How to sell a block of land?


wondering if there may be some helpful advice out there...

in conjunction with three other people, i was left a block of land in north queensland, between Port Douglas and Mosman, about 4 years ago. it was left by my godmother, who was also godmother to the others. Until the transfer of the land, I did not know any of these people.

The block is around 11 hectares in size (around 25 acres in the old measurement i believe), is uncleared and on a sloping piece of land that looks out over some canefields and a bit of national park. It is only 500 metres off the highway, but there is no road to it (that is, a road would need to be cleared through bushland to get to the block via car).

The block is in a nice area but would be expensive to build on because of the slope of the land, the access and the connection of services. There are ocean views from the top of the block, but it is unlikely a house would be able to built in such a way as to capture these.

I'm based in melbourne, one person is in perth, one is in brisbane and one in canada! we have paid the rates and left it sitting there for the past 4 years.

We have tried through a local agent to sell it, without much luck. we have not spent any real money on advertising, and it seems to me that its the kind of property that someone would buy based on it being close to town but secluded, surrounded by bush and somewhat serene.

The shire valuation (on which we pay rates) is about $180,000, but i'm sceptical of getting this amount at the moment. we would like to release the equity, as the land is not going up in value greatly and we do not wish to build on it, live there etc.

i would be happy to use it as collateral for another property so that we can start a property portfolio, but the others are not keen on this. i've also thought about swapping it for a house/land in a better area that we could sell and split the profits. I could buy the others out, but them I'm stuck with the land - i could then use it as equity but this is not much of a reason for the deal.

i'm not willing to sell at a low price just to get rid of it - a couple of the others might sell, but setting the price is hard and I have a moral obligation not to 'rip them off'. I have a reasonable amount of experience in property, but i'm not sure how to proceed here.

any suggestions welcome!

thanks in anticipation

hi Ned,

do the other people involved want to sell out also?

why not just get a valuation and have the others buy you out so it becomes their problem and not yours.
Hi Ned,
Another suggestion: put a private sale add in the local newspaper to see what kind of interest there is out there. I live in Nth Qld if I can be of any help.
G'Day Ned,

Would you kindly forward me some details of this piece of dirt and also your contact details.

I am heading up to Queensland in the next few weeks and might just be interested.

email to [email protected]


Have you thought of auctioning it? Perhaps a national auction house rather than a local estate agent auction. There might be some interstate Lifestylers out there ready to move to Nth QLD. Retirees, perhaps?

Dear Ned,

Always agree that with some things have three or more partners makes decision making difficult.

Therefore another way of looking at the situation.

1) Firstly buy out your existing partners.

2) Make a development proposal for the area in question.
The reason why I say this is that often a block of bare land becomes more when a potential customer/developer can visualise an actual concept that has been prepared. It makes it more real and tangible and can give you another asset that can be sold with the property in question.

A small investment in a proposal and architectural drawings can do wonders to inspire a potential investors imagination.

Maybe JoannaK or Michael Yardney can point you in the right direction for a good consultant for this QLD project.


Originally posted by Ned

i'm not willing to sell at a low price just to get rid of it - a couple of the others might sell, but setting the price is hard and I have a moral obligation not to 'rip them off'. I have a reasonable amount of experience in property, but i'm not sure how to proceed here.


A simple suggestion ...

Suggest to the others that you will arrange to get two (or three) independent valuations on the property and that in an effort to liquidate the property the average of the valuations of the property will be considered the sale price of the property. Agree this upfront. One this is agreed and the valuations obtained (cost added to property price), each of the current co-owners is then invited to either sell or alternatively agree to buy out the others.

With this scenario, if all four want to buy (unlikely) there is no change from your current arrangement and you need to look for Plan B ( develop jointly or sell to third party). The likelihood is either one (or possibly two) might like to buy, in which case proceed on this basis and have the interested parties cash out the others for their share.

The philosophy is the same as for children learning to share. Let one child cut the cake and let the others pick first. This way guarantees even sized pieces...

Good luck.

Joe D
Originally posted by WillG
Perhaps you could try and market the property as a 'paintball ' business opportunity.


I know it's off topic, and I apologise if that offends but . . . we've just booked our 2002 Christmas function. This year, we're having a go at Paintball and it promises to be fantastic.

Have fun

Hi Dale

This is still off the topic

It has been a while since I last played paintball but you will love it. It's a great day out, despite the pain and bruises.
Whatever you do make sure you get lots of paintballs, you dont want to run out in the middle of a battle, like I have done.

Makes a change, hunting for people rather than properties!

Simon H

Go see an Architect or designer to see what CAN be built on it.

It may surprise you to find that you may be able to get resort/restaurant etc.

You won't know until you find out.

Then you can get plans drawn and market with plans drawn

Best of luck.
Hi Ned,
As your co-owners are so wide spread I would have it valued by nationally known valuers, eg. Hookers, Raine & Horne etc, you could even let them select a R/e agent themselves. Then I would average the price from 3 r/e and say you buy me out or I will buy you out. That way you either gain control of the ground or get some cash value out of it.

How to sell a block of land

Hello Ned

Approach a local surveyer who will be able to give some idea of costs,zoning and best use for the block.
This will give you a starting point.

Good luck