Best Land Sales Practices (JJ 692)

Best Land Sales Practices (JJ 692) 


Jack Butala:                         Jack and Jill here.

Jill DeWit:                            Hi.

Jack Butala:                         Welcome to the Jack Jill Show, entertaining real estate investment talk. I am Steven Jack Butala.

Jill DeWit:                            And I’m Jill DeWit, broadcasting from sunny Southern California.

Jack Butala:                         Today Jill and I talk about Best Land Sale Practices. I understand from right before the show you’ve got some good stories about this-

Jill DeWit:                            Oh, yes.

Jack Butala:                         [crosstalk 00:00:18] stories.

Jill DeWit:                            I do. We had just a classic, funny caller yesterday that I can’t wait to share.

Jack Butala:                         Awesome.

Jill DeWit:                            It was good.

Jack Butala:                         Before we get into it, let’s take a question posted by one of our members on our online community, it’s free.

Jill DeWit:                            Okay. Brian asked, “In matters where there’s some question or dispute about legal egress or ingress, I always hear ‘you’ll need a real estate attorney’, but who renders final opinion? A judge, or is it the county surveyor authority? Anyone know for California?”

Jack Butala:                         This is an outstanding question, and easements for rural vacant land, this property type that we all are involved in here on the show, are recorded with the county, and they could be recorded over and above someone else’s property that’s next to yours from a county-maintained road.

                                                You have a piece of property and there’s a road. Whether it’s a private road, or a county-maintained road, it all starts with a county road and how to get to your property from there. Usually private roads that are recorded easements. Have you ever stopped at a road and looked right or left when you’re in your car? You’ve seen the real estate that under large power lines?

                                                That’s a huge utility easement. Picture that, some version of that type of throughway needs to get to the property. But I will tell you for our purposes, for what we do, what Jill and I do, and what we all do here … Everybody who invests in property, don’t go through it. It’s a huge, big deal.

                                                Whoever said you needed an attorney is probably correct, personally, which is the reason why I would avoid doing the deal entirely.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s what I think-

Jack Butala:                         A confident Jill agrees.

Jill DeWit:                            Well, yeah that’s a tough one. That’s one of the things that I just explained to somebody the other day. That’s probably the reason why it’s priced this way. You’re getting a rocking deal. Now, if you wan me to go through the motions to have it staked, or put in extra stuff and things like that, it’s going to cost more and it’s not something I want to do, so I’m going to mark it up.

Jack Butala:                         Exactly.

Jill DeWit:                            Or, you could do it and save some money. I had a great conversation with a guy yesterday and he’s like, “Oh, I get it.” I was like, “Yep.” So, he’s like, “Yeah, I’d rather get a good deal.” I said, “Thank you. That’s usually how most people think.”

Jack Butala:                         The point here is to buy a piece of property … I’m sorry, were you finished?

Jill DeWit:                            Well, I was going to talk about the ingress/egress thing.

Jack Butala:                         Oh, go ahead.

Jill DeWit:                            It’s so interesting because there’s so many different scenarios, depending on the state. Like, in Arizona there’s things that are written in law, basically, or the … I don’t know what you call it-

Jack Butala:                         Statues.

Jill DeWit:                            Statues for the county that say okay … There’s stuff like, don’t quote me on the years here, but if you’ve been using a corner of this person’s property, or whatever it is. If you’ve been using a path or a driveway for X amount of years and that person has never said anything otherwise, that owns the property, you can formally go and file to have that as a legal access. But you would probably need an attorney involved. That’s a whole thing here, too.

                                                I think it’s … I don’t know, do you know, Jack? I would think a judge decides, but do you know?

Jack Butala:                         There’s a lot of court filings, and it has to do with notice in the paper. There’s a statutory-

Jill DeWit:                            Process.

Jack Butala:                         The very meaning … Well, I don’t want to get too legal here, but there is a process that’s outlined to get it ingressed and egressed to your property if it’s that important to you. But here’s my big picture point-

Jill DeWit:                            That’s the key right there. If it’s that important to you … Yeah.

Jack Butala:                         We’re in the business of doing this, buying a piece of property for 10 grand and selling it for 20.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Jack Butala:                         If we’re buying a house … This is a topic for a different show, but Jill and I have been doing a lot of this lately, buying a house for $310,000.00 and selling it for $330,000.00. We don’t even take pictures of it sometimes, let alone talk about ingress/egress.

