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

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

Bart Waldon

Selling land in New York State can be a lengthy and complex process depending on the location, zoning, and market conditions. With high property values and development potential, especially in and around New York City, land is a valuable commodity that requires careful negotiation to get full value. For sellers looking for a quick sale, land companies that purchase land directly can provide fast cash closings. However, for maximum profits, landowners need to thoroughly market their property which can take 1-2 years in New York.

An Overview of the New York Land Market

With 19.4 million residents, New York is the fourth most populous state in the country. The high population density, especially in urban areas like New York City and its suburbs, drives up the value of land. There is huge demand for both residential and commercial real estate development.

New York also has vast rural areas upstate with millions of acres of farmland, forests, and undeveloped land. While land prices are lower than the New York City metro region, quality acreage still sells for $5,000 to $10,000 per acre on average.

Land use and ownership in New York is complex. Multiple regulations govern zoning, subdividing property, environmental protections, and more. It takes expertise and patience to navigate real estate deals. Sellers need to optimize their land for the buyer’s intended use whether it is farming, residential communities, commercial space, or recreational facilities.

Key Factors That Impact Land Sale Timeframes

How long it takes to sell land depends on several key factors:


In desirable urban and suburban markets like New York City, Long Island, Westchester, and the Hudson Valley, competition for land is fierce. Sellers can capitalize on high demand and limited supply. Marketing strategically to the right developers and investors can lead to fast sales at top dollar.

In rural areas, however, liquidity is lower and deals take longer to materialize. Without development pressures, there are fewer buyers in the market for vacant land. More patience and persistence is required to connect with that limited buyer pool.

Property Characteristics

The physical features and legal conditions of the land for sale also affect time on market. Parcels that are shovel ready with perked sites, road access, surveyed boundaries and no easements sell quickest. Difficult sites with wetlands issues, zoning restrictions, or titles clouds can deter buyers. Sellers may need to invest in land improvements or clear legal hurdles before finding a willing buyer.

Pricing Strategy

How a seller prices their land directly impacts time on market. The listing price must reflect current market value based on comparable land sales and site potentials. Overpriced land languishes unsold until a price correction is made.

On the other hand, underpricing land sells quickly but costs the seller profits. Finding the optimal price is key to maximizing return on investment. Periodic price adjustments also incentivize potential buyers as the land sits on the market longer.

Marketing Efforts

Without effective marketing, even superb land will not sell. Inactive sellers who simply list their property and wait for buyers lose precious time. Proactive efforts like print ads, digital promotion, event hosting, and strategic networking are required to generate buyer interest.

Hiring a top real estate agent with experience marketing and selling land can significantly reduce time on market thanks to their connections and sales skills. FSBO sellers often struggle with gaining enough exposure. Leveraging professional expertise speeds up land sales.

Typical Timeframe to Sell Land in New York

While market conditions constantly shift, these estimated timeframes provide a general benchmark for selling land in New York:

  • New York City Metro - 3 to 9 months
  • Suburban - 6 months to 1 year
  • Rural - 1 to 2 years

Land in core urban markets like Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx sells fastest thanks to intense development pressures. Even vacant lots in downtown areas can sell in just a few months with competitive bidding wars.

As you move into suburban counties like Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk, sales take a bit longer but deals under a year are common. Strong residential and commercial demand still incentivizes buyers.

In rural regions, sales cycles stretch out due to lower populations and limited development. Acreage might sit for a few years before finding the right buyer. Some parcels may even take 5-10 years to sell if mispriced or difficult to develop.

Options for Reducing Your Land Sale Timeframe

Selling land quickly requires focus and effort. Here are tips on reducing your time on market:

Price Competitively - Setting your asking price 5-10% below appraised market value incentivizes buyers to act faster, especially if demand is low. Consider dropping your price every 3-6 months if you don’t get activity.

Improve Access - Invest in driveways, trails, fencing or signage to improve access and visibility. Making it easier for buyers to see and traverse your land speeds up sales.

