Looking to purchase some land? Check out this post with the 5 top questions that land buyers should ask their broker. No matter what part of the land buying process you are in, it’s important to make sure you’re asking the right questions. Nowadays, there is so much information available online and farm and ranch offerings are no exception. Hall and Hall’s ranches for sale feature premium photography, interactive maps, digital flyers and brochures, and videos. This online information is a great starting point and can help start the dialogue between a buyer and a broker. Use these 5 topics to dive deeper on a potential property and make sure it’s the perfect place for you.
The land isn’t much use to the buyer if they can’t get to it. A buyer will want to know how accessible the property is. This is especially true for properties that get a lot of snow during the winter. Buyers will want to know if there is a frontage road that provides private access to the property, or if there is a shared road with a neighbor (deeded easement.) Having information about how accessible the land is, is one of the most important factors for a buyer.
Highest and Best Use
A buyer probably already has an idea of what they want to do with the land they are buying. They have big plans for building a home or business, starting a farm, or setting it up for private hunting grounds. They’re going to want to know the highest and best use for the land to make sure it coincides with their plans. To determine the highest and best use of the property, have an appraisal done on the property. The appraiser will look at four main factors to determine the highest and best use, including:
- Is the use physically possible?
- Is the use legally permitted?
- Would the use be financially feasible?
- Would the use be maximally productive?
Armed with this information, brokers will be able to tell the buyers, with confidence, that the land is best suited for their plans.
If the buyer intends to use the land to grow crops, the makeup of the soil is going to be paramount in their decision process. They will want to know if the ground has been tested for percolation rate and the ability of the soil to absorb water. Buyers who are looking for healthy soil for growing plants will be looking for a profile of approximately 40% sand, 40% silt and 20% clay. There are plenty of DIY ways to test the soil profile, and some local landscaping companies offer soil testing for a fee. Having an updated soil analysis handy in the land-selling process can help buyers determine if the land will meet their needs.
The fact that something can or can not be built on the land can be a deciding factor for many buyers looking at land. Understanding land regulations, conducting a title search and contacting the local building offices are all ways to get confirmation about whether or not the land is buildable. If brokers can be proactive and provide buyers with proof that the land is buildable, everyone will save a lot of time. When it comes to buying land, zoning requirements are important to understand. Buyers want to know what the zoning district is based on what they are planning to do with the land. They’ll also want to know if there are wetlands or floodplains on the property and maybe even if the property can be subdivided.
Buyers want to know what the broker knows. They want to know the details that they can’t possibly find online or from a walk-through. If they can understand how beautiful the property is in the fall, or how close it is to crystal clear springs for swimming or picturesque mountains for hiking, they can picture what it would be like to own the land.