How Long Does it Take to Sell Land in Utah?

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

Bart Waldon

Utah is a western state known for its red rock landscapes, ski resorts, and the Great Salt Lake. Over 3 million people call Utah home, with most residents living along the Wasatch Front metropolitan area. Utah has a strong economy, fueled by technology companies and outdoor tourism. The real estate market is also thriving, especially in booming cities like Salt Lake City.

Selling vacant land in Utah takes savvy and patience. With over 52 million acres of land in the state, everything from small parcels to vast ranch properties are up for grabs. However, the market faces complexity due to factors like mineral rights, water rights, zoning codes, market fluctuations, and more. For the canny land seller, there are profits to be made. But the average time to sell land in Utah is 1-2 years if you want to get full market value. This article will break down the key steps and timeline to sell your land.

How Long Does it Take to Sell Land in Utah?

In Utah, vacant land takes around 12-24 months to sell if you are looking to get full market retail value. However, the timeline can vary drastically based on factors like location, parcel size, market conditions, and your asking price flexibility. Properly preparing the land for sale and marketing to qualified buyers are essential to selling for more money in less time.

Key Factors That Impact Time-to-Sell

Many variables influence whether your Utah land sells quickly or slowly. The most critical factors include:

Location

In-demand locations near growing cities or recreational areas sell fastest. Land prices in areas like St. George, Park City and near Salt Lake City are rapidly rising due to high demand. Outlying rural areas can take years longer to market and sell.

Parcel Size

Larger acreages over 20 acres take more time, money and effort to sell. Smaller lots under 5 acres tend to sell more quickly as they attract more potential buyers.

Price

Overpriced land lingers on the market. Savvy sellers price aggressively to generate buyer interest and offers. Be realistic when setting asking price based on recent sales data for comparable land parcels.

Readiness

“Shovel-ready” land with utilities, zoning, access roads and other entitlements intact sells fastest. Raw land with no site work complete takes longer to market to builders or developers.

Marketing Investment

Those who market land actively through multiple mediums like online listings, broker networks and signage tend to sell faster. Passive sellers may wait years for a buyer to materialize.

Economic Conditions

In hot markets, land sells rapidly as real estate developers and end-users aggressively bid. But economic fluctuations like recessions can temporarily stall land deal activity.

By carefully reviewing these key factors, land sellers can evaluate if their Utah property meets the criteria to sell faster than average. Adjusting price point, marketing outreach, and expectations are key. Sellers with flexibility to adapt to current market demand will achieve the fastest sale.

Stages of the Land Sales Process in Utah

Selling land has more complex moving pieces than selling a typical residential or commercial property. The major stages include:

Preparing the Land for Sale

Before listing a Utah land parcel, conduct due diligence to determine precise acreage, boundaries, zoning designation, utility access, water rights, mineral rights and other entitlements. Getting professionally surveyed land will attract more qualified buyers quickly. Rectify any access, easement or usage issues that might complicate a sale. Also, research comparable land values using valuation tools so you can competitively price. Proper preparation prevents major hassles down the road.

Pricing the Land

Over-inflated list prices are a common mistake Utah land sellers make. Set the price too high, and the property may sit untouched for years as buyers pursue better-valued parcels first. Using comps of recent sales for similarly situated land, set your price in the ballpark of current market retail value. Aggressively price 5-10% below actual market value to ignite buyer interest fast. Also, work with your real estate broker to determine an optimal asking price strategy - start bids high and leave room for negotiation? Or price low to initiate bidding wars?

Marketing and Listing the Land

Now you are ready to broadcast the land sale to prospective buyers. At minimum, post online classified listings to popular land and real estate sites highlighting acreage details, price/terms, contact info and photos. For added exposure, distribute print flyers and install visible signage onsite and at main intersections. Cold call likely buyers - farmers, developers, investors, etc based on property attributes. Additionally, tap into broker, investor and consortium networks to circulate your listing. Casting a wide net catches buyers faster to make direct inquiries.

