How to Buy Land for Cash in Missouri

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How to Buy Land for Cash in Missouri

Bart Waldon

The State of Missouri, with its rolling hills, abundant farmland, and major waterways like the Missouri River and the Mississippi River, offers ample opportunities for land ownership. Whether you want to buy recreational land for hunting and camping, agricultural land to farm, or vacant land to develop or hold as an investment, Missouri has options across its nearly 70,000 square miles. Buying land for cash can streamline the process, avoid financing issues, and may allow you to negotiate a better deal in today’s market. Follow this guide to learn the ins and outs of buying land for cash in Missouri.

Overview of the Missouri Land Market

Before jumping into the process of purchasing land in Missouri, it’s important to understand the current state of the market. Missouri land prices per acre can vary widely depending on the location, terrain, existing infrastructure and improvements, zoning and other factors. But overall statewide, the average value of farm real estate in Missouri rose 5.9 percent in 2022 to $4,100 per acre according to a USDA survey. Recreational land averaged $2,740 per acre.

These rising land values reflect increased investor interest, as well as demand from farmers, developers and individuals. At the same time rising interest rates and an uncertain economy have caused some cooling in terms of sales volume more recently. This combination of factors makes now an interesting time to explore buying land for cash in many areas of Missouri.

Finding Land for Sale in Missouri

The first step to buying land for cash is identifying promising parcels for sale that match your criteria. With hundreds of thousands of acres currently on the market across Missouri, you’ll want to narrow your geographic area of focus and define features that are must-haves versus nice-to-haves.

Online land listing services allow you to set custom filters to match attributes like:

  • Location within Missouri
  • Acreage
  • Price range
  • Road access or other frontage
  • Wooded or cleared
  • Soil types
  • Existing utilities/infrastructure
  • Zoning designations

Examples of top land listing sites in Missouri include Lands of America, Land And Farm, Land Watch, and Farma. You can browse current listings and set alerts for new listings matching your parameters.

In addition to doing your own online searches, connecting with knowledgable local real estate professionals can shortcut your research. Real estate brokers and land professionals have insider knowledge on parcels coming to market. They can counsel you on factors like:

  • Fair market value pricing for the area
  • Development potential
  • Mineral rights availability
  • Easements and other encumbrances

Leaning on the experience of a local agent or broker pays dividends for all types of Missouri land buyers.

Evaluating and Selecting Land Parcels

As you evaluate potential real estate listings for buying land with cash in Missouri, apply these criteria to determine if the parcel is a fit:

Location – Even if planning to use the land for a private retreat, consider proximity to amenities for future marketability. If you ever opt to sell the land, remote parcels with no utilities or road frontage are harder to move.

Access – How you plan to access the property? Unimproved dirt roads may offer a rustic charm but cost more over time to maintain. Lack of access can severely diminish use and value.

Terrain – Whether rolling fields, rugged woods or mixed terrain, analyze the topography and how it suits your plans. Changing terrain can add costs to build and develop.

Existing Infrastructure – Having some infrastructure like fencing, wells, equipment sheds or other storage saves money. Ensure access to power and assess connectivity fees.

Soil Composition – If crops or livestock are in your plans, soil types and drainage are critical factors. Certain types also add complexity for foundations and septic systems.

Encumbrances – Research easements, ingress/egress rights for others, setbacks and other encumbrances on usage before purchase.

Development Potential – Even if not developing now, consider future buildability based on zoning rules, surrounding uses and service availability from utility providers.

Missouri real estate laws require the seller to disclose all known defects and deficiencies affecting the land. Be sure to fully vet these prior to purchase.

While buying land unseen is possible over the internet, if possible it’s best to do site visits of top prospects. Walking the property reveals details impossible to ascertain remotely. If unable to visit in person, hire a local representative to assess.

Determining Offer Amounts and Terms

When preparing your offer amount for buying vacant land with cash in Missouri, research recent sale comps for similarly sized parcels with comparable amenities in the local market. Sale prices will vary based on zoning, road access, terrain, encumbrances and other factors. The recent rising land prices in most of Missouri likely indicate offering at or just above current appraisal is prudent in order to be competitive with other buyers.

Of course, every seller's situation is unique. For example, some property owners in Missouri struggle with the burden of paying taxes on vacant land each year without any income from the property. Or they may have inherited the property and live out of state. These types of distressed sellers may entertain offers well below market rates just to relieve themselves of the obligation. Do your research to gauge if the seller has motivation or flexibility to accept a lower price in exchange for the speed and convenience of your cash terms.