                                                For the record, Jill and I never buy … Almost without exception, not never, buy property without the physical access at least. You’re barking up a tree that’s difficult, and it’s tempting. Here’s the deal, if you’re new at this you’re going to send a bunch of mailers out, and some people are going to sign them … A lot of people, more than you think, and you’re going to take a look at the property and you’re going to say-

Jill DeWit:                            “I don’t know how to get there.”

Jack Butala:                         “I don’t think there’s any access here,” or, if you’re doing a really rural mailer, the only place to get to it is a helicopter. I love that. Everybody says that when they’re new.

Jill DeWit:                            I know, it’s hilarious.

Jack Butala:                         It’s hard not to buy 40 acres for $1,000.00, regardless of the condition. I had a real tough time with that in the beginning, now we kind of run away from it.

Jill DeWit:                            Right. Totally [inaudible 00:05:04].

Jack Butala:                         Today’s topic, Best Land Sale Practices. This is the meat of the show, and it sounds like Jill has a bunch of stuff to say. Go ahead, Jill.

Jill DeWit:                            Well first, let me tell you this story what happened yesterday and then I’ll tell you my best practices and why this would have saved us. We have a person in our office who is not normally taking land calls, and she was helping out, we were kind of busy, so she started taking some land calls. This woman calls in, and I’m in my office two rooms away hearing this, and it’s just comical.

                                                First of all, she’s having to speak very loudly, so there’s one little red flag right there, because the person can’t hear. She’s repeating herself over and over again, and the woman is calling in, found a property on Land Pen, wanting to buy this property, can’t remember which one it is. I’m like, number one, why are we wasting our time? She doesn’t even know what it is.

                                                My team is trying to extract from her information about what it is, do you remember where it is, how big is it. The woman was going on and on and on, and finally … Then the woman … The woman wasn’t even concerned about the property at this point. All she’s asking is about the whole process, too. She was like, “I really want to buy this property, but I’m not comfortable buying online.”

                                                I’m like, why are you even calling us anyway? After 20 minutes or so, they’re going back and forth. I walk up, she puts her on hold and I say, “Get rid of this call. This not the right person. This is not a legit buyer. She doesn’t even know what she wants to buy. I think she’s got too much time on her hands, or something.” That happens. Get rid of the call. Well, the woman kept calling back, and calling back, and calling back.

                                                This is throughout the whole day. I don’t know how much time was wasted. Finally, at the whole end of the thing, we found out that she was calling on one of our member’s properties. It wasn’t even one of ours, and the reason she was calling us is because that guy wasn’t going to call her back. Well, no kidding. He already weeded her out. I’m like, this is hilarious.

                                                There’s some things that you can do to save yourself-

Jack Butala:                         I mean, this begs a point. How do you make a decision?

Jill DeWit:                            Okay, I’ll tell you. Number one … Here’s my Best Land Sale Practices, and these are covered. I wrote these down too before this call yesterday. I’m like, “Oh, this totally applies.” One of the best things about what we do is, well, you answer the phone. That’s huge. All right, that’s number one. That’s a no-brainer.

                                                I know a lot of people have services, and a lot of people use Google Voice, and a lot of people have really … They think they have really strategic voicemails, and I can tell you, I’ve called some of our members, and got their land voicemails. As good as they are, and tell them to go to their website, and fill out the contact form if you want to sell me your property, blah, blah, blah, it doesn’t lend to them to leave a message.

                                                I have called our members and not left messages because I’m like, “This took me too long to get here. I don’t want to do that.” So if it turns me off, I’m sure it turns them off. Gosh, if you could afford it, or you have the time, if you could answer your phone, that’s the best. So, number one.

                                                Number two, quickly decide if they’re a qualified buyer. Here’s a hint, if they don’t know what property they’re calling on, they’re not a qualified buyer.

Jack Butala:                         Absolutely.

Jill DeWit:                            Get them off the phone, because they’re just wasting your time. The right buyer, really … And this leads into number three. The right buyer has brief questions, they know what they want. The right buyer is going to call in and they really … And this is the chat that I had with the team. I said, “The right buyer is going to call in. The only reason they’re calling is because they’re going instead of doing this payment, I was just going to wire you the funds. Can I have your wire information?”

