If you were buying a house, the last thing you’d want to see is the current owner’s dirty clothes in the middle of the floor, a sink full of dishes or a car on blocks in the front yard. Those don’t make a positive impact on a buyer when he shows up to look. Well, neither does a gate that won’t swing open, roads that haven’t been bush-hogged all summer or piles of trash and old appliances scattered around just off the main road. A little cleaning up and clipping the roads goes a long way in making a good first impression.
Just like a lived-in home will have dings and battle scars, so will your land. No one expects it to be perfect. But take a look around and see what can be done to simply give it a nicer look. Here are some things that will help. See if any can be applied to your property.
- Hire someone to bush-hog your roads and trails. Grasses and weeds grow vigorously in the south once the weather warms and if we’ve had the usual rains, so get on this before it gets out of control. Be sure you follow guidelines of when and where you bush-hog if your property is enrolled in one of several USDA programs.
- Clean up the trash. Seems easy enough but it’s such a common oversight that it’s number 2 on the list. The world is littered with folks who see nothing wrong with dumping trash on other’s property along the road. It’s a shame and criminal, but unfortunately the landowner is the one who has to keep it cleared away. This may apply within the tract, too. You may need to clear away debris and trash from a past logging operation. It is in your best interest to do so if you are trying to sell your property. I can’t tell you how many empty five gallon hydraulic fluid buckets I’ve seen on people’s land.
- Fix the gate…and kill the wasps! Many rural tracts we sell, especially in Texas, have gates at the main access point. It’s easy to keep these gates in good working order so your land agent can handle them easily. It’s important for the security of your property but also for how it looks to buyers. Wasps love to build nests in the lock areas of metal gates. If you know people are going to be using that gate to try to show and sell your land, get a $4 can of wasp spray and deal with that in advance. I would personally appreciate this! Nothing funny about a fat broker running from red wasps in the summer!
- Organize around the buildings and barns. If your tract has improvements on it, be sure everything is orderly and neat around the camp, house, barns & sheds. It doesn’t have to be perfect by any means, but having all the tools and supplies on the shelves in the barn and the equipment lined up neatly in back adds to the eye appeal to buyers. Spray Round-up, or your favorite glyphosate mixture, to kill all the weeds growing where you can’t mow or bush-hog. Spray the ditch banks and around culverts and water-control structures, too.
- Clear limbs off the main roads and trails. If your land agent is bringing buyers to see your property, be sure they can get around all your roads and trails.
- Clean up around deer stands. For some reason, deer stands seem to be a burial ground for old chairs, tin, boards, etc. from previous deer stands. Some people just leave them there when they repair or replace a stand instead of hauling it off. It’s an eye sore to the new buyer who isn’t used to looking at the mess that you’ve been seeing for 20 years.
Try to look at your property with fresh eyes and see what kind of first-impression it can have on potential buyers. Believe me, it is nice to drive up to a tract with a prospective buyer and hear them ooh and ahh about it from the start.
This preceding article is an excerpt from Pat Porter’s book, “How to Sell Your Land Faster: Proven Ways to Improve the Value & Desirability of Rural Land”, Chapter 2: Make a Good First Impression. The remainder of Chapter 2 contains numbers 7-10. Land owners, land buyers, real estate agents, and land managers can benefit from this book. Eleven proven steps that can help you add value to your land are identified and clearly explained by a leading land broker. The steps offered in this concise book can help you sell your land faster by improving its overall desirability and helping it stand out among other rural real estate tracts on the market. You can purchase the book in print, audio and e-book versions.
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