Pros and Cons of Selling to a Texas Land Company

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Pros and Cons of Selling to a Texas Land Company
By

Bart Waldon

Texas is known for its wide open spaces, cattle ranches, and independent spirit. It's also a state with a lot of vacant land for sale. With over 268,000 square miles spanning deserts, plains, hills, and forests, Texas has abundant undeveloped land.

If you have a piece of vacant land in Texas, you may be considering your options. Should you develop it, hold onto it as an investment, or sell it? Selling your land to a local land company is one option with unique pros and cons.

The Land Market in Texas

Texas has one of the most active land markets in the country. Over $1 billion of land and rural property is sold in Texas each year.

West Texas is dominated by large ranches and oil fields. East Texas has more forests and scattered smaller tracts. Central Texas near cities like Austin and San Antonio has seen a lot of growth and development.

Land prices vary dramatically based on location, terrain, access, minerals, and zoning. But overall, land in Texas provides investors, developers, and homeowners a lot of options.

Selling land yourself can be challenging though. There are hundreds of thousands of vacant lots and acreages for sale at any given time. So competition is fierce for buyers.

Meanwhile, marketing and showing land takes time and effort. You may not have the ability or desire to go through the lengthy land sales process.

What are Texas Land Companies?

Texas land companies specialize in buying and selling land within the state. Some focus specifically on certain types of properties like ranches, hunting land, or development land.

These companies buy land for investment purposes, to develop, or to resell to other buyers. Their business model is based on being able to buy low and sell high.

Selling directly to a land company can offer big advantages over listing your property. But you also have to consider the drawbacks when deciding what to do.

Below are some of the main pros and cons of selling your Texas land to a local land company.

Pros of Selling to a Texas Land Company

Selling your land directly to a Texas land company has some positive benefits:

1. Fast Sale

Land companies can buy your property in just days or weeks. There’s no staging, showings, or waiting for bank approvals. They have the capital ready to go and can close quickly with cash.

This works great if you need or want to sell the land fast for any reason. Whether you’re moving, settling an estate, or need capital for other investments, a land company can speed things up.

2. No Marketing or Negotiating

Selling land yourself means handling all the marketing and negotiations. You may need to list with a broker, promote locally, and manage inquiries and offers.

This process can take months or years. And you’ll have to negotiate with potential buyers throughout.

When you sell to a land company, they handle everything. Just contact them, accept their offer, and close. They’ll do all the research, paperwork, and legal filings for the sale.

3. As-Is Condition

Land companies buy property in as-is condition. There’s no need to do any cleanup, improvements, or prep work.

Whether your land has trash, old structures, or other issues, the land company won’t require fixes or use it to negotiate the price. They buy land based on long-term potential, not current condition.

4. No Land Payments

If you sell your land to a Texas land company, you get a cash payout at closing. There are no owner financing or land contract payments to worry about.

For some sellers, getting the full amount immediately is preferable. It allows you to access the funds, invest them, or pay off debts right away.

5. Pay Transaction Costs

When you sell land yourself, you typically pay settlement fees, taxes, and other transaction costs. But many land companies will cover the closing costs so the amount they offer is what you get.

By paying the title, legal, and other fees, you net more money from the sale. This goes hand in hand with their ability to buy at a discount.

Cons of Selling to a Texas Land Company

Along with the advantages, there are also drawbacks to consider when selling directly to a land company:

1. Below Market Value Offers

To buy low and sell high, land companies have to make below retail offers. It's uncommon for them to pay full market value for a property.

Depending on market conditions and other factors, their offer may be 75-90% of what you could get listing the land. For some sellers, leaving 10-25% on the table is unacceptable regardless of the other perks.

2. Unknown Future Plans

When you sell to a land company, you don't know exactly how they'll use or resell the land. They may develop it, resell it to builders, hold it as an investment, etc.

If you prefer to know what will happen to the land or want certain assurances, selling to a company offers less control and transparency.

3. Potentially Lower Tax Benefits

Selling land that has significantly increased in value at a discount could mean missing out on tax savings. If you can sell near full market value, you may benefit more from capital gains tax rules.

