Whether you’ve inherited some land, or you have a large garden that you’re not utilising, there can be many reasons why you’ve found yourself in a position to sell land. But it can be difficult to know whether the land you have is developable, and how to go about finding a buyer. In our guide, we’ll explain what to consider when selling land, the key stages of the process and where a land agent fits into it all.
Understand the different approaches
There are several options when it comes to selling land. The quickest way to complete the transaction is to sell the land as it is, without planning permission, also known as an unconditional sale. If you’re keen for a speedy sale, this is the best option, although it comes with a lower value. With this option, your buyer will invest with the intention of gaining planning permission in the future. Naturally, this comes with its own risks for the buyer, as there’s no guarantee that planning permission will be granted, which is reflected by the price.
The second option is to sell the land on a ‘subject to planning’ basis, which is also referred to as a conditional contract. While this option, much like selling without planning permission, comes with the risk in securing permission, the buyer understands that they don’t have to buy the site if the planning application is unsuccessful. This method of selling land takes time, as a planning application needs to be prepared and then there is the wait to see if it’s accepted. It’s expected that the sale contract will reflect what the buyer has plans to use the land for, with the expectation that they will be able to decline the transaction if the planning permission doesn’t align with these plans.
The last option is to sell the land with planning permission already granted. In gaining permission before you sell the land, there’s no risk for the buyer – the best way to do this is to secure outline planning permission which grants consent for housing for the site but doesn’t have any specific details included, so it offers greater flexibility for developers. Applying for planning permission can be a lengthy and expensive process, particularly for large sites. But in selling the land with permission already in place, developers can get started straight away once the transaction is complete, so it can make it a more appealing option.
Get advice from a land agent
A land agent is a specialist in the sale and purchase of land, so they’re well equipped to help landowners. It’s important to find an agent that understands the local area and has experience in selling land, as they will be in the best position to help you get a great price for the land you have available. A professional land agent will have the necessary network of contacts to help you find a buyer in the quickest time possible, and they’ll ideally have had plenty of success in selling land in the surrounding area.
Get the right representation
When you’ve found a buyer, you need to get legal representation from a solicitor who has experience in the intricacies of land sales and acquisitions. Make sure you hire a specialist in the area to ensure that your sale goes through as quickly and as smoothly as possible. There will also be financial implications to selling land, so you should also ensure that you have financial representation in the form of an accountant who can help you with the tax liabilities and related matters.
The route you take to selling land depends on the urgency of the sale and your circumstances. Depending on how long you have to dedicate to the sale and the price you need to sell it for will impact your decision. Ensure that you take plenty of photographs of the plot and the surrounding area and include technical information of any plans or details that affect the site to help buyers determine if the land is right for them.
Land & Brand New Homes offer consultancy services and can advise you on the best options when selling your land, enabling you to navigate the complex process more easily. Contact our team to speak to us today.