Buying Land

Land Buyer’s Persistence

Land Buyer's Persistence

I recently helped negotiate a contract with a couple that have been trying to buy a spot in the country since late 2006.  They were not your typical, always-looking customers.  This couple had made legitimate offers, that should have closed, on several different properties since Summer of 2007.  There were at least 5 offers made that did not close.  It’s not that they did not negotiate, or could not financially complete these transactions.  It’s not that they were offering 50% of asking prices expecting a miracle.  It’s not that they got cold feet at the last minute and backed out.  All of these deals fell apart due to something that was totally out of their control. At least three fell apart after a contract was agreed upon.  They were not putting odd contingencies or terms in their offers.  Each time they reacted rationally and methodically.  I was involved in some of these deals and some I was not.  I did show them a lot of properties, but it was because I knew they were ready, willing, and able…not because they could not effectively decide on what they wanted.  They had a clear goal in mind that guided their decisions.  I’ve never seen a couple work so hard at buying a property.  With a little persistence, though, they have finally gotten into a property that they really love.  To top all of that off, it’s the same property they made their very first offer!

In the summer 2007, the market was in full boom.  Prices had reached the levels that we now know as the “Peak”.  This couple made an offer on a property.  Full Price.  Another buyer made an offer on the same property, coupled with a few more acres and the seller opted to sell more acreage.  They really loved this property.  We looked at several properties and then settled on another in early 2008.  They negotiated for, and contracted for the property.  After 3 or 4 months of waiting the seller could not provide clear title.  This deal lead to our considering a neighboring property.  They liked it, and wanted to buy it.  The person that owned it was declared incompetent in the middle of negotiations.  We then moved on to another listing that I had in fall of 2008.  We looked at this property, up one side, down the other, then turned it inside out.  Then collectively came to the decision that this was not the place for them.  By this time, the market had turned significantly and I think they made the decision to wait it out for a while.  During this whole time, they consistently talked about that first property they tried to buy.  They wanted something like that.

Then early this year they began looking at properties with another agent.  That agent called me about some things that I had listed.  Once the agent had explained what her clients were looking for, I suspected it was the people I had been working with.  I sure did not blame them for getting a buyer agent at that point.  They had been through the wringer.  They made offers on one or two properties with her and did not close on either of those.  Between myself and their agent, we eventually got them to take a look at a property that was just across the road from the first property they made and offer on.  They looked at it twice.  I made sure that they understood that the sellers were VERY motivated. They contemplated.  Another week rocked on.  I called the other agent to tell her that the seller was very, very motivated and to bring an offer…even if it was an ugly one.  They contemplated some more.  Then they asked about the property across the road.  The one they originally wanted.  I let them know that I thought it could be bought, and at a good price.  They contemplated some more.  They eventually made an offer on that original property.  The one that they loved so much and wanted to find one like it.  After some negotiation, they got it!

Had everyone involved in this not been persistent, it would not have happened.  If I, or their agent, or the couple who were the buyers had not been persistent, they would not have gotten what they wanted.  After everything they had been through in the search for a property, no one would have blamed them for throwing their hands up in the air and giving up.  But they didn’t.  They were persistent.

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About the author

Robert King

Robert is a Land Agent with Southeastern Land Group. He specializes in helping buyers and sellers of farms, poultry operations, and timberland throughout Alabama and Georgia. Robert is a regular contributor on The Land Show radio program and the Southeastern Land Group Blog.


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  • Sounds something like what Coach Bowden shared with us at the LandThink Summit doesn’t it? Persistence pays off and these buyers were able to get what it was they really wanted. Great article showing teamwork in this industry. That’s always a win, win.

  • It does sound a great deal like what Coach Bowden shared with us. It did take some cross-company team work to make this happen for the buyer and the seller. Our industry struggles with that a bit…at least in rural areas that are not served well by MLS’s. This forum and RLI have fostered cooperation among those that are like-disciplined, but there is a large gap between us “land folks” and “city agents”.

  • I’m considering moving some IRA money into a new IRA account that will allow me to buy raw land for use later to build a retirement home. Any suggestions or advice?

  • It is not uncommon for me to be in contact with a buyer for 12 to 18 months these days. People are really shopping hard before they finally pull the trigger. Glad these people ended up with the property they really wanted. Thanks for the encouragement to hang in there.

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