So you’ve done your homework, have looked at several pieces of land for comparison, and have decided to make an offer. You’ve asked a lot of questions of the seller or seller’s agent, town officials, and neighbors, walked the land several times, consulted with experts as needed, worked through the checklist, and worked out a preliminary budget for land development. At this point, you will still probably have unanswered questions which should be added as contingencies to your offer.
Also I highly recommend having an all-purpose escape hatch in your offer, a discretionary contingency that allows you to back out with your earnest money in case you discover something unforeseen or just decide it’s not the right piece of land after all. A well-drafted offer will protect you against any surprises you discover when further inspecting the physical land, its legal status, or its title.
Put it in writing. Also remember to get any critical information in writing – from the seller, agent, or town official. In real estate transactions, verbal agreements or communications carry little weight. Nor do opinions, such as “I think you could probably subdivide the lot.” Make sure any important information that might affect the value of the land or your ability to use it as you desire is put in writing.
WORKING WITH REAL ESTATE AGENTS
There’s a good chance that you will be working with a real estate agent in your search for land. A good agent or broker (the owner of a real estate brokerage) can be a great resource and help you locate, evaluate, and compare pieces of land. Always remember that, however, that unless you are expressly working with a buyer’s broker, the agent is working for the seller, not you. read more
WRITING AN OFFER
The one thing I remember from a college course I took on negotiations is that the most powerful tool in any negotiation is knowledge. This has proven true again and again over the years. The more information you have about a property before you make an offer the better. In addition to the physical characteristics of a land and its status under zoning, it is helpful to know why the owner is selling it now, what he paid for it, how long he has owned it. At the outset, it’s highly likely that the seller knows more about the land than you do, so do everything in your power to gather enough knowledge to level the negotiating table read more