Help! I Need to Sell My Land in Missouri

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Help! I Need to Sell My Land in Missouri
By

Bart Waldon

Missouri, nicknamed the "Show Me State," is filled with fertile farmland, forests, rivers and lakes like the Lake of the Ozarks. Its landscape ranges from rural farming communities to metropolitan hubs like Kansas City and St. Louis. With its relatively affordable real estate compared to national averages, Missouri attracts many land owners.

If you own vacant land in Missouri and want to sell quickly for cash, this guide will walk you through the process and provide helpful tips to successfully complete the sale.

Reasons You Might Want to Sell Your Land

There are several scenarios that may lead you to sell your vacant land or acreage in Missouri:

  • You inherited a property that you don't want or can't easily maintain. Managing rural land across state lines can be cumbersome.
  • You purchased land as an investment years ago that has now become financially burdensome due to change in circumstances.
  • An unexpected life change like a job relocation or urgent money need requires liquidating assets quickly.
  • You realize the land will continue sitting dormant without viable plans to develop it.

Owning rural land that sits empty without generating income eventually becomes dead weight. Figuring out what to do with it takes time and effort. And if you determine the cons outweigh the pros of keeping it, you’ll want to sell it sooner than later.

Challenges of Selling Land in Missouri’s Volatile Market

Trying to determine fair market value for rural land in Missouri can be extremely difficult. Factors like soil quality, access to utilities, mineral deposits, zoning regulations, surrounding parcel development, supply-and-demand economics and tax implications dramatically sway valuations back and forth.

Missouri's unpredictable land market faces extreme ups and downs. Due to this volatility, receiving offers significantly lower than asking prices is quite common. Discount ranges of 30-50% off listing prices are not unusual depending on the property's location and restrictions.

As upsetting as low offers are, they may still reflect reasonable terms that align with currents trends. Over-inflated listing prices often require dramatic drops before genuine buyers emerge. Seller expectations tend to lag significantly behind downward moving markets.

The Drawn-Out Process of Selling Land Solo

Selling land solo requires an enormous amount of effort and patience. Effectively marketing the property involves utilizing specialized land listing platforms, fielding buyer inquiries, negotiating deals and navigating any sale complications.

Rural land sits on the market significantly longer than residential homes in suburbs and cities. And if you want to avoid deeply discounted quick sales, be prepared for the sales process to realistically take 1-2 years before closing. The complexities around land transactions make them extremely time consuming compared to selling more traditional real estate.

Specific steps involved when selling land on your own include:

  • Researching comparable sales to set an attractive yet realistic list price. Over-inflated listings often stagnate.
  • Investing money upfront on professional land assessments, surveys and appraisals to confirm the property's fair market value from experts.
  • Purchasing paid ads on niche land listing sites to maximize visibility among serious land buyers specifically.
  • Fielding and responding to all buyer inquiries in a timely, professional manner.
  • Thoroughly vetting potential buyers through extensive questioning and background checks.
  • Negotiating all purchase offers to maximize sale pricing and favorable terms.
  • Pulling proper documentation like title searches to facilitate sales contract proceedings.
  • Physically showing the land at scheduled listing appointments with prospective buyers.

As you can see, selling land on your own becomes a complex, multi-step process requiring extensive time and effort to manage effectively. And optimal outcomes still require ample patience through potentially long closing timelines.

Alternatives for Selling Land Quickly in Missouri

If the lengthy process of selling land on your own seems daunting, several alternative options exist for those needing to close quickly:

Land Buying Companies

A small handful of companies specialize in buying and selling rural land throughout Missouri. They use their own capital reserves to purchase properties outright from sellers seeking speed and convenience over maximum sale prices.

By taking on the entire sales facilitation directly from the seller, these companies provide relatively quick closes with reasonable "as-is" offers. Actual closing timelines average between a few weeks and several months.

However, their business models rely on buying plots substantially below retail values. Discounts off fair market value typically range from 20-50% lower. So while closings happen quickly, offer amounts reflect wholesale level pricing.

Auctions

Hiring an auction company provides another faster, convenient option for liquidating land compared to handling the sales process solo. Auction professionals take over marketing to prospective buyers, collecting bids and facilitating closings.

While auctions can expedite closing timelines, you sacrifice control over the final selling price. Bids may come in uncomfortably lower or higher than expected depending on buyer turnout. Thorough vetting of land auction companies is highly advised before signing contracts.

