What Is An Agent’s Role In a Land Sale?
If you’ve bought or sold a home before, you know there are a lot of details that go into a real estate transaction. Most of us don’t have the time or expertise to get a deal of that complexity done on our own.
Land is a far less well known property type, and it’s probably even more challenging for a layperson to transact than residential real estate. Thankfully, there are real estate agents who specialize in land that can help you navigate land transactions.
A land agent’s role is to represent you through the entire process of buying or selling land. Their responsibility is to advocate for your interests and get you the best outcome possible. What does the sale process look like with a land agent?
1. Discussing Your Goals
Aside from industry expertise (and, of course, a real estate license), communication skills are key for a land agent. That’s because they’re going to be acting as your mentor for the coming weeks or months as you complete your sale or purchase.
The very first step of your engagement with a land agent will be a detailed conversation about your goals as a buyer or seller. Are you selling the farm that you inherited from your grandfather and want to make sure it remains in production rather than being developed? Are you looking for a hunting property with potential lodge sites and a history of harvesting big game?
Your agent will work with you to establish a shared vision of the perfect outcome for you. They’ll also establish roles and responsibilities for each subsequent step, making sure you’re clear on what you need to provide.
2. Identifying the Transaction Type
From there, your agent will acquaint you with your options as to what kind of transaction will suit you best, depending on your goals. Common sale types are a traditional land listing, a private listing, an institutional transaction (for large farmland tracts, for example), and auctions.
Need a low-complexity sale that’s closed within a few weeks? Maybe an auction is right for you. Looking for a specific type of property in a specific region? Your agent may be able to consult with other agents and brokers in the area and find the perfect opportunity for a private sale.
If you’re selling a property, this step also includes valuation. This takes tons of different factors into account, from local market conditions to water access. Valuation doesn’t mean you’ll settle on a selling price, but your agent will help you determine a reasonable asking price.
3. Identifying a Land Buyer or Property for Sale
If they’re representing you as a seller, your agent will go into action at this point to get your property sold. They’ll develop a marketing strategy, which may include distributing a listing to strategic audiences, using photography and video to advertise, or showing the property to interested buyers.
If they’re representing you as a buyer, your agent will tap their local networks and start researching purchase opportunities. They may have access to listings that aren’t available to the general public.
Part of your agent’s job is to know their local market. Don’t underestimate the power of insider knowledge for finding you the perfect deal!
If you’re conducting a transaction out of state, a land agent can serve as your boots on the ground, either being your eyes as they visit potential purchases or representing you as a seller from a distance.
4. Negotiating the Sale of the Land
Your land agent’s real estate license came with a lot of training in the nitty gritty of property transactions in their jurisdiction. That knowledge comes in handy once you get a property under contract.
As you negotiate price and contingencies, your agent can perform deep research on properties, such as production history for farmland or leasing history for recreational land. They can also help you contract outside professionals, such as a surveyors, appraiser, or auctioneer.
Agents also have privileged access to relevant comparable sales, which are often your best guideposts to a fair market price. Familiarity with local regulations, taxes, water rights, etc. are important at this point as well.
Finally, your agent will be able to draft a clean purchase agreement and guide you through the many documents necessary to transact a piece of property.
5. Guiding You Through the Process
Throughout all of this, it is your agent’s job to communicate with you, making sure you have all necessary information and materials. They may accompany you at key moments—a showing, an appraisal, or a closing—to offer support and an insider’s perspective. In short, a good land agent will see you through a seamless execution of the transaction. If all goes well, you’ll be a huge step closer to accomplishing your goals with respect to land. Learn more about buying and selling land with AcrePro on our FAQs page.