Start Marketing ASAP - Run print and digital ads right away when listing your land. Host open houses and networking events to find potential buyers. Ask your agent to tap into their contact database.

Be Flexible on Terms - Adjusting your desired terms can dramatically reduce time on market. Offer seller financing, lease-to-own arrangements, or other creative conditions to motivate deals.

Sell via Auction - Online land auctions create urgency and competition between buyers. They are an efficient way to liquidate land quickly, especially for multi-parcel portfolios.

Consider Land Investors - Companies like Land Boss purchase land directly from sellers using cash offers with flexible timelines. It’s the fastest way to sell but you may trade maximum value for speed.

Should You Wait to Try to Maximize Your Sale Price?

It’s natural to want to hold out for the highest possible sales price when selling land. However, waiting an extra 6-12 months or more just to potentially get 10-20% more for your land may not make financial sense.

During an extended sales timeline, you continue paying property taxes, maintenance costs and mortgage payments if applicable. That erodes your profit. You also run the risk of market conditions shifting and reducing demand for your land.

At a certain point, accepting a fair market offer that lets you exit the investment sooner rather than later maximizes overall return. The cash you free up by selling can also be invested elsewhere.

Savvy sellers balance pricing for maximum value with speed to completion. That combination optimizes land sale profits and time management.

Partnering With a Company for a Fast, Simple Land Sale

For landowners prioritizing convenience and speed over top dollar, selling to a land investment company brings huge advantages. Here is how it works with a company like Land Boss:

  • Cash Offers - Land Boss makes cash offers based on assessed value and market comps. All cash deals remove financing complexities.
  • Fast Process - Sales can close in as little as 5-7 business days once an offer is accepted. There are no showings, staging, or open houses.
  • Flexible Terms - Choose your ideal closing date anywhere from 7 days to 5+ years out. Long settlements provide income over time.
  • No Commissions - You pay zero commissions or fees because Land Boss buys direct. Agents only get paid on closed sales.
  • Free Consultation - Discuss your needs and property details to determine if Land Boss is right for you. There is no obligation to sell.

For landowners who prioritize convenience and speed, this streamlined process allows you to sell your land quickly and efficiently. With over 100 land transactions completed, Land Boss has the experience and resources to close deals smoothly. Sell your vacant land for cash fast when the timing is right for you.

Final Words

Selling land always involves effort, preparation, and patience - especially to maximize profits. While New York land may take 1-2 years to sell on average, savvy sellers use marketing, pricing, and partnerships to reduce their time on market. Prioritizing speed and convenience over top dollar pricing enables fast land sales via investors like Land Boss who purchase property directly. Consider your priorities and use the right strategies to balance time on market with optimal return on investment from your land.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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

In the highly desirable New York City real estate market, vacant land parcels tend to sell within 3-9 months on average. Strong developer demand coupled with limited land supply supports fast sales. Land in core boroughs sells quickest thanks to major development pressures.

What options are available if I need to sell my rural land fast in New York?

Those needing a quick land sale in rural New York have a few good options. Auctions create urgency and competition between buyers for fast sales. Land investment companies like Land Boss purchase land directly from sellers using cash offers and fast closings. This greatly accelerates the sales process.

Should I get my land appraised before listing it for sale in New York?

Yes, professional appraisals are highly recommended to establish fair market value pricing before listing land for sale. Appraisers account for property details, local market trends and comps. Overpricing is one of the biggest mistakes NY land sellers make which extends time on market significantly.

How can I reduce the time it takes to sell my vacant land parcel in New York?

Pricing competitively, investing in access improvements, utilizing auctions/investors, and hiring a top land agent are proven ways to reduce time on market. Flexible terms, digital ads, and networking also help. Being willing to adjust price periodically incentivizes buyers.

Is it better to wait and hold out for maximum value when selling land in New York?

Not always - sellers should balance pricing and time on market. Waiting extra months just to get 10-20% more may not make sense financially given carrying costs and market shifts. At a certain point, a fair offer that exits the investment sooner maximizes overall return.

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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