You can save money on fees if you sell land online instead of through a realtor. Zillow is one of the best sites to sell land.
Thankfully, selling raw land is no longer difficult today. A few decades ago, you could advertise your raw land in the newspaper and not get any calls. The internet makes it much easier to find a buyer.
Zillow, Craigslist, SellTheLandNow, and Trulia are all great sites to sell raw land. All of these platforms are trustworthy and have plenty of buyers looking for raw and not just developed land. It may still be a bit tricky to get a great price, but it is not hard to find buyers.
Simply listing your raw land as available is usually enough to get you a potential buyer. However, you should know a little more about selling land before you make a deal. You can get a better deal if you know more about the subject.
As someone who flips properties, I know which websites to trust and know how to make raw land more attractive to buyers. Investors need to see images and should even see virtual tours. They need as much information about the land you have available as possible.
Table of Contents
What Are the Best Sites for Selling Raw Land?
There are plenty of places to sell raw land online. Usually, you should use one of the four best choices - Zillow, Craigslist, SellTheLandNow, or Trulia. If you choose a smaller site instead for whatever reason, make sure it is trustworthy.
You can advertise your raw land for free - you don't have to use paid sites or premium features on free sites to sell your land. If it gets you a better deal, paying has a huge return on investment.
However, even if paying is a good idea, it is not crucial. Even if you advertise for free, buyers will still notice and respond to your ads.
Zillow is probably the best choice, even if some other sites are better in some ways. It is a huge website, with 172 million visitors monthly. With such huge numbers, there are always people looking for raw and not only developed land.
Zillow uses a simple system of categories that you and potential buyers can immediately understand. If you list your land as raw land, only those looking for raw land will see it. You won't get a lot of traffic from people interested in buying or renting houses instead.
Some of Zillow's popularity comes from how easy it is to use. All you have to do is submit an ad, listen for an automated verification call, and confirm your ad for it to appear online. It often only takes a few minutes for you to get the verification call, although it can take as long as one day.
Zillow Pros and Cons
Zillow is free, has an enormous number of users, and is easy to use. You can easily find buyers looking for vacant land, as the categories system works as intended and the number of active, serious users is so large.
One disadvantage is that you have to react to an automated phone call to get your ad to appear on the site. Requiring verification is probably the right thing for Zillow to do, but it does slow things down somewhat.
Craigslist has been around forever and is still a popular place for people to buy things, sell things, give things away for free, offer/find jobs, and much more.
While some people might associate craigslist with scams, it is a trustworthy website. You aren't necessarily more likely to find a scammer on Craigslist than anywhere else. Besides, it is not easy to scam anyone in a raw land deal, especially not as a buyer.
Craigslist is big enough that you can use the site to sell anything, including property and raw land. The best thing about Craigslist is that you do not have to answer a phone call to verify your ad. There is no verification - you can just create an account and post your ad right away.
Craigslist Pros and Cons
Again, not having to wait for verification may make it better than Zillow for many people. However, since the number of visitors is low compared to Zillow (only 9 million per month visit Craigslist), this might be your second choice.
While 9 million per month is enough to find a buyer (many people trade raw land on Craigslist), you may not find a buyer as fast as on Zillow. Posting ads both on Craigslist and on Zillow can help you get a good deal fast.
Unlike other sites, SellTheLandNow specializes in selling land. While it is not as huge as Zillow, every buyer on the site is an investor looking for land. Many of them are looking for raw land to develop.
SellTheLandNow is easy to use, including for people who have never sold land before. When you sign up and list your land, the website will connect you to a dozen different buyers, and you can choose the best of those that make an offer.
On SellTheLandNow, you can close a deal without going through a realtor and having to pay a large fee. One of the best things about selling land online is that you can save a lot of money.
SellTheLandNow Pros and Cons
SellTheLandNow is the fastest option if you want to sell your land quickly. Your land won't sell as fast on Craigslist or even on Zillow.
However, investors on SellTheLandNow are often looking to re-sell the land for a higher price. Those investors do not usually pay as well as those who want to build houses on the property themselves.
Trulia is another relatively large (a million visitors a month) site that specializes in selling land. With Trulia, you can sell a vacant residential plot to investors who want to develop it.
The site specializes in residential land. If you are trying to sell a different kind of land, Trulia is not a good choice. Trulia is for a specific kind of buyer/seller.
Trulia Pros and Cons
If you have a vacant residential plot, Trulia might be the best because all of the investors are interested in residential plots. However, if you have commercial land or farmland, you should use Zillow or some other site instead.
Tips for Selling Land
One thing that many sellers overlook is giving potential buyers as much information as possible. Sometimes, a seller leaves the description of the land almost blank. This is not a good idea!
If an investor can choose between your ad and an ad with much more information, they could easily choose the other. Don't assume that pictures, a video, or even an interactive tour are enough. There needs to be a text description.
Tell them about your land - the exact location, anything positive that may make investors want it. If there is already electricity or water running to your vacant land, investors need to know about it. You also need to add visual content and respond to anyone interested in your ad quickly.
Image Quality Matters
Anything that makes your land ad stand out is a good idea, and anything that makes your ad look bad should be avoided. A bad picture can cost you a good deal.
If a potential buyer chooses between 1) a land ad with clear pictures that show what they should and 2) low-quality pictures that don't show enough of the land, the buyer will respond to the first ad.
A lot of the time, your raw land won't be clearly better or worse than your competitor's land, so image quality can be the deciding factor.
