Selling Commercial Land in Illinois (The Easy Way)

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Selling Commercial Land in Illinois (The Easy Way)

Bart Waldon

As the 5th most populous U.S. state, Illinois sees ongoing demand for commercial real estate across metro areas like Chicago as well as small towns and rural counties. However, the commercial land sales process entails extensive legal and financial complexities - making it difficult for the average person to navigate successfully. This article explores key steps and tips making for an easier experience when selling vacant commercial property or investment land in Illinois.

Land transactions in the Prairie State totaled $1.18 billion during 2020 according to data from the National Association of Realtors, with over 1 million acres exchanging ownership. Demand stems from commercial developers seeking retail, industrial warehouse, or mixed-use parcels, along with business owners and individual investors drawn to vacant land's appreciation potential. Yet pricing land appropriately and locating qualified buyers still takes substantial expertise and diligent effort even in strong market conditions.

Overview of Steps for Selling Commercial Land in Illinois

Those exploring options to sell undeveloped commercial tracts of land they've held for years or legacy parcels inherited may feel overwhelmed by the process. By understanding sound strategies used regularly by veteran land professionals in Illinois, you can optimize returns for vacant property sales while minimizing hassles. Key steps include:

Getting an Accurate Appraisal

A certified appraiser considers zoning, utilities access, nearby property values and various factors to estimate current fair market value - which sets expectations for sale pricing.

Checking Zoning Designation 

Confirming the approved commercial development uses designated by county authorities ensures accurate appraisals by preventing overpayment for land limited by density restrictions.

Parcel Survey and Due Diligence

Surveying exact commercial lot boundaries prevents disputes later, while legal due diligence confirms clean title free of liens that buyers require.

Seller Financing

Many buyers have capital to build yet difficulty securing full commercial land financing from traditional banks. Offering seller financing can expedite deals by bridging reasonable gaps.

Marketing The Property

Promoting the land for sale through commercial realtor listing networks taps into qualified buyer leads nationally, bringing strong offers.

The above core elements truly lay the foundation for maximizing sale potential in today's Illinois commercial land market. Perfecting just one area - like pricing - without addressing others can significantly hamper outcomes for those impatient to complete transactions. But purposefully progressing across each step leads to smooth closings within reasonable timeframes.

Key Factors Impacting Illinois Commercial Property Values

Among the most essential knowledge for properly listing and showcasing investment land relates to variables influencing valuation in the eyes of commercial developers or end-users. While appraisals provide broad perspective, some additional aspects include:

  • Parcel size - larger contiguous sites allow bigger builds which can justify higher per acre prices from major buyers
  • Highway, Interstate or arterial road frontage and associated traffic counts based on state transportation data
  • Proximity to metro centers like Chicago where demand for convenient last-mile logistics sites keeps accelerating
  • Compatible nearby property types suggesting smooth zoning changes, like industrial areas suitable for flex warehouse build outs
  • Availability of gas, electric, water, sewer and fiber utilities at the street or already extended to the site

Certainly more complex factors emerge for those pursuing office space, hospitality, retail centers or mixed-use developments as well. But focusing on simple logistics or commercial zoning facilitates quicker deals. Sellers should highlight these value elements when creating marketing materials and interacting with potential buyers during property showing.

Expediting Successful Commercial Land Sales in Illinois

For many landowners across Illinois, liquidating legacy family acreage or an old farm tract purchased decades ago simply creates unwanted headaches. And even recent investors holding newer vacant sites may get frustrated by the sales process spanning longer than expected.

