Navigating Comping and Due Diligence for Land Deals

I was practicing comping yesterday using the methodology:

Take the avg sale price per acre of lots in my target county over the last 365, then multiply target property acerage by that number to get a comp.

Initial results in Denton County, TX were interesting in that many of the infill lots I was targeting were listed 30k higher than my comps. (Often right around 98k)

At a 98k comp I’d likely be making offers in the 20-40k range.

…but some lots were listed at 30-40k outright, and there wasn’t an obvious differentiator. They were literally two blocks apart and 100k apart, both with built up housing all around and very similar lot sizes, but one listed at 35k, and the other at 135k.

My first reaction was “should I just scoop that up? Why is it so low?”

Digging a little deeper, I found the issues: flood plain on the cheaper one.

I then found another bundle of lots in the same county, all with the same pricing. 30-40k. 9 lots all next to one another developer style.

Clicking into the listings I saw the issue: developer abandoned the project, no utilities run, seller wants to move the lots as a package.


I see this as a due diligence reality check. Had I found those properties off market and not done my research, I could have offered 30k for a property that could only sell for 25-35.

Just practicing for now, but still much to learn.

@rcoronado said in Comping reality check:

and there wasn’t an obvious differentiator…
Digging a little deeper, I found the issues: flood plain on the cheaper one.

Nice job doing your due diligence and looking close enough to find those things.

This is one of the big flaws with blind offers, I think. Not that these things can’t be caught and overcome, but it’s pretty hard to see this stuff when you are looking at a spreadsheet. Once your number is out there and you’ve got the seller thinking they’re going to sell at a number that’s too high, it’s hard to come back from that.