So, you’re starting your search for vacant land? You came to the right place.
Throughout this article, we cover how to search for listed and unlisted vacant and other land opportunities, and how to leverage commercial property intelligence platforms like Reonomy to find the best possible deal for yourself.
Vacant Land for Sale vs. Off-Market Land
When deciding how to best source vacant land buying opportunities, you have the option to either search for listed properties or to target vacant land off-market.
Vacant land that is for sale is any parcel that is actively being listed and advertised to potential buyers. This is mostly done through real estate listings websites with the help of a broker, but can also be done directly by the owner.
Off-market vacant land, contrarily, is that which is not being actively listed for sale. Just because a property isn’t being actively listed, however, does not mean that and owner is not willing to part with the parcel.
Vacant Land for Sale
Most people that are in the market for vacant land would head to a listings platform to search parcels nearby, and to compare the cost of different types of vacant land already listed.
For anyone looking to sell vacant land, you might be looking for a listing platform to share the property on, as well. Either way, you want to find the right listing platform.
Think about the necessary data that you need to make your decision for the vacant land you are looking at. Consider things like…
- Are you looking for a certain area?
- What’s your ultimate goal for this investment?
- How many details do you need about the property to meet that goal?
There are plenty of real estate listing platforms out there, but not all work as well for those looking to buy and sell vacant land. It can be hard to find the appropriate listing platform for your needs.
Deciding which platforms to search and post on can end up taking a lot of time – and cost more money than you likely planned for. Below is a quick list of some vacant land listings platforms you can explore. If you want a comprehensive breakdown of sales listings sites, however, read our full guide here.
Vacant Land Listings
LoopNet, one of the most prevalent listings platforms, includes land listings and other commercial properties.
Land and Farm specializes in farmland, ranches, commercial and residential property with land attached, has 490,200 listings. Organized by state, with several hundred properties minimum per state.
Other listing platforms that you can use to identify vacant land opportunities include:
Off-Market Vacant Land
While you may be used to searching for new properties on a listing platform, there are major benefits to finding a vacant lot to invest in off-market.
Acquiring Land Off-Market
Not sure about going off-market? Let’s look at the benefits…
Benefits of Acquiring Land Off-Market:
One benefit of off-market deal making is you are likely the first person to reach out to the owner of a parcel.
If the owner has not listed their land, they are probably not actively looking to sell. But there are certain triggers to look for in a landowner that indicate a willingness or desire to sell. Just because someone has not listed their land certainly doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be open to transacting.
Another benefit of searching for off-market vacant land is skipping the broker fees. This kind of direct purchasing can allow you to offer more money directly to the owner of the property, or skip fees that are usually incurred with a listed property.
When looking for off-market properties rather than listed, you also have more flexibility. You don’t limit your search to specific properties, can be more creative with area of interest and have more flexibility with pricing.
You can offer what you believe to be a good price for a plot of land, rather than what another broker has set as a price and is already looking for. This flexibility can be a big benefit based on the kind of deal you are looking for.
All in all, off-market deal making poses a variety of advantages that can seriously benefit the bottom line.
Vacant Land Owner Search
Reonomy Property Intelligence for Finding Land and Owner Details
You might be thinking “If properties aren’t listed, how am I supposed to find them, let alone their respective owners?”
As we mentioned before, property intelligence platforms like Reonomy can totally streamline and strengthen your off-market search. With Reonomy, you no longer have to spend valuable time taking trips to your local county recorder, clerk, or assessor’s office to perform a property search. Instead, Reonomy empowers you to identify off-market properties across the nation and uncover the insights needed to turn those opportunities into deals—all in a couple clicks.
Most importantly, you can find the respective owners and their contact information, like mailing addresses and phone numbers, for the land parcels you want to pursue. Even if a piece of land is owned by an LLC, Reonomy enables you to “pierce” that umbrella entity to uncover true owners, mortgage signatories and more.
