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Tips, Programs and Tax Considerations When Selling Land

Posted by Justin Havre on Wednesday, February 6th, 2019 at 11:38am.

How to Sell Land with Less HeadachesIt can be difficult to sell unimproved land. There are generally fewer deductions that apply after a sale and it requires some measure of creativity to help prospective buyers envision the possibilities of a parcel of land. However, there are many who are interested in buying undeveloped land, much like buying a home. This audience may include those looking to live an off-grid lifestyle, others that want to use the land for recreational purposes or hunting, or that may want to use tracts for agriculture or other types of development. What should individuals know about selling land in Canada?

Offer a Crystal Clear Description

The land should be surveyed and provide the exact acreage and boundary locations. Access points would be worth noting for those looking to develop the land. Frontage on state or highway roads may be a useful consideration for those looking to access and develop the land. Information worth gathering is the tax-roll printout, annual taxes, any additional expenses, the type of zoning and if it is possible to apply for a zoning change in a particular community or area. The land needs to be properly evaluated by a land appraiser and the price should take into account the general pricing of land expected in the area with similar features, access and zoning restrictions.

Disclose Challenges and Possibilities

A seller may be under obligation to disclose any issues such as easements or liens on a property. It is best to be open about hindrances with potential North West Calgary buyers. However, in addition to this, one can use previous property-use reports and surveys to demonstrate to buyers what the land has been used for in the past and what may be done with it once purchased.

Target the Audience

When the land is marketed, it may be advantageous to make a case for using the unimproved land for agriculture, equestrian facilities, residential homes or other types of development. Drawing and artwork used in advertising and flyers can help potential buyers see the possibilities of a piece of land.

Those who are looking to buy undeveloped land and build a home may be interested in programs such as the Home Buyers' Plan making it possible to build a home and withdraw funds from a retirement savings plan. This is useful for those buyers who are first-time home buyers or a person with disabilities. In addition, those who are going to build a home on a parcel of land may want to look into the GST/HST rebate offered on newly constructed homes in Canada. Knowing the types of programs and incentives available for home buyers can help one tailor messaging and assistance to targeted groups of buyers.

How To Stage Undeveloped Land

In real estate, curb appeal is vital. This is true even when what is beyond the curb is an empty lot. To improve the chances of a sale, sellers should do everything they can to stage the property well.

Begin by removing any trash and easily movable debris like fallen branches. If possible, make a clear path that buyers can walk along to examine the property.

Take photos of the land at the best times of day and year. For instance, if wildflowers bloom there seasonally, schedule photos for when they are present. Photos should be taken at the "golden hour." This is a time in late afternoon when natural light takes on a warm and inviting hue.

By taking the time to showcase the property's best features, a seller can increase the chances of connecting with just the right buyer.

Get Advice from an Agent or Real Estate Lawyer

Laws and zoning regulations may vary by province. Therefore it may be helpful to learn more about specific regulations that apply to selling land in a targeted area. There may also be other considerations when selling land to those who are not residents of Canada. A non-resident may have limitations on how much land they may be able to purchase and may not be able to purchase farmland without planning to become a resident. Non-resident sellers may need to file Canadian income tax returns when a parcel of land is sold. Contact a reputable local agent to learn more about the typical audiences purchasing land in the area and more today.

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