How Long Does it Take to Sell Land in Oregon?

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How Long Does it Take to Sell Land in Oregon?
By

Bart Waldon

Oregon's diverse landscapes, from the Pacific Coast to the Cascade Mountains to the eastern high desert, provide many opportunities for land ownership. With over 98,000 square miles of land, Oregon offers plenty of spaces to settle down, build a home, farm, ranch, and enjoy the natural beauty of the state.

However, when life circumstances change and you need to sell your land in Oregon, it can often be a lengthy process requiring significant time and effort to market the property, find interested buyers willing to pay your asking price, negotiate deals, and close sales. On average, selling raw land in Oregon takes 1-2 years from initial listing to closing. But many factors influence timelines, so let’s explore them in more detail.

Defining Raw Land

First, what exactly constitutes raw land? Raw land has no improvements and is undeveloped, with no structures built yet and no utilities installed. The land typically only has dirt or vegetation with natural features like trees or meadows. The value lies in the size, location, terrain, views, access to roads and ability to build on the land one day. Those basic characteristics primarily drive demand and pricing.

Steps to Sell Raw Land in Oregon

Selling raw land involves several key steps:

  1. Determining accurate pricing
  2. Listing the land for sale
  3. Marketing to attract buyer interest
  4. Screening and showing land to potential buyers
  5. Negotiating offers
  6. Completing due diligence like title searches and surveys
  7. Closing sale and transferring deed

This process unfolds over months or years before resulting in a successful sale. Now let’s explore each step in more detail.

Pricing Land Accurately

Land pricing depends on several factors, including:

  • Size of the parcel
  • Location within Oregon
  • Terrain and natural features
  • Views of surrounding scenery
  • Road access and utilities availability
  • Zoning restrictions and ability to obtain permits to build
  • Recent sales of comparable nearby lands

Determining an accurate price requires researching these variables around your property. Online tools like Zillow estimate values, but may lack localized insights only a real estate agent can provide through studying trends in that county or town. Land owners should consult multiple experts to price their land well in order to attract fair market offers.

Listing Your Land for Sale

Once pricing is set, the next step involves listing the land on relevant real estate websites like Zillow, Realtor.com and LandWatch. Listings will detail the pricing, parcel details, photos and contact information so interested buyers can learn more.

Listings spread news of available land for sale. However, simply listing provides passive exposure. Active marketing and promotion generates more significant buyer interest.

Marketing Your Listing

To spur demand, land owners should market listings through:

  • Online ads on Facebook, Google and relevant forums
  • Print ads in local newspapers and magazines
  • Signage and flyers posted on the property
  • Direct mail campaigns to adjacent land owners
  • Word-of-mouth referrals to friends and family

More marketing avenues pursued in parallel, the faster quality buyer leads will come through.

Screening and Showing Land to Buyers

As potential buyers inquire about the land, listing agents must screen them to understand their motivation, ability to purchase at the full asking price, and overall seriousness by asking questions like:

  • How do they intend to use the land if purchased?
  • Are they approved for financing or have capital to buy with cash?
  • Are they working with an agent or bank?
  • What is their timeline for purchasing land?

Once the buyer seems legitimately interested, the next step involves showing them the property so they can visually inspect it and determine if it fits their needs.

Negotiating Offers on Your Land

After a showing, serious buyers will submit official offers to purchase the land. Each offer will detail proposed purchase price, desired closing date, contingencies around financing or inspections, and other terms and conditions for the sale.

As the land owner, you can accept the offer as-is, make a counteroffer, or reject the offer completely. Negotiating usually involves some back-and-forth before settling on agreeable sale terms. Patience and persistence is key, so don’t get discouraged if the first few offers seem underwhelming. Wait for a fair market offer that meets your pricing goals.

Completing Due Diligence

Before closing, buyers will complete some additional due diligence like:

  • Title search to confirm clean ownership free of liens
  • Survey to mark exact property boundaries
  • Inspections to identify structure or soil issues
  • Financing approval from their bank

This due diligence provides the buyer confidence in what they are purchasing. If any problems do arise, like a contested fence line or inability to obtain financing, they could negotiate the price down further or walk away completely. More marketing and negotiations may be needed if that happens.

Closing the Land Sale

The final step involves legal transfer of property ownership and money changing hands. Contracts get signed. Checks get cut. Deeds get filed with the county. And just like that, your land sells.

But getting from listing to closing takes most raw land owners in Oregon 12-24 months. Now let’s examine why the process is so lengthy.

Why Selling Land is Slow

Selling raw land takes patience for several reasons:

Low Demand 

Only a niche group of buyers looks for vacant land to build or settle on. Mass demand goes towards finished homes instead. So quality buyer leads trickle through slowly.

