The Process of Selling Land in Arizona

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The Process of Selling Land in Arizona

Bart Waldon

Arizona is home to vibrant cities, stunning natural landscapes, and opportunities for those looking to buy or sell land. With over 90,000 square miles spanning diverse terrain, from the Grand Canyon to the Sonoran Desert, selling property here takes some savvy navigating of market conditions and state laws. Whether you inherited vacant land, seek to unload investment holdings or have other reasons to sell, get to know key steps in the process.

Navigating the Arizona Land Sale Process

Roughly one quarter of Arizona's acres, over 30 million, are owned privately or by businesses rather than the government according to state land office data. With strong demand for Arizona real estate from both residential and commercial interests, landowners have options in how to approach selling. However, there are also complex market challenges in the state.

Some key details on the Arizona land market currently include:

  • Average land values state-wide increased 8.4% from 2020 to 2021, as part of the broader real estate boom in the region. However, land prices can vary significantly based on scarcity of land available, approved usage status, terrain specifics and nearby existing developments attracting interest from buyers.
  • Over 34,000 vacant land transactions occurred statewide last year per industry analysis. Yet land typically takes longer to sell than developed property, often carrying longer closing timelines. With the right strategy and pricing, most properly zoned and compliant land will sell within a 1-2 year period.

Armed with accurate information on Arizona land selling nuances, selling land wisely while avoiding missteps takes understanding each sequential stage.

Step 1: Evaluating Your Arizona Land's Details

Not all land is created equal, so analyzing your property’s unique characteristics is the vital first task before placing it on the market. Key assessments here include:

Parcel Size - What are the total dimensions? Buyers care greatly about acreage or square footage, so secure precise surveying if unsure. Documenting parcel boundaries thoroughly also avoids disputes.

Terrain & Access - What terrain comprises your land from desert brushlands to mountain forests? How easily accessible is the parcel and whether roadway access exists currently? Document this extensively.

Zoning Designation - Have an attorney verify the land's approved zoning status with county authorities, be it residential, commercial, industrial or other standing. This impacts selling price significantly.

Utilities/Services - Note proximity to utility hookups like electric, water, internet as well accessibility of public services like sewer, garbage pickup, etc. if zoning allows building. Buyers want to understand startup costs.

Value Influences - Compile information on nearby properties including recent land sales of comparable sites to help accurately position pricing. Being near new community developments, highways, transit hubs and fast growing cities also raises land desirability.

With all Arizona land details thoroughly researched and documented in a property information package, you can strategically establish an optimal listing price as the next step.

Step 2: Pricing Your Arizona Land Appropriately

Among the most complex aspects of selling land yourself is determining accurate pricing in Arizona's dynamism market, aiming to secure fair market value based on your land’s location and attributes. With pricing too high, your parcel sits unsold as buyers pursue more realistically priced options. Yet price too low and you lose out on thousands of dollars unnecessarily. Key tips on prudent Arizona land pricing include:

Consult Recent Sales Data - Your real estate agent and online aggregator sites can provide recent sale prices for land with similar terrain, zoning categories and location profiles to yours. This sales comparison methodology when done accurately helps gauge pricing wisely.

Factor Key Influence Variances - However if recently sold comparison parcels are significantly smaller, poorly accessed, unavailable for construction or have other undesirable traits yours does not, adjust pricing accordingly higher than these comps. The opposite applies too if your land is inferior based on access limitations, problematic terrain or other detracting attributes.

Consider Flexible Pricing Terms - Offering incentives to buyers who meet asking price quickly, such as absorbing closing costs or real estate commissions, helps secure deals faster by adding flexibility. Consider if you can include such options to motivate buyers who may be wavering on finalizing deals.

Account for Needed Fix-ups - If land has been unmanaged for many years with needed brush clearing, debris removal or drainage improvements to facilitate building, factor in discounting price somewhat to account for new owner fix-up costs after purchase.

With the right background homework on zoning laws, market sale price ranges, neighborhood growth patterns and land trait variances compared to recently sold sites, smart Arizona land sellers can significantly improve their chances of quickly transacting at fair prices. Patience also pays here in allowing competitive bidding rather than hurriedly accepting any first offer regardless of being undervalued.

Step 3: Listing Your Land to Attract Arizona Buyers

Once confident on pricing, it's time for properly prepping your Arizona land listings across marketing channels to attract qualified buyers. Key pointers on maximizing land sales traction include:

Highlight Key Attributes - Emphasize your land’s size, terrain/views, development potentials based on zoning, access and any located utilities or services as the core sales pitch in all listings to capture buyer attention quickly.

