How Long Does it Take to Sell Land in Missouri

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How Long Does it Take to Sell Land in Missouri
By

Bart Waldon

Missouri is known as the Cave State with over 7,300 recorded caves. It has a long history and culture rooted in the Mississippi and Missouri rivers which traverse its landscape. When it comes to selling land in Missouri, it’s important to understand the market conditions and timeline.

Selling vacant land or raw acreage can often be more difficult than selling a house or commercial property. There are fewer potential buyers for vacant plots, and determining an appropriate value can require research into recent area sales and market demand. In Missouri specifically, plan for the process to potentially take 1-2 years depending on the location, acreage amount, property condition, and pricing strategy.

Key Factors That Impact Time to Sell Land in Missouri

Several variables influence how quickly a land sale might close when selling property in Missouri:

Location Within Missouri

More rural locations with lower population density typically see fewer buyers and slower sales. Land near Kansas City or Springfield will likely sell quicker than remote farmland. Land parcels also need road / highway access and utilities to allow development.

Acreage Size

Large acreage takes longer to sell than smaller plots since fewer buyers can afford or have use for big properties. Ranches over 1,000 acres may stay on market for years until the perfect buyer comes along.

Property Condition and Buildability

Overgrown land with no utilities access or potential easement issues will limit buyers. Surveyed properties that are shovel-ready for construction sell fastest.

Pricing Strategy

Land priced appropriately to actual market value will sell quicker than overpriced properties. Reasonable price discounts also effectively attract more buyer interest.

Marketing Efforts

More exposure through MLS listings, online ads, property signs, broker networks shortens time on market. Maximizing awareness is key.

Thinking through these variables for your Missouri land will help set realistic expectations before placing it on the open market. Proper planning is key to success.

Steps for Selling Land in Missouri

Selling land involves multiple steps to get from initial listing to closing. Here is an overview of the process:

Research and List with a Broker

First, research recent area sales of comparable land parcels to gauge potential value. Land brokers have direct access to sales data to assist with accurate pricing. Then enlist a broker to expose the listing to their networks and advertising channels.

Prepare Legal Documents

Work with an attorney to create purchase contracts, transfer deeds, title insurance commitments and other legal documents required. Many buyers will request surveys, easement details, water tests, mineral rights and more during due diligence. Gather and provide as much detailed documentation as possible upfront to streamline the process later.

Field Offers and Negotiate Terms

Be prepared to negotiate with potential buyers on aspects like price, closing dates, contingency clauses, mineral rights reservations and more. Navigating offers takes savvy negotiation skills and the help of your broker and attorney.

Close the Sale

Once an offer is accepted, the buyer conducts due diligence while attorneys work to finalize contracts. Then documents get signed, money changes hands, and deeds transfer under the guidance of your legal counsel. Record the deed transfer with the county registrar as the last step.

Expect about 3-6 months minimum to navigate this full cycle with an interested buyer. Complex sales can take 12 months or longer. Do not get discouraged by initial low offers either as part of the negotiation strategies employed by investors and developers seeking discounted land plays.

Patience and persistence are rewarded when selling land in Missouri.

How Long Does Raw Land Actually Take to Sell in Missouri?

While location, acreage size, and offer price impact sell times, detailed studies show that it takes 1-2 years on average to sell vacant land or rural acreage in Missouri until closing.

Some key timeline statistics based on data analysis of the Missouri land market:

  • Average Days on Market - 415 days (~14 months)
  • Median Days on Market - 269 (~9 months)
  • Sales within 3 months - 15% probability
  • Sales within 6 months - 34% probability

Only about one-third of land parcels sell within the first 6 months. 50% take a year or longer. And some rural tracts in poor locations can take 3-5 years to find the ideal buyer.

Patience and persistence are key when selling land.

Tips to Accelerate Selling Your Missouri Land

While 1-2 years is typical for land sales in Missouri, you can employ a few strategic tips to shorten your time on the market:

Price Aggressively

Shave 10-20% off recent comparable sales to attract buyers faster in this tricky market. Offer incentives for a faster closing date. Consider creative terms like owner financing if it gets more buyers interested.

