The Land Play

170 Tabor Woods Drive, Stowe, VT

A wooded lot located in Stowe, Vermont during foliage season

In the current real estate market, a number of land sellers have been on the market for a few years due to the recession.  The land is a lagging indicator of the real estate market, in that land sales improve months, or years, after the housing market recovers.  Land usually doesn’t trade actively until the prices of homes have increased enough that it makes it worthwhile for builders to acquire land to build and sell houses.

Our client, the Sarkises, wanted to buy a piece of land in Stowe to build a second residence. Like all buyers, they wanted to feel like they were getting value for their hard-earned dollars.  They were motivated to conduct a thorough, organized search of properties on the market and a number that were off-market.  Land sellers responded to the impact of the Great Recession by pulling their land off the market due to lack of demand.

After looking at land in their initial price range they decided to increase their budget slightly to include more properties in the search.  Ultimately, they found one that offered almost all of what they had on their wish list; however, the asking price was beyond their expanded budget.  As I tell all my buyers, you don’t know the real sales price until you make an offer.

The Sarkis’s made an offer strong on terms to demonstrate their sincerity to close.  The price was substantially below the assessment – but it was the max of what they wanted to pay.  Through an extended negotiation process, we were able to get the land under contract for 32.3% below the assessed value – a huge win.


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