The Paperwork You Need to Buy and Sell Land in Kansas

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The Paperwork You Need to Buy and Sell Land in Kansas
By

Bart Waldon

Kansas is known as the Sunflower State and features fertile farmland, rolling plains, and diverse terrain. With agriculture driving much of its economy, land ownership and transactions are common across the state. However, buying or selling land in Kansas does require some specific paperwork and procedures to ensure the process goes smoothly.

When transferring property ownership, certain documents must be prepared, filed, and recorded with the appropriate Kansas county offices. While real estate laws do have some nuances depending on the county, some general requirements apply statewide. Being informed on the core paperwork needed can make navigating Kansas land transactions much simpler.

This article provides an overview of the essential documentation involved when buying or selling land in Kansas. Key papers covered include the purchase agreement, deed, title opinion, and required disclosures upon sale. Understanding what each document entails and when it is necessary allows both buyers and sellers to be prepared.

Key Paperwork Needed for All Kansas Land Transactions

While other forms may be required in specific situations, three core documents are essential for any Kansas land purchase or sale:

Purchase Agreement

The purchase agreement details the transaction terms agreed upon between the buyer and seller. This contract specifies important factors like the sale price, amount of earnest money deposited, contingencies, possession details, closing and possession dates, and more. It is the basis for the land transfer.

Kansas does not provide an official state land purchase agreement form, so most real estate professionals have their own versions. Whether using the seller’s, buyers, or an industry-standard form, the documentation should be reviewed carefully by both parties before signing to ensure all details and responsibilities are clear and acceptable.

Deed

The deed legally conveys ownership of the land from seller to buyer. It contains specifics like the property location, parties involved, sale date, and official legal description. This document must be filed with the Register of Deeds in the county where the land is located.

Kansas offers standard state deed forms that are commonly used, but deed preparation can vary. The chosen structure also depends on factors like whether co-ownership is involved and if the sale is between individuals or involves an entity like a trust or LLC.

Deeds must be originals or certified copies and are subject to various Kansas requirements related to margins, wording, signatures, notarization, and recording format to be considered valid.

Title Opinion

Also referred to as a title commitment or title insurance policy, the buyer will want an updated title opinion before closing. This shows the property’s current recorded ownership and any easements, restrictions, or liens tied to the land.

The title opinion is prepared by professionals after researching documents filed related to the property at the county Register of Deeds office. This verifies the seller has clear title to convey at the time of sale. If defects are found, they will need to be resolved before closing.

Additional Paperwork Upon Sale of Kansas Land

When selling Kansas land, certain other disclosures must also be made to transfer ownership ethically and legally:

Oil and Gas Activity Statement

If seeking to sell land in Kansas, the seller must provide the buyer documentation on any known oil and gas activity either on the property or lands adjacent that could impact the parcel in the future. This disclosure includes specifics like active leases, nearby drilling activity, plugged or abandoned wells, or proximity to sites like water injection wells.

Water Rights

Kansas follows prior appropriation doctrine for water rights tied to land. This means the buyer needs to be informed on existing or lapsed water rights related to agricultural, industrial, recreational or other uses. Disclosure on factors like water sources, well locations and output levels, water use reporting to state authorities, and more may be required.

Noxious Weeds

Kansas statute states that any landowners with noxious weeds on their properties must control such vegetation. When selling land, sellers must reveal known noxious weed infestations to buyers. This allows buyers to factor in the costs of future removal into their offers during negotiations.

Surveys

While not mandated, a survey is highly recommended before selling land in Kansas. Surveys, prepared by licensed surveyors, mark exact property boundaries and dimensions. They show features like fence lines, easements, and encroachments from adjacent parcels. Surveys protect both buyers and sellers by ensuring all parties understand what is being transferred.

Buying Land in Kansas

When buying Kansas land, be sure to research all property details in advance, particularly:

  • Zoning Classification - Ensure the land is zoned for the buyer’s intended use, whether residential, agricultural, commercial or otherwise.
  • Mineral Rights – Determine if mineral rights are included in the sale. Surface land and below ground minerals may be owned separately in Kansas. This can impact property uses long-term so should be understood upfront.
  • Leases - Check if the property has any active tenant leases, equipment storage agreements or other encumbrances that may transfer with the title.
  • Taxes - Kansas land is subject to ad valorem taxes based on appraised value and mill levy rates. Verify totals due and factor them into acquisition costs.

Thorough due diligence, arranging inspections as needed, and consulting professionals can clarify such details before finalizing a Kansas land purchase.

Selling Land in Kansas

Those seeking to sell land in Kansas may also encounter requirements beyond core paperwork:

  • Parcel numbers issued by county appraisers are required on all documents tied to sale, including listings, purchase agreements and deeds. Current numbers should be verified with local assessment offices beforehand.
  • If owned by an entity like an LLC or trust, extra documentation proving authorization to sell and sign closing papers is usually needed.
  • Allow ample time for buyers to research title history, obtain surveys and conduct due diligence before closing dates. Delayed appraisals or closings can also impact tax proration calculations.
  • Be prepared to provide any specifics on prior land uses, improvements like wells or buildings, and known restrictions that buyers should be aware of. Thorough transparency protects sellers from future liability claims.

Proper preparation and paperwork help Kansas land transactions proceed more smoothly for both buyers and sellers. Consulting real estate professionals can further streamline the process.

Final Thoughts

Navigating the buying or selling of land in Kansas does require carefully documenting the transaction through various paperwork. Core documents like the purchase agreement, deed, and title opinion establish the parameters and legalities of the property transfer. For sellers, disclosing specifics on aspects like oil and gas rights, noxious weeds, water rights and surveys also comes with an ethical and legal responsibility. While on the buyer side, understanding zoning, leases, taxes and more is key for making informed decisions. By being proactive in preparing essential documentation on both ends, Kansas land deals can proceed smoothly and successfully for all involved. Working with real estate attorneys and professionals can further protect one’s interests during the process. With the proper diligence and paperwork, transferring land ownership in the Sunflower State does not have to be complicated.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the basic documents needed for any Kansas land transaction?

The core paperwork consists of the purchase agreement outlining the terms, the deed legally conveying ownership, and a title opinion verifying the seller can transfer clear title. Both buyers and sellers should review these key documents closely.

What disclosures must Kansas land sellers provide at the time of sale?

Sellers must disclose information on factors like any oil and gas leases or nearby drilling, water rights tied to the land, noxious weed infestations that require treatment, and potential boundary or easement issues a survey could reveal.

Does Kansas offer standard real estate purchase contract forms?

No, Kansas does not provide an official state land purchase agreement. Most real estate agents have their own forms. Industry-standard versions are also available. Buyers and sellers should review any contract carefully before signing.

What specific information must be included on documents like the deed?

Details like the property’s legal description, parcel number, parties involved, sale date, and manner in which title is held must appear on paperwork filed with the county related to the transaction.

Who should I consult when buying or selling Kansas land?

It is wise to work with real estate attorneys, title companies, appraisers, surveyors and other professionals when transacting Kansas land. They can guide you through the required procedures and documentation needed to avoid complications.

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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