How to Sell Land by Owner in Tennessee?

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How to Sell Land by Owner in Tennessee?

Bart Waldon

So, you've got a piece of Tennessee to your name, and you're thinking about selling. Maybe it's a rolling pasture in the Smoky Mountain foothills, or a patch of hardwoods out in West Tennessee. Whatever you've got, if you're considering selling it yourself, you're in for an interesting ride.

First, let's talk numbers. According to the USDA, Tennessee had about 10.8 million acres of farmland in 2022. That's a lot of dirt. The average farm was around 155 acres, and here's the kicker - farm real estate values jumped up 8.4% from 2021 to 2022, hitting $4,700 per acre. Looks like Tennessee land is a hot commodity these days.

Now, selling land on your own - what the pros call "For Sale By Owner" or FSBO - isn't a walk in the park. It takes work, patience, and a fair bit of learning as you go. But if you're up for it, you can save a chunk of change on realtor fees and keep control of the whole process. So let's dig in and see what it takes to sell your slice of Tennessee.

Getting a Handle on the Tennessee Land Market

Before you do anything else, you need to understand what you're dealing with. Tennessee's land market is as varied as its music scene. What sells for top dollar in Nashville might not fetch the same price out in rural Perry County.

Tennessee's been growing like crazy lately. More people moving in means more folks looking for land, especially around the cities and in good farming areas. But don't get too excited - land values can swing wildly based on all sorts of things: location, what you can do with it, how easy it is to get to, you name it.

Sprucing Up Your Land

Know What You've Got

First things first:

  1. Get your boundaries straight. A recent survey is worth its weight in gold.
  2. List out all the good stuff. Got a creek? Timber? Mineral rights? Write it all down.
  3. Check the rules. Zoning laws and deed restrictions can make or break a deal.
  4. Think about access. Good roads and available utilities can be a big selling point.

Make It Look Good

You're not staging a house, but first impressions still count:

  1. Clean it up. Nobody wants to buy a dumping ground.
  2. Tame the wilderness a bit. Mow, trim, and clear so people can see what they're buying.
  3. Mark your territory. Use flags or markers to show property lines.
  4. Make a good entrance. If you can, make the way in look inviting.

Pricing It Right

This is where things get tricky. The Tennessee land market can be as unpredictable as a summer thunderstorm. Here's how to figure out a price:

  1. See what the neighbors are doing. Look at recent sales of similar properties nearby.
  2. Get a pro's opinion. An appraisal costs money, but it gives you solid footing.
  3. Try online tools. Just take their estimates with a grain of salt.
  4. Ask the locals. Your county extension office might have some insights.

Remember, it's usually better to price it right from the start than to start high and have to drop later.

Getting the Word Out

Time to let folks know your land's up for grabs:

Online Stuff

  1. Use FSBO websites. There are plenty out there.
  2. Don't forget social media. Facebook Marketplace can be surprisingly effective.
  3. Look for land-specific sites. Some websites specialize in land sales.

Old-School Methods

  1. Put up a sign. Sometimes, a "For Sale" sign is all you need.
  2. Try local papers. Especially ones that farmers or outdoorsy types read.
  3. Talk to people. Let your neighbors and local businesses know.

Make Your Listing Count

When you write up your listing:

  1. Use good photos. Show off the best parts of your land.
  2. Describe it well. Highlight the key points - size, features, potential uses.
  3. Include maps and surveys. Give people a clear picture of what they're looking at.
  4. Make it easy to contact you. Don't make potential buyers jump through hoops to reach you.

Dealing with the Legal Side

There's always paperwork involved:

Being Upfront

Tennessee doesn't require as much disclosure for vacant land as for houses, but it's still smart to be honest about any issues you know about.

Getting Your Ducks in a Row

You'll need:

  1. A purchase agreement that spells out the terms of the sale.
  2. A property disclosure form (even if it's not required, it can save headaches later).
  3. Clear title documents.