Make contact with owners with speed and ease. Understand the owner you are contacting by viewing their ownership portfolio within the Reonomy platform.
This allows you to dig deeper into the history and details of other land and property they own to help understand each property in true detail, and how to best approach that owner with a deal opportunity.
Ownership records help when trying to understand the current owner’s motivations and intent. An owner search will show how long the current owner has held the land for and what they paid for the parcel of land.
Both of these will help when making an inference on what the owner intends to with the property.
For example, the longer someone has held a property, the more likely they are to sell that property. Additionally, the price the owner paid for the property can suggest what they expect to receive for the property now.
The intent of an owner looking to sell can be further analyzed using robust property intelligence. If an owner has owned the land for a short period and is looking to sell, they may value the speed of sale. Understanding the intent of the owner is valuable when making contact. It allows you to tailor your approach. It lets you also find a scenario whereby meeting their needs can also benefit your own.
Land Parcel Search
There are number of ways to narrow your vacant land search using Reonomy.
Search by Map Area:
One way to search for land is through Reonomy’s interactive map.
Within the map, unique parcels of vacant land can be identified and clicked through. A map search is traditionally performed by individuals that don’t have an exact property in mind, and instead are looking for vacant land in a particular area.
You can filter by lot size easily in the search bar, or draw a radius or custom polygon on the map directly.
Search by Location:
If you’re looking in a particular market, you can also search for target vacant land opportunities based on your preferred geography. Use the geographic search most relevant to your objectives including street address, zip code, county, city, MSA, and state.
You can also search for an exact address or for properties specifically within Opportunity Zones.
Search by Land Type:
Reonomy also offers the option to filter by land type, from a more high-level approach of, “All Vacant Land,” down to more granular searches of land sub-types.
Within the Asset Type tab on Reonomy, you can see a list of land types underneath “Vacant Land.” This can be very helpful in the identification of properties relative to what you are looking for.
Some of the filterable options for Vacant Land include Agricultural, Industrial Vacant Land, Residential Vacant Land, General Vacant Land, Commercial Vacant Land, and Special Purpose.
Search by Sales and Debt History:
Search vacant land parcels with motivated owners by filtering for specific sales and debt criteria. Find vacant land with price and date of last sale, or look for parcels coming to term on loans.
Land Owner List
When using Reonomy to search for landowners, there is a lot of information that can be garnered from your search.
Depending on what you are looking for, plan to use Reonomy to make lists, label either properties or owners, and create groups with which you can export a list of contacts or properties with ownership contact details.
Export and contact leads that are directly relevant to you. One of the benefits of curating your own lead list is the function of personalization in your messaging based on their particular owner portfolio or land of choice.
The other benefit is that you are directly calling, emailing or mailing the decision maker for the vacant land.
Land Title Search
Whenever you want to purchase a piece of real estate, especially off-market, thoroughly research the property and its ownership history.
A seller may claim to have a clear title but neglect to mention a mortgage or construction lien against the parcel. If you go through with the sale without researching these issues, those debts become your problems.
One of the most important steps in closing any real estate transaction is the title search. Title searches reveal information about property taxes, property work agreements, CC&Rs (covenants, conditions, and restrictions), issues with documentation and unresolved ownership claims, and more.
Land title governance varies, sometimes widely. In the United States, individual states handle estate and real property governance.
There are a few things that you need to ensure with your title search. As a buyer, you should be completely certain the seller has a clear title to the parcel and that there are no other liens or stakeholders in the land that could turn into costly problems for you later.
For example, a property owner cannot sell or transfer ownership rights of a property with unresolved tax issues. An outstanding lien can render any ownership transaction invalid. It may sound overly simple, but title searches help ensure a seller has the legal right to sell the property in question. You cannot legally sell something you don’t own.
Whatever the case may be, with the combination of off-market searching and the right amount of due diligence, your next vacant land purchase might end up making your year.