How long does it take to sell land in Nevada? [The answer will surprise you!]

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How long does it take to sell land in Nevada? [The answer will surprise you!]
By

Bart Waldon

Selling vacant land in Nevada can be a drawn-out process, often taking several months to multiple years to fully close and transfer ownership. With over 70% of the state being public land, the private land market is constrained and competitive. There are numerous factors that can delay a Nevada land sale. Let's examine why land transactions tend to be slow in the Silver State.

The Nevada Land Sale Timeline

On average, it takes around 6-9 months to complete a land sale transaction in Nevada. However, it's not uncommon for land listings to languish on the market for 1-2 years before finding a buyer. According to data from the Nevada Association of Realtors, the median time on market for vacant land is about 8 months as of 2023.

Here is a breakdown of the average time it takes to sell land in Nevada counties along with reasons for the timelines:

Carson City County

How long does it take to sell land in Carson City County?
How long does it take to sell land in Carson City County?

5.2 months. As a hub for government and tech jobs, Carson City sees steady demand from real estate investors and developers.

Churchill County

How long does it take to sell land in Churchill County?
How long does it take to sell land in Churchill County?

7.1 months. Much of the county is rural farmland, leading to lower demand. Access and water rights issues also hamper sales.

Clark County

How long does it take to sell land in Clark County?
How long does it take to sell in Clark County?

6.4 months. The Las Vegas area drives faster sales, though supply shortages amid high demand extend timelines. It's near a robust population center generating many local buyers for Nevada property.

Douglas County

How long does it take to sell land in Douglas County?
How long does it take to sell land in Douglas County?

5.8 months. Proximity to Reno and Lake Tahoe boosts demand from potential buyers helping owners to sell quickly. But zoning delays and access to remote parcels slow sales.

Elko County

How long does it take to sell land in Elko County?
How long does it take to sell land in Elko County?

8.9 months. Large rural county with few major employers. Lack of inventory and appraisal data hold up deals.

Esmeralda County

How long does it take to sell land in Esmeralda County?
How long does it take to sell land in Esmeralda County?

1.8 years. Sparsely populated county with almost no economic hubs. Very few comparable sales to establish land values.

Eureka County

How long does it take to sell land in Eureka County?
How long does it take to sell land in Eureka County?

11.2 months. Remote location and lack of public services deter buyers. Process of subdividing large parcels drags out sales.

Humboldt County

How long does it take to sell land in Humboldt County?
How long does it take to sell land in Hunboldt County?

9.7 months. Ranches take long to sell. Concerns over mining residues from historic mining also hamper sales.

Lander County

How long does it take to sell land in Lander County?
How long does it take to sell land in Lander County?

7.8 months. Battle Mountain area sees steady demand. But BLM transfers and rights issues with public land parcels extend timelines.

Lincoln County

How long does it take to sell land in Lincoln County?
How long does it take to sell land in Lincoln County?

8.2 months. Development restrictions around wildlife refuge areas limit interest from buyers.

Lyon County

How long does it take to sell land in Lyon County?
How long does it take to sell land in Lyon County?

6.3 months. Growing area between Reno and Las Vegas facilitates sales. But affordable prices bring high demand and bidding wars.

Mineral County

How long does it take to sell land in Mineral County?
How long does it take to sell land in Mineral County?

9.4 months. Rugged, isolated area with few services. Securing water rights is difficult.

Nye County

How long does it take to sell land in Nye County?
How long does it take to sell land in Nye County?

7.9 months. Diverse county, but rural areas see slower sales without infrastructure. Environmental cleanups stall deals.

Pershing County

Pershing County Mountains
How long does it take to sell land in Pershing County?

10.1 months. Very remote county with almost no major employers or services. Low demand and lack of recent sales data hamper deals.

Storey County

How long does it take to sell land in Storey County?

4 months. Fastest market due to commuters to Reno and proximity to tech center of USA Parkway.

