Help! I Need to Sell My Land in Iowa Quickly

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Help! I Need to Sell My Land in Iowa Quickly
By

Bart Waldon

Iowa is known for its rolling plains and fertile farmland. With over 30 million acres dedicated to agriculture, land is core to the Iowa way of life. However, situations sometimes arise where Iowa landowners find they need to sell their property quickly. Maybe you’ve inherited a rural parcel that is taxing your time and finances to maintain. Perhaps the cost of your land isn’t yielding the income you anticipated. Or you may need to free up your capital in a hurry to pay for other priorities. Whatever the reason you need to sell your Iowa land fast, it helps to understand your options to get it on the market promptly.

Navigating the Iowa Land Market

Iowa farmland has long been a relatively stable investment, with steady, though modest, appreciation over the past few decades. However, land prices can fluctuate depending on commodity prices and farm profitability. Understanding recent land value trends will help you set competitive pricing to attract buyers more quickly. You’ll also want to research what comparable rural properties have sold for in your part of Iowa to support your listing price.

The process of selling vacant land differs from selling improved real estate. Without a livable home, the pool of interested buyers is smaller for raw acreage. Most purchasers will be local farmers looking to expand their operations or land investors hoping to rent out the fields. Iowa also prohibits non-residents from purchasing farmland without meeting exemption requirements, which can limit potential buyers. With the smaller target market, educating yourself on options to sell your land swiftly is key.

Getting Your Land Sale-Ready

Preparing your rural acres to show well and marketing them strategically will be vital for a fast land sale. Here are some tips:

Obtain Updated Surveys

Having clear, current property boundaries is essential when selling vacant land in Iowa. Since acres may have changed hands a few times over the generations, updated surveys ensure precise delineation for buyers. Surveys also protect you from disputes if fences or structures encroach shared borders. Plan to have new surveys conducted as you prepare your land for sale.

Address Any Access Issues

Without existing buildings, rural land relies on easements or abutting roads to enable entry to the property. Ensure any deeded access points are clearly marked and the paths remain serviceable. Also confirm if the acres have legal road front access to avoid delays.

Consider Parcel Split Options

Sometimes dividing large, contiguous plots into smaller segments can expand your buyer pool. Evaluate if you can split off 5, 10 or 20 acre parcels around the periphery or interior to attract more owner-occupant purchasers. The increased costs of surveys, legal fees and replatting may be worthwhile to sell the land quicker.

Research Zoning & Development Potential

Understanding all parameters governing the land demonstrates transparency to potential buyers. Know current zoning, watershed regulations, under and above ground utilities. Also, research options to rezone for commercial use or residential development. This data addresses key information buyers will request.

Price It Right

Setting your asking price aligned with current Iowa land values will prevent it lingering on the market. Price too high and few buyers will bite. Go too low and you lose out on profits. Consider hiring an accredited land appraiser for an expert opinion on pricing. Also, research what similar properties have sold for in the area. Price it competitively right from the start to generate interest.

Handle Income Taxes

Any profits from selling land typically incurs capital gains taxes. Connect with your accountant or tax advisor to calculate estimated taxes so this factor gets incorporated into your selling price point right away. Doing the math ahead of time prevents unexpected tax bills.

Marketing Strategies to Sell Your Land Swiftly

Casting a wide net through diverse marketing channels will be imperative for garnering rapid interest in your rural property. With the smaller target buyer pool, increasing visibility and exposure is key.

List With a Specialized Agent

Real estate agents well versed in the nuances of selling vacant land will have existing investor and farmer networks to tap for buyers. Choose an agent experienced in rural transactions to handle listing logistics like pricing analysis, marketing initiatives and showings. Ensure you list on the regional MLS for expanded visibility. Consider hiring agents from a few different brokerages to prevent conflicts with in-house buyer clients.

Install Visible Signage on Property

Even if you’ve hired a realtor, placing professional “For Sale” signs visible from the roadside or access points alerts passing farmers of your available acres. Include contact details and website for fast inquiries. Just make sure to have permission if installing signs between properties or on land you don’t own.

