How Can I Sell Off Part of My Land?

Author:
Sarah Ryan
Head of Property, Licensed Conveyancer
Date:
20/11/2019

If you own a piece of land you could be in a position to sell part of it. There is a premium on land, particularly if the location is right. Selling your land can be a very attractive proposition, but only if you consider everything thoroughly first.

Some of the considerations are:

  • Should you sell with or without planning permission in place?
  • Who are you selling your land to?
  • Do your neighbours have a plot of land to sell?
  • What could happen to the value of your property?

Whether you’re looking to sell a large plot of agricultural land or sell off part of your garden, make sure you do your research first and use an expert Conveyancing Solicitor so you can protect your interests and make sure the transaction goes as smoothly as possible.

For free initial advice contact our Conveyancers and Conveyancing Solicitors.

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Who is Your Buyer?

Perhaps one of the biggest risks you face when you choose to sell part of your land is knowing who your buyer is. Land buyers are different from home buyers. They’re looking for development opportunities in plots of land and you should ask yourself what is acceptable for your land. This is particularly true if your property is attached to the plot of land.

The kind of buyer you want to attract will depend on the type of land you are selling and whether there is any previous development.

Is your buyer:

  • An individual looking for a plot for a new home?
  • A builder or developer?
  • Looking for finished lots, acreage or a parcel of suburban land?

You will need to understand what the plot of land you are selling has to offer and which type of buyer this will appeal to.

Why Sell Part of My Land?

Housing is very much in demand across the UK and developers are constantly looking for space to develop. You may have a large garden that you don’t have the time to look after or just more space than you actually need. If that’s the case, you could consider selling off part of it. You could invest the money elsewhere or just pay off a chunk of your mortgage if you have one.

But you do need to consider how your life will be affected if you sell part of your land, both in the long term and the short term. Some of the considerations you need to factor in are:

  • How long will you have to live next door to a building site?
  • What will happen to the value of your property with the additional development?
  • How will the development affect you in your own home long term?

If you and your neighbours own large gardens, you could group together and form what is known as a ‘Land Assembly’. This can actually be more lucrative than selling individually because of the wider development opportunities open to whoever buys the land.

You should note that if you have a mortgage on the property and you are looking to sell part of the land, you will need to get permission from your lender to sell the land.

Should I Get Planning Permission?

Your best option is to get planning permission on the land before you sell it. This will give you control over what is built on the land once it’s sold. You can also instruct your Conveyancing Solicitor to include a binding obligation on the buyer so that any changes they make to the planning permission must be approved by you.

Another benefit of having planning permission in place is that it will probably increase the value of the land. This is because the buyer knows that they already have planning in place and that the land is a good investment.

But there are some downsides to getting planning permission for your land. There is a cost involved and the larger the plot of land, the longer the decision can take. Also, there is the risk that you will need to amend the plans to get them agreed, which will all take additional time and money.

You have to be sure that you will get that additional value back on the sale price, particularly if you are not directly affected by what will be built on the land once you’ve sold it.

If you sell your land as ‘bare land’, the cost of applying for planning permission is moved onto the buyer. You probably won’t get as high a value for your land without planning permission, but it means you don’t have to spend the time and the money applying yourself.

In this situation, our Conveyancing Solicitors can also advise you on whether to include an ‘uplift covenant’. This means that if the buyer gets planning permission they will pay you an additional sum of money.

Get Professional Advice

You will definitely need to use various property professionals if you are going to sell your land. You may also need to speak to your Local Authority about planning permission if you decide to sell your land with this already agreed. Some of the professionals you’ll need to work with are:

  • Local planning authority – to discuss and apply for planning permission
  • A land agent – for advice on how to maximise the value of the land and to market it
  • An accountant – to advise on any taxes payable on the land sale, such as Capital Gains Tax
  • A Conveyancing Solicitor – to complete the legal part of the land sale

Any agreement to buy or sell land must be made in writing. Verbal agreements are not enforceable and the contract will include everything you and the buyer have agreed through your Conveyancers.

How Simpson Millar Can Help You

Our nationwide team of Conveyancing Solicitors can give you the advice and guidance you need to complete your land sale. We can act for you on the sale of:

  • Farmland
  • Development land
  • Amenity land you own
  • Investment land or Woodland

Once you instruct us to act for you, we’ll help protect your interests and achieve the best outcome from the sale of your land.

For free initial advice call our Conveyancing Solicitors

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