Seasonality
Demand peaks in late spring and summer when the weather improves. Fewer buyers browse land listings in fall and winter. Listing towards the end of peak season means waiting almost a full year for buyer interest to regain momentum.

Financing Hurdles 

The most affordable way for individuals to buy raw land is by financing 80-100% of the purchase through a land loan or construction loan. But not all banks finance vacant land, and approval requirements can be stringent. All cash buyers are rare and often expect steep discounts.

Remote Parcels
Centrally located lands near major metro areas sell fastest. But remote lands with difficult access or in the middle of nowhere have limited appeal.

Limited Marketing Budgets 

Simply listing land passively brings sparse results. But running active campaigns across multiple platforms is expensive. Many land owners attempting to sell themselves have minimal budgets for intense ongoing promotion.

Title Issues 

During due diligence, clouds found on the title from pending liens, easements or boundary disputes can kill deals. Clearing title snags takes round after round of negotiations and legal filings over months.

As you can see, selling raw land has hurdles at every step. Achieving a full asking price offer involves luck and perfect execution across all stages. Otherwise, selling lands drags out 1-2 years.

How to Speed Up Your Land Sale 

Now that you understand why selling land is slow, here are tips to accelerate the process:

Price Land Aggressively 

Shave at least 10% off comparable to attract buyers faster, then negotiate up during offers. High prices dissuade activity.

Increase Marketing Spend
Allocate more on paid and grassroots promotion to spark immediate buyer interest. This is the fastest way to receive offers.

Be Flexible on Terms 

Consider owner financing or rent-to-own terms to expand buyer pool beyond just cash and traditional bank loans.

Bundle Adjacent Lands Combining multiple contiguous parcels into a package deal raises appeal to wider commercial developers.

Sell to a Land Buying Company 

Companies like Land Boss with all cash offers provide certainty to sell faster, albeit at significant discounts. But deals close in days or weeks instead of years.

Patience Required Even with those tips, selling raw land perpetually tests patience. But the payoff of finding the right buyer at the closing table keeps land owners trudging forward week after grueling week until reaching paydirt.

Key Takeaways

  • Selling raw land in Oregon takes 12-24 months on average
  • Pricing, listing, marketing, showing, negotiating, due diligence and closing comprise the lengthy process
  • Low demand, seasonality, financing, remote locations, marketing budgets and title issues slow sales
  • Price aggressively, increase marketing, offer creative terms, bundle lands and sell to companies to accelerate deals
  • Perseverance and optimism required to fully maximize land values

So, prepare mentally and financially for the long haul ahead when selling Oregon land. But also pursue tips to sell faster if desired. Keep putting one foot in front of the other until you cross the finish line!

Final Thoughts

Selling vacant land is often a time-consuming, labor-intensive process for Oregon landowners seeking to divest raw parcels and extract full value. Achieving fair market offers involves accurately pricing lands, aggressively marketing to a niche buyer pool, and persevering through gradually accumulating offers, counteroffers, and contingencies until a suitable deal closes. With low demand, seasonality swings, stringent lending, remote locations, and myriad title issues slowing rural land deals to 1-2 year timeframes, creativity and patience becomes instrumental for owners and agents muscling through the long waits. However, well-planned price incentives, expanded financing options, and leveraging alternate exit strategies like packaging or direct sales can help expedite equitable outcomes for motivated sellers. Despite lengthy timelines, for owners willing to hustle and wait out the drawn-out cycles, lucrative payouts await at the eventual closing finish line.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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

On average, selling raw rural land in Oregon takes 12-24 months from initial listing to closing. Only a niche subset of buyers looks for vacant parcels, so quality leads trickle through slowly. And factors like seasonality, financing hurdles, remote locations, and title issues can further delay deals. With patience and persistence, deals gradually come together over 1-2 years.

What Oregon counties sell land the fastest?

Land sells fastest in Oregon’s population hubs like the Portland metro area and Willamette Valley where demand concentrates. Outlying rural counties see fewer buyers for remote lands, dragging out timelines. Check sales trends in your county to set expectations.

Does land sell faster in certain seasons in Oregon?

Demand typically rises in late spring and peaks through the summer when weather improves and buyers emerge. Activity lulls in fall and winter months, delaying showings and negotiations during colder parts of the year.

How can I speed up selling my Oregon land?

Tips to accelerate selling land include pricing aggressively, spending more on marketing, offering creative financing terms, bundling contiguous parcels, and selling to cash land buying companies at a discount. Though full market value offers may compromise.

Is it better to work with brokers when selling Oregon land?

Leveraging real estate agents and brokers can expand marketing exposure plus utilize their networks and expertise to facilitate deals. However, their commissions eat into payouts. Weigh trade offs based on your budget, capacity and timeline.

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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