                                                That’s the right buyer. You know, that’s who you’re going to talk to and they just have … They know what they’re doing, they’ve done their homework, they know the property. They’ve done it all right there. They are staring at it, and they’re making sure maybe it’s still available, maybe that’s why they’re calling, “Hi, I’m calling to buy this 40 acres that I saw in [inaudible 00:09:03] County,” or whatever it is, “For $9,000.00. I’m going to wire the money in an hour. I just want to confirm A, B and C, and give you my deed information.” Done.

Jack Butala:                         You know, every time I try to buy something on the Internet that requires a conversation, like a piece of land, or even calling the county. The first thing I say is this, “I’ve done a ton of research. I have a couple hours in this. I’m ready to purchase. I just have a couple more questions about the process and X, Y, and Z. Is now a good time?”

                                                That just separates … Seems to separate. Everybody is listening. It’s not … When I pick up the phone, and I know there’s a customer on the other end, I’m waiting for this to turn out like the situation that you’re describing. Not the other way around.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Jack Butala:                         It’s the right time.

Jill DeWit:                            One of the things that I would recommend too, which is good about this … As people call and you’re answering the phone, if everybody is asking the same question over and over and over again, that would be an indication that you need to add it on your posting.

                                                For example, what if you forgot to put on there what the taxes are each year kind of thing? That’s a common question that people would … Good buyers would want to know. “Hey, what are the taxes every year, and are they current?” Well, how about after three phone calls of that, that would be an indication to go update your posting and have it on there, because it’s going to save you time, save you money, save you energy. That’s the stuff you should be looking for, too, on these.

                                                The final thing that I have about the Best Land Sale Practices is make that payment and the deed process easy.

Jack Butala:                         Yeah. If there’s one thing that you take away from this as a listener, Jill has just nailed it. Make it easy to check out with a credit card online for rural vacant land, or make it easy … All I see everywhere, specifically on Land Watch and Land and Farm are, “Hey, are you interested in this property? Do you need more information? Click here.” And then fill out a form. I bet you lose 90% of the people.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Jack Butala:                         Our approach is, and I’ve been saying this for years and years, is to put a sentence at the bottom of the posting, no matter where you post it. What’s in this posting is everything we know. So, if you’re interested in purchasing it, go ahead and click on a button there. But I mean, we can talk. You can call and we can talk about it, but our primary business is to buy and sell real estate, and we make a business practice not to learn too much about our property, which by the way, is why it’s so cheap.

                                                We believe that the price makes up for customer service. Jill is probably going to kick me under the studio table for that, but that’s truly the philosophy that we operate on for rural vacant land. Houses are a little bit different.

Jill DeWit:                            You know, a lot of people win. Jack, you said something about there are definitely things that we did not find out about our property until much, much later when we see somebody else resell it for four times what we sold it to them for, or something crazy.

Jack Butala:                         Or, 20 times in some cases.

Jill DeWit:                            Right, and you know what? I don’t care, because maybe, like Jack says, we brought a piece of property super, super cheap. We had no idea that they were going to build a mall right there, or something. The guy who brought it from us was like, “Score,” because he sold it to Westfield, or whoever it is.

Jack Butala:                         [inaudible 00:12:22]

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you. And they’re putting in a mall there. So, that’s … Good for him. I don’t really care. Do I kick myself later? No.

Jack Butala:                         I’ve never kicked myself.

Jill DeWit:                            You know what? It doesn’t matter. I’m like, “Hey, good”-

Jack Butala:                         I’m happy.

Jill DeWit:                            Hey, good for them. You know, I love it.

Jack Butala:                         I get those calls once or twice a year from somebody calling me. They skip/trace me down and find my stuff. They call me, and it’s always at a strange time. The last time you and I were at an art show, and they said, “Man, just thank you. I made $800,000.00 on this last land deal I did with you.” I think I made $40,000.00 on it.

Jill DeWit:                            Good for them.

Jack Butala:                         I said, “That’s great!” Because the time that it took you to make $800,000.00 on that one deal, I think I made more.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Jack Butala:                         Just doing it my way.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Jack Butala:                         We’re flipping tons, and tons, and tons of property.

Jill DeWit:                            Mm-hmm (affirmative), exactly.

