Uncategorized November 18, 2020

Land – A Speciality Discipline for Real Estate Practitioners


The purchase or sale of vacant land is a speciality discipline within real estate — just like cardiology and neurosurgery are speciality disciplines within medicine. It’s true that both cardiologists and neurosurgeons are medical doctors, but there’s a clear preference if one is having a heart attack, right? The same is true when it comes to the purchase or sale of land: one shouldn’t hire someone who is great at selling houses; rather, one should employ a broker who is well-versed in the sale & marketing of vacant land. There are many key differences that both buyers and sellers should understand.

When one contemplates a house for purchase, a home inspection costing a few hundred dollars is usually elected and maybe even a sewer scope, but the rubric for investigating a parcel of land suitable for building is much more in depth. One should not only consider the cost to connect or install utilities, but also the topography of the lot, the presence of sensitive or critical areas like wetlands, the zoning classification and the location of any easements. One must also locate a suitable builder and line-up the appropriate financing. With respect to financing, there are two core options: a raw land loan or a construction loan. The former usually requires a down payment in the range of 20-50% whereas the latter form of financing can encompass the costs to construct the house and the costs associated with connecting and establishing utilities. Each source of financing has pros and cons and buyers should evaluate their options carefully alongside a competent real estate broker & loan originator. Perhaps the easiest part of the process is the actual construction of the house!

The marketing of vacant land likewise requires a different approach than marketing a house. The biggest mistake I see other brokers make is uploading poor photos. This is why I utilize overhead drone photos with approximate dimensions and boundaries superimposed on the photo as this allows potential buyers to survey the entire property in relation to the surroundings. Furthermore, it is imperative to employ videography that shows the many different perspectives of the property — pasture, wooded areas, road frontage and potential building sites. The combination of comprehensive photography and videography paired with a well-written narrative that accentuates the most important marketing features is extremely important. Very often, I encounter parcels that would otherwise sell if they were properly marketed with care and attention to detail. Here’s some feedback I received from a seller after selling her properties which previously languished on the market for over a year with another broker:

“This is the hardest working, and the most effective Agent you could ask for! Whether you are buying or selling this is the Agent you want! He was able to sell my property because he was 100% engaged for me and tackled every issue that came up. This property would not have closed without his skill and engagement. In my experience I have never met and agent that is so really there for you. I know because I was unavailable (in another state and different time zone) and he was able, on multiple occasions, to meet contractors at the property to correct issues to keep things moving forward. Without his extraordinary efforts on my behalf, the sale would have never come to closure. He is passionate about what he does, has loads of integrity, and makes every effort to keep you informed, guide you if you want it, and finds solutions to complete the sale. He is simply everything you would want in an Agent!” – Sarah S.

Bottom-line: the sale or purchase of vacant land requires a speciality professional who understands the processes required to evaluate land parcels and understands how to shepard buyers to the finish line. Buyers and sellers of vacant land should carefully vet their representation because not all brokers are created alike and their experience specific to land is critical to the success of the transaction. In truth, the marketing and sale of vacant land requires an experienced and robust professional. Just as there are speciality disciplines within medicine, so, too are there speciality disciplines within real estate – especially when it comes to the sale or marketing of land.

If you are contemplating the purchase or sale of land, I would love for the opportunity to interview for the job. I know what works and I understand how to employ the same proven methods for your success. Each parcel requires a diligent evaluation and a professional to guide you with surgical precision. Don’t just take my word for it! Here’s some feedback from another satisfied client:

“I listed an unimproved lot with Drew. He has extensive experience with the complexities of land sales. He researched the parcel, produced an attractive video presentation for it, and mediated a successful sale. He is knowledgeable, informative, readily available, patient, and has a sense of humor. He is thoroughly professional and a pleasure to work with.” – Dr. William S. 

You can learn more about my and my marketing techniques by visiting the following links:


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