Pros and Cons of Selling to a Tennessee Land Company

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Pros and Cons of Selling to a Tennessee Land Company
By

Bart Waldon

Ask most anyone and they'll tell you Tennessee is a special place. From the lush mountain ranges out east to the rolling fields of the central basin, the state is blessed with diverse natural beauty. Of course, the cities have their own distinct charm too. There's the bright lights and honky tonks of Nashville, the blues on Beale Street in Memphis, and the southern charm of towns like Chattanooga and Knoxville. Whether you're into hiking, music, or mouth-watering barbecue, Tennessee has something for you.

As a landowner in Tennessee, perhaps you've considered selling to a local land buying company. It's understandable why the speed and simplicity of their cash offers is appealing. But before you sign on the dotted line, it's wise to weigh the pros and cons objectively. This article provides key factors to help Tennessee landowners make an informed decision.

Companies like Land Boss pitch the benefits of a fast sale with no negotiations or marketing required on your end. That may fit your needs perfectly if you're tired of managing a burdensome property or you need urgent funds. But others are willing to invest more time and effort if it means pocketing significantly more profit in the long run.

There are reasonable arguments on both sides. But taking time to understand the trade-offs will prevent regrets down the road. If you consult smart professionals, do your research, and trust your gut instincts, you can feel confident pursuing the path that best balances your priorities - whether that involves a land company or another route. The more informed you are, the better the outcome is likely to be.

Why Land Owners Consider Selling to Companies

What motivates people to sell their land to a company rather than put it on the open market? There are some common reasons owners go this route:

Sometimes life throws you a curveball and you need to offload property fast. Whether it's a job relocation, divorce, illness, or other challenges, the speed and certainty of the company's cash offer is enticing.

Owning rural land can be a real headache over time. You get tired of constantly dealing with trespassers, paying taxes on a property that's fallen out of your plans, or just the general maintenance. A quick sale clears the burden.

Out-of-state or inherited properties often become a logistical puzzle. It's tough to properly market and show the land when you've moved away or have limited ties to the area. Companies will buy these rural parcels sight unseen.

Urgent expenses like medical bills or a family crisis can make that cash payout hard to resist. Waiting months or years to sell through an agent may not be feasible when you need immediate funds.

If you already tried listing the property traditionally with no luck, a company offers a convenient plan B. You avoid the pains of prepping, showing, and relisting a property that expired.

For these situations, it’s easy to see the appeal of a straightforward cash sale. But before jumping at the first company offer, let’s dive into the potential drawbacks too.

The Advantages of Working With a Tennessee Land Company

Selling directly to a local land company certainly provides some appealing perks:

Speedy Process

Land companies can close deals very quickly, sometimes in as little as two weeks if you have a clean title without liens. They have funds readily available and handle all the purchase paperwork internally. You don’t have to wait for financing, home inspections, and other contingencies that can delay a traditional sale.

Cash Payout

Your payout will be an immediate lump sum payment. Having this cash in hand gives you liquidity and flexibility to pay off debts or reinvest the money elsewhere. No waiting around for a buyer’s mortgage to come through.

No Marketing or Negotiations

The land company handles all the legwork of assessing and valuing your property. You skip the hassles of prepping, photographing, listing, and showing the land. No back-and-forth haggling with lowball offers either.

Purchase As-Is

Unlike selling to an individual, the company won’t back out just because the land needs clearing or has access issues. They have funds set aside for improving land and will buy as-is.

Buy Undesirable Properties

Companies purchase land that may be undesirable to retail buyers, like swampland, severely overgrown lots, contaminated sites, or landlocked parcels. If your property falls into this category, a company may be your only viable option.

Factors to Consider Before Accepting a Land Company's Offer

Of course, along with the speed and convenience come some potential disadvantages. Before you agree to sell your Tennessee property to a land company, reflect carefully on these key factors:

Below Market Value Offers

The purchase offer will likely be below fair market value since the company needs to profit when they resell the land. Expect offers around 50% to 60% of actual value. Run some comps to determine if their offer seems fair based on the local market.