It's worth getting a real estate lawyer to look this stuff over. They can catch things you might miss.

Showing Your Land

When folks want to see the property:

  1. Be flexible with scheduling.
  2. Have an info packet ready with all the relevant details.
  3. Point out the good stuff when you're walking the land.
  4. Be honest about any drawbacks. It'll come out eventually anyway.


Negotiating is part of the game. Here's how to handle it:

  1. Know your bottom line before you start.
  2. Consider all offers, even low ones. They might lead somewhere.
  3. Try to understand what the buyer wants. It can help you negotiate better.
  4. Be ready to counter-offer. Have a strategy for dealing with lowball offers.

Land deals often involve more back-and-forth than house sales. Be patient.

Closing the Deal

Once you've agreed on a price:

  1. Set up an escrow account to handle the money safely.
  2. Get a title search done to make sure there are no surprises.
  3. Do a new survey if needed.
  4. Get all the paperwork ready for the transfer.
  5. Let the buyer take one last look before closing.

Again, having a lawyer oversee this part is a smart move.

Other Options

If doing it yourself seems like too much:

Land Buying Companies

Outfits like Land Boss specialize in buying land directly. They've been at it for five years and have done over 100 deals. They usually buy at a discount, but it's quick and easy if you need to sell fast.


Land auctions can work well, especially for unique properties. They can create buzz and lead to a quick sale, but they have their own challenges and costs.

Owner Financing

Offering to finance the sale yourself can attract more buyers and maybe get you a higher price. But remember, you're essentially becoming the bank, with all the risks that entails.

The Pros and Cons of Selling Land Yourself

Let's be real about the challenges:

  1. It takes time. Often 1-2 years to sell land.
  2. The market's unpredictable. Land values can swing wildly.
  3. Fewer buyers. Not as many people are in the market for vacant land as for houses.
  4. Marketing matters. You might need to hustle to get your land noticed and sell at full value.

Final Thoughts

Selling your Tennessee land without a realtor is a bit like barbecuing - it takes time, patience, and some know-how, but the results can be mighty satisfying. By understanding your market, getting your property ready, spreading the word effectively, and navigating the legal stuff, you can successfully sell your land on your own.

If it all seems like too much, or you just want to sell quickly, consider alternatives like land buying companies. They offer a faster, simpler process, though usually at a lower price.

Whatever you decide, make sure it fits your situation and goals. With some Tennessee grit and the right approach, you can navigate the land market and come out ahead. Good luck, and happy selling!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does it typically take to sell land in Tennessee? 

Selling land in Tennessee can often take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, depending on factors like location, price, and current market conditions. Rural or undeveloped land may take longer to sell than properties near urban areas or with existing improvements. 

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

No, you don't necessarily need a real estate agent to sell your land in Tennessee. You can choose to sell it yourself (For Sale By Owner or FSBO). However, keep in mind that selling on your own requires more time, effort, and knowledge of the local real estate market and legal processes. 

What documents do I need to sell my land in Tennessee? 

Essential documents for selling land in Tennessee typically include: 

  • A clear title to the property
  • A recent property survey
  • A purchase agreement
  • A property disclosure form (even though it's not always required for vacant land, it's good practice)
  • Relevant zoning information
  • Any easement or restriction documents

How do I determine the right price for my land in Tennessee? 

To price your land accurately: 

  • Research recent sales of similar properties in your area
  • Consider getting a professional appraisal
  • Consult with local land management offices or agricultural extension services
  • Take into account unique features of your land (water sources, timber, mineral rights, etc.)
  • Consider the current market conditions and trends in your specific region of Tennessee

Are there any specific legal requirements for selling land in Tennessee? 

While Tennessee doesn't have as many disclosure requirements for vacant land as for residential properties, you should still: 

  • Disclose any known issues that could affect the property's value or use
  • Ensure you have a clear title to the property
  • Comply with any local zoning laws or regulations
  • Consider working with a real estate attorney to ensure all legal requirements are met, especially during the closing process

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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