How to Sell Land for Cash in Illinois

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How to Sell Land for Cash in Illinois

Bart Waldon

Selling land in Illinois can be a tricky process, especially if you're looking to sell quickly for cash. With so much vacant and agricultural land here - over 55 million acres total - you'd think finding a cash buyer would be easy. But in reality, securing a buyer who's ready to pay up and close fast can be tough. 

The key is finding the right mix of casting a wide net for buyers while also directly targeting credible cash investors and land companies. With the right marketing approach and a dash of sales finesse, you can maximize your chances of a quick cash sale.

With the proper preparation and outreach, it's very possible to secure a fair cash offer without your property languishing on the market for ages. Let's dive into some proven strategies to sell your Illinois land quickly for cash.

Get to Know the Illinois Land Market

Illinois land prices vary a ton based on whether it's farmland, vacant land, location, soil quality - you name it. On average, Illinois farmland sells for around $7,500 an acre. But it really ranges from as low as $3,000 per acre to over $10k for prime farmland near cities. Vacant land goes for less, usually $500 to $5,000 an acre depending on where it is.

So it's critical you research sales of similar properties in your specific area so you can accurately price your land. Peep those county comps to see what other local lots have sold for recently. Factor in access, utilities, zoning, and natural features - all the things that impact market value. You want to land on a realistic asking price to attract buyers. Price too high and you can scare them off.

Doing your homework on local land values will give you the info you need to smartly price your property for sale.

How to Determine Your Land’s Value

Pricing your land correctly is super important when trying to sell quickly for cash. Go too high, and you can scare away potential buyers. But price too low, and you leave money on the table. Let's walk through some smart tips for setting that sweet spot asking price:

  • Get an appraisal - Hiring an independent appraiser to evaluate your property can give you an objective value opinion to guide your list price. Usually costs $300-$500 and worth the investment.
  • Check recent comps - Research similar nearby properties that have sold recently to see what buyers have paid. Focus on size, location, use, access - all the relevant factors.
  • Factor in development potential - Land near growing areas often has future commercial/residential value. Consider this untapped potential in your pricing.
  • Consult a broker - Experienced local brokers can provide expert perspective on pricing through a free initial consult. Leverage their market insights.
  • Start high but stay reasonable - List 10-20% over expected value to leave room to negotiate. But don't go too high and turn off buyers.

Being flexible on price and setting a fair asking price is key to selling quickly for cash. 

How to Find Cash Buyers for Your Land

Selling quickly usually means finding buyers who can pay cash and close fast. Here are a few options to explore if you need to sell your Illinois land ASAP for cash:

Land Investors

There are tons of land investing companies and individuals who buy and sell property for profit. This includes big REITs, small LLCs, and private buyers. Many have cash ready to go and can close in 30 days or less. Search online for "land investors near me" or "land buyers [your city]" to find potential buyers.

Land Brokers/Agents

A reputable land broker will have a network of cash buyers they work with regularly. The broker's marketing resources and real estate expertise can match you with vetted cash buyers who can move quickly. Expect to pay the broker a commission of 5-10% of the sale price.

Online Listing Platforms

Websites like Lands of America, Land Watch, and Loopnet allow you to list your land for sale nationwide to reach cash buyers. Listings are often inexpensive or even free. You'll still need to vet any buyers and negotiate yourself. But these sites expand your buyer pool.


Don't underestimate the power of old-fashioned word of mouth. Talk to neighbors, friends, and family to get the word out you have land for sale. Any leads, referrals, or local buyer names can help your land sell faster.

Land Buying Companies

Companies like Land Boss specialize in buying and selling land. They have the expertise and cash on hand to buy land quickly at fair market value. Reaching out to local land companies presents a fast and straightforward way to get cash for your property.

Casting a wide net and being flexible on closing timeframe and pricing will increase your chances of securing a cash land buyer.

Tips for Marketing Your Illinois Land for Sale

To attract the widest pool of potential buyers and sell your land faster, savvy marketing is a must. Here are some top tips for marketing land in Illinois:

Price it right - Set a competitive and realistic asking price based on market comps and recent sales data. Price too high and you'll deter buyers. Go too low and you risk leaving money on the table.

Highlight access and features - Emphasize any road frontage, water resources, terrain, views, boundaries, and other features that add value. This helps attract buyers.

Post online ads - List your land for sale on Multiple Listing Services (MLS) and sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Lands of America to maximize exposure.

Install signage - Yard signs alert locals your land is for sale. Include contact details and be sure signs comply with local regulations.

Write compelling ads - Use descriptive and benefits-focused copy and eye-catching photos to generate buyer interest in your listing.

Distribute flyers - Handing out flyers in your community spreads the word locally. Offer a finder's fee for referrals.

Leverage social media - Post your land listing in local Facebook groups, community pages, Next door, and other platforms.

Contact investors directly - Research and reach out to land buyers and real estate investors who may be interested in your property type and location.

