Every fisherman has a heartbreaking story about “the one that got away“. That is not the type of story you want to have about a piece of land that you really wanted to purchase.
Last week I had a conversation with a high net worth individual about a piece of property they missed out on last year. This person had been looking for the perfect piece of property for over 5 years, and they finally made an offer on a property I had listed. This property was an exceptional, once in a generation type property, and he made a respectable offer of a little over 90% of the asking price. Another buyer made an offer barely an hour or so before, and ended up offering full price for the property. The full-price offer got the deal done. Why in the world the other individual didn’t offer full price is beyond me. Now he has one of those all too familiar stories of regret about the piece of land that got away.
Here are some tips for making sure you don’t miss out when you find the right property:
- If a potential property appears to meet your criteria, set up an appointment to go look at it as soon as possible. Desirable properties attract a lot of attention, and very often the first to see it is the one who gets the chance to buy it. If owning a piece of land is important to you, make it a priority to visit promising new listings.
- If you visit a property and it “checks all your boxes”, be prepared to write an offer. I often tell sellers that the first offer they receive may the best offer. This is true simply because buyers like you have seen enough properties to know what you want, and are ready to pay for the value you see in the land.
- Have your financing in place, or at least have a head start with the lender so you know you are able to make the purchase.
- Be prepared to pay what it is worth to you. When “the one” comes along, it’s not time to be a cheapskate. There was a farm my wife and I really wanted to purchase two years ago, and we offered the sellers full price for it because it was worth the money to us. We felt like paying the full asking price would have been worth it because we could see ourselves there for decades. (Incidentally, even after receiving our full price offer, the sellers decided not to sell and took it off the market.)
- Try not to get too emotionally attached to a property during the buying phase. Land is a visceral investment. Buyers often get a property stuck in their craw, and you can become obsessed with a place. Do not get so attached to a property (before you own it) that you lose the ability to be objective or walk away if necessary.
- Enlist the help of a true land professional. Having a good land broker in your corner infinitely increases the odds that you have a successful transaction. They have experience with all types of land transactions and the nuances of purchasing rural properties. Find a broker you can trust and lean on them for good advice.
Credit: Jonathan Goode