; Subdividing Rural Property for Auction: A Comprehensive Guide - jpking

Subdividing Rural Property for Auction: A Comprehensive Guide

July 20, 2023


Subdividing Rural Property for Auction:

A Comprehensive Guide

In this month’s blog post, we delve into the exciting topic of subdividing rural property for auction. Join us as we explore the ins and outs of this process and discover the immense potential it holds.

We’re also thrilled to announce our upcoming LIVE Facebook event, featuring a local surveyor, Tanner Perman from Perman Engineering Co., LLC, who will shed light on specific questions related to land subdivision.

In anticipation of this webinar, we wanted to answer some thought-provoking questions to fuel our discussion based on FAQs we often receive from clients.

Read on to explore the key aspects of subdividing land for auction and gain a deeper understanding of this dynamic process!

What are Good Candidates for Subdividing Land for an Auction? What Do You Look for and When is it Appropriate? 

Identifying suitable properties for subdivision is essential for any successful auction. However, some properties lend themselves especially well to subdivisions when it comes to maximizing auction value.

Expanding the buyer pool creates a “higher and best use” of the property.  For example, homesites as opposed to farmland reach different buyer segments.

Here are a few specific property features we look for when considering good candidates for subdividing land:

  • Ample acreage with potential for multiple lots
  • Favorable zoning regulations that allow for subdivision
  • Strong market demand for residential or development
  • Clear boundaries and minimal encumbrances (rivers, terrain, creeks or swamps)
  • Land that, based on its natural features, can be subdivided to appeal to multiple buyer demographics (hunters, fishermen, equestrians, etc.)

By considering these factors, JP King can identify properties with the potential to maximize value through subdivision auctions.

When Can You Convey a Property from the Existing Legal Description? When Must You Have a Survey?

The need for a survey depends on various factors, including local regulations and the level of certainty regarding boundary lines. In some cases, properties can be conveyed based on the existing legal description, provided that there are no uncertainties or disputes regarding the boundaries.

However, when boundary lines are uncertain or there is a need to establish clear boundaries, a survey becomes necessary to avoid potential complications in the future.

Are Tracts With More Road Frontage Good Candidates, and Are There Minimum Width Requirements? 

In general, yes, tracts with more road frontage generally attract higher interest from potential buyers due to better accessibility and visibility. For property owners lower cost to subdivide saving cost of constructing roads and providing utilities. However, the suitability of a tract for subdivision is not solely determined by road frontage.

Other factors also come into play, such as:

  • Zoning regulations
  • Utility access
  • Topography
  • Market demand

As for minimum width requirements: while some areas may have minimum width requirements for subdivided lots, it’s best to consult with an experienced surveyor or review local regulations and zoning ordinances for specific requirements   for your property.

Can You Divide Off Private Easements Like Farming Or Logging Roads? 

Dividing off of private easements like farming or logging roads requires careful consideration of legal requirements and potential restrictions. The ability to subdivide along private easements varies depending on local regulations, the purpose of the easement, and any restrictions outlined in easement agreements. Also if you are creating an easement for the subdivision careful thought must be had to plan for road maintenance agreements, utility reservations, restrictions, shared common expenses between parcel buyers, and if creating a Property Owners Association is appropriate. It’s crucial to consult legal professionals and local authorities to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

If the County or City Has Regulations, What is the Process for Getting Approval to Subdivide? 

Speaking of regulations, when county or city regulations govern land subdivision, it’s crucial to follow the prescribed process for obtaining approval.

The specific steps for subdivision may vary depending on where specifically your property is located, but generally, the approval process involves:

  1. Consult with a local surveyor and familiarize yourself with local subdivision regulations and zoning ordinances.
  2. Preparing a subdivision plan, including lot layout, utility infrastructure, and access points.
  3. Submitting the subdivision plan to the appropriate planning or zoning department.
  4. Paying any required application fees and providing supporting documentation.
  5. Attending public hearings or meetings to present the subdivision proposal.
  6. Receiving approval or conditional approval, subject to meeting any specified conditions.
  7. Completing any necessary improvements or modifications as outlined by the approval.


Are There Certain Size Tracts That are Less Regulated? 

Regulations regarding land subdivision can vary based on location and local ordinances. Local planning departments or zoning authorities can provide guidance on size thresholds and any corresponding regulatory variations.

That said, in some cases, smaller tracts of land may fall within thresholds that qualify as “minor subdivisions” or “minor plats.” These minor subdivisions often involve a limited number of lots and may have a more simplified approval process.

What is the Difference Between a Minor Plat and a Major Plat? 

A minor plat typically refers to a smaller subdivision involving a limited number of lots, usually below a certain threshold defined by local regulations. These subdivisions often require a simplified approval process.

In contrast, a major plat involves larger subdivisions with a higher number of lots and typically requires a more comprehensive review and approval process. The specific criteria and thresholds for distinguishing between minor and major plats may vary depending on local regulations.

Issues you may run into when surveying large tracts of land: 

Finally, surveying large tracts of land or major plats can present various challenges.

Here are some issues to think about before beginning the process:

  • More rugged terrain and difficult access points
  • Boundary disputes with neighboring properties
  • Environmental considerations, such as protected areas or wetlands
  • Limited availability of surveying resources in remote locations
  • Logistical complexities in coordinating surveys for vast expanses of land

Engaging experienced surveyors familiar with these challenges can help overcome potential issues and ensure accurate boundary determinations.

Bottom Line

Subdividing rural property for auction is a great way to maximize the value of some properties, but it requires careful consideration of various factors, adherence to legal requirements, and a thorough understanding of the subdivision process.

By assessing the suitability of properties, understanding surveying challenges, and navigating local regulations, JP King can help maximize the value of subdivided land through successful auction strategies.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for guidance, and remember to join us for our upcoming Facebook Live event where we’ll explore these questions and others in more detail!

Previous ArticleJ. P. King Takes Home Two NAA Marketing Competition Awards Next ArticleOriginally Listed for $1,125,000, Now Selling at or Above a Minimum Bid of $399,000!