Insight for Landowners

Time to take stock?

2020 has certainly been a notable year so far and now that we’re moving out of the first (and hopefully last) phase of the coronavirus crisis, many landowners will be assessing their options.

If you own land, and I don’t just mean a large development site, but perhaps a large garden that could possibly be sold and built on, there’s never been a better time to look at the possibilities that are open to you. As many experts have commented recently, there’ll be a massive acceleration in the property market this year and demand for land will be higher than ever.

Should you sell, or should you develop? Should you sit tight or liquidise your assets? Only you will know the answer, but to make the right decision you’ve got to have all of the information to hand. And this is where we
come in. We can appraise your land (safely – more on this inside), advise you on the planning process, or even how best to engage with an architect. We work with developers, housebuilders and landowners and are members of the national Land & New Homes Network.

So whatever’s on your mind when it comes to your land, we can help shed light on your situation or connect you with just the right person.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll find plenty of ideas and insight in this, our latest newsletter. And by all means drop me a line via the contact details on the back page if there’s
anything I can do for you.


Take another look at your outdoor asset.

Unless you’re lucky enough to own acres of land, it’s hard to visualise how you could sell a part of your garden without it being an eyesore or an inconvenience. But we help scores of homeowners do just this in all sorts of innovative and sensitive ways – with amazing, attractive results. Plus, selling a section of the land that your property sits on.


Too small?

You may not be aware that, if your plot’s too small, you can get together with one or more neighbours and create what’s known as a ‘land assembly’ and, typically, the bigger the site, the more appealing it will be to developers.


Your garden development checklist:

  • You must own the freedhold.
  • Conservation areas can present challenges in some areas.
  • If the garden is large enough, listed building status might not be an issue.
  • Corner sites are particularly sort after.
  • Is access difficult to envision? We can often suggest new solutions.
  • Large trees often add to a sites appeal.
  • It’s the planners, not your neighbours, who will decide.
  • Check your local plan for valuable insight.

If this is something you’re curious about,we can provide you with a completely safe, socially distant, no obligation consultation that includes a valuation based on the land as it stands today – and what the development could be worth tomorrow.


Reassessing your land?


How we’ll give you the information you need – safely and skilfully.

If you’re a landowner, it’s likely that you’ll be assessing your options right now. You’ll be looking for clarity on what your plot is worth and you may have questions about planning, developing or selling.

At Nicol & Co, we can give you the answers you need. We have access to exclusive land data and technology, and we’ve created a way of working that’s fully in-line with government coronavirus guidelines to provide you with the most accurate information possible.

We can appraise every square foot of your land using video cameras, and safe site visits, and analyse our live database for relevant local planning applications. We’ll also assess the latest market data and consult our national network of active and passive buyers.


Putting your safety first.

If a personal visit is required, we’ll give you plenty of notice and share some guidance with you on what to expect. Naturally, we’ll be equipped with the relevant protective equipment and we’ll thoroughly sanitise any
contact areas such as door handles as we go.


Staying in touch.

We’ll communicate with you in the way that suits you, and the conversation, best. All our team are equippe with Zoom for video conferencing, WhatsApp for video calls, email and of course, the telephone.

There’s no obligation. And we won’t charge you for this initial evaluation. But if you do choose to explore your options with us further, you’ll be reassured to know that we’ve been in contact with the developers, housebuilders and suppliers that we work with and all of us are committed to doing whatever it takes to provide a safe, trusted, and seamless service.

So if you’re seriously considering your options or just need to know what your land’s worth, we’re here to help.


Land expert or just another agent?


Ever wondered why it pays to speak to an estate agency with a dedicated land and new homes department (like us!)? Here are ten valuable differences…


1. We’ll secure you a better price.

Because we deal with developers and housebuilders every day, we talk their language and understand their needs. We also understand the various stages of the planning process and how each can have a huge impact on your returns.


2. Outstanding sales skills.

Selling property and selling land are two very different skills. We excel at land negotiations (and if you also need our property team we’ll be happy to introduce you!).


