Selling Commercial Land in Arizona

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Selling Commercial Land in Arizona

Bart Waldon

Arizona is a top state for commercial real estate investment, with rapidly expanding metro areas like Phoenix driving demand for commercial properties. As of 2022, there was over $5 billion worth of commercial real estate sold in Arizona. For landowners with vacant plots zoned for business, retail, industrial or other commercial development, timing is optimal to list land holdings and connect with eager buyers. This guide covers key steps for successfully selling commercial land in AZ.

Getting Your Land Sale-Ready

Prepping raw commercial land for sale requires some legwork upfront to understand exactly what you have and what problems need addressing. Start by pulling all documentation on the parcel and reviewing with a real estate attorney to verify full ownership rights and that zoning codes permit proposed commercial uses without issue.

Walk the full perimeter to check for encroachments, easements or access obstacles. Document the land’s dimensions and geography. Are there any apparent environmental conditions or hidden flaws like buried tanks to disclose? Identify utility availability – water, electric, sewer and such. The more due diligence performed ahead of listing, the smoother the transaction later.

If major defects exist impacting land value, determine if it makes financial sense to address those prior to sale. Adding amenities like graded pads, conceptual site plans or even basic infrastructure components can boost what buyers will pay. Weigh costs vs. ROI potential and consult commercial developer contacts on their input since they become the end parcel owners.

Getting an Appraisal 

Nailing down a formal appraisal from a commercial land valuation expert gets trickier for raw, undeveloped tracts without comparable of improved sold parcels. Brokers rely heavily on judgement evaluating adjacency potentials, demand drivers and frontage access.

Be wary of lowball figures that don’t account for key attributes benefiting developers like infill location near growing communities, transit access or ports and tourism. Get a second or even third opinion before accepting any appraisal at face value during pre-listing. Master planned developments shift values quicker than independent appraisers may realize. Still, a credible appraisal does establish an effective ceiling for setting asking price targets.

How to Price Commercial Land for Sale 

One main pricing dilemma owners face when selling commercial land revolves around allowing room for buyer upside on eventual development projects. Appraisals help set upper limits, but smart sellers build in speculative profit margins knowing savvy investor buyers still require worthwhile acquisition discounts to justify their own project risks and carry costs. Commercial land flippers in particular seek steep discounts.

A common pricing tactic involves assigning different rates per square foot depending on parcel segments featuring key differentiation. For example, value frontage road access or visibility sections higher than rear bulk areas without exposure or ingress/egress challenges. Just be careful segmenting too narrowly becomes counterproductive making your listing overly complicated. Find the right balance attracting serious buyers, not deterring them.

Getting Listed on the Commercial MLS 

The predominant means serious buyers search for commercial land opportunities involves commercial MLS platforms, which compile listings submitted by brokers statewide. To gain maximum exposure and connect with vetted investors and developers actively underwriting new commercial projects, engaging a seasoned commercial land broker to get listed on Arizona’s MLS proves vital.

Choose broker agent representation carefully here, making sure their background includes extensive land transactions versus mostly improved property sales. Not all commercial brokers handle vacant land well or give it sufficient marketing attention when more lucrative listing assignments allow better commissions. Make expectations clear upfront around photography, promotion channels like e-blasts and signage if possible. Also negotiate listing length and ensure cancellation ability if dissatisfied with efforts to avoid getting locked into lackluster, low priority placement.

Additional Marketing Outlets for Arizona Commercial Land 

Beyond the core MLS platforms where brokers list active sale opportunities, today’s web-driven commercial real estate marketplace means implementing a diverse digital marketing strategy to promote land assets directly to potential buyers of all types. Owners selling without formal broker representation especially need expanded online visibility. Useful outlets include:

  • Social media posts with images/details in regional investment, developer and real estate groups
  • Website landing page dedicated specifically to the selling parcel with lead forms
  • Email outreach to surrounding businesses that may want to expand or investors already active in the local area
  • Digital ads including Google/Facebook paid search campaigns targeting investment keyword searches
  • Posted flyers around the actual land parcel to notify neighbors of availability if applicable

The more exposure generated through assorted channels, the greater likelihood of securing serious buyer conversations quicker. This helps owners avoid extended carrying costs and delays waiting for deals.

