How to Sell Your Colorado Land Without a Realtor

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How to Sell Your Colorado Land Without a Realtor

Bart Waldon

Home to over 300 days of annual sunshine, vibrant cities and idyllic Rocky Mountain views, Colorado ranks as a top destination for new residents with growth rates exceeding national averages year after year. According to industry analysis, over 115,000 single family homes sold in Colorado during 2021 alongside nearly 4,000 farms and ranches spanning millions of rural acres changing hands. For landowners seeking to sell undeveloped parcels without retaining a real estate agent to list properties on the open market, unique obstacles arise. Licensed realtors typically handle marketing, negotiations and buyer vetting in exchange for a handsome 5-6% commission upon sale completion. 

However, admirably ambitious and legally permissible do-it-yourself land sales let owners keep more sale proceeds in their pocket despite added effort and risk. By understanding transaction guidelines, leveraging owner sale flexibilities and tapping specialized online land buyer networks, Colorado acreage can sell smoothly without broker commissions eroding bottom line payouts.

Understanding the Colorado Land Market

The Colorado land market varies greatly depending on the location, acreage size, land use designation and access. Mountain land with good views and trees tends to demand the highest prices per acre. Lower altitude land on the plains or mesas is more affordable but can still sell for thousands per acre if irrigation water rights are included. Lot sizes also impact value, with smaller parcels typically selling for more per square foot compared to large acreages.

Land designated for recreational use often sells faster and for more money than land zoned for agricultural use. However, farms with good water rights and irrigation infrastructure can also demand high prices. Other factors like access and terrain play a role too. While mountain land may sell for more overall, parcels with good access by county roads hold an advantage over remote mountain land only accessible by rugged dirt roads.

These nuances highlight why understanding Colorado land values takes some research. Resources like local county assessor data, land broker “for sale” listings and regional land trends data can help you determine an appropriate asking price range to start with when selling your land on your own. Checking recent land sales in the specific county and town/area where your parcel is located will give you the best comparable sale prices.

Determining Your Colorado Land’s Value

Since no two land parcels are exactly alike when it comes to location, acreage size, shape, access options, views, trees, infrastructure, mineral rights ownership, water rights or zoning designations, determining your specific land’s accurate market value requires weighing many variables.

Here are key steps for setting a competitive yet profitable asking price:

  • Check county assessor records - Search your county’s online property records to see the current assessed tax value of your land. Also look for any recent sales of comparable nearby parcels.
  • Review land listing prices - Browse both retail real estate sites and land auction marketplace sites to analyze listed prices per acre in your area for land with similar features and utilities.
  • Consult land professionals - Many factors impact land prices, so consider getting estimates from at least 2-3 land professionals. Land appraisers, brokers or local real estate agents who specialize in land can provide a formal Comparative Market Analysis report detailing fair market value. Online land buying companies like Land Boss also offer free consultations and cash offers if selling quickly is your priority.
  • Factor in your investment - Consider the original purchase price, taxes paid and any development investments made when deciding on an appropriate asking price. Build in room for negotiations too.

Setting your price too high can mean it sits on the market unsold for years. Price too low and you lose out on profit. Finding the optimal value takes research and setting expectations, but this guide will teach you how to maximize your chances for a successful DIY land sale.

Preparing Your Colorado Land for Sale

To attract buyers promptly, you’ll need to make your land parcel presentable even if it’s vacant. Follow these tips:

  • Clear brush/debris - Overgrown vegetation, fallen branches and litter must be cleared away so buyers can safely access and walk the property lines.
  • Mark boundaries - Use survey flags, stakes, paint or cairns to delineate all corners and plot borders so interested buyers can visualize the size and shape easier when viewing on foot.
  • Check access - During winter, snow can block roads/trails. Make sure your land stays accessible year-round to allow showings.
  • Gather key details - Prepare documentation like plot maps, surveys, deeded access confirmation, title reports, disclosures, HOA bylaws etc. Buyers want info.

Taking time upfront to make your Colorado land show-ready and pull together supporting documentation will streamline the sales process later.

How to Market Colorado Land Yourself

Marketing land takes effort including advertising online and offline plus networking and outreach. Be prepared for this time investment by following this comprehensive self-marketing plan:

1. Create Print Materials - Design bold “For Sale by Owner” signs to post on the property border and at key access points along the main road. These catch potential buyers passing the actual land. Also print professional-quality sales brochures with photos, details and your contact info to hand out to interested parties.

2. Run Online Listings - Post your land for sale on popular classified sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace frequently. Create a profile highlighting your Colorado land on land sale marketplaces like Lands of America, Land And Farm, Land Flip and Land Watch. Utilize targeted land terms like “Colorado recreational land for sale by owner” for better search visibility.

3. Use Signage - In addition to posted signs on the actual land, consider adding mini real estate-like signs along high-traffic roads near your land. Directional signs can lead commuters right to your property. Explain you are the direct seller without agent fees.

4. Network Locally - Tell all your Colorado neighbors, friends and family you have land for sale. Word-of-mouth referrals are powerful. Provide handouts they can conveniently pass on at work, church or community events too. The broader your connections, the better.

5. Talk to Land Pros - Contact local land developers, timber companies, farming networks, investors and recreational land buyers. Call Thompson Rivers Parks & Wildlife office to inquire about their land buyer mailing list for a small ad fee.

Dedicate time weekly and monthly to advertise and coordinate showings until you secure a qualified motivated buyer.

