Tag: Land for Sale Alabama

Selling Land in Alabama – How Does Selling Land Work?

Welcome to the John Hall and Company Selling Land in Alabama series.  This is part two in the series. Go here to read, part one written by Pete Hall

Selling a piece of property can be an intimidating or foreign concept to some landowners who have never sold property before. The following information is for those who ask themselves the question “where do I even begin” or “what are the steps I need to take in order to acquire the best value I can for my property”. We at John Hall and Company are here to provide you with the knowledge and confidence so that when you are selling a property, you know you are making educated decisions that will ultimately benefit you come the day of closing.

The first thing a landowner needs to recognize when deciding to sell their land is the understanding of what they own. It may sound simple, but when trying to maximize the monetary value that can be received a good understanding of what your property has to offer is necessary. Understanding what the property has to offer can be identified in several different ways. The location of a property can make a big impact on a property’s value. Depending on the location, the demand may be higher or lower than others areas. What is the best use for the property? Is it a potential development property, a home site, timberland, agricultural property, recreational property, or a combination of these? John Hall and Company is happy to help landowners wanting to sell their property understand the different aspects that will affect their property’s value. We do this by offering what we call a Brokers Opinion of Value or “BOV”.

The next question a landowner may have is “how do I value these different aspects of my property?” This is where you will need help. John Hall & Company is here to give our professional opinion with data to back up our statements, but we also have an extensive list of other professionals who can value individual characteristics of your property to help come up with a total value for the property. We have contacts such as certified foresters who can provide timber values, certified appraisers who can put together an official appraisal of your property, or we can use recent sales of properties that are similar to yours and in the same area to identify what other properties are selling for.

Once a landowner has a good grasp and understanding of their property, the next question is “How do I sell my property”. Real estate brokerages that are specifically catered towards selling properties such as yours are who you need to be looking into. If you have a home you want to sell, then a residential real estate agent may be your best option. If you are selling a commercial building, such as office space, then it would be most beneficial to seek out a commercial real estate brokerage. If you are selling a recreational hunting property, timberland property, farm, or other type of rural property even if it may have a home on it, then a real estate brokerage that specializes in that category (such as John Hall & Company) would be who you need to seek out. We encourage Sellers to ask as many questions about our company as possible so that you know we can be trusted and depended on. We want you to know that we are here to represent and serve you as our client in your best interest. Buyers for land come from all over the country. John Hall & Company’s marketing strategies are put in place to make sure that we are able to gain maximum exposure and in front of potential buyers.

After you have identified as real estate brokerage that you would like to represent you, the next step is listing your property to put on the market. A sales plan needs to be put in place and an initial listing price needs established. Once the real estate brokerage compiles all of their marketing materials and begins to advertise the property you may want to ask them to provide a monthly report on the traffic your listing is receiving through website views, phone calls, emails, etc. Upon receiving an offer(s) it would be beneficial to consult with your listing real estate agent and listen to their opinion. It is your real estate agent’s duty to represent you with your best interest in mind. Having knowledge of the market and experience in negotiating deals they will most likely have a good insight on how to navigate you through the negotiating and in turn ending with a contract and that is beneficial and pleasing to you as the seller. That real estate agent should then work with you and update you through the due diligence period of the contract and on to closing.

Selling land can be complicated in some situations, but it doesn’t have to be. The best advice for a landowner looking to sell their land is to find a real estate brokerage that specializes in selling property such as theirs. They should find an agent they can trust and depend on to represent with their best interest in mind. The end result should be you, as a seller, getting up from the closing table knowing that you got a good deal in a timely manner!

-Hoke Smith

 Click here for part three of this series, written by Josh Hall, “Selling Land in Alabama-  What is My Land Worth”

Click here for part four of this series, written by Robert Smith, “What Does it Cost to Sell Land in Alabama?”

Click here for part five of this series, written by John. E Hall, Jr, “Preparing Your Land To Sell to a Recreational Buyer”

Invasive Plant Species – What To Look For

As a landowner, you spend countless hours working to reach the full potential of your property.  Many times, a tract of land can be over run with invasive plant species in a surprisingly short amount of time. This can cause a detrimental effect on your timber value and the recreational/aesthetic aspects of your land. There are countless numbers of undesirable plant species that could be found on any one piece of property, but being able to identify and manage the more problematic types can be very beneficial.