Lead with Excellent Photos/Videos - Showcase aerial and ground-level visuals of the land including vantage points highlighting key vista views, terrain variation visuals, and context shots indicating nearby highway access or neighborhood developments. Drone videos also generate impact and interest.

Leverage Online Listing Sites - Deploy online classified ad templates through FSBO platforms like Redfin and Zillow tailored for land, enabling broad visibility along with listing within specialized land sale marketplaces like Lands of America catering to farmer, rancher and outdoor enthusiast buyers more precisely.

Provide Detailed Supporting Docs - Have property title records, tax and lien status docs, boundary surveys, zoning verification, terrain assessments and any added studies supporting the land’s build viability accessible for download to provide deeper buyer confidence. Transparently displaying due diligence efforts sells.

Market Locally - Don’t overlook traditional yard signs on-site plus local newspaper classified sections to reach regional developer, commercial entity and agricultural interests who may not focus efforts solely online. Cast a wide net through layered marketing investments.

Be Responsive - Follow-up all buyer inquiries promptly, field site visit requests, provide diligent answers to all questions and facilitate proposal submissions to keep deal momentum flowing. Nurturing buyer relationships wins deals.

With the right balance of informational content, visual media showcase, regional marketing exposure and consistent engagement, Arizona land sellers enhance visibility along with serious buyer consideration for vacant priced keenly and representing accurately.

Step 4: Evaluating & Finalizing Purchase Offers

Once purchaser proposals start arriving for Arizona land holdings, sorting offers systematically helps sellers act strategically to secure optimal deal terms beyond solely maximizing price. Useful steps here include:

Compare Down Payment Terms - If bids at ask price vary between all cash percentage down or loan contingent offers, note risk profiles based on the strength of buyer financing capacity. Decide what split between price & payment security makes most sense long-term.

Thoroughly Vet Buyers - Run background checks on bidders, verify financing is reliable for any non-cash bids, research entities behind offers to determine trustworthiness in closing deals as expected without issue. Screen vigilantly.

Clarify Timeline Expectations - Ask questions on buyer anticipated durations for due diligence, closing/funding processes and when they realistically need site control for any planned development projects requiring land use permits after purchase. Define these timing needs clearly upfront in purchase contracts.

Leverage Competing Offers - Communicate the existence of multiple competing proposals to interested purchasers, which incentivizes prompt decisions and potentially bid increases to beat out other buyers vying for the land. Strategic leverage expands value.

Be Ready to Negotiate - Buyers may still seek closing cost assistance, price reductions to account for site cleanup needs or request flexible seller financing terms in certain situations. Keep an open mind to terms that still achieve profitability goals.

Evaluating all components of Arizona land bids beyond just upfront pricing delivers a prudent formula for finalizing deals with the highest certainty of successful closing and ownership transfers.

Selling Arizona land during periods of market uncertainty and complexity certainly poses challenges. But by thoroughly evaluating land conditions relevant to value, strategic positioning through marketing and readiness to act on viable buyer offers promptly, landowners improve odds for timely sales at optimal prices. Consult experienced real estate professionals for further guidance on setting deals up for success.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What paperwork is involved with selling vacant land in Arizona?

Key documents you'll need include the property deed, parcel surveys documenting boundaries, zoning verification from the county, title insurance policy, tax status docs, lien releases if applicable, and ultimately the completed purchase contracts with new ownership transfer deeds. Hire an experienced real estate lawyer to protect your interests.

What taxes and fees typically apply when selling Arizona land?

You must pay any capital gains taxes on land sale profit amounts after deductions. Other common closing costs borne by sellers include title transfer fees, document recording expenses, some closing agent service charges, outstanding property tax balances due, and real estate agent commissions if applicable per your listing agreement.

How can I determine my vacant land's appraisal value in Arizona?

Hiring a certified professional appraiser to provide an appraisal examining recent comparable land sales and your parcel's attributes as the basis for fair market value estimates is advised. You'll also want to examine recent area land sale prices through deed searches to cross-check appraisal findings.

Should I require any inspections or assessments before agreeing to sell my Arizona land?

Yes, arranging environmental testing for potential contaminants, soils analysis documenting composition and weight bearing capacity, drainage/flood risk studies, vegetation surveys and even archaeological assessments protect you from liability for undisclosed issues emerging later the buyer could claim you failed mentioning.

What steps should I take if I'm unable to sell my Arizona land independently?

As a last resort exploring options of companies that purchase land directly from owners at reasonable prices calibrated to current market conditions can be prudent. These professional buyers have more flexibility negotiating creative win-win arrangements to purchase land an owner has struggled selling through traditional broker listings or FSBO attempts. Just ensure you vet buyer legitimacy thoroughly upfront and understand pricing clearly.

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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