Realtors

Hiring a high quality real estate agent or broker to represent your land sale is wise if aiming for maximum property value. Experienced land listing agents have specialized knowledge for marketing and negotiating rural property deals. They also have existing pools of prospective buyer leads to tap into.

However, even with agent representation, average closing timelines range between 6 months and 1-2 years. And full asking prices frequently require negotiation downwards. Realtor commissions also claim 6% or more of the final sales price as compensation for their services.

Tips for Maximizing Profits Selling Land Solo in Missouri

If you decide to sell your vacant land on your own without assistance, focus on these tips to maximize sales pricing and value:

  • Thoroughly research recent comparable land sales records in the area to identify fair market value pricing levels. Set realistic asking prices aligned with findings. Over-inflated listings often stagnate.
  • Hire licensed appraisers to establish the property's formal fair market valuation through unbiased professional assessments.
  • Invest in professional land surveys, soil tests, timber cruises and mineral content assessments to substantiate the property's underlying value.
  • Consult real estate attorneys to review all sale paperwork for protection against liability risks.
  • Create listings on niche land selling sites like Lands of America, LandWatch and LandFlip to maximize visibility among serious land buyers.
  • Run paid social media and online ads targeted locally to increase buyer traffic.
  • Be prepared for a 8-12 month realistic selling timeline.
  • Consider offers at 10-15% below listing price to allow room for buyer negotiation.
  • Offer owner financing terms to motivate buyers needing financial flexibility.
  • Set expectations for extended timelines but move quickly once fair terms are secured.

Carefully Weighing the Pros and Cons of Each Route

Selling vacant land in Missouri can feel quite overwhelming with so many moving parts to navigate. Avoid hasty knee-jerk decisions out of frustration. Patience and diligence often pay off most for sellers in the long run.

Carefully compare the pros and cons between selling the land yourself over an extended timeframe versus utilizing a land buying company or auction for a quicker exit strategy at the cost of profit potential.

Be sure to set pricing expectations aligned with current market supply-and-demand trends. Over-inflated listings will simply sit idle while the market passes them by.

Patience, persistence and proper planning remain key ingredients to ensuring your Missouri land sells at satisfying terms as quickly as feasibly possible within volatile markets. Do your homework to determine the best path forward for your personal needs and financial goals.

Final Thoughts

Selling vacant rural land almost always takes more time and effort that initially expected - especially in fluid real estate markets like Missouri with extreme highs and lows. Priming your expectations ahead of time makes the process smoother.

But with the right combination of persistence, pricing strategy and marketing exposure, Missouri land can sell for reasonable terms within several months typically.

Seeking additional guidance throughout the process from professionals like real estate attorneys, appraisers and brokers proves extremely valuable as well if aiming for maximum returns.

With proper planning and patience, your land can sell for fair market value in reasonable time frames. Avoid rushing into quick sales out of frustration which can lock in unnecessarily low pricing. Take time to carefully weigh all options instead.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What documents do I need to sell my land in Missouri? 

To sell land in Missouri, you will likely need the title or deed showing ownership, a recent land survey showing property boundaries, any relevant property disclosures, an appraisal/opinion of value, and various sales contracts and closing documents. Consult an attorney.

Does all land need to be surveyed before selling in Missouri? 

It's highly recommended to have a survey done showing exact property lines and acreage. While not legally required in every county, a survey protects your liability and solves boundary disputes. Surveys also confirm the actual property size.

How long does vacant land usually take to sell in Missouri? 

Vacant rural land will typically sit on the market for between 8-12 months on average. More desirable parcels may sell within 3-6 months. Be prepared for an extended sales process, or consider alternative sale methods like land buying companies if needing to close quickly.

What expenses will I pay when selling my Missouri land? 

Common closing costs paid by the seller involve the appraisal fee, attorney/closing agent fees, title search/insurance, property survey cost, real estate commissions if applicable, transfer taxes, recording fees, misc administrative costs, and potentially capital gains tax.

How do I set a fair asking price for my Missouri land? 

Gather data on recent land sales of comparable properties nearby to gauge market value ranges in the local area. Also hire appraisers to assess your land's unique attributes & features to derive a fair market value. Price competitively based on findings to attract buyers.

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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