How Long Does it Take to Sell Land in Georgia?

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How Long Does it Take to Sell Land in Georgia?

With over $16 billion in agricultural land and buildings across the state, Georgia's ample inventory makes it a top state for buying and selling rural real estate. Yet for landowners seeking to liquidate plots they no longer can or wish to manage, navigating an expeditious land sale is paramount. Industry data shows the average time on market for Georgia vacant land currently hovers between 6-12 months depending on parcel specifics and market conditions. However, recent surging price trajectories may help accelerate sales. 

The 2023 USDA Census of Agriculture results just emerged indicating average Georgia farmland values jumped nearly $400 per acre in the past year. This 15%+ valuation increase outpaces most other Southeastern states drawing more prospective buyers per listing. Leveraging competitive pricing and creative sales tactics, most motivated sellers can expect to garner lucrative offers closing in 60 days or less in much of the Peach State market. The key is partnering with specialized agents ready to market properties widely to qualified cash buyers.

Introduction to the Georgia Land Market

Georgia is well-known for its diverse landscapes from the Appalachian Mountains in the north to the coastal plains and barrier islands along the Atlantic Ocean. Approximately 67% of the state's total land area is forested, making timber production a major industry. Farmland covers around 28% of Georgia's land.

The state has a mix of rural and urban centers. Atlanta is the capital and largest metropolitan area. Other major cities include Augusta, Columbus, Savannah and Athens. Population growth and development pressures impact land prices, especially near urban centers.

Land values fluctuate over time based on market conditions. Overall, land prices in Georgia have shown an upward trend in recent years. However, economic factors like interest rates and demand for land influence prices. Sellers need to research recent sales of comparable properties when pricing their land.

Key Factors That Impact Time to Sell Land

Selling land takes patience and effort. Several key factors determine how quickly a Georgia land sale can close:

Location - Parcels near major cities or desirable amenities tend to sell faster. Remote rural land may sit on the market longer waiting for the right buyer. Proximity to roads and utilities also adds value.

Size of the Parcel - Large acreage over 100 acres often takes longer to sell than smaller tracts of just a few acres. There are fewer buyers for extremely large parcels. However, smaller lots may sell within a few months.

Development Potential - Land with development potential or rezoned for residential or commercial use can sell more rapidly. Some due diligence like surveys and site assessments may still be required.

Pricing - Overpriced land tends to languish on the market. Flexibility on price and terms can help motivate buyers. Reasonable pricing relative to assessed value and recent sales carries less risk.

Marketing Exposure - The more potential buyers exposed to the sale listing, the faster the transaction. Digital marketing across real estate sites brings strong exposure. Signage or print ads target local buyers.

Financing - Requiring all cash or being rigid on terms limits prospective buyers. Seller financing incentivizes buyers who cannot qualify for traditional mortgages.

Motivated Seller - Eagerness to sell quickly makes a big difference. Sellers focused solely on maximizing profit may encounter slower sales.

Average Time to Close Land Sales in Georgia

The typical timeframe to sell land in Georgia ranges from 6 months to 2 years. Some parcels may sell in under 3 months, while others take over 5 years to find the right buyer.

For raw land or forested acreage, expect longer timeframes 12-24 months unless the parcel has development potential. Cleared pasture or cropland may sell in 6-12 months.

More complex transactions like land subdivisions take 1-3 years. The planning and approval process must be completed before sales can begin.

Selling to an investor or company that purchases land wholesale can potentially close in 1-3 months because they have funds readily available and can close quickly.

Landowners should be prepared for an average time frame of 12-18 months from listing to closing. However, if priced accurately and marketed well, some properties sell in under 6 months.

Tips to Shorten Time to Sell Your Land

Patience is important when selling land. However, sellers can take proactive steps to expedite the sales process:

  • Price realistically based on assessed value and recent comparable sales. Overpricing leads to stagnation.
  • Consider creative terms like owner financing that motivates buyers. All cash deals limit eligible buyers.
  • Hire a real estate agent experienced in land sales to represent your interests and widen marketing reach.
  • Advertise online across land listing sites and social media to increase visibility.
  • Offer incentives to agents like double commissions to entice brokers to show your listing.
  • Subdivide or rezone the land for residential or commercial development if possible.
  • Sell to an investor with funding readily available to buy wholesale and close quickly.
  • Be flexible on negotiation and willing to accept a reasonable offer to get the deal done.

