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Question DetailsAsked on 3/25/2014

We are selling two cemetary plots in hollywood ca -- the price listed is $17,000 @.

We have a buyer who claims that the plots are only worth $7,000 each. The costs of transfer and services is about %11,0000. That still puts the cost of the plots at around $23,000. Can someone let me know if we are being played or if we are over charging?

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I am not clear on what the "cost of transfer and services" entails - but that is way out of whack in my experience of selling unused plots a couple of times - by a factor of 20 or more. The fees I have seen were from $50 to 200 per plot, and some will buy back for current value minus 10-20% or so. Of course, the non-profit ones are likely to have nicer fees than for-profit. Ever since a landmark court case some decades ago that found cemetaries were acting in violation of anti-trust laws, they are only allowed to charge reasonable transfer processing costs to transfer "ownership" of a plot, not make a killing off it.

The "value" of the plots depends on who you talk to - if you were talking to a cemetary plot broker, then to him $7000 apiece might be reasonable - about 100% to 200% markup for an illiquid, slow-moving commodity is not unrealistic. To the cemetary itself they might sell the 2 plots for about $20000 or more if you sold to them, so they might give you more.

Basically check the rules at the cemetary and the law as applicable, and you have 4 choices - usually cemetary plot broker will pay you the least because he has to then find a buyer and pay transfer fees again to get it reregistered, then next the cemetary will offer you the second least amount to buy it back because they will not be paying the sale transfer fee and have more customers coming to them for plots in a given cemetary - higher amounts for family plots with several adjacent burial sitesless for singles, then an individual will probably pay the most - but YOU have to find the buyers with advertising or such. Another option is to list it with a Cemetary Plot Broker (live or on web like on commission - you hold ownership till sold, and he gets 5-20% commission when sold.

I would check what the cemetary is selling similar plots for, and check paper / web for ads for plots in that cemetary in similar setting and size. Then, I would imagine a broker or cemetary might give you 30-50% of resale value, and an individual maybe 50-75% before transfer fees.

Remember that state laws or cemetary association bylaws frequently require that not only does the current "owner" have to sign sale papers, but also all living descendents of the original pruchaser have to agree to give it up - so it can get to be a hassle. Remember, in most states you do not actually "own" the plot - it is owned by the cemtary association or company or trust, and the purchaser and descendants have a right to be buried there, first come first served.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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