Tips for Screening Colorado Land Buyers

Once you start receiving inquiries from interested land buyers, you’ll need to determine who is serious and capable of closing on your terms. Pre-qualify all potential purchasers by:

  • Asking about their background and experience buying land before. How many purchases? What will they use your land for?
  • Following up with targeted questions once they view the property in person. Did they assess boundaries, terrain and access sufficiently? Discuss vision for the land’s use? Make notes about key attributes? Examine comps in the area?
  • Determining their planned payment method. Will they need bank financing which adds complexity plus months to close? Or can they buy for all cash and close quickly if terms align?
  • Communicating next steps clearly. Do they have a real estate attorney to review sale documents? When can they provide proof of funds for the purchase deposit? How soon could they close if offer terms are accepted?

By being selective upfront and only pricing further with serious buyers, you avoid wasting time negotiating back-and-forth or risking losing earnest money from those who eventually can’t buy. Moving too quickly with an unqualified prospect can sabotage all your previous efforts marketing the Colorado land.

Negotiating Your DIY Land Sale

  • Once you’ve received an offer from a qualified land buyer, it’s time to negotiate price and terms. Expect some bargaining, but use these strategies to still maximize your sale profit:some text
    • Acknowledge all offers promptly - Respond to each buyer offer respectfully within 24 hours, even if the price seems too low at first glance. Offer counterpoints and invite dialogue by saying “Thank you for the offer on my Colorado land parcel. I am open to negotiate up to full asking value of $X, especially since this parcel offers A, B and C superior features...”
    • Remain flexible - If new information arises like a required utility easement, new comps with lower sales or changing market conditions, be open to revising your price minimum. Rerating 10-20% below initial asking pricing is often expected.
    • Sweeten the package - Consider throwing in minor extras the buyer wants like an aging barn, excess fill dirt piles or that old tractor body you planned to scrap. These small add-ons sometimes help seal deals.
    • Know when to sign - If after multiple counteroffers you receive a reasonable price per acre reflective of area land rates, sign the purchase contract before the buyers get cold feet. Land selling often involves compromise.

Patience and staying firmly professional yet positive when negotiating your DIY Colorado land deal will help ensure you maximize profits while still selling in a reasonable time frame.

Closing Your Land Sale Without an Agent

Congratulations, the offer is signed! But don’t celebrate just yet. You still have to legally transfer deed ownership safely to collect your payment.

Closing a land sale solo requires meticulous attention to critical documents, deed recording and money exchange:

  • Review all docs - Scrutinize the deed conveyance paperwork, title transfers and closing instructions from the buyer’s settlement company for accuracy. Seek second opinions from legal and tax advisors if unsure.
  • Confirm closing/recording fees - Make sure buyer wires all owed closing costs and recording fees to the settlement company in advance so there are no last-minute delays.
  • Double check wire details - Validate that the routing and account numbers for sending your final sale proceeds match exactly with your provided bank details. Misdirected wires are hard to retrieve.
  • Save transfer confirmations - Keep paper receipts and/or screenshot confirmations detailing the official deed transfer registration and exact date/time final sale funds get credited into your account.
  • Change tax details - Finally, update your address for future tax notices and cancel automatic payments related to the sold land to prevent issues later.

Selling Colorado land on your own takes diligence, but pays off in profit sans agent commissions. Just stay attentive through the closing process.

Why Sell to a Direct Land Buyer?

Attempting to sell land through traditional real estate avenues does involve significant effort and waiting periods as highlighted in this guide. That’s why many Colorado land sellers choose to take a simpler route - selling directly to local land buying companies like Land Boss instead.

Selling your land for cash to an established land acquisition company has multiple benefits:

  • No marketing costs - Land buying firms have cash to buy land as inventory for future resale or development, saving you all the effort and fees listing it.
  • No waiting years to sell - Direct land buyers have access to funding options allowing them to buy land faster than bank buyers. Deals often complete in as little as 30 days start to finish.
  • No price negotiations - Land companies utilize research technology to price land offers fairly upfront, usually at or above market comps recently sold.
  • No sale fall-throughs - Seasoned land buyers have learned how to assess land value accurately and operate ethically to prevent failed transactions, protecting both buyer and seller.

For Colorado landowners seeking convenience, speed and reliable sale closure for their parcel, contacting a land acquisition company first before trying to sell the land themselves may pay off.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What documents do I need to sell my land?

To sell your land smoothly, you'll want to gather property records like the deed, title report, any easements or right-of-ways, plot map/survey, water rights certificates, disclosures, mineral rights documentation, HOA bylaws (if applicable), recent tax assessment, and the closing statement from when you originally purchased the land. Having these ready makes for an easier sale.

How can I estimate my land’s current value?

It varies based on so many factors, but start by checking Zillow for comps near you. Also drive the area and write down "For Sale" signs with prices. Check your county assessor’s database for valuations. And touch base with 1-2 local real estate professionals who can pull more formal report. Utilize all these resources to set and adjust your pricing.

Do I need to warranty clear land title on my own?

Not necessarily. It's best practice for sellers to provide proof of clear title by purchasing an Owner's Title Insurance policy, but many buyers have no issue covering it themselves. We suggest bringing this policy cost into price negotiations in case buyers expect it. An attorney can walk you through risks and requirements here specific to your sale.

What are closing costs for Colorado land sales?

In Colorado, the buyer typically covers the real estate transfer tax (usually under 1% of sale price), while the seller pays for real estate commission (if choosing to use an agent), legal fees, and title insurance costs. The seller and buyer may split other closing fees like document preparation, recording, surveys and appraisals depending on what’s agreed during deal negotiations.

What if my land doesn't sell? Can I trade it?

If your land has sat unsold for over 6 months despite reasonable pricing and marketing efforts, another option is looking into land trading. This allows you to exchange your hard-to-sell parcel for another property without paying capital gains taxes. It's complex but can be a good exit strategy. Companies like Land Boss offer land swap services to explore this alternative if interested.

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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