The first species that comes to mind and that arguably has caused the most impact in Alabama would be Kudzu. During the spring, kudzu can grow nearly a foot a day and can cover anything from trees to buildings. It is vital to begin herbicide application during the early stages before taking over pine plantations or any other desirable areas.  Originally introduced as a favorable species for erosion control and forage for cattle and livestock, it is now commonly known as “mile a minute vine” that has invaded the southern landscape.

Second invasive species that has had a significant impact on the South is Cogongrass “imperata cylindrca”.  Like kudzu, this plant is highly invasive and has had adverse effects on our plant and animal communities. Identification is the first step in proper control, but can be tricky due to its similarities with non-harmful native species.  Its most commonly found along road-sides but this pesky plant is also known to completely take over pine plantations and can adversely affect cash crops such as corn and cotton. Many undesirable species are often controlled by fire, but with cogongrass, this naturally causes the plant to thrive in its environment. This causes increased fire intensity resulting in damage to existing timber.  Persistent herbicide application is the most effective way to manage along with early detection.

These are just 2 of the important undesirable plant species that can affect a tract of land. Other plants of note to consider when managing property or purchasing a piece of property include: Chinese Tallow Tree, Chinese Privot, Mimosa (silk tree), autumn olive and even aquatic species. All of these can negatively effect wildlife and the investment potential of a tract of land. Detecting these undesirables early allows for cheaper eradication control and more time spend doing the things we enjoy in our great outdoors.

Robert Smith

(251) 564-1312 

[email protected]

How aesthetic appeal can improve your land values

There are many ways in which a landowner can get an idea of how much their property is worth. John Hall & Company along with other land brokers can give a landowner their opinion of value simply based off of recent comparable sales in the area. There is also the route of hiring an appraisal company to provide you with a value of your property. The total value for a property can be broken down into sub-categories to come up with the total value. Many recreational and timber properties can be broken down to the “bare land” value, timber value, and value of amenities. In this article I want to share my thoughts on the aesthetic appeal to a property and how it can affect the “bare land” value of your property.

The aesthetic appeal to a property can be the difference in the land selling at $900 an acre for the “bare land” or $1,300 per acre for the “bare land. It is nothing more than the aesthetic appeal but adds value to your property. The location of a property has a lot to do with the “bare land” value of a property but if the property is not maintained or provided some TLC you will not see the same return in value. Aesthetic appeal of land can consist of something as simple as mowing and trimming limbs along a road system. Think of it as vacuuming your home and mowing the yard. If you were trying to sell your house and you had not vacuumed your home or cut the grass in over a year, do you think the potential buyers who come to view the house would even make an offer or if they did do you think they would be willing to pay a premium price? A few other aesthetically pleasing but small costs that can improve the value of your bare land can be planting fruit trees or other mast producing trees around food plots, having a gated entrance to the property, adding culverts to creek crossings, or adding rock to creek crossings to give it a hard bottom. To compare to residential real estate think of this as decorations and furniture to make the home look better.

When buyers are viewing properties, and see that a property needs a lot of upfront work they most of the time discount the price they are willing to pay. This is to adjust for the upfront costs they will need to apply to the property when purchased. The value of the “bare land” in negotiations, although many times not specifically stated, is typically the value that will fluctuate the most. Buyers are willing to pay more for a property that is maintained and accessible over properties that are not. Recreational buyers tend to be willing to pay more for property than timber companies or individuals strictly interested in the timber. Therefore, in order to obtain the best value for your property it may be beneficial to manage your property catered towards recreation. However, this does not mean the timber value is not important because it can be a large portion of the total value of the property.

A maintained property is an aesthetically pleasing property. It is in the best interest of the landowner to keep that in mind if they are looking to obtain the best value possible in a sale. Sometimes landowners do not live nearby, have the time, or have the ability to maintain their property, and in that instance, we suggest leasing the hunting rights out. A hunting lease can be structured so that your roads will be maintained, food plots will be planted, and the property will be accessible.