Other advantages of making cash offers on land in Missouri include:

  • Faster closing without financing contingencies
  • Greater negotiating leverage for price and terms
  • Avoiding limits or higher rates of traditional lending

The main downside to Missouri land buyers using cash is tying up capital that could be invested elsewhere while finalizing the sale. Using speed to your advantage helps mitigate this drawback when buying land without financing.

Finalizing the Land Purchase in Missouri

After reaching agreement with the seller on purchase terms, you'll sign the contract documentation and submit earnest money to secure the acquisition. Requirements vary, but 1-10% of total purchase price held in escrow until closing is typical.

Next steps in the transaction include:

  • The seller provides preliminary title paperwork for review
  • You initiate title work and inspection contingencies
  • If purchasing with an entity, create the legal entity
  • Finalize closing arrangements with title company

Missouri mandates certain seller disclosures to the buyer related to condition of the property. Be sure to review and address any red flags thoroughly before closing.

The closing appointment finalizes the purchase, where you wire your cash payment and sign required legal transfer paperwork such as the deed. Costs at closing may include pro-rated taxes, title fees, recording fees, legal fees and transfer taxes assessed by the state or county.

Congratulations! With keys in hand you now own your slice of the Show Me State. Time to commence your plans for the Missouri land investment or recreational retreat you’ve been dreaming of.

Partnering With a Land Company for Buying Missouri Property

For those new to buying vacant land, handling these steps solo can prove daunting. An alternative approach is partnering with an experienced land company that specializes in buying and selling property for cash in Missouri.

A reputable company like Land Boss can provide numerous benefits as you seek to buy land without financing, including:

  • Extensive knowledge of Missouri land values to inform accurate offer pricing
  • Established relationships with local real estate brokers to access off-market deals
  • Resources to thoroughly evaluate and compare land opportunities
  • In-house expertise to swiftly vet title, access, infrastructure and other issues
  • Skilled negotiators to strike optimal purchase terms
  • Capability to buy land as-is regardless of issues that might limit financing
  • Funds on hand to acquire land that matches your goals as opportunities arise

The team at Land Boss has many years navigating Missouri land transactions from contract to closing. Though still a young company, our seasoned staff has experience with over 100 successful deals across the state. Let us handle the heavy lifting so you can more easily start on your journey to Missouri land ownership!

Whether you pursue purchasing land on your own or enlist a trusted partner like Land Boss, buying Missouri land for cash provides flexibility combined with greater quality control. For the right property at the right price, cash closing speeds the path to putting vacant acres into productive use for recreation, agriculture, development or other personal goals in America’s heartland.

Final Thoughts

Buying land for cash in Missouri can be a fulfilling path to land ownership whether for agriculture, recreation, development, or investment usage. Missouri's diverse terrain offers something for every interest. Keys to success include clearly defining your goals for the land, thoroughly researching potential parcels using both online and local resources, evaluating options carefully against key criteria, negotiating fair price and terms reflective of market factors, and properly finalizing purchase paperwork plus transfer of ownership. While buying Missouri land outright requires significant funds upfront, the speed, flexibility and control of a cash closing creates advantages well worth the capital needed in many situations. Partnering with an experienced land company like Land Boss can further allow those new to the process to buy and start benefiting from Missouri land ownership more easily. Taking the time to find the ideal parcel while navigating the closing process diligently will serve you well into the future as you pursue your Missouri land aspirations.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What types of land are available for cash purchase in Missouri?

Missouri has a wide variety of land types that can be purchased with cash payment including farmland, ranchland, timberland, recreational land, hunting land, vacant land for development, and commercial property. Land with crop fields, pastures, woods, wetlands, and water frontage can all be bought with cash financing.

What is the process for buying land with cash in Missouri?

The process involves identifying land listings for sale matching your criteria, evaluating parcels based on location, access, terrain, encumbrances and development potential, negotiating a purchase price and terms with the seller, entering into a purchase contract, finalizing due diligence, then wiring funds at closing upon transfer of the deed.

What are the main advantages of buying Missouri land for cash?

Paying cash allows faster closing as there is no financing contingency, greater negotiating leverage on price/terms, avoiding limitations and higher interest rates of financing, control over owning the asset outright, and conveying serious buyer commitment to sellers.

How much does vacant land typically cost per acre in Missouri?

Land prices vary greatly based on size, location, terrain and other attributes. But average per acre prices recently are around $4,100 for farmland and $2,740 for recreational land according to statewide surveys. Individual parcels may sell below or above these figures.

Should I use a land company when buying Missouri land with cash?

Partnering with a land company can provide advantages like market expertise for pricing guidance, access to off-market deals, resources to evaluate parcels, skilled negotiators, capability to buy as-is regardless of issues, and handling the closing process smoothly. Companies like Land Boss make Missouri land buying easier.

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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