How to spiff up your land by staging it prior to sale

If you are selling your land to us, you can rest assured that we accept the land totally as is.  You don’t need to do anything to it.  Leave the trash, the car wrecks, the fallen trees, and the decrepit mobile home- that will be our problem.

However, if you hope to sell  to  a private individual,  that’s a different matter. Now you need to put your best foot forward.

Start by cleaning  off the trash, the plastic bags stuck in the trees and bushes, and all other visible debris. You may need to hire a dumpster.  They come in all sizes, from 10 yards to 30 yards, and will generally cost between $300 and $800, depending on the area.  If you have a lot of tree branches and paper, you might be able to burn it.  Contact your local fire department to find out what the current regulations are.

Speaking of fire departments,  we were recently able to get rid of an old half-rotten house by asking the local fire department if  they needed to practice on a house.  They enthusiastically lit it on fire and spent all day on conducting various  drills involving rescues, and  intermittently extinguishing and re-igniting the fire.  All that was left was a pile of ash and some pieces of metal, which were easily disposed of.

Wrecked cars are a different matter. But with the price of scrap metal way up these days, it should not be hard to find a scrapper to take it off your hands.

Your next job is to make the tract look as picturesque as possible.  It’s very much like the practice of “staging”  in selling houses.   There are basically three kinds of desirable looks for open land:  1. The pasture look,  with green grass and cattle or sheep grazing   2. An open grassy field,  perhaps sown with wildflowers  3. “Amber waves of grain”: to wit,  a crop of winter wheat gently waving in the breeze.

Which of these you choose depends on the size of your tract, whether you have neighbors who are farmers or dairymen, and what tools or machines you have available.

The simplest is the second option.  To implement this, you need to engage a farmer with a tractor to cultivate the field and sow grass seeds.  My suggestion would be to sow with a mixture of  annual rye and Kentucky Bluegrass.  You could also throw in  a mixture of wildflower seeds.  The rye  would come up quickly, for an almost instant green cover, and the bluegrass would be the permanent grass. The wildflowers  would make for spectacular accents, with splashes of intense color intermingled.  Be sure to have the farmer cover the sown areas with straw.  That will keep the birds from eating the seeds, and prevent the rain from washing them away.

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