Ah, real estate agents. The pit bulls of the property world. A good real estate agent has the education, experience and connections you need when buying that perfect dream home. But what about raw land? Is a real estate agent really necessary to purchase that corner acre lot of untapped land? Before you get serious about signing on an agent’s dotted line, check out How to Skip the Real Estate Agent and Buy It Yourself:
Step 1: Find some land
In today’s internet age, quality real estate is just a mouse click away. No more waiting for your realtor to call you back or spending hours in a car making small talk as you drive from one property to another. Now you can just surf the web for land for sale in virtually any city or state. We like LandCentral for our land shopping needs, but we’re sure there are others out there too. Oh, and don’t buy into that myth that you have to have a real estate agent to buy from a real estate agent. For sale by owner or realtor makes no difference so long as you do your homework.
Step 2: Do your homework
When it comes to raw land, you can find the answers to your homework by doing a quick title or deed search on the property. Are there utilities available? Septic? What are the zoning laws on the property? Is it in an up-and-coming area? Contact the planning and zoning department in that area and ask them anything and everything about lot dimensions, setbacks, and zoning. Anything you need to know can be discovered through your own researching skills, no agent required. LandCentral makes it a point to answer most of these questions up front so you can focus on the really big ones, like “where should I plant my garden?”
Step 3: Evaluate the land yourself
Before you actually purchase the property, evaluate the pros and cons of the land. This doesn’t mean you throw up a review on Yelp. No, this means you think like a real estate agent and get to the bottom of things. Not sure what to evaluate? This checklist should get you started:
- Zoning laws – What are they and what are the restrictions?
- Permits and costs – Septic, well, building, driveway. What does it already have and what will you need?
- Easements – Are there any?
- Design – Is the land flat or sloped? Shaded or sunny? Will those trees need to come down?
Step 4: Buy Your Land
This is where the real value comes in from not using a real estate agent. You save money. Real estate agents often take a percentage rate on every property sold. By cutting out the middle man, you’ll only have to cover the basics like title search, title insurance and other minor closing costs. Now that’s a win in our book. Not sure you can afford the land even without a real estate agent? LandCentral offers no-hassle financing.
Remember, real estate agents are licensed to sell property, but not all of them are qualified in helping you buy or sell raw land. So save yourself money and painful small talk and do it yourself. Don’t worry, land is a lot less complicated than buying a home. With no home inspections or major closing costs, closing a deal on raw land can be hassle-free. The perfect investment opportunity for those looking to create a real estate portfolio or simply looking to take a chance on a better life.