List your item, state your price, upload pictures, and sold! With the presence of so many portals, selling anything online is possible, including burial plots. However, just because it is possible does not mean it is always quick and easy. Don't worry, though, you are in the right place to learn how to go from unwanted plot to sold!
When it comes to burial plots, in general, it can take months or even a couple of years until you find the right buyer. On top of that, you may not even get the price you want. Whether you are selling for a personal reason or making a profit - you want the highest price possible. When it comes to burial plots, prices can go as low as a few hundred dollars or tens of thousands.
Educating yourself on how to sell a plot step-by-step will help you take a systematic approach to this process. Ensure that you can sell the plot in a timely manner at a desirable price.
This article will take you through the ideal approach and give you the required information around how to sell your burial plot online successfully.
Before You Start Selling Your Plot Online
Be Sure That You Can Sell the Plot
There can be several reasons for restricting your sale. Some of them are listed below:
Each region can have different state laws when it comes to burial plots. The county office or the city office should help you determine if your plot is eligible for sale. If yes, then to whom you may sell (sometimes you can only sell it back to the cemetery or to a person who is a registered resident in the same area), if there is a market cap for the price (more relevant for state-owned cemeteries), and how this process works.
Your cemetery can also help you kickstart this process as they have likely been through it a few times.
Pro Tip: Check out our listings page and see if other cemetery plots are listed already!
Even in the same region, two cemeteries can have different governance and, consequently, not the same rules. Cemeteries that are under religious institutions, for example, have policies that are more inclined towards their religious practices and have different rules than general or state cemeteries. When you contact your cemetery, they should help you determine if you can sell the plot to a third party, or you first have to sell it back to them. This caveat is also likely outlined in any literature related to your burial plot.
They can also help you determine the prices, as sometimes, there are extra costs associated with the maintenance and upkeep of the area and the surroundings that are part of the sale price. Additionally, they help you understand the rules regarding the right to install memorials, tombstones, future ownership transfer, a period of ownership, and the process.
Burial Link can also help you determine pricing by simply reviewing your cemetery and the related pricing information. The cemetery website usually has all the essential details and can save you all the time contacting them, but if not, then contacting the management should be relatively easy.
If another member who co-owns the plot, another family member has rights to the plot through a will, your spouse (according to many state laws they also have rights over the burial plot owned by you), does not agree with you selling the plot, then it could become a legal dispute.
To avoid a legal procedure and sore relations, talk to the family members who have an interest in or a stake in the plot.
Several market indicators can give you insights into whether your plot will sell and at your desired price. You can check newspaper ads, classifieds, online platforms (we will discuss this in-depth below) and get a first understanding of the demand from the date posted and the price demanded on these ads. You can also check the average age of your local area and get a hint. Areas with an older population will have higher demand, more affluent areas will have more exceptional prices, and areas with families will not want individual plots (reducing the price).
Sell Your Burial Plot Online
There are many challenges when it comes to selling a burial plot, and many of these challenges are avoided if you sell the plot online. Firstly, the buyers avoid the hassle too. When someone in the buyer's family/network dies, they have limited time to make the buying decision and therefore go for easy approaches like contacting a nearby cemetery or buying online (after conducting a quick internet search). They try their best to avoid the traditional way of going through newspaper ads and classifieds. This route is extremely tedious and time-consuming, and overall challenging to find the right plot amidst the clutter.
Secondly, when you advertise the plot traditionally (in newspapers, local magazines, etc.), you need to pay a fee each time you advertise or multiple times till it is sold (this can be very costly). With online ads, it is usually a one-time payment, if any. More and more people are giving up traditional media and switching to online platforms. Your chance of finding a buyer online is simply better.
Selling online also gives you more transparency and security. Burial Link ensures the contact details entered by the buyer and seller are correct and offers transparent market pricing based on recent transactions. These steps are good gate-keepers for both selling and buying parties. Lastly, when you read on, you will realize that selling plots online is more straightforward and requires little to no effort.
