navigation menu icon
For Sale By Onwer Logo

How To Sell Land By Owner

Hanna Kielar February 22, 2024

Selling land without a real estate agent, called selling land by owner, can be a challenge. But with a little research and work, you can save quite a bit of money. And for many, the cost savings is worth it.

The Difference Between Selling Land And Selling A Home

Tips on how to sell land for sale by owner.

You’re probably familiar with most of the strategies involved in selling a home: You make sure it’s cleaned until it shines, you stage it to highlight its best qualities and you plan open houses so potential buyers can tour it. You’ll be doing all of these to a degree, but there are several key things that make selling land different from selling a home.

The Buyers Are Different

It’s important to understand the individuals you’re selling to, as people who buy land and those who buy homes have different needs and goals. You want to take into account the unique vision of a land buyer as you prepare your land to sell in order to present it in the best possible light.

Whether they’re developers hoping to cash in or individuals looking to build their own home, land buyers’ most important criterion is the location itself. They’re looking for just the right area, knowing that they’ll have the ability to customize everything else to their liking.

By contrast, home buyers typically want something they can move into right away. As a result, they’re looking for features like upgraded kitchens and a solid roof life rather than how much they’ll have to spend to grade the land.

You’ll also find there are far fewer prospective land buyers than home shoppers. Despite the excitement of custom designing your own house, it can be a long and costly venture that few people are willing to undertake. Therefore, those who are selling land by owner have to be prepared that it might take much longer to find just the right buyer.

Uses For The Land Can Vary

The zoning regulations, which are governed by local county or city laws, will determine what your land can be used for, and therefore who might be most interested in buying it.

If the land is zoned for residential use, there may be stipulations that only new homes can be built there. Furthermore, the zoning may specify whether single-family or multifamily use is permitted. If it’s appraised for commercial use, then buyers will be considering it for retail or other business-related purposes.

To verify how your land is zoned, visit your local planning or building department for a copy of local ordinances and a zoning map where you can locate your specific parcel. This is important information to have on hand for prospective buyers, although they’ll likely verify it for themselves too.

Whether your land is zoned for residential, commercial or agricultural use, your buyer would be breaking the law by using it for something other than how it’s intended.

Price Your Land Right

It can be far trickier to price your land for sale than a house. That’s because there aren’t as many “comps” for potential buyers to look at, and most land parcels have varying features that can make them worth more or less. This makes it more challenging to create a straight comparison between plots of land as compared with two houses in the same neighborhood.

The price of your land has to take into account a variety of elements, such as:

  • Is it already zoned for residential use? Land might also be designated as a preserve or historical site, which could limit its use.
  • How many buildable acres are there? This is important to a developer but also for a potential buyer hoping to build their own little compound.
  • Are there existing tear-down properties or lots of geologic features like rocks or trees that have to be removed, and/or will it need extensive grading to be buildable?
  • Is there ready access to public roads?
  • How feasible (read: affordable) is it to hook up utilities such as electricity and water?

These are the factors that potential buyers will be considering. You’ll want to make sure that you’ve done adequate research so you have all the answers at the ready and you can show you’ve already accounted for these variances (both positive and negative) inprice.

No House? New Selling Techniques

Walking potential buyers through your house is very straightforward: two bedrooms upstairs, a large living room, etc. While they might want to make some of their own cosmetic or structural changes, they know exactly what each room is meant to be used for. By contrast, a land buyer only has their vision of what they hope their house or business will become.

As mentioned, there are typically fewer land buyers than home buyers. This is why you’ll need to market your FSBO land just as diligently (if not more so!) than you would market a home. Here are some sales strategies to try for FSBO land.

Reach Out To Developers And Builders

If you’re in an area zoned for residential use, local builders can be a fertile audience. They might already have potential clients who are looking for just the right plot, or they might be interested in buying and holding the land for future use.

Remember that these businesspeople are experts in buying land, so expect lots of questions and due diligence. The good news is that the issues they raise are ones that will be good to know about when and if you talk to individuals, as well.

Use Online Listings And Social Media

Your very own neighbors could be the ideal audience, as they might want to stay local while upgrading and customizing their home. Therefore, you should take advantage of social media sites like Facebook and Nextdoor or look for specialty sites like and Having a lot of information and photos in your listing will further entice potential buyers to make the call.

Post A “For Sale” Sign

Yes, this technique is tried and true, and it can be especially useful for FSBO land. That’s because people interested in relocating to rural areas are often driving around, seeing what’s available. Create an attractive yard sign that prominently includes your contact information along with your lot’s key features and size. Including pricing details is a matter of preference: Some sellers want to share the cost up front to help attract the right buyers while others want to generate interest first and negotiate those details later.

Show Your Land To Help Buyers Visualize Their Home Or Business

Just because you aren’t selling a home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the same care to showcase your property to potential buyers. Conducting a personal tour allows you to highlight your lot’s best features and potential uses, as well as amenities in the surrounding community.   You want to help buyers picture themselves owning your property, so keep your land clean and make it as visually appealing as possible. In fact, you can think of it is as “staging” it (just as you would do with your house) by removing overgrown grass, weeds and other debris.

Potential buyers are trying to envision their dream on your lot, so walk them around the boundaries and explain its special features. Consider showing how various size houses might sit on the lot so the buyer can visualize how they can best use the space.

Selling your land by owner can be a challenge, but it can also be lucrative and satisfying! Find out how to take the next step at