Washoe County

How long does it take to sell land in Washoe County?

5.1 months. Steady economic growth in Reno area fuels demand. But supply shortages amid high demand extend timelines.

White Pine County

How long does it take to sell land in White Pine County?

8.6 months. Remote rural county. Lack of comparables and public land transfer delays.

Key Factors Causing Delays

Several issues tend to hamper and delay land deals in Nevada:

Permitting and Zoning - The permitting process with environmental studies and public hearings takes months.

Zoning changes also hold up sales. Navigating county zoning codes and land use plans is complex for most sellers. Properties often aren't zoned for their ideal use, requiring approvals before selling. Public hearings and environmental impact studies drag these out.

Limited Inventory - There is far less land available in Nevada compared to other states, leading to supply shortages. With so much public land, private vacant parcels are in short supply relative to demand. And desirable parcels get bid up quickly. This lack of turnkey inventory creates bottlenecks.

Water Rights - The transfer of water rights for properties is an arduous process, taking up to a year in itself. Determining if water rights are attached to a land parcel, quantifying the allotment, and legally transferring them takes extensive paperwork.

Title Problems - It's common for boundary disputes, easements, lien issues and other title defects to stall transactions. On average it takes over 5 weeks just to clear title issues on CA land sales. Many owners don't realize they have title problems until they attempt to sell.

Financing Issues - Complex seller financing deals, contingent offers and investor financing often prolong sales. Non-traditional financing adds complexity with extended timeframes for underwriting. Contingent sales can fall through if buyers fail to secure financing later on.

BLM Transfers - The sale of any public lands require extra coordination with the Bureau of Land Management. Parcels previously owned by BLM require approvals to transfer which can add 90+ days.

Mineral Rights - Separating mineral rights adds complexities and delays to sales. Determining who holds subsurface rights takes research. Active mining claims can limit surface development, deterring buyers.

HOA Approval - In areas with homeowners associations, getting HOA greenlight for sales takes time. Some HOAs require all sales meet conditions related to future development plans.

Sale of Ranches - The sale of large ranch properties comes with additional steps that extend timelines. Parcels over 640 acres fall under additional regulations. And finding qualified buyers for large ranches limits the buyer pool.

Lack of Comparables - Appraisals get held up in rural areas with minimal sales data for valuations. With few recent comparable sales on record, appraisers take longer to accurately establish fair market value. This delays financing.

Tips for Expediting Nevada Land Sales

Sellers looking to streamline sales in Nevada should consider these tips:

Price competitively based on market comps and offer incentives to buyers. Setting the price just below fair market value incentivizes buyers to make cash offers and move quickly before competition bids up. Incentives also motivate quick offers.

Have the property professionally surveyed to settle any boundary disputes. A proper survey legally establishes property lines. Installing perimeter fencing also removes any boundary doubts.

Sort out any access easements to ensure legal access is documented. Figure out if any access routes to the parcel could be disputed. Get any easements recorded to guarantee access rights.

Make sure water rights are allotted and documented. Consult Nevada's water rights registry to see if any rights are attached. If so, legally transfer them to buyers. Lack of clarity on water deters buyers.

Initiate any needed zoning changes or permit approvals before listing. Get zoning and land use approvals from the county early so the property is turnkey when listed.

Pay off any outstanding property taxes due, HOA liens, debts or judgements on the property. You must have a clear title free of all debts and obligations to enable a smooth closing.

Obtain inspections early to identify and address any defects or issues. Inspections give you time to remediate any found issues like contamination before listing. Fully disclose all inspection results.

Gather all documentation such as titles, disclosures, leases to simplify buyer due diligence. Assemble permits, titles, plot maps, easements etc in one organized place for buyers.

Work with real estate attorneys experienced in Nevada land transactions. Their expertise assists with title issues, rights transfers, zoning advise and other sale complexities.