Limited Negotiation Opportunity

A company will make a firm offer after doing their own assessment, so you lose the leverage of having potential buyers compete. Unless you bring your own appraisal to negotiate, there may be little wiggle room to get them up to fair market value.

Impersonal Process

Selling to a company may seem emotionally detached compared to selling to an individual. You won’t get to meet the new owner or know their future plans for the property. It may feel strictly transactional.

Possibility of Higher Offer on Open Market

While more time consuming, listing your land with an agent or selling it yourself opens up the possibility of getting multiple above-asking offers in a seller’s market. Patience may pay off.

Fees and Closing Costs

On top of buying at a discount, the company will charge you fees for services such as surveying, title searches, and drafting the purchase contract. These costs get deducted from your net payment, so be sure to account for them.

Tax Implications

Consult a tax professional to minimize capital gains taxes on the sale. Discounting the land value significantly can result in more taxes owed than a sale at fair market price.

Tips for Successfully Selling Your Land to a Tennessee Company

If you want the best deal and outcome when selling to a local land company in Tennessee, keep these tips in mind:

  • Vet companies thoroughly - Research online reviews and make sure they have a legitimate local address and experience buying Tennessee properties specifically. Get references from past sellers if possible.
  • Confirm all stakeholders are on board - If you inherited the land or own it jointly, have clear agreement from all parties before moving forward.
  • Get quotes from multiple companies - Contact 3-5 buyers to create competition. Let them know you are shopping offers to increase negotiation leverage.
  • Inspect the property before sale - Walk the land yourself and clear any personal items or debris. Allow the buyer clear access to perform their own inspection.
  • Verify you have clear title - Confirm there are no liens, judgments, missing heirs, or other title issues that could derail the sale. Disclose any complications upfront.
  • Negotiate fees - Be upfront about your need to minimize closing costs and fees. Ask if they can be waived or reduced.
  • Consult professionals - Have your lawyer review the purchase contract. Run numbers with your accountant to maximize tax advantages. Rely on pros to protect your interests.
  • Stick to your instincts - If an offer seems suspiciously low or the company seems shady, don't feel pressured to sign over your land.

With the right preparation and perspective, selling your Tennessee land to a local company can be smooth and lucrative. Weigh both benefits and drawbacks, get professional guidance, and negotiate the best deal possible.

Final Thoughts

Selling land is a huge choice - one that calls for careful thought and research. Tennessee companies advertise fast, simple sales. But speed and convenience come at a price - often below fair market value.

Ultimately there's no universally "right" path; the best approach depends on your goals. If top dollar is your priority, taking the time to market traditionally may pay off. But for some, the certainty of a quick company sale makes sense.

Either way, do your homework to understand the trade-offs. Vet potential buyers thoroughly. Consult professionals to protect your interests. And listen to your gut - don't ignore red flags just because a deal seems easy.

With diligence and patience, you could potentially get more selling the traditional route. But a reputable company may be the smoother option if speed is critical. By weighing all factors and negotiating skillfully, you can find the path that strikes the right balance for your needs. Selling land is a big choice, but an informed seller makes the best one.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How fast can I expect a Tennessee land company to close once I accept their offer?

Most companies can wrap up the sale in 2-4 weeks. They have funds on hand and handle paperwork internally to streamline the process. Much faster turnaround than a traditional closing!

What extra fees and costs should I plan for when selling to a company?

Besides their purchase offer, expect to pay charges for surveys, title searches, document prep, and standard closing costs. Closing costs typically range from 3-5% of the total sale price. Get all fee estimates upfront so they’re not a surprise.

Walk me through the steps of the sale process when I work with a company.

First, you’ll contact them about selling your land and provide details about the property. They’ll assess the parcel, do some research, and make a purchase offer. You can try negotiating the price and fees. Once you accept the offer, the company handles all the legal paperwork and logistics to close the deal.

How do I know if their offer amount is fair or I’m getting low-balled?

Lookup what similar vacant land nearby has sold for recently to get a sense of market value. Getting quotes from several companies gives you solid purchase prices to compare too. Massive discounts of 50% or more off potential value should raise eyebrows.

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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