Expecting Lots of Lowball Offers

Every vacant commercial land listing attracts its share of comically lowball offers from long shot buyers hoping to score a windfall bargain on a key development site, often sight unseen. Expect this dynamic frequently when pricing land designed to allow upside margin. Most owners instantly bristle and dismiss these attempts outright.

But savvy sellers recognize that for specialized investment groups focused on commercial land flipped quickly, the model itself rests upon aggressive acquisition discounts they can in turn promote to their own buyer network at higher gain margins. Counteroffering all lowball bids risks leaving money behind.

Also consider creative terms to bridge gaps beyond just purchase price, like seller financing portions over years tied to approval milestones that ease buyer entry barriers while protecting returns. Commercial land dealmaking often requires some flexibility and outside-the-box proposals. Keep an open mind and run numbers on every scenario brought forward.

Maximizing Value as a Commercial Lot Package 

One smart tactic for owners struggling to sell individual commercial land parcels involves packaging contiguous lots together as a mini land assemblage, which substantially boosts appeal and marketability to commercial developers already accustomed to larger projects. Sites with greater contiguous acreage and squared-off geometry sell fastest in Arizona’s real estate investment landscape.

Assembling adjacent buildable lots requires negotiating with other land holders in the immediate vicinity of your tract. Many wait years hoping to strike it rich themselves but with few bites as standalone offerings. Deals positioning two, three or more previously stranded parcels as a single must-have development opportunity create newfound urgency that converts tire kickers into motivated buyers who meet terms. Just make sure all contracts incorporate closing contingencies dependent upon assembling the full package.

Closing Commercial Arizona Land Deals 

With major prep work done valuing the parcel, addressing issues, marketing through assorted channels and negotiating offers/counteroffers with buyers, the home stretch involves simply navigating the closing process smoothly once finally under contract. Using qualified real estate attorneys well-versed in Arizona commercial sales proves paramount here.

Key closing steps for sellers involve double checking all buyer contingencies get met per deal contracts, from inspections to proof of funds. Also confirm timing with attorneys on paperwork filings related to deeds, title transfers, tax payments and escrow/recording specifics. Nothing derails done deals faster than administrative lag or legal trip ups after months staging land for sale. Mind the details and maintain great communication as finish line approaches!

Those needing quick cash versus waiting to transact vacant Arizona commercial land through traditional open market listings do have options as well. Companies like Land Boss purchase land directly for fair prices and immediate payouts. Contact us anytime online to discuss buying commercial land fast versus continuing the sales process alone. We close quickly with no fees or commissions deducted, providing fair value for quality parcels.

With metro areas like Phoenix primed for immense commercial expansion this decade, Arizona land owners like you stand ready to capitalize on incredible demand if selecting smart selling strategies tailored to vacant tract positioning, zoning advantages and high buyer competition for limited inventory supply. Success requires both patience and assertive promotion. Follow these guidelines for smoothly closing deals at optimal values your parcels deserve. Here’s to maximizing ROI on the rise!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What type of commercial land sells best in Arizona?

In Arizona, commercial land zoned for retail, industrial, and mixed-use development tends to sell the fastest and for the highest values. Land along major highways or roads with good visibility and traffic counts is also desirable. Proximity to growing residential areas increases demand dramatically as well.

What documents do I need to sell my commercial land?

To sell commercial land, you need a deed or title to prove ownership, a plat map surveying boundaries, zoning information from the county, property tax records, information on utilities access, and any easements, restrictions, or disclosures that run with the land. An attorney can help compile all required documentation.

How can I determine a fair asking price for my commercial property?

Commercial land appraisals consider comparative sales of similar vacant parcels to determine fair market values. Also factor in elements like neighborhood growth patterns, frontage access attributes, development potential based on zoning, and any site improvements made that impact usability. Brokers can provide pricing guidance through data-driven CMAs as well.

Should I expect all-cash offers or can deals involve seller financing too?

Most investors and developers make all-cash offers on commercial land to simplify transactions and avoid external financing contingencies. But sellers willing to owner finance a portion over time — say 20% over 5 years — often attract better bids by easing some buyer burden for construction projects reliant on approvals.

What are the closing costs and processes associated with commercial land sales?

Beyond broker commissions if applicable, common closing costs for selling commercial land relate to legal fees for purchase contracts, title searches, preparing deeds, and escrow facilitation. Expect to pay transfer taxes and recording charges too. Attorneys oversee required filings and payments disbursement from held escrow funds at closing.

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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