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  • palmsandpinesgroup

Selling Land



Land Fraud is on the rise. Land fraud you say, how can that be true? As real estate

professionals we have to look out for the rights of the seller and the buyer. When a deal

sounds too good to be true, it typically is.


When we work with sellers, the first thing we do is reach out to the title company to do a

search on the chain of title. Are there any encumbrances or clouds on the title?

Typically if the seller holds a mortgage the mortgage and taxes will be listed. But if you

have ever done any improvements to your property, even if it’s vacant land, there might

be some mechanics liens or judgments against the title, sometimes a tax sale has

occurred and the owner is not aware that someone else has paid the taxes and can

claim rights to the property.


Those must be cleared before the sale can take place.


In recent months, we have seen activity in the form of people acting as if they own

property, especially in rural areas, that want to sell quickly. They typically don’t want to

meet us in person, they could have multiple parcels to sell, they are trying to sell under

value (which makes it more difficult as comparables are difficult in rural areas), or make

up reasons they need to sell now.


So when your listing agent asks you a lot of questions about your land, needs to have a

site survey done, requests documentation from you that you actually own the land,

checks title for any clouds, please be patient with them. Land deals can take months if

not years to close. They typically cost the seller more in commissions as well. Be

prepared to wait.


If you intended to improve the property, share with the listing agent what you were going

to do with the land. This will help paint a picture for the buyer as to what they can do

too. Is there septic already installed? How far is water, electric, internet???

When buying land in rural areas, keep in mind things that will add to the cost of

development, like septic, wells, utility connections. Even if you want to be off grid, you

will need a good solar system or heating source that can be used at night or when the

forestry service bans fires due to drought.

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