With preparation and effort, many land sales in Georgia close within 12 months. Have realistic expectations, price competitively and market aggressively to shorten the time it takes to sell your land.

Best Practices for Selling Land in Georgia

Selling land successfully requires strategic preparation and marketing. Here are some top tips to follow when listing your Georgia property.

Price Your Property Competitively

Overpricing is one of the biggest mistakes land sellers make. Your excitement for your property can cloud objective judgement. Be realistic by comparing recent sales of similar sized parcels in your county. A competitive price generates more interest and bids. You can gradually reduce an overpriced property, but a fairly priced asset sells faster.

Hire an Agent Experienced with Land

A real estate agent who specializes in land and rural properties helps navigate the sales process. They assist with pricing, paperwork, marketing, showing properties, screening buyers, and negotiating offers. A 20% commission incentivizes the agent to sell at the best price quickly. Local agents have specialized knowledge of rural land values.

Advertise Online and In Print

Maximize exposure for your listing via digital and print channels. Online land listing services like Lands of America specifically target buyers looking for rural real estate. Local print media like newspapers and real estate magazines also bring regional visibility. Install visible signage directing people to your agent’s contact information.

Offer Owner Financing

Many buyers lack the capital to buy land outright in cash. Offering owner financing opens your pool of potential buyers. Carry a mortgage for the buyer at competitive interest rates and down payment terms. You retain ownership until the loan is satisfied. Work with an attorney to draft seller financing documents to protect your interests.

Consider Parcel Splits or Zoning Changes

Subdividing a large parcel into smaller lots or rezoning for residential/commercial use adds value. It also broadens the buyer pool by enabling sales to builders and developers. Check with the local zoning office on feasibility. The time and costs involved mean larger returns.

Be Open to Negotiation

Avoid turning down reasonable offers without consideration. Negotiate in good faith to reach a price both parties accept. The buyer may sweeten the initial offer if given the opportunity. Your agent provides guidance on crafting counteroffers to find common ground without sacrificing return.

With preparation and the right strategy, selling your land can be completed smoothly within a reasonable timeframe.

Final Thoughts

Selling land in Georgia takes time, preparation, and patience. While exact timeframes vary based on property factors and market conditions, plan for an average period of 12-18 months from listing to closing. With accurate pricing, aggressive promotion, and flexibility around offers, some sellers complete the process in less than 6 months. Hiring an experienced agent, investing in marketing, and understanding local value dynamics helps landowners succeed. With strategic effort, Georgia landowners can sell their properties smoothly and efficiently.

Frequently Asked questions (FAQs)

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

On average, selling a vacant land parcel in Georgia takes 12-18 months. Smaller recreational or residential lots may sell in 6 months with competitive pricing and good marketing. Large rural acreage over 100 acres often takes up to 2 years to sell.

What steps can I take to sell my land faster in Georgia?

Strategies to sell land faster include pricing competitively, hiring an experienced agent, advertising online and locally, offering owner financing, considering parcel splits or rezoning, and being flexible on offers. Good photos, surveys and due diligence also help.

Does land sell faster in certain regions of Georgia?

In general, land in metro Atlanta and surrounding rapidly growing cities sells fastest due to high demand from builders and developers. Rural land far from major highways or amenities takes longer to market and sell. Popular recreational areas also see brisk sales.

How much does it cost to sell land in Georgia?

Typical costs are a real estate agent’s commission of 5-20% of the sale price. Legal fees range from $500-$1,500. Survey costs vary based on parcel size and can run $5,000 or more. Transfer taxes are low in Georgia. Total closing costs are usually 6-10% of the sale price.

Should I get my land appraised before selling in Georgia?

Most experts recommend comparing recent sales of similar properties yourself or with an agent’s help to gauge fair market value. Formal appraisals are expensive and take time. Appraisals may be worthwhile for high value development land eligible for tax incentives.

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