How Long Does it Take to Sell Land in New Jersey?

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How Long Does it Take to Sell Land in New Jersey?
By

Bart Waldon

Selling land in New Jersey, or any state for that matter, can be a lengthy and complex process. Unlike selling a home, vacant land often takes much longer to sell and requires significantly more marketing effort to find interested buyers.

If you currently own vacant land in New Jersey that you're looking to sell, this guide will provide an overview of the land sales process and factors that impact how long it takes to sell land in the Garden State.

Overview of the New Jersey Land Market

New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the U.S., yet it still has a considerable amount of undeveloped land for sale. As of 2018, nearly 1.3 million acres in New Jersey were classified as farmland or vacant land suitable for development.

The availability of vacant land, combined with New Jersey's prime location near major metropolitan areas like New York City and Philadelphia, makes it a popular place for land investors and developers to buy property. At the same time, New Jersey's high property taxes and stringent development regulations limit the pool of buyers for many parcels.

Land values also vary significantly depending on the region within New Jersey. For example, land prices are generally higher in suburban areas close to Newark, Jersey City and other urban job centers. Rural areas in South Jersey tend to have lower land values.

Factors That Impact Time to Sell Land in New Jersey

Selling land takes time even in a strong real estate market. In New Jersey, most vacant land parcels take a minimum of 6-12 months to sell, with larger or more remote properties often taking several years to find a buyer.

Here are some of the key factors that determine how quickly you can sell land in New Jersey:

Location

Not surprisingly, land parcels located near major highways, suburban communities and metropolitan areas tend to sell faster in New Jersey. The further away the land is from transportation access and development, the smaller the pool of interested buyers. Remote rural properties usually take the longest time to sell.

Parcel size

Larger land parcels generally take longer to sell than smaller lots of just a few acres. There are fewer buyers in the market for properties of 50 acres or more, so these listings may stay on the market for years waiting for the right buyer.

Development Potential

Land that is suitable for commercial development or residential subdivisions will sell quicker than raw acreage with no utilities access or zoning restrictions that limit what can be built on the site. Having land already zoned for a specific use makes it much easier to market to builders and investors.

Condition of the land

Heavily wooded or overgrown land with no existing structures requires more time and cost to clear and prepare for development. Buyers may shy away from these fixer-upper sites. Land that is already cleared and free of debris can sell more rapidly.

Mineral/Water Rights

If mineral rights or water rights for a property will not be included in the sale, some buyers will lose interest quickly. Negotiating these rights can delay a land sale.

Motivation of the Seller

Highly motivated sellers who price their land competitively and market it aggressively tend to sell faster. Overpricing land and refusing to negotiate will limit buyer interest and extend time on market.

Marketing and Listing Your New Jersey Land for Sale

To sell your land in New Jersey in a reasonable timeframe, thorough marketing is crucial. Buyers will not find your property on their own - you have to put it directly in front of them.

Here are some tips for effectively marketing and listing land for sale in New Jersey:

  • Price it right - Overpriced land does not sell. Work with a knowledgeable agent or appraiser to determine fair market value based on recent comparable sales and current market conditions. Price it competitively from the start to attract buyers.
  • Work with a real estate agent - Land specialists have experience valuing, marketing and negotiating land deals. Their expertise and marketing reach can significantly decrease time on market. Many out-of-state buyers search for land via agents as well.
  • List online - MLS, Zillow, Trulia and Lands of America are popular sites where buyers search for land. Paid advertising on these sites can also expand visibility.
  • For Sale signage - Post signs around the property's perimeter and at entrance points so anyone passing by can see it's for sale.
  • Network locally - Talk to neighbors, developers and real estate professionals to get the word out locally. Attend area networking events to meet potential buyers.
  • Advertise creatively - Classified ads, social media posts, flyers at nearby stores and community bulletin boards help spread the word about your land listing.
  • Be flexible on terms - Offering owner financing, subdivision or adjusting the selling price can make your listing more enticing to buyers.

The more time and money invested into marketing a New Jersey land parcel, the faster it is likely to sell. Set realistic expectations that vacant land can take many months or years to sell even with your best efforts.

Selling Land to a Company vs. Private Buyers

Rather than selling to an individual buyer, some New Jersey landowners choose to sell directly to a land buying company for a quick and guaranteed cash sale.

Companies like Land Boss purchase vacant residential and commercial sites for investment purposes. The benefits of selling land to a company include:

  • Cash offers - Get an all-cash offer with no financing required. Land companies pay with their own capital.
  • Fast sale - The sale process can be completed in as little as a few weeks with a land company compared to waiting months or years for a private buyer.
  • No commissions - Selling directly to a land company means no agent commissions deducted from your sale price.
  • As-is condition - Companies buy land in as-is condition, reducing time and costs for preparing vacant land for sale.
  • Flexible closing - Land companies can usually close quickly or work with any timeline you need.