3. We probably already know your buyer.

Thanks to our network of housebuilder and new homes contacts, it’s very likely that we already know who would be interested in hearing about your land’s potential.


4. We know the right price.

Our team knows how to value land accurately thanks to exclusive access to the leading land insight technology and local sales data.


5. Land deals are our sole focus.

Our dedicated land and new homes team only specialises in… land and new homes! This is what we have been doing for many years and our experience will secure you the best possible returns.


6. We’re nationally connected.

As members of the Land & New Homes Network, we have a nationwide database of experts including planners, architects, and of course, property developers and housebuilders.


7. We collaborate to get the best results.

Our work involves working with all our external partners to get the best results for our clients. Whatever challenges or opportunities come our way, we can take care of them for you.


8. Planning isn’t a problem.

Our longstanding experience in this area means that we know how to get planning applications approved.


9. Your options are covered.

Your site may well appeal to developers that are looking to sell and/or let the properties. We have partners in those other areas of our business who will be happy to help us put together a compelling sales package.


10. Your needs are our priority.

We’ve built our business on getting you the best possible deal for your land. And that’s what drives us!


Is allocation an option?

Did you know that councils put out a call for sites that can be included in their development plans? Here’s how you can get your land on the list…

The simple tactic is to talk to us. We specialise in assessing the suitability of sites across the region and understand what councils are looking for right now. Plus, we’ve built solid relationships with the housebuilders and developers that are actively looking for opportunities.

We can also advise on the various necessary assessments such as drainage and proximity to highways, and will offer guidance on the best way to fund and get the right results from your application.

There are several routes to market (offering various degrees of risk and reward) and we’ll talk you through all your options. And if required, we can introduce you to one of our experienced financial experts who’ll outline what to consider when it comes to tax implications (or allowances!).

Talk to us and we’ll provide you with some impartial, no obligation advice.


Planning matters made simple.


We’re often approached by landowners who are unsure if they’re able to sell their land because of where they are (or aren’t) in the planning process.

Some are cautious about putting their site on the market because they fear that their planning position will be unappealing to potential buyers, while others would prefer to press ahead quickly with a sale when they would be better served to take it steady.

We can understand why it gets confusing! So, here are the five typical phases of land development and how, whichever stage you’re at, we can step in to help you secure a better deal.


1. Should I apply for planning?

This is a common question. If you’re not sure if your land has development potential or not, talk to us. We’ll talk you through your options and offer our insight on what’s possible and realistic for you to achieve – financially and logistically. You may well be better off not applying for planning and selling the site as it is.


2. I’ve applied for planning consent.

While this can feel like an uncertain time, our fresh approach and local connections can help you plot a path to profit sooner than you may have thought possible. You’re not locked into any course of action and it’s worth taking a closer look at your options.


3. I’ve had planning refused.

It’s definitely worth seeking advice at this stage as, while it can seem like the end of your journey, it’s often just the start. We can help you take things in a new direction by reassessing your plans and advising you accordingly.


4. I’ve had planning approved.

Great news! Even if you’ve got your heart set on a particular course of action, now’s the perfect time to assess all the options open to you. At this stage, it’s a very good idea to get an up-to date land valuation from one of our experts.


5. My site is under construction.

We really ought to talk. Today! Our team has extensive experience of managing site sales operations and you can count on us to represent you professionally, profitably and to uphold your best interests. Don’t forget, even if you’re set on a certain plan, we can double check your thinking and make sure you’re on track for the rewards you’re expecting.


The bottom line.

Talk to us! There are options and opportunities at every stage and no one’s better placed to help you navigate them than us.


Your FREE appraisal.

Whatever the size of your plot, we would love to talk to you about your land and give you the benefit of our experience. We’ve made it our business to speak to landowners on a no obligation basis and if our conversation can give you the insight you need to take your thoughts to the next level, we’re happy to be of service.

Naturally, all our contact will be in line with government safety guidelines and you can speak to us in confidence about your plans. Let’s have a conversation and look at your options.