When you are sure you can sell your burial plot and are convinced that you want to sell it online, these steps will guide you through the process:
Step 1 - Choose a Service
You get different kinds of online services to choose from, such as specialized services or general selling platforms. Specialized service platforms are dedicated to selling cemetery plots and related products (transfers, caskets, etc.).
General selling platforms will have relevant categories for you to choose from and list your item. For instance, eBay will have everything from furniture to electronics to books as categories, and you can choose the one that is most fitting to you. You can usually list your ads on such platforms either for a fee or a percentage of your sale.
Try to go for platforms that verify your listing, like Burial Link, which increases the buyer's confidence, as they prefer such platforms. If you do not wish to do the listing on your own, you can opt for the Burial Link Concierge Service (similar to a cemetery broker). These platforms will have a higher associated cost, but they handle most of your advertising and help to find a buyer.
To Choose the Right Platform, Here Are Some Points You Can Consider:
- The platform already has a decent number of burial plots listed (More plots coming everyday to Burial Link)
- The platform has some following or a strong search presence, or else no one will see your listing (Burial Link is one of the fastest growing plot marketplaces)
- The platform gives you the option to promote your listing for an additional fee (Yes, coming soon for Burial Link - we will even email prospective buyers your new listing)
- The platform does not have outdated plots and keeps the site updated (Yes, check for Burial Link)
- The platform has their fees policy listed clearly and does not charge you for hidden expenses (Yes, another check for Burial Link)
- The platform has a way to verify the listing and buyer accounts. This approach increases the confidence of both parties (Coming soon to Burial Link)
Step 2 - List All Details
Burial plots, in many ways, are like any other property. Factors like the location, surrounding area, neighbors, upkeep/maintenance of the cemetery, amenities can play a significant role even when it comes to burial plots—these factors and more affect both the desirability and pricing.
People love ocean-side plots, manicured grasses, and tile tombstones, which can fetch you extra thousands of dollars. A famous neighbor, well, it's like owning Newman's Rolex, your plot asset just tripled in price! Apart from the aesthetic and attractive elements, it is also essential to include required details such as plot/grave number, exact address, history, and asking price, to name a few important ones. You can also add photography to make your listing stand out.
Step 3 - Advertise Your Listing
There are several ways to advertise your listing. Paying the platform to list your ad on the top or highlight it is one of the most common and recommended approaches.
Next, you can send the link to your listing to your network or online groups. Clergies, estate attorneys, will executors, funeral planners or directors, social workers, estate consultants, nursing homes, retirement offices are some groups you can contact. These groups will help you generate some buzz around your plot listing, trust us, buzz sells about everything! You can check if these groups have websites or Facebook groups, and you can send them a link to your listing.
If you want to sell it urgently, you can also advertise your listing on other platforms to find a potential buyer, for instance, on google ads, blogs for older people, retirement finance blogs. You can also talk to the local hospitals to check if they would be willing to pass on your listing to someone in need of a burial plot. We know of a few, so just reach out to us for help!
Step 4 - Finish the Transaction
This step is when you already found a buyer, and now need to do the paperwork to complete the burial plot transaction. If you did the "pre-selling steps" mentioned above, that is, checked with your city office and cemetery about the process, you will have a good idea about the documents required from both sides.
This information can sometimes also be on the website of your cemetery. The documentation required from the seller's side usually includes your previous purchase papers, address registration, and the proof of right to sell (signed by the cemetery). If you do not have these papers, you can take help from your cemetery or city office again as they are required to keep the historical records. When you produce a copy instead of the original document, you might have to notarize these documents.
Many sellers/buyers involve a lawyer in this step to ensure that the paperwork is as expected and contains all relevant details. We recommend that you spend the additional money to ensure that it is a smooth and legal transaction.
Burial Plot Now Listed as Sold
Selling burial plots online is the most convenient and quickest option available. With amazing platforms like burial link and concierge options, this entire process can be completed with a few clicks of a button. Selling online will be one of the easiest ways to sell your burial plot.
We learned that elements like prices, rules, and timelines are highly variable when it comes to burial plots. This guide gives you a good insight into where you can start and who you can contact to get more case-specific clarity. Still, have more questions about selling your burial plot? Reach out to us here at Burial Link!