John Hall & Company would be pleased to assist you with your land needs and would be happy to provide our opinion of value. John Hall & Company has been in the business of selling land since 1987 and we would be love to talk land with you!

Hoke Smith IV 

334.322.2683

[email protected]

Key Considerations in the Land Buying Process

Key Considerations in the Land Buying Process

When beginning the process of buying recreational hunting land in Alabama there is a host of considerations to keep in mind. In fact these key considerations are so numerous many are over looked in the selection process.  While overwhelming these factors are vitally important not only finding the right tract, but they will ultimately determine your enjoyment of the land, and your return when selling.

When representing buyers I provide my clients with a list of these factors to consider. But I also impress upon my buyers to clients pare down all of these options to the top 5 most important characteristics in order to aid in the selection process. What are the “must haves” and the “nonnegotiable?” Here is a list to consider when buying land…..

  • LOCATION
  • WATERSOURCES  
  • RECREATIONAL HUNTING PREFERENCES – WHAT TYPES IF HUNTING IS MOST IMPORTANT?
  • TIMBER – INVESTMENT RETURN VS RECREATIONAL RETURN
  • PRICE
  • EXIT STRATEGY
  • ACCESS
  • SURROUNDING LAND OWNERS AND GAME MANAGEMENT
  • FOOD SOURCES
  • SOIL TYPES
  • UTILITIES
  • COST OF MAINTAINING THE LAND  
  • FOOD PLOTS AND SUPPLEMENTAL FEEDING
  • ROADS AND UPKEEP
  • EQUIPMENT  
  • AMENITIES – LODGE, POLE BARN, ETC
  • TAXES
  • LAND CHARACTERISTICS
  • TOPOGRAPHY
  • WETLANDS
  • MINERAL RIGHTS
  • HUNTABLE ACREAGE
  • IS THERE AN EXISTING SURVEY
  • EASEMENTS
  • LAND USE HISTORY

In a series of upcoming articles I am going to explore many of these. For today we are going to look solely at Location which rightfully so is at the top of the list.

Travel time – How far is the land you purchase from your residence or office, door to door? The travel time to your land will impact how often you go there. Distance from home will be a factor in how easy it is to manage the land. Will you need a land manager, a company to help with wildlife services, planting food plots, etc?

Location determines the price you pay as well as your exit strategy in terms of resale. Some counties have micro markets where dirt values are higher in a certain pocket of a county. In Bullock County there such micro markets exist because there are many large land owners of 500 to several thousand acres. It is also home of the field trials and many named quail plantations. You can be sure that your neighbor is has the same game management goals you do. They are planting food plots, supplemental feeding the deer, managing to QDMA standards, harvesting doe to control over population and for the most part are shooting mature bucks only. While you may pay a higher dirt value to purchase the land you can rest assured the land holds its value better than most areas.

Location determines the quality of the land you purchase and the types of hunting available to you. For instance the Black Belt region and outlying counties provide the soils and food sources that are major factors in the size of your deer, mass and quality of your racks, and your herd’s population. Water sources i.e. rivers and creeks provide better timber and food sources, cover for deer, roosting areas for turkeys, and potential duck habitat.

Location can determine topography which also effects wildlife quality. For example in Autauga County if you are south of CR 14 the land is level to gently rolling. It’s close to the Alabama River and the wildlife is bigger and more abundant. North of CR 14 the land begins to become hillier and even steep. The soils change and there are not only fewer deer per square mile but the size and racks are inferior.

Proximity to larger metro areas – If you are within an hour from larger metro areas you have a larger buying pool when you decide to sell. An example of this is the triangle between Montgomery, Columbus, and Auburn. That being said Birmingham buyers are used to driving two hours plus to get to their land and we have many buyers from Georgia, and Florida who seek out recreational hunting land in Alabama.

Distance to timber markets can make a big difference in the value of your timber. How far are you from these mills? What types of mills are they? Is there competition or is one major mill setting the price?

Location can also adversely affect your land value. Are you are close to a high crime town, a landfill, or surrounded by small land owners? Are there hunting clubs with the “If it’s brown it’s down” mentality?

For more information or if you need a consultant to talk about buying or selling land in Alabama call Pete Hall at 334 312 7099.

Pete Hall

Accredited Land Consultant

John Hall & Company