Author Topic: How to approach land owner of nearby parcel: interested in buying  (Read 1332 times)

SomedayStache

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We own 2 acres of land and a solidly built, modest, ranch style home in central Oklahoma. The 'neighborhood' is a mix of large/nice houses on 2 to 10 acres of land interspersed with crumbling mobile homes on 2 acre lots.

A 2 acre lot adjacent to ours was just ceded via death affidavit to the daughter of the elderly couple who used to live there. The lot is currently very overgrown, it has a 1970s single-wide trailer that appears ready to either crumble in on itself or perhaps go up in flames. There is a motley collection of dilapidated sheds, an above ground pool that hasn't been used in over 15 years, and a bunch of junk. It's a MESS. We snuck through the back yard to take a closer look yesterday and it's worse than we expected.

BUT, we've been talking for years about trying to buy this land if it ever became available. I'd like to reach out to the new owner, but have no idea how to approach them. Does anyone have experience with this and advice on a respectful approach to take?

For background, a similar plot of land on the other side of us (2 acres, with a crumbling mobile home but less overall junk) was sold for $25k in 2015.

terran

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Re: How to approach land owner of nearby parcel: interested in buying
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2020, 08:39:11 AM »
I would just send a letter saying who you are and that you're interested in buying so to please contact you if they're interested in selling.

px4shooter

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Re: How to approach land owner of nearby parcel: interested in buying
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2020, 01:43:55 PM »
Cold call or a letter. I have received both. The letter was from a family that used to own one of my properties. Very decent and we talked on the phone about it. They still want the place, when I decide to sell it.

The cold text I received on another property was for a straight purchase, with a little story attached. They explained why they wanted the lot and if I was interested in selling. I agreed to research the current value and price a little below, since there are no realtors involved. They sounded great right up until they used an assessor appraisal to value the lot and didn't believe in the actual market value!

SomedayStache

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Re: How to approach land owner of nearby parcel: interested in buying
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2020, 02:33:25 PM »
Thanks!

Do you think we should bring up our theoretical purchase price or is that something that the seller should do first? (We have an amount we can pay now and if they want more than it's probably no deal).

terran

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Re: How to approach land owner of nearby parcel: interested in buying
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2020, 02:36:43 PM »
I wouldn't mention it in the letter. If it's too high then you'll get a better deal if they say something first or you get a appraisal. If it's too low you'll have a better chance once they've invested some time in you.

Freedom2016

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Re: How to approach land owner of nearby parcel: interested in buying
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2020, 07:20:46 PM »
Do not talk price in the first message!

SwordGuy

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Re: How to approach land owner of nearby parcel: interested in buying
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2020, 08:37:20 PM »
If you are buying this as a money-making investment purchase, getting a really good deal is important.

If it's to avoid another nuisance in your life, be prepared to pay market price, possibly a bit higher.     

Decide which is more important, to get a really good price or solve the nuisance neighbor problem, and plan accordingly.

When it comes to nuisance neighbors (and you're looking at a lot that's "an attractive nuisance", i.e., it's going to attract new nuisance neighbors like flies to horseshit, paying $1k to $2k over market value on a $25-30K property is of no real consequence.

BECABECA

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Re: How to approach land owner of nearby parcel: interested in buying
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2020, 08:47:11 PM »
In your letter, I would recommend mentioning your condolences for her parents and any good memories you had as their next door neighbor over the years. Youíll be more likely to get a response than from a generic inquiry letter, plus itíd probably be nice for her to hear.

Steeze

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Re: How to approach land owner of nearby parcel: interested in buying
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2020, 08:56:09 PM »
Send a hand written letter in a hallmark style card with an envelope that isnít plain white. The card is really just for the shape - more likely to get opened if is not Spam/bill shaped. Envelope address should be hand written, no stickers, use actual stamps.

Donít mention a price - just tell them you are interested and leave your contact information. When you get them on the phone spend time talking to them, asking questions about the property, if they have been there recently, etc. Gain their trust before a price conversation arises.

Always get them to throw out a price first, but you should have an idea what it is worth. If they are way over, let them know what you are willing to pay and why. Be prepared with a list of comps and a cash offer.

Fishindude

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Re: How to approach land owner of nearby parcel: interested in buying
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2020, 07:14:02 AM »
This is real simple.   
I've purchased three pieces of property adjoining our place over the last 15 years or so and none ever went through a realtor.   If you know who they are and where they live, I would first try to catch them in person for a discussion, if that doesn't work give them a call.   Simply introduce yourself, explain who you are and where you live and let them know that you would have a serious interest in purchasing that property if they were inclined to sell.   Let them set the price and if it's anywhere near acceptable, just agree without haggling, and get some $$ in their hands as deposit right away so they can't change their mind.

For stuff next door like this, you need to be willing to pay whatever it takes to get it, or you may well wind up with a new trailer and new hillbillys next door.
Also - If you bulldoze the buildings and turn it back into a bare lot, you can probably get the property taxes on that piece reduced to farm ground rates.

No letters.   See them face to face if possible.

SomedayStache

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Re: How to approach land owner of nearby parcel: interested in buying
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2020, 10:30:29 AM »
Thanks for all the great advice!

I know where she lives based on assessors records, but don't know a phone number. Since I don't want to look like a stalker, I think I will need to go the letter route.

Fishindude

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Re: How to approach land owner of nearby parcel: interested in buying
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2020, 10:34:45 AM »
Skip the letter, just knock on the door.

SomedayStache

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Re: How to approach land owner of nearby parcel: interested in buying
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2020, 10:37:06 AM »
I don't know. She lives 20 minutes away on 20 acres.

We are not used to getting unannounced visitors out here.

I think we've had <5 unannounced people knock on our door over the last 10 years and each time I met them with a certain degree of anger and felt like they were trespassing by coming up my drive.

Fuzz

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Re: How to approach land owner of nearby parcel: interested in buying
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2020, 04:48:09 PM »
If you can figure out a number, call. If you can't find a number, letter is okay.

I get that just showing up unannounced is weird in a rural area. If you do go that route, I would go with a woman since a single man is especially weird/threatening. My wife would bake cookies and drop them off, but not everyone can pull that off.

Also, I'd check your local paper for probate listings. The estate may not pass through probate, but it does, then you'll have to deal with that. If it is in probate, then go ahead and contact the attorney along with the heirs.

Tyler durden

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Re: How to approach land owner of nearby parcel: interested in buying
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2020, 05:43:44 PM »
So seeing as how they don't have the property listed they don't likely have any information ready on comps. As soon as they get your letter if they are interested in selling they will want top dollar from you. Have your price ready and have the why behind it. Have a few comps etc. Also make sure to talk about why you want it as an adjacent but that it wouldn't be as attractive to a random buyer.

Villanelle

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Re: How to approach land owner of nearby parcel: interested in buying
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2020, 07:07:15 PM »
Skip the letter, just knock on the door.

I can't overstate how uncomfortable that would make me if I were the daughter.  I would feel put on the spot, and also very put out that someone I don't know researched my home address and showed up on my door step.  And that would be even more true if the person was being that aggressive about my dead parent's property.  I'd feel like they were vultures with no boundaries and while that might not prevent me from selling to them, it would certainly not cause me to look favorably on them or want to budge on price.

And I don't even live in a rural area. 

Also, I almost never answer the door if I'm not expecting anyone (or don't recognize them if I'm able to peer through a window or peep hole), so it would likely be a wasted visit anyway. 

And as mentioned, make sure any interaction starts with condolences and something more personal if you knew the deceased well enough to do that. 
« Last Edit: May 07, 2020, 07:09:26 PM by Villanelle »