Jack Butala:                         So, Best Land Sale Practices, everything Jill said, plus you really have to decide the type of land seller you want to be. Do you want to be the person that … And we have a lot of ranch-type people in our group who do one, two or five deals a year. They do really well on them. They know everything about the property, and they really get into it. They take drone shots … That’s not the kind of seller we are. We’re a volume seller. Mark it up, and just move it.

Jill DeWit:                            Can I tell you something funny when you have a second?

Jack Butala:                         Yeah. When I have a second.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, when you’re done.

Jack Butala:                         When you’re done talking, Jack …

Jill DeWit:                            No, no. I’m being … I’m trying to be [inaudible 00:13:45]. Tell me when you’re ready because I have something funny. All right, so I’m reading our online community last night. I gotta tell you, I was just looking through and kind of weighing in and saying hi to some people and stuff. I’m reading this funny chain. There’s a whole thread in there from Luke-

Jack Butala:                         This is on Land Investors?

Jill DeWit:                            About this drunk guy … Yeah, you gotta go see this stuff.

Jack Butala:                         Okay.

Jill DeWit:                            It is hilarious. I don’t know if it’s the … There’s a free version, and there’s a pro version, so I don’t know if everyone listening can see this one, but if you can, go look for Luke Smith’s stuff about the drunk guy. This drunk guy keeps … Because Luke has it all easy so you can just check out.

                                                This guy checks out and buys a property when he’s drunk from his car. Okay, he buys it when he’s drunk online, is my understanding. He sobers up later, and then he has to … His mom doesn’t hear him, he’s in the driveway in the car calling Luke to undo what he’s done. This is like hilarious. There’s these long … And Luke’s like, “I don’t know what to do about this guy.” Everybody is weighing in like, “Maybe there’s a way you can block his credit card so it doesn’t process,” or something.

                                                I don’t know, because it keeps happening-

Jack Butala:                         Oh, he keeps doing it.

Jill DeWit:                            He keeps doing it. So, he buys this property … I think different properties, too. He’ll buy it, check out online with his credit card, while he’s drunk, call Luke up a day or two later and say, “That was mistake. Undo it all.” Luke’s like, “Great. Thanks.”

Jack Butala:                         It’s like Groundhog Day.

Jill DeWit:                            Right? And then it keeps happening. He’s like, “I don’t know how to get this guy out of my life.” It’s just so funny. Sorry, Luke. I feel really bad, but I’m sorry. I was just laughing last night about this. I’m like, that’s good stuff.

Jack Butala:                         You know, for every one of these stories … We just told two relatively funny, somewhat negative, stories. For every one of those, we process probably 20. Just process 20 payments, send them a deed with no talking at all. And a little sticky note that says, “Thank you so much. Please check back.”

Jill DeWit:                            That was Luke’s comment, too. I guess I … Hey, come on. I have how many that go through perfectly? All right. I can hang with this weirdo.

Jack Butala:                         Exactly.

Jill DeWit:                            Love it.

Jack Butala:                         Well you’ve done it again. You’ve spent another 15 minutes with us here on the Land Investors Show. Join us tomorrow where we discuss how Jack and Jill conquer acquisitions and sales.

Jill DeWit:                            Cool, and we answer your questions. Should you have one, post it on our online community found either at or go straight to It’s free.

Jack Butala:                         You are not alone in your real estate ambition.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, so last night I was reading there and putting some notes, and answering some questions in Land Investors that I was cracking up over this whole thing.

Jack Butala:                         It’s funny you were doing that because I was just doing that on YouTube, because Luke Smith’s got a YouTube channel and a lot of our members … He does almost a daily show, and does a great job actually. A good, real job. The one from yesterday was pretty funny because his wife made him get off the thing.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh, really.

Jack Butala:                         At the end, she said, “Luke, this is it.”

Jill DeWit:                            Dinner’s ready.

Jack Butala:                         She didn’t say dinner’s ready, but it was something like that-

Jill DeWit:                            That’s funny.

Jack Butala:                         You gotta take the kids to school or something.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s awesome.

Jack Butala:                         Or pick the kids up.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s awesome. I love it.

Jack Butala:                         He was trying to give a piece of property away.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s awesome. Cool. Hey, share the fun by subscribing on iTunes, or wherever you’re listening. While you’re at it, rate us there.

Jack and Jill:                        We are-

Jack Butala:                         We are Steve-

Jill DeWit:                            And Jill. Information-

Jack Butala:                         And inspiration.

Jill DeWit:                            To buy undervalued property.

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