't make a difference.
This means they're no longer bound by the seasons — and sellers shouldn't be, either.
Technology Changes How Buyers Search
Thanks to innovations in virtual reality, professional imaging, and even drone photography, in-person tours are almost obsolete, as viewers can get a great sense of detail and scale from behind their smart screen. Millennials are especially quick to make use of this technology, with 45% of this demographic buying a home sight-unseen in 2017.
Overall, 92% of property buyers use the internet at some point during their search. It doesn't matter if it's raining or snowing. As long as they have a WiFi connection, they're good to go.
Another benefit of this always-on connectivity? Interested buyers can access your land listing any time of day. They don't have to worry about catching an agent during office hours.
With a few clicks, they can schedule a showing, even if the request comes in at midnight.
The Impetus of Great Web Design
As more prospective buyers search online for available listings than ever before, there is an impetus on sellers to make sure theirs is top of mind.
If you're still rocking grainy photographs and a description that's only a few meager sentences long, it's time to buff it up a bit. Invest in a professional photographer to take pictures of your land, amplify the write-up, and include as many important facts and details as possible.
Go ahead and take care of this step in summer or autumn. That way, even if a foot of snow covers your land at the moment, it still looks as great as ever online.
The Final Word on When to Sell Land
Still wondering when to sell land? Thanks to the internet, any time is the prime time!
The best part about owning a vacant lot? You don't have to worry when the winter chill hits. While that might not be much of an issue in pleasant Florida, it can hold some sellers back in other areas of the country.
That said, try to focus the majority of your efforts during the fall and winter months. Competition is lower, timelines are better, and tourist attention is ripe. When you aren't working around the traditional parameters of real estate, you have more freedom and flexibility during this chillier season, so use it to your advantage.
Tired of the headache of planning, posting, monitoring, and maintaining your land listing? Let us buy it from you on the spot.
We'll give you a cash offer in 60 seconds or less — that's fair and reasonable. No more waiting around for a click or pulling your hair out over timing. Get back to living while we take care of everything else!