How to Sell Land for Cash in Mississippi

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How to Sell Land for Cash in Mississippi
By

Bart Waldon

The Magnolia State of Mississippi offers beautiful scenery and rich cultural heritage. Its lush forests, flowing rivers, and fertile delta make it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. However, managing vacant land amidst Mississippi’s hot and humid climate can prove challenging for out-of-state owners or those simply looking to sell unneeded property. Selling land requires time and effort, but it is possible to sell land for cash in Mississippi if owners employ the right strategies.

This guide will provide an overview of the benefits of and process for selling land for cash in Mississippi. It will cover key steps like determining an appropriate asking price, preparing the land title, marketing the property, evaluating offers, closing the sale, and more. Whether you inherited a patch of woods that you don’t need, decided to sell that hunting land you no longer use, or have another plot sitting idle, this guide aims to help you successfully convert your land into cash.

Why Sell Land for Cash?

Selling land, especially raw land rather than developed property, poses unique challenges compared to selling a home. Listing raw land with a real estate agent and waiting for the right buyer can take time. Nationwide, vacant lots and land parcels take around 1 to 2 years to sell on average.

Selling land for cash allows owners to:

Sell Faster: Land investors and companies that specialize in buying and selling land have funds readily available to make quick buys for cash. This presents a faster and more straightforward path to sell land compared to financing sales for retail buyers.

Avoid Hassles of Ownership: If you’ve inherited land in another state or already moved away from land you own, selling it eliminates the headaches of owning property long-distance. Paying taxes, maintaining the land, finding reliable caretakers to monitor it, etc. all prove difficult for remote owners.

Access equity: For those with high equity in fully or nearly paid off land, selling land unlocks that stored value. Rather than borrowing against the equity via a loan, a cash sale delivers funds directly to the owner.

Consolidate Holdings: Some landowners opt to sell smaller, remote plots in order to redirect those funds into larger, more usable land holdings. Trading fragmented pieces for a consolidated lot makes sense when the ultimate goal focuses on effectively using the land rather than passive land investment.

Determining an Asking Price for Your Land

Setting the right asking price stands as one of the most important steps when preparing to sell land for cash or via traditional financing. Overpricing land will deter buyers or result in offers that disappoint the seller. However, underpricing leaves money on the table that the seller could have collected.

Check County Assessment Data 

County assessor’s offices maintain records on land parcel details like property lines as well as assessed and appraised values for tax purposes. This information provides a baseline for comparable land prices in the local area. The assessed value often differs from appraised fair market value, but it offers a reference point.

Review Appraisals

For a more authoritative fair market valuation and true appraised land value, owners can hire an appraiser. Appraisers consider comparable land sales, property details, development potential and many other dynamics to estimate an accurate property valuation. For vacant land, appraisers typically charge $300-$500.

Research Local Land Listings 

Vacant land prices vary significantly even within the same county based on terrain, road access, neighborhood desirability, etc. Checking online listings for similar land parcels currently on the market provides additional context for pricing expectations.

Account for Needed Improvements 

Does the land require clearing dense overgrowth? Or installing a well and septic system to support future development? Such improvements require substantial investment that buyers will factor into offers. Consider deducting estimated costs for necessary improvements from the asking price.

Setting the asking price too high can limit interest, lead to drawn out negotiations, and ultimately result in not selling the land. On the other hand, an asking price too low can shortchange the seller. Striking the optimal balance relies on the objective valuation resources covered above paired with the seller’s own requirements for recovering their investment or unlocking equity. Sellers may elect to list land 10-20% above recent comparable sales to leave room for negotiation while still attracting buyers.

Preparing the Land Title

Before listing land for sale, owners need to resolve any issues with its title that could restrict transfer. Title searches determine whether any liens exist against the property from unpaid taxes, boundary disputes, missing heirs, or other complications throwing ownership into question. For a few hundred dollars, title companies will research and review the title history. Most title issues can get resolved prior to listing, though extensive legal action sometimes proves necessary if ownership disputes involve probate proceedings, quiet title filings, or related cases.

If selling inherited land, the seller must also secure proper documentation like recorded affidavits declaring them administrator or executor of the estate with the legal right to sell the property on behalf of beneficiaries. Deeds with multiple names that lack clarity around decision making power can also complicate sales. Addressing defects in the title upfront prevents losing buyers due to closing delays or complex title issues.

Marketing Land for Sale

Once priced and prepped for sale, landowners have many options to market property to prospective buyers.

Online Listings 

Listing land on nationwide hubs like Lands of America, Land And Farm, Land Watch and Land Flip connects owners to buyers hunting for land on those popular sites. Craigslist also sees consistent traffic for real estate listings.

For-Sale Signage

Posting professional signage along the road frontage alerts passersby of the opportunity. In more remote, rural areas, locals comprise a promising pool of potential buyers who spend time on those backroads. Easy visibility avoids missing buyers simply because they were unaware of the land’s availability.

Print Listings 

Placing classified ads in local newspapers and print publications like Mississippi Outdoors, Mississippi Magazine and others gets the land in front of engaged regional audiences. Print listings generally cost $5-15 per week depending on circulation.

Social Media 

Through Facebook groups like Mississippi Hunting Land and Mississippi Fishing Forum, many connect with those passionate about securing hunting plots, recreational land or waterfront properties in popular areas. Neighbors and other locals who spend time online also get notified of listings to consider.

