How Long Does it Take To Sell Land?

Return to Blog

Get cash offer for your land today!

Ready for your next adventure? Fill in the contact form and get your cash offer.

Thank you! We got your info and will reach out with any questions ASAP.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
How Long Does it Take To Sell Land?

Bart Waldon

Selling a piece of land, in general, takes 6-12 months or longer. Unlike selling a house, which generally takes less time due to the higher demand, selling land involves a unique set of considerations. In this blog post, we will delve into the factors that affect the time it takes to sell land, explore specific days on market data for multiple states and counties, and discuss the difference in selling times between off-grid land and infill lots in the city.

Land vs. Houses: The Selling Time Gap

Time selling gap: land vs houses

Before diving into the specifics, it is essential to understand that selling land can take significantly longer than selling houses. There are several reasons for this difference. First, the market for land is more limited than that for houses. While a house appeals to a wide range of potential buyers, land buyers are a niche group who typically have specific plans and requirements in mind. This restricts the pool of buyers interested in land, lengthening the time it takes to find an interested purchaser.

Second, financing options for land are less available and more complicated than for houses, which can deter potential buyers. Mortgages for vacant land are limited, often requiring a higher down payment and higher interest rates. And alternative financing methods for land investors like owner financing or land contracts come with their own complexities as well. This scarcity of attractive financing turns away many prospective land buyers.

Lastly, it can take longer for buyers to decide on purchasing land due to factors such as zoning regulations, environmental issues, and infrastructure concerns. Determining whether land is suitable for the buyer's intended purpose requires research into permits, soil conditions, utility access and more. This additional due diligence adds time to the buyer's decision process.

So in summary, the niche buyer pool, lack of financing, and due diligence requirements make selling vacant land inherently lengthier than house sales. Sellers should be aware of this time gap and set reasonable expectations when listing their land for sale.

Days on Market Data: State and County Breakdown

How long it takes to sell land by state

The time it takes to sell land varies greatly depending on sales price and on location. To give you a clearer idea, let's explore days on market (DOM) data for land sales in a few states and counties:

1. California

  • Los Angeles County: 180 days
  • San Bernardino County: 210 days
  • Riverside County: 200 days

California has one of the most expensive land markets in the country. But even in the densely populated areas like Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties, vacant land takes 6-7 months on average to sell. The high home prices push buyers farther outside cities into rural areas, where land takes longer to move due to lack of demand. Riverside County's inland desert areas also attract fewer buyers for vacant land parcels

2. Texas

  • Harris County: 170 days
  • Travis County: 160 days
  • Bexar County: 150 days

In Texas' major metro counties like Harris and Travis, land sells in 5-6 month timeframes on average. Texas has a strong land market, but vacant lots still lag houses in demand. And in more rural Bexar County, for example, the timeline stretches slightly longer again due to fewer interested purchasers for empty parcels.

3. Florida

  • Miami-Dade County: 200 days
  • Orange County: 190 days
  • Hillsborough County: 180 days

Florida land takes around 6-7 months on average to sell in the main population centers. Despite Florida's booming real estate market, land deals happen at a more sluggish pace than home sales. Also, zoning and environmental regulations can slow down the due diligence title search process for buyers in the state.

4. New York

  • Nassau County: 220 days
  • Westchester County: 240 days
  • Suffolk County: 230 days

In New York's suburban counties, land sells in the 7-8 month range typically. The high property taxes and densities make vacant parcels less attractive to buyers. And New York's environmental review process can extend the buyer's due diligence time frame as well.

5. Illinois

  • Cook County: 210 days
  • DuPage County: 200 days
  • Lake County: 190 days

Illinois land sells in the 6-7 month range on average in the counties surrounding Chicago. Even in the densely populated northeastern part of the state, far less buyers exist for vacant land compared to houses. And winter weather limits construction timelines, deterring some buyers.

These figures are only meant to provide a general idea of the average DOM for land sales. The actual time it takes to sell a specific piece of land can differ significantly depending on various factors, including location, size, and price. Statewide averages may differ as well in areas outside of the main population centers. But in general, this data illustrates how land typically takes longer to sell than homes across various major markets.

