10 Ways to Sell Land Faster in Iowa

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10 Ways to Sell Land Faster in Iowa

Bart Waldon

Iowa is known as the “Food Capital of the World” thanks to its rich soil and millions of acres of farmland. As an agricultural powerhouse, land is incredibly valuable in the Hawkeye State. However, if you have a vacant plot or are looking to sell inherited property, it can still be challenging to find buyers even in a hot land market.

Selling land typically takes 1-2 years in Iowa when listing through traditional real estate agents. And even then, you are not guaranteed to get full market value. Land is a volatile commodity driven by development prospects, farm economics, and other factors that make pricing tricky. So how can you maximize your chances for a quick land sale?

Below we detail 10 proven tips for selling your Iowa land faster, drawing from the experience of Land Boss, a local cash land buyer operating in the state for over 5 years. We have successfully completed over 100 transactions by purchasing land at a discount. Here is our advice for navigating the complex process of a speedy land sale.

1. Price Your Land Accurately

Overpricing is one of the biggest mistakes landowners make when selling, resulting in significantly longer time-on-market. Before listing your land, research recent comparable sales in your county to determine fair market value. Local county assessor data as well as sites like Zillow can help here.

Keep in mind, even if you have appraisals and listings suggesting top dollar for your acreage, the most relevant indicator is what buyers have actually paid for similar parcels. Appraisals often overestimate land prices, going by data not reflective of current demand.

2. Be Flexible on Price and Terms

While aiming for reasonable pricing, also build in some flexibility. Land buyers are looking for a good deal, especially those purchasing for investment purposes. Keeping an open mind on price negotiating can lead to an offer that gets your property sold faster.

You can also consider creative offers that include seller financing, lease-to-own arrangements, land contracts, or payment plans to incentivize buyers. If holding out for the highest conceivable offer, you risk the land sitting unsold for years.

3. List on Multiple Platforms Simultaneously

Cast a wide net by advertising your Iowa land for sale across varied online and offline channels. From industry leader Zillow to niche land listing sites, cover all the bases to maximize visibility.

Real estate agents can list land on the regional Multiple Listing Service (MLS) while you also market the property independently via channels like:


Facebook Marketplace

  • Print publications like the Land Leader and Land And Farm
  • Word of mouth within farm networks
  • The more platforms used, the faster you can connect with potential buyers.

4. Offer Incentives Like Owner Financing

Given higher interest rates in 2022, offering financing can give your land listing a competitive advantage. This allows buyers to avoid bank loans and pay you directly over time.

You maintain ownership until the terms are satisfied, with late fees or ability to regain the land if buyers default on payments. There are risks to this, but incentives like financing often clinch quicker deals.

5. Highlight All Property Attributes

Put effort into showcasing everything that makes your land valuable like:

  • Productive topsoil
  • Mineral/oil rights
  • Clean environmental tests
  • Ready development plans
  • Location near transportation networks or cities with growth
  • Scenic views and other natural assets

The more potential your acreage has, the greater pool of buyers it can attract based on intended use – whether farming, recreation, industrial, or residential development. Photographs and documentation supporting property highlights help seal the deal faster.

6. Be Responsive and Proactive with Prospects

Once you start receiving interest, be very responsive in answering questions and providing due diligence paperwork like surveys, title history, mineral rights data, etc. Serious buyers will have lots of queries and dragging your feet can result in them moving onto other listings.

You can also be proactive once initial buyer conversations happen by suggesting calls and site visits to keep deal momentum going. Guide prospects in visualizing plans for the acreage based on their goals for the land.

7. Offer Owner Financing

This technique allows buyers to pay you directly over time rather than getting a traditional mortgage. You retain ownership until payment terms are fulfilled, with the ability to charge late fees or even regain the land if buyers default.

While owner financing has risks, it makes your listing more enticing to buyers struggling to get bank loans or wanting easier payment options. This incentive can motivate quicker decisions and land sale success.

8. Divide Parcel Into Smaller Lots

If you have a large, high-value property, consider subdividing it into smaller 1-5 acres parcels. Piecemeal selling can tap into buyer demand more effectively than marketing 10+ contiguous acres.

Dividing into “mini-ranchettes” supports higher per acre values too and expands your pool of prospective purchasers. This does require surveying/planning costs upfront but often pays off via faster sales.

9. Offer Discount for Fast Cash Closings

Savvy investors and land buying companies may show interest in your property but need quick transactions without traditional financing. Cater to this demand by promoting discounts or other perks for fast, all-cash closes.

For example, you might take 5-10% below asking price if buyers can close within 14-30 days without needing to involve banks. This lower friction process keeps sales momentum going rather than losing steam during long due diligence.

10. Consider Land Buying Companies

Working with professional land buyers like Land Boss streamlines the sales process thanks to available capital and real estate know-how. For those wanting a faster, simpler land selling experience without the risks of owner financing or unpredictability of public listing, this option pays off.

Companies like us have funds earmarked for acquiring discounted land in Iowa. We handle all the burdens of marketing, financing, development planning and closing quickly at reasonable prices. Landowners get guaranteed cash while avoiding year-long waits, uncertain offers, and the hassles of traditional sales.

Turn Over A New Leaf With These Land Selling Tips

Selling vacant land in Iowa takes savvy pricing, flexible terms, robust marketing, buyer incentives and more. But those investing the effort are rewarded with faster sales and limited time with property sitting idle on the market.

While pursuing the highest possible land value is tempting, realistic pricing and creativity in catering to demand (whether farmer, developers or land investors) wins out when prioritizing speed.

Take the first step by requesting a no-obligation property assessment from a trusted land solutions firm like Land Boss. Our team has the local market insight and resources to buy your land outright or assist in listing/marketing it effectively to facilitate a faster sale.

Discover what your Iowa property is truly worth and let our years of land selling experience work for you. The sooner you start the process, the sooner you can move on with cash-in-hand and new opportunities.

Final Thoughts

Selling land can be a long and difficult process, but with the right prep work, pricing, and persistence, you can minimize headaches and unlock the equity in your Iowa property more quickly. Whether selling to investors or farmers, dividing lots, offering incentives, or leveraging the experience of land professionals, use these tips to skip the typical year-plus timeline and put cash from your acreage to work sooner.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does vacant land take to sell in Iowa?

Typically 1-2 years is average for Iowa land sales through conventional listings. Prices tend to be 10-20% lower than initial asking prices as well after negotiations.

What is the most effective way to price land for a faster sale?

Review similar recent sales nearby to accurately estimate current fair market value. Overpricing and refusing to negotiate almost guarantees your property will sit unsold for extended periods.

Should I consider offers from land buying companies and investors?

Working with professional buyers can indeed facilitate much faster sales, albeit at discounted pricing. But for many motivated sellers, the speed and convenience outweighs maximum land value.

What steps can I take if my land has gone unsold for over a year?

If you have not gotten offers after heavily marketing a property for 12-18 months, decreasing price expectations, offering owner financing, and dividing into smaller lots are proactive steps to finally clinch a deal.

Who buys land quickly in Iowa besides real estate investors? 

In addition to land buying companies seeking discounted deals, farmers expanding cropped acreage may also have interest, particularly with owner financing terms. Hunting clubs or those wanting recreational property can also move fast.

About The Author

Bart Waldon

Bart, co-founder of Land Boss with wife Dallas Waldon, boasts over half a decade in real estate. With 100+ successful land transactions nationwide, his expertise and hands-on approach solidify Land Boss as a leading player in land investment.


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