Show Hidden Assets to Increase Land Value
People buying land look at the acreage, the price, its proximity to their home (unless they move there) and the intrinsic value. Property owners looking to sell put a lot of emphasis on first impressions - fencing, gates, structures, landscaping, etc. As they should - this is an important part. But to help keep the interest level up after the initial awe begins to wear off, be prepared to show some of the hidden assets of the land that will increase its value and tell a story of what happens beyond the swinging gate and clean fence.
Game Cameras & Other Wildlife Photographs
Of course you have “good bucks and a ton of turkey.” Everyone does. But have proof. Use trail camera and other wildlife photographs to show off what the public would likely never see otherwise. If a potential buyer is purchasing the property strictly for hunting purposes, you’d be missing out on a huge opportunity not to hang a few trail cameras throughout the year. Even if you don’t post images on the listings website, provide them to the agent to show off for you.
Know a Good Taxidermist
This is no joke. Crummy taxidermy gives a crummy look to the interior of the most well-decorated rooms. If the property is an investment and you’ve taken some nice deer, turkey or hogs, spend the money to have a good taxidermist mount them. Shoulder mounts with shiny horns and healthy coats on a nice piece of wood are the ideal scenarios. You’re sure to turn an experienced hunter off by showing them a room full of deer heads with yellow, decaying fur and bugged-out eyes. You know the ones we’re talking about.
Maintain Interior Trails
The roads leading up to the property are going to attract the most attention. Understandably so. But don’t completely neglect the interior trails and paths. Show the interested party what it’s like to walk down a shaded, private lane on a sunny afternoon without any obstacles to hinder their leisurely stroll. Let your land agent know about some good memories that have happened in spots x and y to help invoke visions of what could be.
Show Crop Harvest Reports
Let’s say you’ve only done some farming on the property, like cut and sell hay to local cattle farmers. Or at least you’ve allowed someone to come in and do so. You (or they) planted some specific grasses high in nutrients that cattle nor their owners can resist. To have done so, you called out a biologist to test the soil’s pH. Perhaps it was a bit low, so you ordered several tons of lime delivered and spread.
The hours you spend on the tractor disking, cultipacking, re-disking, then re-cultipacking to make the field incredibly smooth so that you wouldn’t get beaten to death while mowing the hay will be worth it. Oats and orchard grass were sown, fertilized and cultipacked one more time before you mumbled a few prayers and perhaps did a rain dance. A lot of hours went into doing this labor!
Now let's say throughout the spring and summer you got three cuts of hay that produced roughly 20 bales per cutting (these numbers depends on acreage, we’re just speaking hypothetically) of hay. Sold at $40 per bale, that’s $800. If you’re letting someone come in, their likely “cutting for quarters” and your payout would be $600. Potential buyers want to know this stuff because that’s cash in their pocket.
As the long-time owner, you may have lost sight of what truly makes your land unique and marketable. But don’t overlook the little details that make it truly special. While the first impression is an important one, the nitty gritty details of the land inside the gate that makes it truly valuable. Ultimately, if you anticipate what potential buyers want to know, like income areas and costs of ownership, while highlighting your property's most appealing features, your land will sell itself. Maybe even before the For Sale sign goes up.