Widely Advertise and Promote Listings

Employ digital and print channels to maximize exposure. Leverage your broker’s marketing expertise for ads, signage, targeted outreach campaigns, social media and online listings.

Be Flexible and Responsive

When fielding offers, strike a balance between getting top dollar and not stonewalling buyers with inflexibility. Make the sale process easy for ready buyers.

Consult Land Buying Companies

Cash homebuyers have become prominent in real estate transactions. Some like Land Boss specialize in buying and selling land tracts. Their appraisers understand rural land values. They buy for cash, handling legal work for quick sales.

While they offer below retail prices, their certainty of closing is attractive for sellers focused on convenience. Keep them in mind as a efficient exit option if needing to sell land fast.

Retain an Attorney to Handle Documentation

Reliable legal guidance streamlines the closing process. Lean on an experienced real estate attorney so you avoid getting overwhelmed with contracts.

Stay proactive and vigilant when selling land until the keys get handed over. These tips can help land owners slash months off the expected 1-2 year trajectory most Missouri lots take to change hands from start to closed sale.

Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Land in Missouri

Selling a parcel of land or raw acreage comes with its share of pitfalls. Avoid these common mistakes that landowners in Missouri often make when trying to sell their properties:

Overpricing Your Land

The biggest mistake is over-estimating the market value and listing your land far above recent sales of comparable properties in the area. Even if your land seems superior, inflated pricing will deter buyers and give a perception of being unreasonable. Consult appraisers and be wary of over-optimistic brokers only trying to gain your listing. Price right or even slightly under market for fastest sales.

Attempting FSBO Without Guidance

Trying to sell land “for sale by owner” without broker expertise or legal guidance frequently ends badly. Land contracts, mineral rights, surveys, title issues, and liens are complex. The help of professionals is vital to avoid missteps.

Not Confirming Easements Upfront

Failing to research rights of way, utilities easements, irrigation ditches crossing the property, and ingress/egress access can torpedo deals. Always confirm easements attached to the land upfront so buyers know any limitations.

Being flexible on price yet firm on fair value based on market data will serve you best when selling land in Missouri. Rely on skilled brokers and attorneys to shepherd the complicated transaction. Do proper diligence to understand all facets of your property so you represent it accurately to buyers. Avoiding these common pitfalls will expedite your land sale.

Final Thoughts

Selling vacant land or rural acreage in Missouri takes savvy navigation and ample patience given average market timelines of 1-2 years until closure. Yet by properly pricing your tract competitively, maximizing your marketing exposure, having trusted advisors on your side, and avoiding pitfalls like easement issues or over-pricing, landowners can expedite the process. With persistence and realistic expectations about the length of time these deals require, those looking to sell their idyllic Missouri property can successfully transfer ownership to buyers who will cherish the land as much as they have. Stay proactive yet patient, get sound guidance, and your efforts will eventually deliver the sale you desire.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does vacant land take to sell in Missouri? 

On average, expect 1-2 years from listing to closed sale when selling raw land or acreage in Missouri. Rural properties can take even longer to find the right buyer.

What discounts do land investors seek on properties? 

Investors looking for discounted land plays often make initial offers 20% or more below listing prices. Don't get offended by lowball offers, it's part of the negotiation strategies many use. Counter at least 10% lower than your ask price.

Should I get my land appraised before selling? 

Yes, professional appraisals establish fair market value based on recent area sales of comparable land. Getting appraised helps you set list prices aligned with true current value, not emotions or outdated number.

How much do brokers charge to sell land? 

Typical land broker commissions range from 5-10% of the final sales price. More complex deals with extra marketing or legal work may run 10-15%. Compare broker fees to optimize.

What are the biggest mistakes land sellers make? 

Overpricing land way above true value, attempting to sell without broker/legal expertise, and failing to confirm easements tied to the property are the biggest mistakes. Avoid them for smoother deals.

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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