How to Sell Inherited Land Fast in Pennsylvania?

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How to Sell Inherited Land Fast in Pennsylvania?

Bart Waldon

So, you've inherited some land in Pennsylvania. Congrats! But now you're scratching your head, wondering, "How on earth do I sell this thing?" Don't worry, we've got you covered. Let's break it down, step by step, no fluff attached.

First, let's talk numbers. Did you know that in 2022, Pennsylvania had over 52,000 farms spread across 7.3 million acres? That's according to the USDA. And get this - the average farm was about 139 acres, with cropland going for around $6,000 an acre. Not too shabby, right?

But here's the thing - your land might not be a farm. Maybe you've inherited a chunk of Pennsylvania's vast forests, which cover nearly 60% of the state. Whatever you've got, knowing these facts helps set the stage for what we're dealing with.

Now, let's get down to business. How do you turn that inherited land into cold, hard cash? Here's the game plan:

Know What You've Got

First things first - figure out what exactly you're sitting on. Is it prime farmland near Lancaster? A wooded lot in the Poconos? Or maybe it's a small parcel just outside Pittsburgh?

You need to know:

  • Where it is (duh, but seriously, get specific)
  • How big it is
  • What's on it (trees, streams, old barn, etc.)
  • How to get to it (is there a road?)
  • What you can do with it (this is where zoning comes in)

The more you know, the better position you're in to sell. Trust me on this one.

Price It Right

Here's where things get tricky. Pricing land isn't like pricing a house. There's no Zillow for empty lots (well, there kind of is, but it's not as reliable). So how do you figure out what your land is worth?

You've got options:

  • Hire an appraiser (pricey, but accurate)
  • Ask a realtor for a CMA (that's Comparative Market Analysis - basically, what similar properties are selling for)
  • Check county records (but take these with a grain of salt)
  • Talk to a land buying company (like Land Boss - they've done over 100 deals in 5 years, so they know their stuff)

Pro tip: Get a few opinions. Land values can be all over the place, so you want to be sure you're in the right ballpark.

Make It Shine (Or at Least Look Decent)

Okay, you can't exactly stage an empty field. But you can:

  • Clean it up (no one wants to buy a junkyard)
  • Mow it (if it's overgrown)
  • Mark the boundaries clearly
  • Get a survey done (buyers love knowing exactly what they're getting)

And for Pete's sake, make sure there are no title issues. Nothing kills a sale faster than a murky title.

Get the Word Out

Time to tell the world (or at least Pennsylvania) that your land is up for grabs. Here's how:

  • List it online (the usual suspects - Zillow, Trulia, etc.)
  • Use land-specific sites (LandWatch, LandFlip)
  • Old school marketing still works (newspapers, local bulletin boards)
  • Network (tell everyone you know - you never know who might be in the market)
  • Consider a dedicated website (sounds fancy, but it can be simple)

Remember, you're not just selling land. You're selling potential. A future home site. A weekend getaway. A farmer's dream. Whatever it is, make sure that comes across in your marketing.

Consider the Fast Track

Need to sell yesterday? You've got options:

  • Cash buyers (companies like Land Boss specialize in quick land deals)
  • Auctions (creates urgency, can be done online)
  • Land banking companies (they buy land to hold onto)
  • Conservation groups (if your land is a nature lover's paradise)

Just know that speed often comes at the cost of a lower price. It's a trade-off.

Final Thoughts

Selling inherited land in Pennsylvania isn't rocket science, but it's not a walk in the park either. Take your time, do your homework, and don't be afraid to ask for help.

Remember, every piece of land is unique. What works for a 100-acre farm in Lancaster might not work for a 5-acre woodland in the Poconos. Be flexible, be patient, and keep your eye on the prize.

With a little elbow grease and some Pennsylvania common sense, you'll be signing those closing documents before you know it. Now get out there and sell that land!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long's it going to take to unload this land I inherited in PA?

Selling land can be a bit of a waiting game. Some folks luck out and seal the deal in a few months, while others might be twiddling their thumbs for a year or two. It really boils down to where your plot is and what's going on in the market.

If you're sitting pretty with a nice chunk near Philly or the 'Burgh, you might see some action quicker. But if we're talking about Grandpa's old hunting grounds out in the sticks? That might take a while longer.

Bottom line: Don't quit your day job expecting a quick sale. Plan for anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. Want to speed things up? You could always check out those land buying companies or maybe an auction. Just know you might not get top dollar that way.

Am I going to get hit with taxes for this inherited land?

Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but yeah, the taxman cometh. Pennsylvania's got this thing called an inheritance tax. How much you'll owe depends on how close you were to the person who left you the land. Spouses luck out with 0%, but it goes up from there.

And that's not all - if you end up selling the land for more than it was worth when you inherited it, Uncle Sam might want a piece of that pie too. It's called capital gains tax. Oh, and don't forget about good old property taxes.

What if my cousins inherited this land too? Can I still sell it?

Family and money - always a fun mix, right? Short answer: yeah, you can sell land you co-own with family. But it's not always smooth sailing.

Best case scenario? Everyone agrees to sell and split the cash. But let's be real - when does that ever happen? If your cousin Joe is being difficult, you might have to buy him out or even take it to court to force a sale.

Word to the wise: try to get everyone on board before you start putting up "For Sale" signs. It'll save you a lot of grief. And if things start getting messy, don't be afraid to bring in a lawyer who knows their stuff about estates.

Should I fix the place up before I try to sell it?

This one's tricky. Sure, a nice-looking property might catch more eyes. But you don't want to pour a bunch of cash into something if it's not going to pay off.

For raw land, keep it simple. Clean up any junk, mow if it's looking like a jungle out there, and make sure people can tell where your land starts and ends. If the road leading in looks like the surface of the moon, maybe smooth it out a bit.

But don't go crazy building stuff or running utilities unless you're dead certain you'll make that money back. Not sure what's worth doing? Ask a local realtor or land expert. They'll know what sells in your neck of the woods.

Should I try to sell this thing myself or get a realtor involved?

Ah, the million-dollar question. Here's the deal: selling it yourself (that's FSBO - For Sale by Owner - in real estate speak) means you don't have to fork over a commission. Nice, right? But it also means you're doing all the heavy lifting - marketing, showing people around, haggling over price, drowning in paperwork. If you've got the time and don't mind a little elbow grease, go for it.

Getting an agent means you can sit back a bit more. A good one (especially someone who knows land sales) will price it right, get the word out, and handle all the nitty-gritty stuff. Yeah, you'll pay for it, but for a lot of folks, it's worth not getting the headache.

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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