So…you own some land and are looking to sell. What now? Selling raw land (or a house that needs torn down) can be challenging because it’s a very different kind of buyer. If you’re wondering, how do I sell my land to a developer, then these 4 tips below may help!
Sure, owning land is fairly clear cut: Maintain the yard, shovel the snow, pay yearly taxes, and make sure nobody turns your property into their campground. Selling your land? Well, that’s an entirely different story. As home buyers and general contractors who specialize in ground-up, new construction, we get this question a lot: “How do I sell my Chicago land to a developer?”. Thus, we figured we’d write a blog post about it to share with you
FIRST: What are developers looking for?
Our goal as developers is to, well, develop the land. We want to build on the property and then sell it. Therefore, we look for properties that are close to infrastructure and services (like water, sewer, power, and roads). Being in the city of Chicago, this is a given. But if your property is located in a suburb—or even rural area—utilities may or may not be readily available on your property. And that’s totally OK.
If the land is NOT serviced currently, it’s a good idea to know how far away the services are, and whether those services are being actively worked on by the city.
SECOND: Consider bypassing the real estate agent
Or, at the very least, look for an agent that specializes in selling vacant land. Most real estate agents usually work with residential homeowners who are looking to buy a house they can move into. If you’re wondering “How do I sell my land to a developer?” you may need to find someone who specializes in selling land to commercial businesses.
THIRD: Be aware of zoning rules & regulations
This can be a confusing topic but is essential to developers, especially those like us who work inside city limits. To keep it simple–developers will be looking to build, which may include potentially subdividing and doing additional work on the land.
One of the first things we research when we’re considering buying a piece of land to develop is how the property is zoned. This tells us almost immediately what’s permitted by right—and what’s required–in order to build the type of structure we feel fits best in this area.
Of course, zoning can sometimes be changed. But zoning changes add a variety of costs, and increase the timeline and workflow on the project.
FOURTH: Look at the path of new construction
This one is harder for land owners to know but is an important consideration that the developer is thinking about. If your land is not inside a city, we’d like to know if the city is growing in the direction of your land. You don’t have to know this answer yourself but if you do, that will be helpful to developers.
Bottom Line: While these 4 tips may be helpful to developers, remember, you are not responsible for knowing all of this yourself! That’s why we are here. If you do know the answers before you reach out to developers, great! If not, let’s have a conversation to discuss your land and help you determine the best course of action.