You?re certainly not alone! As people move around, whether for a
better climate or to be near family, they often find that arrangements
they might have made years ago for their final resting place are no
longer appropriate for their current needs. Perhaps you?re among that
company, or you may have some other reason altogether for selling the
burial plots you bought so long ago. Whatever your reason, you?ll be
glad to know there are a good number of resources that can provide you
with some useful assistance in selling off your unwanted cemetery
As you are already aware, setting an attractive selling price will
entail knowing what those plots are worth today. Forest Home Cemetery
does not have a website, but I found contact information for it on
Switchboard.com ( http://www.switchboard.com ), i.e.
Forest Home Cemetery
863 South Des Plaines Avenue
Forest Park, IL 60130
So first of all, I called the number, and asked the person who
answered the phone what the current rate is for a plot. There is
apparently quite a range of prices, depending on what section of the
cemetery the plot is in. At first she did not want to give me any
pricing information without more details. However, she did finally
allow as how the prices have just gone up, and that the current prices
range from the cheapest plot at $1,000 to the most expensive at over
She did say, though, that if you wanted to get a more exact estimate
on the current list value of your specific plots, you would need to
call the cemetery yourself and give them your name so they could find
the location of your plots. She also did, of course, confirm that you
will have to sell the plots yourself, as the cemetery does not do
buy-backs or offer any type of assistance with that.
In addition, since you speak of ?graves? rather than plots, I should
mention the cemetery representative also said that 1) it is very
difficult to sell individual spaces in a family plot, and 2) if there
are headstones already in place, you would have to either sell those
too, or pay for the cost of having them removed, as the cemetery will
not do that either, and it could affect the cost of the plots. I am
assuming that no one is currently buried in the graves ? if I am
wrong, please correct me in a ?Request for Clarification? as that is
another matter altogether!
In addition to calling the cemetery, however, there is another measure
of value you can also check into, and that is to find out what similar
plots are currently selling for on the resale market. Fortunately, I
was able to find two sources that had listings of plots for sale in
Forest Home Cemetery.
The first is at the Final Arranagements Network online Cemetery
Registry. This listing is for Section 61 ?Garden of the Chapel,? and
says the current list price is $900 for one plot. Their selling price
is $800. See here (scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the
The second listing is at Grave Solutions, which offers a package of
four plots, also in Section 61. This listing, however, quotes a list
price of $2800 for all four, and is offering them for $2400, or $600
each, which is considerably lower than the above listing. See here:
So taking into consideration the current price range at the cemetery,
and the prices that plots are currently being offered at resale, you
ought to be able to come up with a reasonably attractive selling
Then, your challenge lies in how to go about selling them. There are
professionals called ?Cemetery Brokers? who are licensed in some
states, and who can help you to sell you plots for a fee, or a
percentage of the cost, in much the same way as a real estate agent
will help you sell your house.
Here is a list of some cemetery brokers, many of whom can/will help
you regardless of where your plot is located:
-California Cemetery Brokers (Northern California):
-Cemetery Brokers of America (Florida): http://www.cemeterybrokers.com/
-Cemetery Brokerage (North Carolina): http://cemeterybrokerage.com/
-Cemlot: $25 down, $75 with return of notarized papers and
documents. Add?l. Sale transaction charges of $150.00 plus 5% of the
net profit of each sale.
-John M. Harris Co. - CemeteryBrokers.com (California):
-You can search for a list of licensed California cemetery brokers
However, since brokers? fees can be rather high, many people choose to
sell their plots themselves, and there are a number of sites online
that are set up to help you do just that. Although many of these also
charge a fee, the costs are generally lower than the amount you?d pay
to a broker, and here too there is a range.
Here are some sites where you can list your plots for sale, together
with information about their services and fees. They?re listed
alphabetically, so be sure to browse the list to see the variety of
fees and services offered:
ADVANCED DIRECTIVE PLANNERS (United Memorial Society)
BURIAL PLOTS RESALE
$25 per month, or one-time $99 until sold.
$47 for one ad for one year, includes one photo. If property sells,
you can edit the ad to sell another.
THE CEMETERY REGISTRY (The Final Arrangements Network)
$59.95 Standard registration, list until sold; $79.95 ?Absolutely
Private? registration with email and internet privacy protection,
also list until sold.
Free 30-day individual listing; after that upgrad to $39.95 for
1-year; plus more costly plans for resellers.
60 words, $60 for six months, or 60 words, $100 for one year
CLICK FUNERAL HOME
Free listings for cemetery plots, offered as a service. Current
listing includes plots from all over the U.S.
$29 for a regular ad; $34 for a featured ad. Up to 4 images
allowed (300pixels wide by 200 pixels high, max file size 50kbs), ad
remains until sold or up to 2 years maximum.
THE PLOT EXCHANGE.
$70 for one ad, 40 words maximum, until sold up to 1 year.
THE PRE-PLANNING NETWORK
$19.95 for one ad, two-year maximum.
$10 per month, or $25 for three months. Submit ads by email,
including name and address of the cemetary, where the plots are
located within the cemetery, how much you are asking for the plots,
and how you would like to be contacted. More info and sample ads
And then, in addition to the sites that specialize in this type of
sale, i.e. cemetery plots, there are other, more generic sites you
might want to consider as well.
This is the first one that comes to mind, as it has a huge
potential market base. They actually have a category for cemetery
plots, and to list and sell one in the $1000 range would cost about
$4.80 to list, plus about $28 final value fee. There would be
additional costs for inserting more than one picture, adding a gallery
listing, or ?Buy it Now? feature, etc. Ebay?s formulas are a bit
complex, so here?s a link to their fees page:
And here?s a link to a search return showing current cemetery plot
Then, there are a few other online classified sites I found that do
have cemetery plot listings, and are free to advertise:
US FREE ADS
My suggestion would be, depending of course on how much of a hurry you
are in to sell, to consider listing your plots yourself first, using
one or more of the free listing opportunities. If nothing happens in a
month, then try the lower-cost options, and on up to and including the
more costly services such as hiring a broker.
If you do decide to list your plots yourself, I?d suggest you browse
existing ads to see which ones you find attractive. Then copy what you
like, tailoring the details, of course, to your own situation. In
addition, if you list on a site that allows pictures, and you don?t
have any of your own, or would like to include a generic picture or
map of the cemetery, here are a couple of sites that have pictures of
Forest Home Cemetery. (To save a picture, just put the cursor on the
picture, click the right mouse button, and then click ?Save Picture as
....? or ?Save Image as ...? and save it to a location on your
General pictures, description and history of Forest Home, map and
pictures of graves:
Photo of the front gate, and two maps:
Some info on the cemetery?s history and some famous people buried
there from the Forest Park Historical Society:
I hope this information will prove to be of help to you in selling
your burial plots. As you can see, most of the options given should
cost you much less than the amount you said you were prepared to
spend, so I am hoping you will find at least one or several of them to
If anything isn?t clear, or any of the links don?t work, please use
the ?Request for Clarification? feature to ask for help before rating
and closing your question, as I want to be sure you?re happy with your
answer and feel you?ve found the help you need to be able to sell your
As stated above, first I made a telephone call to the cemetery.
Then, I searched the web, using a variety of search terms. Those that
yielded the best results were:
[?forest home cemetery? IL]
[buy sell plots ?forest home cemetery? il]
[cemetery broker OR brokers]
[sell ?cemetery plots? OR ?burial plots? OR graves OR ?grave sites?]
In addition, I searched Ebay for cemetery plots, as well as looked on
several other online classified sites I had in my personal bookmarks.