Leverage Industry Contacts 

For more complex deals on pricier development land, timber land or exceptionally large acreage, connecting with real estate investors, forestry companies and other specialists within niche land industries expands the pool of qualified buyers focused on those specialty assets. Having contacts in relevant industries helps match opportunities with ideal buyers.

Fielding Offers from Buyers

As interest comes in, owners will start receiving calls with questions about the property along with offers to purchase the land. Cash buyers may propose to close quickly at a discounted price compared to what seller financing commands. There are many factors to weigh when choosing between offers. Since Mississippi operates as a traditional real estate closing state, there is typically a month or more between an accepted offer and completed closing after addressing title work, paperwork, etc.

Purchase Price 

Naturally, the dollar amount matters when reviewing proposals. Does an offer meet or exceed the asking price? How does it stack up against appraisals and estimates of the property’s market value? Even if the price dips slightly below market value, a strong cash offer provides certainty and avoids ownership hassles that stretch out for months or years.

Contingencies

The strength of an offer also depends on limiting contingencies that threaten the certainty of closing. Offers contingent upon securing financing, rezoning approval, environmental assessments or other factors outside the buyer’s control carry risk. More contingencies increase chances of issues jeopardizing the sale. Cash offers avoid such contingencies.

Closing Timeline 

Cash buyers can often close within two weeks from acceptance. But intricate deals with traditional mortgages or loans have longer timelines that may not suit sellers wanting to offload property quickly. Timeline also affects motivation, as longer closing windows sometimes result in buyers losing steam or demanding concessions once the initial excitement wears off after 30-60 days in contract.

Experience with Similar Deals 

Ask buyers about their land investment company, portfolio, typical deals, length of time in the industry and related evidence demonstrating professionalism and credible ability to close. Less experienced buyers often struggle with navigating even straightforward land deals. Lean on past success as an indicator of smooth closings to come.

Sellers are not obligated to accept any offer, even if satisfactory on price alone. Weighing other factors around closing risks, timelines and professionalism also come into play when securing the optimal deal package beyond headline price. Be strategic when negotiating or when choosing between multiple competitive offers.

Closing the Sale & Getting Paid

Accepting an offer constitutes entering a legally binding sales contract. The next priority focuses on observing contingencies while advancing towards closing. Typically, the buyer handles logistics like title work, closings fees, and other closing costs as the seller simply needs to sign paperwork to complete the transaction. Both buyer and seller will complete some paperwork for filing the updated deed to record the ownership change.

Once both parties sign the settlement statement and other closing documents, the buyer will provide the agreed upon payment, either via cash, wire transfer, cashier’s check, or other guaranteed funds. After years of ownership and associated headaches, sellers find great relief when your closing attorney hands over a five or six figure check at closing.

For hassle-free selling, most landowners prefer cash, which provides funds directly into your account immediately at closing. If interested in seller financing, where the seller essentially acts as the bank carrying a mortgage for the buyer, just beware of the extra possible stresses if the buyer defaults on payments down the road. Avoid missing loan payments and related headaches by insisting on cash.

Key Takeaways for Selling Land Yourself

Selling land for cash requires preparation and savvy negotiating, but doing so directly unlocks equity and frees owners from unnecessary ownership burdens. Keep these tips in mind when listing land:

  • Accurately price land based on county records, appraisals, comparable sales discounts for needed improvements
  • Resolve title issues like liens before listing; secure proper estate documentation if inherited
  • Market the opportunity across print publications, digital forums, social sites to maximize visibility
  • Weigh price along with closing factors like timeline, contingencies and buyer professionalism
  • Insist on reliable forms of payment like cash or wire transfer upon closing

By understanding land valuations in the local market, prepping the land itself for sale, thoroughly marketing listings to prospective buyers, strategically negotiating offers, and sticking to cash payments at closing, landowners find the clearest path to successfully convert their unneeded land into cash in hand.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What types of land can I sell for cash in Mississippi?

In Mississippi, you can sell several types of land for cash, including vacant residential lots, raw acreage /undeveloped land, timber land, hunting land, farmland, and more. As long as you fully own the land and have a clear title with all taxes paid, you can likely find buyers willing to purchase it with cash.

How quickly can I sell my land for cash?

Selling to a cash land buyer, the entire process may only take a few weeks from first contacting them to closing and receiving funds into your bank account. Cash investors can move quickly and don't require lengthy financing periods. Even complicated sales typically close within 1-2 months.

Who are cash land buyers and what drives them to make offers?

Cash land buyers are usually investors, such as individuals or companies, with available funds to purchase land outright without financing. They aim to buy low and sell high or hold land for appreciation over time. Some may look to develop or use the land for specific purposes like farming or drilling.

How much under market value will I have to sell for when selling for cash?

While selling for all cash allows you to close quickly, sellers will likely need to provide a discount compared to full retail value. Most cash buyers expect to purchase at 60-80% of a property's appraised value. But market conditions vary based on demand, so discuss expectations upfront.

What costs will I pay vs. the buyer when selling land for cash?

The buyer typically covers the core closing costs like title searches, deed preparation fees, recording charges, etc. As the seller, you simply need to supply recent tax info, a survey if available, and legal documents if inherited to show clear title. Work through closing details with buyers.

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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