Consider owner financing offers to expand the buyer and money pool. Offering your own financing provides an alternative for buyers who can't secure traditional loans.

Build timeline flexibility into the purchase contract terms. Be open to closing as soon as the buyer is ready rather than sticking to a fixed 60+ day closing period.

List with brokers who specialize specifically in land sales. They can accurately price and market your parcel to the right buyer pool.

While delays and complications are par for the course, taking these proactive steps can help expedite the process. Partnering with seasoned real estate professionals can also smooth the road to closing. But selling land quickly in Nevada's complex property market remains a waiting game.

The keys are realistic pricing, thorough preparation, buyer incentives, and flexibility. Even then, Nevada's land market dynamics inherently extend sales timeframes. Sellers should expect a 6-12 month process on average. With the right expectations and diligence, land can be sold and trade hands more swiftly.

Navigating the Escrow & Closing Process

In addition to the obstacles covered above, the escrow and closing process itself inherently adds time to Nevada land transactions. The escrow period involves an extensive exchange of documents, disclosures, and approvals between the buyer, seller, lender, title company, and other parties. Here are key steps that extend the escrow timeline:

Contingency periods - Most offers contain contingency clauses giving the buyer timeframes to secure financing, inspect the property, review HOA docs, etc. These periods often span 30-90 days.

Financing - After an offer is accepted, the buyer's lender needs time to underwrite, appraise, and approve financing. Complex loans with multiple investors take longer. This step can take 30-60 days.

Title work - The title company must research the property's history to verify clean title transfer. This involves courthouse records research, lien searches, ownership verifications and more.

Disclosures - The seller must provide detailed disclosures on property condition, water rights, HOA standing, and more. Buyers review these closely, requesting more info if needed.

Inspections - Once financed and disclosures provided, buyers will conduct physical inspections. Any repairs needed subsequently get negotiated with the seller, adding more time.

Appraisal - The buyer's lender requires a third-party appraisal to establish loan amounts. In rural areas these take longer with limited sales data. Appraisal disputes between lenders and buyers also delay the process.

Survey - For vacant land, a survey is often required to establish legal boundaries. This involves on-site mapping and can take weeks to schedule.

Water rights transfer - If the property includes water rights, the transfer approval steps add 30-90 days in themselves.

Closing preparation - As closing approaches, the title company collects signed documents from all parties including lenders, insurance agents, HOAs, and more. If any signatures are missing, closing gets pushed back.

Fund disbursement - After closing, the buyer's lender must disburse final funds to the title company, which then pays the seller. This step usually takes 1-2 weeks.

With so many moving parts to coordinate, escrow and closing almost always takes 60+ days at a minimum. Buyers and sellers should account for these timeframes in their expectations. However, a knowledgeable real estate agent can help expedite certain steps like disclosures and contingency approvals. But ultimately the mandated processes extend closing timelines, especially for vacant land sales.

Sell Your Nevada Land for Cash

Want to bypass the frustrating delays and uncertainties that come with selling land in Nevada? The fast and easy way to sell your land is to get a no-obligation cash offer from Land Boss. We buy all types of properties directly in any part of Nevada. Connect with one of our local land experts to receive a fair, cash offer on your parcel within 24 hours. Avoid the hassle of long closing timelines and title issues. Let us take over the burden of your unwanted land for cash, on your schedule.

Our cash purchase process provides a smooth, convenient land sale alternative to listing on the open market. We can close within days, not months. There's no need to clear title defects or deal with contingent offers. We buy land as-is, with flexible terms to meet your needs. If you want to sell your Nevada land fast for cash, contact us today!

Sources:

https://www.nvrealtors.org/wp-content/uploads/2023-Fact-Book.pdf

https://www.carsoncityrealestate.org/blog/how-long-does-it-take-to-sell-a-house-in-carson-city.html

https://www.elkorealtors.com/market-trends

https://www.humboldthousing.net/market

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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