Need help for a friend in selling large acreage in VA

akrogirlOctober 10, 2012

Hi, everyone. A friend of mine inherited a lot of property following the death of her aunt. Unfortunately, it was a very complicated estate, and her aunt didn't leave a well drawn up will, so it has taken several years to settle - universities and and other public institutions involved.

One of the properties she inherited consists of multiple connected parcels in Paris, VA, totaling 54 acres. My friend needs to sell this property to pay off all the taxes and legal fees. However, her realtor is not being overly helpful and it is difficult for my friend to do this long distance - her health issues mean that she can't just fly out there.

IMHO, the house that is on the property is a tear-down, and I have told her so. Unfortunately, most of the photos on the website are of the house, which I don't think is very helpful.

Sorry for rambling on, but could those of you who are familiar with dealing with acreage take a look and let me know if you have any better suggestions for marketing this property?

http://www.trulia.com/property/photos/3079353901-10590-John-S-Mosby-Hwy-Paris-VA-20130#item-1

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cmarlin20

I think it is difficult to find a buyer interested in multiple separate parcels. Is there a reason they are not listed separately? I'm not familiar with the area, this may be common there.
I agree with the photos, not good.
Did she interview several agents, much of this can be done over the phone, online, since this is vacant land?
I think good write and photos on MLS will do a lot.
What is the market like in that area?

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 1:56PM
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akrogirl

The lots all join to form one large property and the area is popular with hunters. My friend doesn't want the hassle of dealing with separate lots and, since this in the Blue Ridge Mountains, there is probably not enough flat land to build on if all the lots were sold separately.

Not sure what the market is like currently. According to the realtor, this property was valued at over $2.6M at its peak. It is listed at below appraisal and my friend can't go any lower because of all the back taxes. Apparently, all tax credits are available, though I am not entirely sure what that means to a buyer.

Personally, I don't think they should the current house more than a passing mention, as a possible place to live in while a new house is being built.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 2:13PM
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lyfia

I agree with cmarlin - each parcel should be listed separately. There can be a mention in the listing that other parcels are available, but not all will want to buy all when separate parcels.

Are the separate parcels all connected? Doesn't say.

Listing them separately may mean one parcel would sell sooner than the others too. Might be enough to tide her over.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 2:18PM
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brickeyee

"Are the separate parcels all connected? Doesn't say. "

Um, yes it does.

"she inherited consists of multiple connected parcels"

Selling non-buildable parcels is VERY hard to do.

Keep them together.

You need to at least have some idea of another house COULD be built.
The old one may be grandfathered in ways that make the lot no longer buildable if the old house is demolished.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 3:08PM
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lyfia

Brickeyee- the listing doesn't say that they are connected. Seems like it should be made clear that they are.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 3:21PM
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akrogirl

Lyfia, thanks for pointing that out.

Brickeyee, good point. I don't know if my friend has even thought about that possibility.

My friend has been messed around so much by all the lawyers involved that I hope she can get this place sold and at least come out of this with a little money.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 3:40PM
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cmarlin20

Here is the listing, very poor wording, I would scroll on by.

Here is a link that might be useful: MLS

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 3:57PM
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mydreamhome

This listing is primarily for a house and the land comes second. Most RE agents do not have experience in selling larger tracts of land--5 acre lots yes, maybe 10acs on occasion, but not this size. I too would scroll on by. Your friend needs to find an agent that specializes in land sales. I've posted a link below to the RE firm that specializes in land sales that we used when we sold our acreage a couple years ago. The link will take you to their listings page where you can go through and view how a listing for land should look. Even if the house on the property could be salvaged, the real value is in the land. The current RE agent is interested in selling a house.

I don't think the firm in the link covers VA, but you never know--they may know of another land firm in VA.
Hope this helps!

Here is a link that might be useful: Land Sales Specialist

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 10:56PM
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cearbhaill

Yeah- that listing is just bad.
"Sold in entirely."??
Do they mean entirety??

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 7:19AM
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akrogirl

Mydreamhome, thank you so much for that information. I have already passed it along to my friend. Hopefully, she

Cearbhaill, for someone who supposedly handles high priced properties, this realtor really does not seem to have a clue when it comes to writing up a listing. I have no idea how she is managing to make a living. I am just hoping that either the listing expires soon or my friend has grounds to get out of the contract.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 10:43AM
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jonw9

I personally like how she carries the lot size out to the fourth decimal place (on some plots), or ~4 square feet.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 12:33PM
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dreamgarden

"The peak of the Blue Ridge, overlooking Paris is called Ashby Gap. The view looking east from the Gap has been deemed worthy of a 'Scenic Easement', intended to keep this view unmolested for future generations to enjoy."

It would be nice if someone wanted to buy and use it for tourism.

Did the mineral rights transfer? Is your friend interested in selling any of the the timber.

You might want to ask an auctioneer (or two) for an opinion about selling it by the lot or in its entirety.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 11:09PM
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akrogirl

Dreamgarden, I will definitely ask my friend about the mineral rights and timber. Auction is a great idea - thank you.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 12:05PM
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brickeyee

"Did the mineral rights transfer?"

In Virginia?

Anything of value was removed long ago.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 1:21PM
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