Thursday, October 21, 2010

Selling an Acreage Home? You have to Walk the Walk or at least the Property!

I met with a potential client awhile back. He was interviewing real estate agents as he was going to be relisting his Anoka County acreage home that had been unsuccessfully under contract for a year. As part of my job as an acreage REALTOR®, I walked with the seller around the house, through the barn and looked out the barn’s backdoor at the 30+ acres of woods and wetland. Looking out the door, I asked if there was a path that goes through to the perimeter of the land so buyers could walk the property. He confirmed that there was but then said something else.

“The previous agent never stepped one foot further beyond where you are standing now to see the land. I don’t think he wanted to get his shoes dirty.”

Wow! I was flabbergasted! How do you sell a home on acreage without walking the land to see what you are selling? And this agent had over 12 months to take that walk too! It was no surprise to me that the home did not sell.

Selling a home on acreage isn’t rocket science. But like rocket science, there is research and work involved. From getting the septic compliance checked to understanding what a Minnesota unique well number is, there are details that need to be reviewed when an acreage home is listed. Preparing the exterior is kind of like staging the inside of the home. Marking a trail for the potential buyer to follow sets the stage for the buyer to fall in love with the entire package. A significant portion of an acreage home’s total value is often tied up in the value of the land. Buyers need to see the land, online and in person, in order for the home to sell.

A few weeks later, I did list that house. When I came to take photos not only did I take the basic interior and exterior shots, I took additional time and walked the land with the seller. During the tour of the land, I took photographs that showed the appeal of the acreage. He pointed out landmarks and details that would buyers would want to know about the property. I took photos from various points along the path. Interestingly, many of the potential buyers who called to see the land also walked the land with me and remarked that they remembered the shots as ones they saw on the internet. These pictures were important as they created excitement about the property and were photos that could never have been seen from the backdoor of the barn or home.

The home was SOLD. Not to a buyer that I brought through the home and property, though I walked several parties through the acreage over the time it was listed. It was sold by another REALTOR® who was able to take his buyer along the mapped and marked trail through the acreage. Whether selling a couple of acres or the back 40 or more, preparation is the key to a successful Anoka County acreage sale!

Copyright 2010 Teri Eckholm