The following practical tips can accelerate desirable outcomes:

  • Seek well-funded buyers like stable companies instead of undercapitalized individuals when able as they close quicker with fewer contingencies and obtain bank financing faster if required
  • Consider approaches like seller financing, installment contracts, lease-to-purchase options or exchanges to complete deals that nearly qualify for traditional institutional lending yet still have gaps
  • Market to both local and national buyers through digital listing networks to increase interest and bid competition rather than just relying on limited local showings alone
  • Price property sensibly from the outset by avoiding unrealistic over-appraisals that limit interest from serious buyers focused purely on fundamentals
  • Remain flexible on closing dates and structure to allow committed buyers the small bit of extra time occasionally needed to finalize details satisfying lender requirements

Certainly every situation differs - but focusing pragmatically on bridging gaps that commonly stall deals can pay dividends for motivated commercial land sellers in Illinois seeking faster exit strategies requiring less wait time.

Selling Land to a Direct Cash Buyer like Land Boss

For those exploring the smoothest possible exit from an unwanted Illinois land investment while still securing fair returns earned, selling directly to an established company like Land Boss that purchases sites outright with cash may suit certain situations better than listing through traditional brokerages alone. This avoids time spent constantly monitoring showings, negotiating contingencies, and wondering if each potential deal inevitably stalls.

As buyers themselves operating in Illinois and other Midwest states, Land Boss works closely with clients to quickly value, assess, and acquire viable sites, closing straight cash payments smoothly within clients’ desired timeframes. With over 100 land transactions completed across the U.S., the Land Boss team brings the experience to handle entire sales processes efficiently, having purchased sites ranging from a few acres up to 300 acres in size.

SENSIBLE Synopsis: For Illinois landowners feeling frustrated with stagnant attempts to sell undeveloped commercial land on their own, exploring a streamlined cash sale to an established company like Land Boss can provide the closure desired - without leaving substantial money behind. Through transparent valuation and responding rapidly to offers for sites meeting key buyer criteria, Land Boss makes it easier for owners by handling the full sales process start to finish.

Reach out today to learn more about a potential cash sale of your Illinois commercial land. The team stands ready to assess your property and deliver a fair cash offer quickly, should the site fit what their buyers currently seek in the Illinois market. With over 5 years facilitating deals across the country, Land Boss brings extensive experience to handle the hard work for you - providing a simplified exit strategy so you can move on easier.

Final Thoughts

As we've explored, selling commercial vacant land or investment property in Illinois can be extremely difficult without a sound strategy and real estate guidance. But by correctly pricing land after an appraisal review, verifying clean title and zoning conformance, intelligently marketing to optimal buyers, and remaining flexible on terms when reasonable, landowners enhance their prospects of success. Seeking reputable companies that purchase property directly for cash also simplifies and accelerates sales for those finding the process overly demanding. With robust demand forecast for commercial space across Illinois over this decade, take the right steps now to seize opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are current price per acre ranges for commercial land around Chicago suburbs vs downstate Illinois markets?

Land values vary substantially based on specific location. But broadly, vacant commercial land around Chicagoland currently sells between $150,000 to $500,000 per acre depending on municipality and site attributes. Downstate markets see wider variance but typically range from $20,000 to $250,000.

What percentage should I expect to pay in commissions and closing costs when selling commercial land?

Plan on about 6% of the total sales price accounting for real estate commissions, legal fees, and title company charges combined. Though costs depend on deal size and complexities. Simpler transactions with fewer parties incur less.

How can I estimate what my commercial parcel may be worth before formally engaging professionals?

Search actual land sales recorded through public records to find values on comparable nearby plots of similar sizes and uses, then adjust based on attributes like road frontage differences. Also consult with appraisers.

What specific documentation must I supply to attract serious commercial land buyers in Illinois?

Buyers want preliminary site plans highlighting access points, flood zone status, current zoning allowances, utility maps showing electric/gas/water availability, parcel surveys confirming boundaries, and proof of clear title through title reports.

What types of contingent offers or deal terms may help sell commercial land faster?

Consider partial seller financing, lease-to-purchase arrangements allowing pre-development access, installment contracts, and flexible closing date options to make offers more amenable for buyers needing extra time to initiate possible rezoning applications or coordinate required payments.

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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