The more potential buyers you can reach, the faster you are likely to sell for an optimal price. A multi-pronged marketing approach is best.

Negotiating the Sale for Maximum Value

Once you secure a solid cash offer, negotiate smartly to maximize your sale price and terms. Here are some key tips:

Get all offers in writing - Verbal offers don't mean much. Ask buyers to formally submit their best offer with price, closing date, contingencies, etc. in writing.

Be flexible on closing timeline - If you need to sell fast for cash, consider extending the closing 60-90 days if it means getting a better price.

Avoid over-negotiating - Haggling over every last dollar could strain the deal. Decide what your minimum acceptable price is and be prepared to compromise.

Check buyer financing - Make sure the buyer has a preapproval letter from a reputable lender if needing a mortgage. This verifies they are qualified.

Watch for contingencies - Beware of offers loaded with contingencies like inspections that give the buyer outs. Fewer contingencies are better.

Get professional help - Enlist your real estate attorney's help reviewing offers, negotiating terms, and drafting the purchase contract.

With good negotiation strategies, you can maximize your bottom line while still getting the cash your need from the sale.

Closing the Sale and Getting Paid

Once you’ve negotiated and accepted an offer, you’ll need to complete the transaction to get paid. Here’s how to close out a cash land sale smoothly:

Allow time for due diligence - Cash buyers may want 30-60 days to verify title, conduct surveys, and complete inspections before closing.

Set a closing date - This is the date funds are exchanged and ownership legally transfers. Coordinate a mutually acceptable closing date with the buyers.

Gather closing documents - Your attorney will prepare the deed, title affidavits, closing statement, and other paperwork required.

Review figures - Double check closing costs and prorations on the settlement statement to avoid surprises. Get clarification if needed.

Conduct final walkthrough - Do a final property walkthrough before closing to ensure no damage has occurred since contract.

Sign documents - The closing agent will oversee the signing of all sale documents. Read carefully before signing.

Exchange funds - Once documents are signed, the buyer will wire or produce the sale funds. You'll get a certified check at closing.

Transfer ownership - The deed will be conveyed to the buyer and recorded. Ownership legally transfers once recorded.

Close attention to details and deadlines will allow the closing and cash disbursement to go smoothly.

Why Sell to a Land Buying Company?

For many Illinois landowners needing to sell quickly for cash, working with a local land buying company like Land Boss can be the simplest option.

Land buying companies have cash on hand and make buying and selling land their full-time business. They have streamlined acquisition processes designed for speed and understand how to value land accurately. Companies like Land Boss can make fair cash offers, close in as little as 30 days, and handle the entire transaction professionally.

Selling directly to an established land buyer involves no listing commissions, buyers' agents, or negotiations. You receive a fair all-cash offer upfront without the hassles. If selling your Illinois land fast for cash is your goal, partnering with a land acquisition company may help you achieve it.

Final Words

With the right preparation and marketing approach, Illinois landowners can successfully sell their property for fair cash value, even in today's fluctuating market. Accurately pricing your land, casting a wide net for buyers, negotiating skillfully, and selecting the best buyer for your needs will allow you to maximize your sales price and get the cash you need quickly.

Understanding the nuances of the Illinois land market and leveraging local real estate professionals like attorneys and land brokers can simplify the process. But for the most direct route to a fast cash sale, selling to an established land buying company is hard to beat.

Whatever path you take to sell your land, do your research and choose an approach tailored to your priorities. With persistence and savvy marketing, you can successfully convert your unwanted Illinois land into cash in your pocket.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What's the quickest way to sell my Illinois land for cash?

The fastest way is usually going direct to an established land buying company. Companies like Land Boss have the cash on hand and specialize in buying land ASAP. They can make a fair cash offer and close in 30 days or less since they have streamlined acquisition processes designed for speed. Way quicker than listing it yourself!

Should I get my land appraised before selling?

Getting an independent appraisal can give you an objective view of your property's current value, which is useful info when pricing your land. But it's not mandatory. Recent sales of comparable properties can also help you gauge value for a potential cash sale. I'd consider an appraisal if you really have no clue what your land may be worth.

How do I determine a good asking price for a cash sale?

Research recent sales of similar nearby properties to see what prices land is fetching in your area right now. Factor in your land's specific attributes too. Price it competitively based on your market research, but also give yourself 10-20% wiggle room for negotiation if possible. You want to attract cash buyers, not deter them with an unrealistic price.

Should I wait for full market value or take a cash offer now?

That's a judgment call based on your financial needs and timeline. But most land takes 1-2 years to sell at full market value through a traditional sale. If you need cash quickly, a fair cash offer today may beat waiting months or years for a marginally higher price.

What are signs of a serious cash buyer for my land?

Credible buyers will put all terms and price in writing, be able to verify funds, use reputable title/closing service, allow time for due diligence, and avoid loaded offers with lots of contingencies. Also follow your gut - if something seems off, it probably is. Vet all buyers carefully.

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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