The Paperwork You Need to Buy and Sell Land in Louisiana

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The Paperwork You Need to Buy and Sell Land in Louisiana

Bart Waldon

Louisiana's bayous, wetlands, forests, and fertile delta offer scenic raw land ownership opportunities. But navigating real estate transactions requires proper documentation ensuring legal transfer and land rights protection for buyers and sellers alike. This guide shares key paperwork filing details and terms to know when transacting vacant land spanning Louisiana's 64 parishes.

Recent acreage value reports show top-producing Louisiana cropland averaging $3,500 per acre, with ranch and timber lands ranging $1,200-1,800 depending on improvements and location accessibility. Proper paperwork provides peace of mind these valuable asset investments change hands smoothly.

Purchase Agreements Launch Louisiana Land Deals

Any deals transferring property begin with a proper purchase agreement contract explicitly outlining:

  • Legal description location
  • Total acreage
  • Asking and offered price
  • Personal property exclusions
  • Deadline dates for contingencies like inspections or financing
  • Possession transfer date after closing
  • Deposit amount and escrow handling
  • Other unique terms sought by parties

Without a valid offer to purchase in place accepted by the land seller, negotiations remain non-binding. And verbal discussions lack standing if disputes emerge later. A detailed, written Louisiana purchase contract protects both buyer and seller once signed by the parties.

Contingencies & Amendments Guide Louisiana Land Contracts

Common contingencies making an offer subject to satisfy within strict time frames typically include:

  • Securing financing
  • Title verification
  • Surveyed acreage or boundary confirmation
  • Environmental assessments
  • Inspection of any buildings/structures

If concerns arise during the contingency period like title clouds, access barriers or limitation on usage, amendments to the original purchase offer allow renegotiation or termination without breaching agreements by either party. Contingencies provide outs if needed.

Louisiana Purchase Title Search Significance

Conducting due diligence researching property deed history uncovers past liens still tied to the land, legal errors in prior filings, pending litigation disputes around previous transactions and various judgements/taxes still owed possibly impacting rights transferred at closing. Typically performed by the buyer’s closing agent, both parties review any title discrepancies jeopardizing ownership. Title insurance then protects against errors or past encumbrance claims emerging later.

Without confirming clean title and deed lineage, buyers may pay for land without actually securing legal rights to use the property as intended long term. Overlooked title issues also sink deals once lenders backing purchases discover concerning history.

Surveys Establish Exact Louisiana Land Boundaries

Given waterways altering geography, legacy family divisions or fence line encroachments by neighbors over the years, assuming acreage based on outdated plat drawings risks disputes with adjacent owners. A certified property surveyor establishes and marks precise boundary lines for filing updated plot registrations with the purchase deed.

Mortgages Encumber Louisiana Lands Upon Closing

When financing land acquisitions in Louisiana, lenders secure their interests by recording liens with parish clerks until such time their loan gets satisfied by the buying owner years later. This encumbers the legal deed preventing owners selling again prior to paying off lenders as agreed. Mortgages attach at the closing process conclusion when funds transfer to register new certified ownership for buyers.

Property Taxes Bind Louisiana Lands

Until paid each year, owed parish and municipal property taxes effectively create financial judgements against land holding up efforts to resell or leverage ownership value through other borrowing means. As Louisiana lands transfer, pro-rated tax adjustments apportion still due amounts between buyers and sellers estimated through closing date. Taxes continually encumber property from lien until satisfaction.

Mineral Rights Require Separate Handling in Louisiana

Louisiana law allows ownership rights for surface property and underground oil, gas, minerals and water access requiring distinct legal handling when buying or selling land in the state. Review aspects like:

  • Documented exclusions on past deeds
  • Parish conveyance records SPI books
  • Production royalty payment histories
  • Drilling lease rights active or expired

Given oil/gas reservoirs traverse property lines, discrepancies muddle deals for unwary land investors. Confirm the full bundle of rights included with deeds. Significant value hangs in the balance.

Home Sites & Farmlands Carry Extra Considerations in Louisiana

If transactions involve properties with residences, barns other structures/improvements or spanning acreage actively producing rental income from crops, additional paperwork filings may apply including:

  • Property disclosures on fixtures/appliances, leases, HOA covenants if applicable
  • Structure/irrigation equipment inventories with purchase inclusion status
  • NRCS Farm Service Agency reports detailing crop bases and yields
  • Water rights severability from surface lands

Unlike raw land, enhanced real estate changes hands subject to enhanced disclosure rules. Ensure filings get handled properly.

Find an Experienced Louisiana Land Attorney

Given paperwork intricacies and lasting ramifications for land rights protection, investors strongly benefit from experienced real estate attorneys guiding transactions start to finish. An attorney assists registering proper deed titling and satisfying every contingency along the chain of custody until buyers ultimately go on record as sole legal owner securing interests without reservations burdens against the land. Attorney support also defends if claims ever arise over representations made by any stakeholders in the remote future.

Overall, buying and selling land in Louisiana requires significant paperwork detailing rights transferred and contingencies met to culminate deals legally. Record-keeping precision and timing of sequential filings must stay coordinated utilizing parish clerk approvals to uphold obligations satisfied. Consult experienced real estate attorneys specialized in Louisiana land transactions to steer dealings safely avoiding complications or dispute potentials down the road.

Final Thoughts

Purchasing or selling rural acreage and farms across Louisiana’s 64 parishes relies on proper paperwork filings to uphold legal property rights transfers and contingency obligations between parties. Failed contracts, title disputes and mineral rights separations originate from improper documentation lacking precisions. Consult experienced attorneys steering transactions through purchase agreements, title reviews, boundary surveys, structure disclosures, tax pro-rations, deed registrations and closing requisites securing smooth investments

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the most common paperwork pitfall scrambling Louisiana land deals?

Undiscovered title flaws not reconciled before closing often undermine entire purchase agreements after lenders uncover liens, easements or missing heir signatures later deeming title uninsurable unless renegotiated.

What parish paperwork processing causes the longest delays closing Louisiana land purchases?

Recorded surveys not completed in time to file updated boundaries with the deed and new owner’s name can postpone registering clean title for weeks awaiting proper plat approvals.

Can I separate selling just timber or mineral rights from my Louisiana land asset?

Yes, deed specifications can convey rights severing standing timber value or oil and gas deposits from surface land ownership if catalogued intentionally as distinct real estate assets.

What should I beware most when reviewing title history on Louisiana lands?

Past severed rights removing structures, water access or resource development potential not reconciled properly across documents should raise red flags on land value and marketability.

What entity conducts specific title searches when buying Louisiana land?

Either the buyer’s chosen title company or specialized land attorney handles detailed title abstracting and documenting lineage verification of all trustees transferring deeds before buyers take ownership.

Who holds ultimate liability for incorrect title representations when land sells in Louisiana?

Seller disclosure statements outline “as is” representations on deeds. However real estate attorneys carry malpractice insurance and fiduciary duties upholding accuracy administering title transfers to buyers.

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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