How to Sell Land by Owner in New Mexico?

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How to Sell Land by Owner in New Mexico?
By

Bart Waldon

Selling land in New Mexico requires navigating the state’s volatile real estate market. With diverse terrain spanning deserts, mountains, and forests across 121,590 square miles, land values fluctuate greatly based on location, views, water access and other factors. Landowners wishing to sell while maximizing returns often choose the for sale by owner (FSBO) route to avoid realtor commissions.

However, the FSBO process itself presents challenges from pricing to marketing to negotiating that impact your probability of success. This guide covers tips for how to effectively sell land on your own in New Mexico, from initial prep work to closing the sale. Following these best practices allows sellers to take control of the transaction while still getting their best price.

Verifying Ownership Rights Upfront is Essential

Before advertising any New Mexico land for sale, you must confirm exactly what rights you have to sell. Retrieving the title deed from county records is the first step to understand legal ownership, acreage being transferred, easements limiting use, access rights, and any other encumbrances. Compare the deed to a professional survey map to validate boundaries.

Conduct due diligence around current rights as well since ownership aspects can evolve separately over time if not explicitly defined in the title chain. For instance, determine who specifically retains mineral rights or water rights related to the land parcel or if these will transfer to a buyer. Any limitations reduce potential value, so seek legal guidance to understand options around separating rights if needed to improve marketability.

Addressing clouds on title upfront also prevents challenges later that can derail transactions. Have a title insurance company run a title search while preparing to sell to uncover any potential claims against the property from an ex-spouse, creditor lien, outdated tax records or other sources. Financial encumbrances require legal action to resolve before selling at top dollar is possible.

Realistically Price Land Below Full Market Value

Overpricing land is extremely common since owners have an emotional attachment to their property and often rely on tax assessed values which lag current conditions. Pricing too far above actual market value greatly limits interest from serious buyers more likely to pay near list price. Savvy New Mexico land sellers price just below perceived value to attract bidding activity driving up the final sale price.

Setting a competitive list price requires checking recent sales of comparable vacant land parcels around yours to understand the current local market rate per acre. Adjust your asking price based on lot size differences, road access, views, tree coverage, buildability restrictions and other attributes that raise or lower property value on a case by case basis. Consider pricing 10-20% under similar land recently sold if able.

In addition to comparable land sale prices, also factor in real estate market conditions for the specific part of New Mexico where your land is located. Markets vary greatly across the state from Deming to Taos. Be realistic about current buyer demand relative to inventory for sale when pricing since relative scarcity or abundance also impacts price negotiations.

Spread the Word Locally and Online

Executing an omnichannel marketing strategy gives your New Mexico land listing the greatest exposure possible to potential buyers. Capable self-sellers use both digital and in-person tactics to ensure complete coverage. Highly visible ‘For Sale by Owner’ signs installed along the property's road frontage with the acreage and your phone number make land visible locally to anyone driving by.

List the property online via popular sites like Zillow, Realtor.com and LandsOfAmerica frequented by prospective buyers browsing for land. Include enough detail on terrain, views, road access and potential uses to generate interest. Upload photos emphasizing appealing vistas, sunsets, wildlife or river frontage. Leverage your social networks as well by sharing for sale posts about the land listing within local Facebook Groups, NextDoor or other community channels.

Manage All Buyer Communications and Negotiations

Marketing a FSBO attracts buyer inquiries that you must field knowledgeably and promptly. When prospective buyers call, have land details, hi-res photos and disclosures ready to efficiently address common questions. Set and attend appointment times to show the land in person emphasizing its investment potential during site tours.

The for sale by owner path also means you handle price negotiations directly when offers come in rather than relying on an agent. Most initial offers start below list price so expect some back and forth. Avoid taking lowball attempts personally and calmly focus on tactics to bridge the gap by highlighting property strengths supporting your pricing and terms. Go in with targets around price minimums and desired closing timeframes.