But a 1031 exchange or other strategies could offset taxes either way. Consult your financial advisor about maximizing tax benefits from a sale.

4. Missing Potential Appreciation

Finally, if you sell at a discount to a land company, you lose out on any future appreciation if the market changes. Holding the land could pay off handsomely. But the risks and costs would also remain yours.

Like any investment, choosing when to sell means predicting future performance. While market values rise and fall, a land company is betting long term on profitability.

Key Tips for Selling Land in Texas

If you decide to sell your Texas land to a local land company, keep these tips in mind:

  • Research reputable land companies in your area or that buy in the state. Look for ones that have been around for several years at least with positive reviews. They should specialize specifically in land transactions.
  • Ask about their buying criteria - location, acreage size, pricing - to see if your property is a fit. Not all companies buy every property.
  • Get quotes from 3-4 companies to compare offers. Consider any value-added services they provide too.
  • Inspect the property together. The company will want to see the location, access, boundaries and current condition first-hand.
  • Check comparable sales for an idea of market value. Online estimates and brokers can provide a ballpark figure to inform negotiations.
  • Negotiate any concerns you have about the deal terms. For example, closing date, release of any liens, or cleanup requirements.
  • Work with a real estate attorney when reviewing and signing the purchase contract. Understand all terms and obligations clearly.
  • Avoid agreeing to owner financing or land contract terms unless you fully understand the risks and benefits.
  • Weigh the pros and cons carefully for your situation before accepting an offer. Don't feel pressured to decide immediately.
  • Understand the closing process and your rights. Texas provides several days for the buyer to terminate after signing.

Selling land requires carefully weighing your options. While a Texas land company can make it fast and simple, it's not the best solution for everyone. Consider your goals, the market, and the type of buyer to make a smart decision.

Is Selling to a Texas Land Company Right for You?

Selling your vacant land is a big decision with a lot of factors to weigh. The key is matching your priorities as the seller to the benefits of different sale methods.

A Texas land company can be a good option if you want:

  • A fast, simple sale
  • To avoid marketing or negotiations
  • Have a buyer who purchases as-is
  • A lump sum cash payment
  • Help paying transaction costs

However, listing with a broker or agent, for sale by owner, or auction may be better if you want:

  • Top dollar sale price
  • Involvement in marketing and showings
  • Know future plans for the land
  • Tax benefits from capital gains
  • Potential appreciation over time

Understanding what motivates you as the seller is the first step. From there, research your options in Texas and choose the best buyer for your needs. With over 260,000 square miles of wide open land, you’re sure to find the right fit.

Final Words

Selling your land in the Lone Star State presents a major decision with many angles to consider. Texas land companies offer several potential perks like fast sales, minimized hassle, and cash payments. However, you may leave money on the table compared to maximum market value and give up future appreciation. Carefully weigh your motivations, research reputable buyers in your area, and inspect their offers closely. With smart planning, you can successfully sell your Texas property and achieve your financial goals, whether to a land company or another buyer that fits your needs. The vast expanses of the state present diverse opportunities, so leverage your land wisely.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are common offer prices from Texas land companies?

Land companies typically offer 70-90% of estimated market value based on comparable sales and other data. The discount allows them to profit when reselling. Offers depend on location, size, terrain, and other factors.

How long does it take to sell to a land company in Texas?

The sale process can be completed in as little as a few weeks, though 1-2 months is more common. The company still has to do due diligence like title review, but doesn’t have to market or find buyers.

Do I need to pay realtor fees or commissions?

No, there are no broker commissions or fees when selling directly to a land company. This avoids the typical 5-6% fees from listing with an agent or broker.

What documents do I need to provide?

Companies will require a deed, title insurance if available, property survey, tax statements, mineral rights data, and potentially other legal records.

Can I sell on owner financing terms?

Some land companies may offer owner financing at a lower price. But this carries risks if they default, and you won't get a cash payout. Most prefer clean purchase transactions.

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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