Leverage Print & Digital Channels

Expand efforts by taking out classified ads in regional newspapers and trade publications geared to the agriculture sector. Also post the listing on national land sale platforms like Lands of America to reach passive buyers beyond Iowa. Share the for sale announcement on your personal social media as well. Cast that wide net through diverse channels.

Notify Neighbors & Local Farmers

Don’t underestimate old-fashioned word-of-mouth, especially in rural areas. Call or visit all the farmers who own property adjacent to yours. They may want to expand or know others looking in. Provide details to neighbors as well to spread the news. Personal connections can yield legitimate buyer leads.

Consider Owner Financing

Offering your own financing instead of requiring a traditional bank loan can motivate buyers. This may allow you to command a higher price in exchange for acting as the bank and collecting payments over 5-10 years. It also expands the pool to buyers who fail to qualify for other lending options. Just ensure you have the financial means to self-finance.

Weigh Benefits of Auctions

Auctioneers have existing investor and farmer networks to create bidding momentum. The competitive spirit of auctions may yield a higher sale price. However, results are not guaranteed. Do your homework to pick reputable auction houses and set reserves before committing.

Explore Land Buyer Companies

Several national and regional land companies like Land Boss purchase rural acreage directly from owners. This channel essentially buys your property wholesale versus retail pricing levels. But the transaction closes quickly, typically within a week or less with no seller closing costs. If liquidity takes priority over maximizing your sale price, land buyers can deliver fastest results.

Act Swiftly for Best Odds

Selling Iowa land typically requires more creativity, hustle and patience versus a turnkey house listing. But devoting focus to getting your vacant acres market-ready followed by robust marketing efforts will yield motivated buyers sooner. Take advantage of every exposure channel possible from print ads to social media and neighbors to land investors. Pricing it right at current fair market values while considering creative seller financing also improves response. Act swiftly and diligently at the onset for your best shot at a rapid land sale in Iowa.

Final Thoughts

Selling land in Iowa or anywhere else can be a demanding process, especially if you need to divest real estate quickly for financial or personal reasons. But with proper preparation getting your vacant acres market-ready and tapping all possible buyer networks to cast a wide net, motivated purchasers do emerge. Pricing your rural property competitively and considering creative seller financing options also helps land sell faster by expanding buyer pools. Should maximizing liquidity take priority over securing top dollar, contacting local farmers directly or exploring reputable land buying companies can yield the fastest transaction. With the right pricing and marketing strategies tailored to acreage sales, selling your land swiftly is possible even in a narrow niche real estate market like Iowa farmland. Cast that wide net through diverse channels and act swiftly. The acres attracting the most visibility generate the fastest results.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does it take to sell vacant land in Iowa?

On average, marketing and selling raw rural land in Iowa takes 1-2 years in normal markets. Land typically sells slower than improved property. To sell more swiftly in 6 months or less requires aggressive pricing, preparation and casting a very wide buyer net.

What steps can I take to sell my Iowa land fast?

Strategies to sell land faster include pricing it competitively, having updated surveys, addressing access issues, considering parcel splits, researching development potential and leveraging all possible marketing channels from print ads to social media to attract buyer interest.

What are options to sell my land quickly besides listing with an agent?

Alternatives for swift sales include installing roadside signage, notifying all neighboring farmers of availability, leveraging land selling auctions, or contacting local land buying companies and investors that purchase acreage wholesale and close deals in cash fast.

Should I consider owner financing to sell my land quicker?

Offering your own financing instead of requiring bank financing can motivate buyers. Creative seller financing also expands the buyer pool to those unable to qualify for lending. Just ensure you can financially manage colleting payments over an extended timeframe before opting for owner financing.

What are the pros and cons of selling to a land buying company?

Land buying companies purchase acreage at wholesale prices so your sale amount will be lower than retail market value. However, they close quickly with cash, handle all paperwork and pay all closing fees. If fast liquidity is more important than maximizing price, land buyers deliver the fastest land sale.

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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