The Process of Selling Land in New Mexico

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The Process of Selling Land in New Mexico
By

Bart Waldon

New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment, is home to vibrant deserts, soaring mountains, and rich cultural history. With its diverse landscapes and thriving cities like Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico offers many opportunities for land ownership. From remote rural acres to plots near urban development, the state harbors high demand for quality real estate.

However, the process of selling land here also comes with its own set of considerations. Navigating negotiations, listings, title transfers and more requires localized knowledge. Those looking to sell their New Mexico property need proper guidance to maximize sale value and minimize hassles. This article will explain the step-by-step process to successfully sell your land in New Mexico.

Getting Started: Assessing Your New Mexico Property

Before placing your New Mexico land on the market, you’ll want to assess your property’s strengths and sale potential. Key areas to evaluate include:

Location

  • What city, county and general geographic area is your land located in? Proximity to major highways, urban centers and attractions impact value.
  • Rural acreage far from infrastructure often sells slower unless it has especially compelling natural features. Land near expanding suburbs with development potential can command higher pricing.

Lot Size

  • Acreage amount - smaller lots tend to sell quicker while those over 40 acres typically sit longer on the market. Recent zoning changes can also impact price per acre.

Terrain Features

  • Flat land is easiest to build on and develop. Hills, mesas, arroyos and other terrain variations can restrict construction but may provide appealing views and recreational usage.

Accessibility

  • Existing road access makes the property more usable to potential buyers. Lack of legal easements to the land can hamper sale ability.

Utilities

  • Available electricity, water, sewer and internet connections add to a property’s functionality and marketability to buyers. Bringing utilities to remote land can be very costly.

Selecting a Real Estate Agent or Broker

The next step is choosing how to place your New Mexico land on the market - either For Sale By Owner (FSBO) or working with a qualified real estate professional.

Benefits of using an agent/broker include:

  • Expertise in local land values and demand factors
  • Access to MLS listing services reaching wide buyer network
  • Guidance negotiating sales terms and pricing
  • Facilitation with title transfers, contracts, financing
  • Agents are typically paid on commission so direct cost to seller is lower

Many first-time land sellers prefer having an experienced agent to handle marketing and sales transactions on their behalf. Those with background in real estate sales may opt to sell FSBO, but one misstep can still derail deals or leave money on the table. Weigh options carefully.

Finding a Great Local Agent

Focus your agent search on industry veterans with proven history selling land specifically. Some key questions to ask potential agents:

  • How long have you sold land in my local market? Recent experience is crucial.
  • What is your closing rate and how many days to sale on average? Gauge their results.
  • How will you market and promote my property? Look for creative outreach.
  • What buyers do you currently have interested in land like mine? Existing buyer network is invaluable.

Narrow options down to 3 agents you connect well with and feel confident representing your best interests. Most seasoned professionals will also educate you on how to optimize pricing and terms for ideal sale outcome.

Determining Your List Price Strategy

Setting the right list price for your property is critical. Price too high and your land could sit untouched for years. Undervalue substantially and you leave proceeds behind.

Smart New Mexico sellers implement pricing strategies accounting for:

  • Appraisals - Hire an appraiser for a professional opinon on valuation
  • Comparable sales - What have similar nearby lands sold for recently?
  • Property potential - Development value factors heavily into pricing
  • Carrying costs - Longer listings equal more taxes, fees etc. eating into profits

Ideally your agent will pull comps and make pricing recommendations based on latest area sales. Be prepared to list 10-20% below appraisal at first, adjusting later if needed.

Prepping Your Land Listing

Now comes effectively marketing your New Mexico land to attract qualified buyers. Your agent will handle submitting property data to Multiple Listing Services (MLS) along with coordinating details like:

Photographs & Video

  • Thoroughly photograph your acreage, highlighting appealing features
  • Drone flyovers add visual impact communicating scope and terrain
  • Craft video tours for virtual showings to distant buyers

Descriptions

Highlight property attributes like views, wild game, vegetation, frontage access along with development potential. Uploading plat maps is also essential.

Online Listings

Expand digital visibility by syndicating to Zillow, Trulia, LandsOfAmerica and other land-focused platforms.

Casting a wide buyer net leverages technology for greater sales efficiency. Yet some old fashioned approaches still deliver too.

Print Marketing

Many serious land buyers scan classified ads and specialty publications. Placing print listings in key regional outlets markets to older demographics less web savvy.

Utilize all advertising channels available through your broker and don’t hesitate to request additional exposure if needed.

Showing Your Land

When serious buyers emerge, prepare fully for showings. Tidy up the property removing brush piles, garbage etc. that may detract. Install helpful signage to access the acreage if tricky to find.

Accompany showings whenever feasible. Answer buyer questions candidly and defer to your agent on pricing/terms discussions. Gauge buyer behaviors for level of enthusiasm helping determine sale probability.

