Residential and real estate in the US is barely exempt from the current sales frenzy, and sellers who may have thought about a construction project may now be interested in unloading their vacant lots sooner than expected.

With the recent surge in construction costs, selling vacant land can now also be a strategic financial move for sellers.

“The cost of building has increased sharply, and as a seller you are losing some of the risk you would otherwise have had building something,” said Gregory Malin, CEO of San Francisco-based luxury real estate developer Troon Pacific. “Otherwise, you may have invested more than you thought and construction is taking longer and longer.”

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Not all raw land parcels are created equal, however, and sellers can use a number of tactics to increase eventual resale value with a far lower upfront investment than they would have spent on building a home.

“There is great value in selling a piece of land that is fully legal [construction] Plans, ”said James Harris, Principal at The Agency in Los Angeles. “A lot of people will have the headache of doing this themselves before selling. There is no [uniform] Calculation, but if you bought a piece of land for $ 6 million and then added plans and permits, you could probably sell it for $ 10 million. “

Whether you want to make a few cosmetic tweaks or are ready to dive into a more elaborate approval process, here are some proven strategies for increasing the resale value of a home page – and expanding the pool of interested buyers – before you hit the market.

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Takes care of the bureaucracy

Without question, dealing with the basics of everything from utility hookups to building permits is one of the most important steps a seller can take in marketing raw land. It is also considered a standard practice in many areas and buyers looking for blank lots expect them to provide all relevant documentation.

“When you’re in the middle of nowhere in Topanga [in California] and have a piece of land that has been sitting there for 50 years, it may not have water and it could take years to set up, ”Harris said. By contrast, things like that are a given in Beverly Hills, he added. “You will have water and gas and you will have to get permits before you can start building.”

The exact type of permits required can vary significantly depending on the location and type of property (for example, California is known as the “paper-intensive state,” said Trayor Lesnock, CEO and founder of Platinum Luxury Auctions) and can be a range of subjects, including lot size and division ; the size and type of construction that is permitted; and any environmental constraints or considerations.

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“One of the key components is getting rid of some of the bigger anomalies that a typical homeowner didn’t have to deal with, such as: B. when you have protected plants or animals or certain distances that you have to withhold from waterways. Said Mr. Malin. “I often advise people to take things as far as possible for the uncomplicated things. Can you complete the permits on where to build and where not? Can you bring in the infrastructure? “

Tasks like permits and land surveys are time-consuming and can cost anywhere from a few thousand to ten thousand dollars – and take months to years, depending on the location and scope of the project. But you can also expand your pool of interested buyers and ultimately increase the selling price of your property.

“Buyers know how long it takes to get permits now, so having a property ready is probably the ideal situation,” said Shelly Tretter Lynch, an agent at Compass in Greenwich, Connecticut. “The median is likely to see a 20% volume gain for real estate when everything is in place.”

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Cosmetic improvements and blueprints

While traditional “staging” may not come to mind when selling an empty side of a house, as it is when selling existing homes, buyers often need help imagining what the finished product might look like.

In the case of Rohland, this process can range from basic landscaping to the creation of a full plan for a new home by an architect.

“From a marketing perspective, I like to market it with a potential site map,” said Matthew Breitenbach, an agent at Compass in the Hamptons. “I have architects and lawyers to work with so I can paint this story for someone.”

On a recent sale of a large property with multiple lots, Mr. Breitenbach said, “We repackaged it with a few renderings and a site map for each property of where each house would be and what it would look like. A developer came in and they don’t make the exact plan but it gave them an idea, it’s visual stimulation. “

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As with any home sale, buyers often respond best to a compelling picture.

“I’ve had development sites where we made these stunning renders and put them on large easels so we could show people what this would look like,” said Harris. “Under certain circumstances we had 3D glasses [buyers] could experience walking through the house. “

In some cases, Ms. Tretter Lynch said, sellers will go as far as selecting building materials for a property or soliciting bids from a contractor for a future construction process.

“The more information the better,” said Ms. Tretter Lynch. “If a buyer comes in and the property is ready for approval and the construction costs are incurred and he can go to the Steinhof and see everything, that only helps.”

Even without tackling a major construction project, some physical upgrades on-site can mean a significant upward trend.

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“If you can create a real estate feel on the site, you are ahead of the game,” said Ms. Tretter Lynch. “A tree lane coming up the driveway, maybe you’ve built stone walls. Buyers want something that is a little more developed and mature, and having a website that does it offers tremendous value. “

Ultimately, deciding how much work to put into a homepage before listing can be a balancing act and depends on how much time and money a seller is willing to invest in the process.

“By doing some of these bigger, more complicated things, like: B. Putting a street or a finished block for a house, a larger audience is reached that is ready to take care of something [construction] Project like this, ”said Malin. “Lots of people think they have a lot of imagination, but they really don’t when it comes to seeing a house, how liveable it is, what the prospects are, how it all comes together.”

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Mr. Malin added, “Don’t try to do everything. Unless you are a professional developer, you shouldn’t be trying to get the details of a floor plan or go into great detail about a house. “

And, as in the wider market, current conditions are in most cases firm for sellers, even with high construction costs that traditionally may have deterred buyers from building projects.

“I have a client who started on a piece of land because they couldn’t find what they wanted and knew they had to act and buy something,” said Sheri Winter Parker, an agent at Corcoran on the North Fork of Long Island in New York. “The specification market has improved dramatically because there is so little inventory. They no longer make land, so people build and build with confidence. “

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