Off-Grid Land vs. Infill Lots: The Selling Time Difference

The time it takes to sell land also varies depending on the type of land in question. Off-grid land, or rural land with no access to utilities or infrastructure, typically takes longer to sell than infill lots in the city.

Off-grid land can take 6-12 months, or even longer, to sell. This lengthy selling period is driven by a few important factors here. First, off-grid land appeals to a smaller pool of potential buyers who are interested in self-sustained living or agricultural purposes. Many buyers interested in building a home or other development require connectivity to utilities and roads. This specialized buyer pool means fewer possible purchasers for off-grid parcels.

Additionally, the lack of utilities and infrastructure can deter many buyers, as they may need to invest a significant amount of time and money to develop the property if their plans require power, water, or road access. This development burden prices out buyers with more modest budgets. Permits, environmental impact studies, and construction costs quickly add up, so purchasers must have deeper pockets.

Lastly, financing off-grid land is more difficult than land with infrastructure. Banks perceive larger risks lending for properties where appraisal values may be lower and development costs are higher. And government-backed mortgages like FHA loans require compliance with certain building codes. This leaves seller financing as one of the few options for buyers.

On the other hand, infill lots in the city tend to sell faster, usually within 3-6 months. These lots are often located in established neighborhoods with existing utilities and infrastructure, making them more attractive to a broader range of buyers, including developers, investors, and individuals looking to build custom homes.

With access to electricity, water, sewage, and roads already in place, buyers can avoid large development costs and start building faster. And appraisal values are supported by surrounding lot prices. So banks are typically more willing to finance infill land purchases.

The larger pool of potential buyers and financing availability lead to faster sales for infill land compared to off-grid parcels. Though selling any land still generally takes longer than selling an existing house.

Strategies to Expedite Land Sales

While selling land generally takes longer than selling houses, there are some strategies that can help expedite the process:

Price your land competitively: Research comparable land sales in your area and set a realistic price. Overpricing your land can deter potential buyers and prolong the selling process. Appraise market value of your parcel honestly by analyzing recent sales of similar nearby lots.

Market your land effectively: Use various marketing channels, such as online listings, social media, and local classifieds, to reach a wider audience. High-quality photos, drone footage, and detailed descriptions can also help attract potential buyers. Hire a professional photographer capture your land's best attributes.

Be prepared to offer financing: Owner financing can be an attractive option for potential buyers who may not qualify for traditional loans. Offering financing can widen your pool of interested buyers and potentially expedite the sale. Consult with professionals to structure a financing deal or sell your land under contract.

Work with a knowledgeable real estate agent: A real estate agent who specializes in land sales will have the expertise and network to help you find potential buyers and navigate the complexities of land transactions. Interview with real estate agents with extensive vacant land experience.

Address potential concerns: Anticipate the questions and concerns potential buyers may have and provide relevant information, such as zoning regulations, utility availability, and environmental reports upfront. Transparency builds trust with buyers.

Be patient and flexible: Understand that selling land can take time. Be open to negotiations and flexible in your terms to make the sale more attractive to potential buyers. Don't get frustrated if your land takes longer to sell than expected.

In addition to these tips, creative merchant land strategies can also help expedite the selling process. Options like lot splits, absorbable septic permits, and pre-approved building plans can add tangible value to raw land that buyers are willing to pay more for upfront, leading to faster sales.


In conclusion, the time it takes to sell land can vary significantly depending on factors such as location, type of land, and market conditions. Generally, off-grid land takes longer to sell than infill lots in the city, and both types of land tend to take longer to sell than houses.

While there is no foolproof formula to expedite land sales, understanding the factors that impact the selling process, being proactive with your marketing strategy, adding value through development strategies, and working with a knowledgeable real estate agent can help increase the chances of a successful and timely sale.

Remember, patience and flexibility are crucial in the land-selling process, as the niche nature of the market can require more time and effort to find the right buyer. Set reasonable expectations, actively market your land, and partner with a real estate attorney or an experienced agent to give yourself the best shot at selling your land faster.

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.


Related Posts.

All Posts