Out of state owners selling property, listings are no where?

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Recently, I sent some yellow letters to out of state owners of raw land. The last two responses I've had are from people who have their land for sale already. The weird part is that the realtors who are supposed to be selling this land don't have these parcels listed. One owner even directed me to the realtor who had multiple websites, and their parcels weren't on any of them! But the owners still referred me to the realtor even when I told them I don't see it on the websites anywhere.

The second one to contact me was the realtor himself - the owners of this parcel I inquired about actually had a few parcels they wanted to sell. The realtor assured me they wouldn't be interested in a lease option (which is what I was looking for). However, they have only had ONE up for sale ( FOR TEN YEARS!!!). I asked why in the world wasn't all three up for sale this whole time? He said that it was his (the realtors!) suggestion to put a well on the one for sale, and once it's sold, put wells on the other two and then put them up for sale. No where to be found on the realtor's website - no sign outside...nothing. What the heck?? Isn't it his job to sell the property, not convince the owner to hold it? I'm so confused. My first thought was that if the owner had considered a lease option all those years ago, all 3 could have been paid off by now!

I'm just all around confused by this, actually. Is this normal practice? Do realtors have properties they just don't list and hope for the best? Is this something I can use to my advantage? 

I've found that MOST realtors of raw land are inept.  They don't seem to give a damn, they take a few pictures, post it and forget about it.  There are realtors that specialize in raw land and many of them are better of course.  Because the holding costs are so low, most people just sit on them until they sell and many realtors have conditioned their sellers that land just takes a long time to sell.  My advice would be to make the homeowners an offer anyway and let them know that you can pay cash and close fast.  Would they rather continue to pay property taxes year after year?

I've had people tell me when they call in on one of my leads that the absolute lowest amount they would take for it would be $5k, but when I give them an offer for $500 they take it anyway.

Originally posted by @Andy Bauman :

I've found that MOST realtors of raw land are inept.  They don't seem to give a damn, they take a few pictures, post it and forget about it.  There are realtors that specialize in raw land and many of them are better of course.  Because the holding costs are so low, most people just sit on them until they sell and many realtors have conditioned their sellers that land just takes a long time to sell.  My advice would be to make the homeowners an offer anyway and let them know that you can pay cash and close fast.  Would they rather continue to pay property taxes year after year?

I've had people tell me when they call in on one of my leads that the absolute lowest amount they would take for it would be $5k, but when I give them an offer for $500 they take it anyway.

 One of the realtors appears to be a land specialist, which is a part of why I'm confused. The other realtor that suggested the weird things, did end up talking with the owner who DID end up being willing to accept lease terms. $85k @ 6% interest and 20% down. No thanks!!

So in the case of the other sellers who have what appear to be an inept land realtor, is it OK to send an offer behind the realtors back? I feel bad for doing that, as I assume they have a contract and all negotiations should be made through that realtor...which is exactly what the seller wants me to do. Or maybe I should ask when their contract expires?

@Tashina Taylor - Most realtors only sign exclusive agreements meaning that if it sells in the time period stated on their contract, they will get paid the commission either way.  Whether they actively market it or not, hence why some of them are lazy.

If I were you, I would see if the seller is OK with waiting until the contract expires (if both parties can wait) then present them an offer directly.  If they do not want to do that, present your offer through the realtor and let the seller eat the commission.  If you have a good rapport with the seller you may be able to wait, otherwise they'll have to pay the realtor and it will be their own fault.

I'd still make a low ball offer though, either way.