Buying an unlisted lot

4 Replies

What is a favorable way of approaching an individual about buying a lot that is not listed on the MLS. I found general information about the owner & might write a letter to gauge any interest? Thanks for ideas / suggestions.

@Lynn Burson   Buying an unlisted lot is not really any different than buying an unlisted house.  Look up the owner in the office of public records and try to obtain a mailing address.  You can send them a letter expressing your interest or better yet, try to obtain a phone number if you can from an online search or using or something. 

Generally if the lot is unkept and in bad shape the owner may just want to get rid of it.  When you approach them I recommend you try to gage whether they have a problem that you can help solve by buying this piece of land.  For instance, if they inherited the land they may not be all that attached to it and may find paying the taxes each year to be a burden. 

If you want to keep the land for a while and maybe develop it, another option may be to suggest to them an owner-finance proposition.  This way they can get a steady stream of monthly payments and you get an investment with little money down.

Thanks. I found the owners address & will write a letter.  Other than "I really like your lot & want to buy it" not sure what to say.  Obviously my contact information but...any ideas?

The letter can be very simple;

Dear ________,

I am very interested in buying your lot at 123 Any St. Please call me to discuss at 555-1212.  


Your signature

If you don't  hear back, keep sending similar notes every 2-3 weeks.  Your chance of success will be a lot better if you are sending these to a list of property owners. It's a numbers game to find the one that wants to sell now. 


I hunt off-market land deals all the time.  Here are a few good tips for gauging interest:

1)  Talk to the neighbors.  If the owners are 'land hoarders', it could save you a chilling rejection at the door to know ahead of time.  They can also tell you the current family or finance situation, which is crucial.

2)  Ask, don't tell.  When you have the owners' attention, introduce yourself and get them to expose what plans they have for the property.  Ask how they acquired it, how much land it is, what they use it for, what will they do with it, and when, etc.  The idea is to get them thinking, and get them talking.  If there is any interest there, it will show

If they look like they want to sell, but say no, you can throw a hail Mary.  Offer to give them an appraisal at no-cost.  24-48 hours, you can return with a dollar figure.  If they are on the fence, the next two days will give them plenty of time to think about what they will do with the money.  

Hope that helps.  Good Luck!

Matt H

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