Negotiating price is not the only element transaction terms center on. For some land parcels with constraints, sellers consider creative offers involving seller financing, land splits enabling a portion to sell, sale leasebacks or traded land. Outline must-haves upfront for a clear position then brainstorm solutions addressing needs on both sides of the negotiations.

Pay Close Attention to Contract Details

At this stage, you’ve aligned with the buyer on terms verbally. The buyer typically writes up the initial purchase contract offer outlining those agreed elements like sale price, deposit amount, closing date and contingency clauses for review and signing. Scrutinize the document to ensure all discussed terms appear as expected without ambiguity that leaves you exposed legally. Define who pays which closing costs like title fees, county transfer taxes and recording charges.

Carefully review and negotiate aspects not addressed like water rights transfer, mineral rights retention, property access easements post-sale, flood determinations etc. to protect your interests completely. Only sign when confident the purchase agreement accurately reflects the sale understanding including timelines, numbers and resources. Submit any clarifying amendments like requiring earnest money be held by a neutral third-party escrow agent to incent timely closing.

Finalize Legal Transfer for Payment on Date Committed

The buyer will be working with a title officer as their closing representative to finalize legal transfer of the deed from seller to buyer on committed date terms. Proactively inform your preferred title company of the pending sale and provide purchase agreement copies to expedite processing since closings involve considerable preparation. Verify ahead of time any specific fees owed by you the payment breakdowns so no surprises happen later regarding net amount received at closing.

Stay engaged with the title officer leading up to the target date to ensure the buyer has transferred required funds on time as the completion hinges on that event to avoid delay. Confirm the deed conveys free of any title issues raised late in the underwriting process if identified. Recording of the deed with county assigns legal ownership to buyer. Once registered without issue, the title company releases your net proceeds from sale!

The for sale by owner path brings more control over the land sale process while allowing motivated sellers to potentially maximize returns without commission fees deducted. Just ensure you take the right preparatory steps then actively market and negotiate for the best outcome possible in New Mexico’s complex land deal landscape! Reach out with any other questions.

Final Thoughts

Selling land on your own in New Mexico can be rewarding but requires significant effort to ensure you accurately price, market to attract buyers, and negotiate optimal terms once interest emerges. Pay attention to titling, access rights, easements and legal considerations early when preparing land for sale to avoid issues down the line. Leverage both online listings and local physical signage to promote the for sale status across interest channels. Expect some negotiation on offer prices and terms. But approach these discussions constructively by focusing on property strengths aligned to your numbers. Finalizing smooth legal transfer leading to closing day takes proactivity with the title team and buyer to make the sale official. While the DIY route has its challenges in a volatile property market, embracing these best practices around pricing below value then promoting aggressively gives New Mexico land sellers the best shot at sealing and closing deals at appealing profit levels.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do I need a real estate agent to sell my land in New Mexico?

No, you can sell land without an agent by listing as for sale by owner (FSBO). This allows you to avoid paying agent commissions, though the process involves handling marketing, negotiations and paperwork yourself.

What documentation do I need to sell my New Mexico land?

To sell land, you need the deed showing current legal ownership, a survey plat with clearly marked boundaries, and a title report detailing any liens, easements or other encumbrances impacting land rights. Resolve any title issues before listing.

How do I determine my asking price when selling land in NM?

Research prices for recent vacant land sales in the same county to gauge current local market rates per acre adjusted for property differences. List 10-20% below value to attract interest and bidding wars driving up the final sale price.

Where should I list my New Mexico land for sale? 

Online sites like Zillow, Realtor.com and LandAndFarm.com draw remote buyers. Locally, place road signage and run classifieds in regional papers covering your area. Share within neighborhood Facebook Groups too.

What are closing costs when selling land myself in New Mexico? 

As the seller, you may owe state transfer taxes, local conveyance stamps, county recording fees, title insurance charges and more. The title company coordinating the transaction will detail exact costs on settlement paperwork for clarity.

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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