Follow up promptly with buyer agents to address concerns or clarify next steps. Nurturing promising leads is vital, so don’t drop the ball responding.

Evaluating Offers

Eventually you’ll receive an official purchase offer to consider. Now experience pays dividends negotiating optimal terms. Key areas assessing offers:

Price - Comparison against list price may reveal room for counteroffers and concessions from buyers. Don’t refuse reasonable pricing if terms satisfy.

Contingencies - Home sales contingent upon selling existing property are riskier than cash offers. Seek price premiums for accepting contingencies.

Closing Timeline - Priority to buyers agreeing to standard 30-60 day escrow over those requiring longer flexible timelines.

Earnest Money - Larger deposit portion indicates serious buyer commitment.

Carefully review all offer elements - price, closing date, contingencies, title insurance, mineral rights etc. Your agent can request revised terms if any prove unsatisfactory. Receiving multiple competing offers also strengthens seller leverage in negotiations.

Closing the Sale

Accepting an attractive purchase offer is not the finish line. Numerous closing requirements eat up coming weeks. Fulfilling closing tasks smooths ownership transfer protecting your interests:

Title Work - The buyer will order title search identifying any easements or other encumbrances tied to the land. Review title docs confirming their accuracy.

Address Encumbrances - If title issues do emerge, quickly act to resolve them through legal releases or other remedy actions.

Final Walkthrough - Accompany buyers on property walkthrough before closing to ensure conditions match marketing descriptions.

Sign Closing Paperwork - Review all closing contracts and tax forms. Addenda may require clarity so understand paperwork implications before signing.

Collect Payment - Once ink dries on dotted lines, remaining sale proceeds get deposited into your account, concluding the sale.

Alternative Sale Options

The traditional process described above requires significant time and effort to navigate - typically 6 months to several years selling vacant land in New Mexico. Yet alternative sale solutions exist too.

Land Buying Companies

Certain real estate investment companies like Land Boss proactively buy land for cash, often at discounted pricing compared to market value. Working with reputable cash buyers simplifies closing for quick funds without buyer financing contingencies jeopardizing deals. Reputable cash buyers like Land Boss close deals typically within 30 days or less.

Evaluating cash buyer offers can make sense for New Mexico landowners motivated to sell more rapidly compared to traditional listings. Those needing to relocate quickly, settle estates, avoid foreclosure or eliminate unwanted tax burdens may benefit from this convenient sale method.

Auctions

Hiring an auction company introduces competitive bidding securing fair market value sales. Auctioneers handle all marketing and transactions for a cut of the final price. Yet auction outcome uncertainty and slower seller payouts limit appeal for some.

In the quest to sell your New Mexico land, weigh the different process options carefully. What works optimally aligns with your priorities - whether maximizing profit despite longer timelines, or simpler selling with reasonable return. Partnering with a capable real estate advisor helps navigate any approach successfully.

Final Thoughts

Selling land in the Land of Enchantment brings its own unique considerations with the diverse landscape and mix of rural and developing areas impacting property value. From assessing your land’s attributes to smart pricing and listings strategies to smoothly navigating sales contracts, the optimal process aligns with seller motivations. Those seeking to maximize sale price may endure a lengthier listing period finding the ideal buyer. Others prioritizing convenience choose quicker cash sales through land buying companies or auctions. With quality guidance from a knowledgeable real estate advisor, New Mexico landowners can craft an approach matching their needs and financial goals. No matter what path a seller takes, the rewards of a simplified sale journey and closed deal makes the effort worthwhile.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What paperwork do I need to sell my land in New Mexico?

To sell your land, you typically need the property deed, title records, plat map, tax assessment information, and any liens or encumbrances documentation. A real estate attorney can pull required records through a title search. Surveys may also be advisable for accurate boundary information.

How long does vacant land take to sell in New Mexico?

The typical timeline can range anywhere from 6 months to a few years for vacant land sales in New Mexico. More developable parcels may sell within one year while remote rural acreage often requires multiple years to find suitable buyers.

What legal ownership factors might complicate my New Mexico land sale?

Complex family ownership, severed oil/gas/mineral rights and legal easements for access often muddy the title waters. Resolving any divided rights or mineral encumbrances is crucial before selling for smooth closings. Unclear heirs may prevent transferring valid title too.

What carrying costs apply when my land is listed for sale?

Typical carrying costs include annual property taxes, lien payments on the land, and potentially also HOA fees, insurance, security monitoring, and land maintenance fees. Budget these wisely into net sale projections.

Can I get my land valued before listing it in New Mexico?

Yes, hiring an appraiser provides expert valuation guidance prior to listing which informs appropriate pricing. Brokers can also pull comparable area sales data to indicate fair market land value. Weigh both for the most accurate listing price.

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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