The one drawback is that land companies will pay below full retail market value since they intend to resell the property in the future. For some landowners, the speed and convenience of selling to a company outweighs the maximum sale price.

If you decide to sell your land to a company, it's recommended to get quotes from multiple firms. Compare all of the offers carefully before accepting an offer. Be sure to vet the company fully to check reviews, experience and confirm they have the cash available to close the purchase.

How Long Does it Take to Close After Accepting an Offer?

The timeline between accepting an offer and closing the sale can vary:

  • Cash offers - All-cash deals can close in as little as two weeks if the buyer has no contingencies. Cash investors and land companies may request a very fast closing.
  • Financed offers - If the buyer needs to secure financing, this can extend the closing timeframe to 30-60 days at minimum. There may also be financing contingencies.
  • Contingencies - Most buyers will have contingencies for inspections, due diligence, utilities access or zoning checks. These can delay closing by 30 days or more.
  • Title work - Plan for at least 30 days for the buyer’s title company to research the property’s title history and for any title issues to be resolved.
  • Seller's timeline - If you need time to vacate the property, arrange equipment/personal property removal, finalize a replacement property purchase, or other reasons, communicate this clearly to the buyer. Most are willing to accommodate reasonable seller requests on closing dates. Just disclose this upfront versus surprising the buyer later.
  • Weather issues - If the property is inaccessible due to winter weather or flooding during the closing period, the closing date may need to be pushed back.

Ideally you want the buyer to waive as many contingencies as possible and have a title report ordered immediately so these items do not delay closing. Cash buyers are best for fast closings.

Closing in under two weeks is highly uncommon for land sales. Typical land closing timeframes range from 30-90 days in most cases.

Final Tips for Selling Land Quickly in New Jersey

Selling vacant land quickly comes down to proper pricing, thorough marketing, understanding your buyers and being flexible as a motivated seller. Keep these tips in mind to help expedite a sale:

  • Research recent comparable land sales and current NJ market conditions to set an appropriate list price. Don’t overprice.
  • Hire a good real estate agent or broker who specializes in land sales. Out-of-state buyers often prefer to work through an agent.
  • Be prepared to wait at least 6-12 months for a sale. Larger parcels may take multiple years to find the right buyer. Adjust price if there is little activity.
  • List the property on multiple land listing sites and consider paidpromotion. MLS and Zillow give the greatest exposure.
  • Invest in professional signage, brochures and listing photos/videos to show the property in its best light.
  • Talk to everyone you know locally about listing the land for sale to spread by word-of-mouth. You never know who has a buyer in mind.
  • Offer owner financing, land subdivisions, or other deal structures to increase buyer interest. Get creative.
  • Consider a direct cash offer from a land buying company for a quicker, simpler sale option.
  • Be flexible on closing dates. Delays happen. Keep communicating with your buyer.
  • Resolve title issues quickly if they arise. Work politely with the title company.
  • Celebrate once it finally sells! Selling land is difficult, so reward yourself after closing.

The NJ land market offers unique challenges and opportunities for sellers. With proper planning, pricing and persistence, you can minimize the time it takes to successfully sell your land. The rewards will make the effort worthwhile.

Final Words

Selling vacant land in New Jersey can be a long and complex process, especially for larger or remote properties. While a quick land sale is rare, savvy sellers can employ multiple marketing tactics and pricing strategies to attract qualified buyers more rapidly. Being flexible on terms and working with experienced real estate agents also helps expedite a sale. With reasonable expectations on timeframes, and a willingness to put in the work required to market land effectively, New Jersey landowners can successfully navigate the sales process and come away satisfied despite the challenges.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does vacant land usually take to sell in New Jersey?

For most parcels under 50 acres, you can expect a selling timeframe of 6-12 months with adequate marketing and fair pricing. Larger tracts of 100 acres or more often take several years to find the right developer or investor buyer.

Should I sell my land myself or hire a real estate agent in New Jersey?

Unless you have extensive experience selling vacant land, it’s recommended to hire a knowledgeable agent or broker. They have access to more buyers, expertise with land value, and handle marketing/negotiations. The commission is usually worth it for faster results.

Does my land need to be evaluated before listing for sale in New Jersey?

Yes, get an appraisal or Broker Price Opinion to verify the current fair market value. Land prices fluctuate frequently, so don’t assume old assessed values or estimates are still accurate. Proper pricing from the start maximizes buyer interest.

How can I estimate minimum time to close after accepting an offer on my NJ land?

Plan for 30-90 days typically between accepting an offer and closing. All-cash deals can sometimes close in 2-3 weeks if contingencies are waived. Financing, title work, and inspections often extend the closing period.

Should I consider offers from land buying companies in New Jersey?

Cash offers from local land buying firms are a viable option if you want to sell quickly with less hassle. The offers are below market value but can make sense for some sellers needing a guaranteed, fast sale. Compare multiple offers if going this route.

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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