Cemetery Plots: The Reality of Selling Cemetery Plots

There have been recent reports of people choosing to list their unwanted cemetery plots and burial property in places like Craigslist, Ebay, and the classifieds.  If you own unused cemetery plots, beware of these less than practical solutions to trying to sell your unwanted burial property.

One of the main reasons most people resort to these kinds of selling tactics for burial property is because they are hoping to be able to sell their burial property very quickly – as in by next weekend.  However, this is a completely impractical expectation.  Selling cemetery plots is not like selling anything else, and resorting to tactics that make sense when selling a used car or loveseat will only leave you frustrated and disappointed.

The reality is, cemetery plots are only needed when someone dies.  As morbid as that may sound, it’s the truth.  Not only must someone die, but their loved ones must also have plans to bury them in the cemetery where you own unwanted cemetery plots.  It’s really a very chance occurrence, and one you don’t want to rely on an expensive classified ad or limited time only Ebay auction to assist you with.

News reporter Steve Gelbach of Fox 35 news in Orlando recently reported on an Ocala, FL man who chose to list his burial property for sale on Craigslist.  The man was accepting money, or a trade of a small car or truck because, according to the seller, “Selling burial property is hard, but selling a car or truck is easy.”

Therein lies the truth of the matter when it comes to selling burial property.  People who list cemetery plots and burial property for sale have an expectation that it should sell immediately, or at least within a few months.  The fact of the matter is, however, that cemetery plots take sometimes years to find that right mix of recently deceased and burial location.

Some analysts think that the inability to sell burial property quickly is the result of more people preferring to be cremated than ever before.  To some extent, this may be true, but only in certain areas of the country.

For example, according to the Cremation Association of North America, the states with the highest cremation rates in 2006 were: Nevada (68.41%), Washington (67.57%), Hawaii (65.6%), and Oregon (65.25%).  The states with the lowest rates of cremation were: Mississippi (9.56%), Alabama (11.05%), Kentucky (12.32%), and Tennessee (15.99%).  The cremation rates for most states fell somewhere between 20% and 30%.

Given these figures, one can assume that selling cemetery plots in the states that have the highest rates of cremation may indeed be more of a challenge than the states where traditional burial is in higher demand.  However, to blame cremation rats entirely for the inability to sell burial property quickly using methods best reserved for homes and cars is shortsighted.

When needing to find burial property quickly, most people rely on funeral directors.  A great way to sell your burial property more quickly is to make sure that the funeral homes in your area have your burial property information.  This is easily – and very inexpensively – done by putting all of your contact information along with specific information regarding the cemetery and cemetery plot location on an index card and taking it to the funeral homes personally.  This way the funeral directors have the information at hand.

Another affordable solution – and one that can be used in addition to handing out your information to local funeral homes – is to register the property with an online cemetery registry, preferably one that is found on the first pages of all the top search engines, like Google and Yahoo.  To find these registries, simply go to a search engine search page and type in “cemetery plots for sale.”  The top companies are going to be your best bet.

If you do go the route of choosing an online cemetery registry, beware of any company that charges you anything more than a one-time registration fee.  There is no need to pay commissions,  or renewal fees for selling or registering your burial property.

Written By: C. Denise Stewart is a freelance writer living in Melbourne, Fl.  She is a regular contributor to “Funeral Services Advice” and writes frequently on the topic of  how to sell cemetery plots.

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