Respond Sooner Rather than Later
Remember that anyone looking to buy raw land may have already responded to other people's ads. If you delay responding to them, someone else might close the deal.
If the land you are offering is for a fair price, there may always be another buyer. However, it can take a lot longer to sell your land if you miss potential buyers. Prioritize responding over most other things you have to do.
Categorize Your Property Properly
This may sound obvious, but many sellers list their property on sites like Zillow without choosing the right category. If there is a way to specify that you are selling vacant land, make sure you specify that.
Remember that anyone who specifies that they are looking for raw land will only see ads for raw land and not anything else. If you don't pick the right category, they won't see your ad at all.
Refresh Your Ad Periodically
If you don't refresh your ad, it will slowly move down the list until buyers see many ads before they see yours. The ads at the top get a much bigger than average share of the traffic. It is sort of like google searches - a large majority of the traffic goes to websites on the first page.
If the site you use lets your refresh your ad fairly often for free, you should do it. Having your ad near the top is many times better than having your ad much farther down. Even if you are offering a better deal than someone whose ad is closer to the top, they might still pick the other seller.
How to Take Good Photos of Your Land
While you don't need to buy a fancy, expensive camera to take good photographs, you might want to rent one. A cell phone camera might not be good enough. Again, you could lose the best buyer to someone who has better photographs than you do.
Renting a real camera with a tripod is a good idea. Even if you are only photographing undeveloped land and not the interior/exterior of a house, you can take better photographs with a real, wide-angle camera.
You don't have to put any real-time or money into creating good photographs, but renting a camera is worth the investment. Some tips for taking good outdoor photographs are:
- Shoot when the light is right. The middle of the day is the worst time, not the best time - the overly bright sun will ruin the colors. Late afternoon or early morning is a better time to take outdoor photographs.
- Know the basics of how to shoot with the light. You don't have to be or hire a skilled photographer, but you should know the basics. Don't shoot with your camera facing the sun - this is bad for your colors and creates very dark shadows.
- Use a wide-angle lens. Your photos should capture as much information as possible. A wide-angle lens gives your image a sense of space and distance that makes your plot of land appear large and important to a potential buyer.
- Make the horizon level. This is another simple, important thing that even an amateur photographer should know. If the horizon is in view, it should be level and not on an angle.
- Use a focal point. Again, you don't have to go overboard with photography tricks, but you should make your photos look good. Find an object such as a tree to focus on, and your picture will look better.
Virtual Tours are Great Tool
In my experience, the best way to make your raw land really stand out and attract the best buyers is to offer virtual tours. Virtual tours let investors see your land in detail online without having to visit your property. It is best to offer both in-person and virtual tours, especially since an investor might like to see a virtual tour first and then see it in person.
Virtual tours take a bit of time to create, so you might hire a professional instead of doing it yourself. If you like the idea of making a virtual tour, you might be able to get it right the first time.
You may need to rent a decent video camera if you don't own one, but the software is fairly simple and straightforward to use. Cell phone cameras aren't really that bad and can work reasonably well if you don't want to rent a camera.
How Do Virtual Tours Work?
A virtual tour is a way to show investors what your raw land has to offer without you having to schedule a meeting with each investor. You can show your land to a lot more potential buyers with virtual tours, and it won't take up as much of your or their time. People can look at your property during any hour of the day or night if they can take a virtual tour online.
3D Tours vs. Videos
A 3D tour is not the same as a video showing your property. A video showing your property has no interactivity; the buyer only looks at a video clip showing your raw land.
With a 3D tour, on the other hand, you can use the mouse to move the camera around. This lets you look at the property from any angle. It is much closer to replicating the experience of walking around on the property yourself.
While many people use virtual tours for selling houses, you can also use them to sell raw land. You should at least have a video - a potential buyer might lose interest and click on another ad instead otherwise. Even a video might be a bit low effort, so go with a 3D tour - the time it takes is nothing compared to the benefit of getting a better deal faster.
How Hard is it to Make a Virtual Tour?
To make a virtual tour, you need 1) a camera that is capable of taking a 3D panoramic photo and 2) software for a 3D tour that is compatible with the camera you might use. This is easier to do than you might assume.
While a real video camera is better, you can use a cell phone camera to create a video, as long as it has a panoramic feature. It is difficult to shoot without a tripod, but you can get a tripod even for a smartphone camera.
After you take the 360-degree photographs, upload them to your computer. You can use either a cable or an SD card to transfer the files.
Process the Files and Put the Virtual Tour Online
You can then use simple software such as Makevt to build your virtual tour. The software allows you to convert panoramic photos into interactive virtual tours.
It is easy to use - you certainly don't have to know anything about 3D models to use the software. Using the software is easier than using the camera. After you finish creating your tours, you can upload them to a site where potential buyers can look at them.
If you want to create a virtual tour but don't want to do it yourself, you can hire a professional to create it. This costs a bit of money, but it can help you sell your land faster.
About THE AUTHOR
Brittany has been in the land business since 2020 when the world was starting to shut down. Since then, we’ve sold to dozens of people from ATV weekend warriors to camping enthusiasts to retired truck drivers. Our inventory spans mostly in the western United States. We’ve been trained by experience, land acquisition courses, and hundreds of hours meeting with county assessors and clerks, zoning officials, realtors, and land investors. We’ve answered hundreds of questions from people regarding the buying and use of land.Read More About Brittany Melling