Negotiating the Sale

Once prospective buyers emerge, skillfully negotiate to advance the deal. Present due diligence paperwork like surveys, titles, permits, easements, etc. to address inquiries transparently. Build trust and rapport during property walkthroughs. Evaluate bid terms - cash versus seller financing, closing timeline, contingencies, etc - to select/counter favorable contracts. Resolve any obstacles like rezoning, title issues, lien releases, back taxes before closing day. Continually persuade the buyer on current and future land value to seal the deal.

Closing the Sale

The rewarding outcome after months or years of preparation - successfully completed contract terms and ownership transfer! Confirm all legal, financial and inspection conditions are fulfilled per purchase contract. Fix any final title issues. File deed transfer paperwork with county. Then on closing day sign remaining documents and collect full payment due from the satisfied buyer.

When listing land for maximum resale value in Utah, the entire sales cycle can run 12 months or longer - especially for higher acreage rural properties. Even straightforward sales to ready buyers eager to deal often close in 60-90 days once under contract. Realistically plan for this extended timeline, while applying proactive sales and marketing tactics to accelerate the sale process wherever possible.

Alternatives: Selling Land to an Investor for Cash

For Utah land sellers focused on fast exits, selling directly to a land investment company for cash can greatly accelerate the land sale closure. Rather than waiting months or years to attract scarce retail buyers, these land buying firms purchase property well below market value for speedy cash payouts to the owner (aka “wholesale purchase”). The buyer company assumes responsibility for future retail listing costs, property taxes, market value declines, and other holding risks. Land sellers gain faster liquidity plus avoid hassles preparing, listing and showing land parcels to retail buyers. However, wholesaling land typically forfeits achieving maximum property valuation - sellers leave bigger profits “on the table” by transacting this route versus marketing/selling the parcel at higher retail values directly themselves.

Benefits of Selling Land Wholesale for Cash

Selling land quickly for cash to an investment buyer like Land Boss simplifies and expedites transactions for owners seeking faster exits:

  • Fast timeline - finalize contract in days, close in as little as 5-7 days
  • Cash payment - avoids complex seller financing
  • As-is condition - company buys sight-unseen, handles title/boundary issues
  • No retail showings or negotiations
  • Lower costs - company often covers title and escrow fees
  • Avoid future land market value loss risk

For land sellers focused on convenient exits over max sale prices, connecting with a reputable cash land buyer can lead to 4x faster deals than traditional retail sales methods. While market valuations are forfeited, guaranteed cash and quick closure bring advantages to motivated sellers.

Final Thoughts

In Utah’s complex real estate market, savvy preparation, pricing and networking ultimately lead sellers to faster successful land deals. Smaller shovel-ready parcels priced right sell quickest when assertively marketed to verified buyers by tapping broker networks, digital leads and more. Yet even turnkey offerings may stall without optimized sales outreach. While economic factors cause periodic fluctuations, average land still sells within 1-2 years here. For simplified sales, owners can also secure cash offers from real estate investment companies buying land wholesale below market prices for speedy closes. With the right approach, Utah land can sell smoothly and profitably within months.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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

On average, selling a vacant land parcel in Utah takes 12-24 months if pricing at full retail market value. Timelines tend to be faster for smaller, shovel-ready lots under 5 acres located near major cities. More remote or larger acreage plots often take longer to sell, some exceeding 2-3 years on the market.

What factors make land sell faster in Utah?

Land located near growing population centers like Salt Lake City and Provo sells fastest in Utah's real estate market. Additionally, smaller parcel size, having land entitlements already in place, pricing aggressiveness, and heavy online/offline marketing all contribute to faster land sale rates.

Does my land listing price impact how fast I sell in Utah?

Absolutely. Overpriced vacant land lingers unsold as buyers opt for cheaper comparable parcels first. Realistically pricing your land 5-10% under recent sales of similar land will effectively attract potential buyers sooner.

Should I get my land surveyed before selling in Utah?

Yes, having clear surveyed boundaries and acreage legally defined before listing land will preempt sales objections and accelerate credible buyer offers. About 25% of Utah land parcels have survey or boundary issues that stall sales if left unaddressed upfront.

Is selling land to a cash investment company faster than selling myself?

Sometimes. Reputable local land buying companies like Land Boss purchase property wholesale significantly below market value for quick 5-7 day cash closes. While you forfeit maximum land value, this path provides guaranteed payouts and bypasses months or years of traditional sales delays.

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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