What to Do After Inheriting Land in Kansas

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What to Do After Inheriting Land in Kansas
By

Bart Waldon

Kansas is located in the Midwestern United States, known as the Wheat State and the Sunflower State. With its scenic landscapes, agricultural economy, and diverse cities, Kansas offers plenty for landowners. If you have recently inherited land in Kansas, you likely have questions about next steps. This guide will walk you through key considerations and provide tips to help you make informed decisions about your new property.

Getting Started: Initial Tasks After Inheritance

Upon inheriting land in Kansas, there are a few important initial tasks you’ll want to complete. Here’s a checklist to help you get organized:

Confirm Ownership Details

Your first step is confirming documentation of the land ownership transfer. The title or deed provide legal proof you have inherited the land. Review the property description, location, boundaries, rights and responsibilities conveyed. Also confirm if there are any leans, taxes owed or other encumbrances on the land.

Evaluate Current Uses

Land can be used for purposes like farming, residential, commercial or industrial development or remain vacant. Consider how the land is currently used, if there are any tenants or income generated. This will help you decide next steps, like whether to sell quickly or retain ownership.

Inspect the Property

If possible, physically walk the land yourself to view current conditions. Look for signs of unauthorized use, needed repairs, or other issues needing addressed. If the land is remote, consider hiring someone to inspect on your behalf.

Handle Taxes

Make sure taxes are paid and account for inheritance tax responsibilities if applicable. Consider opening an estate account to handle land-related income, expenses and tax filings. Consulting an accountant can be helpful for staying compliant.

Key Decisions: Should You Keep or Sell the Land?

Once initial tasks are complete, a major decision is whether to keep the inherited land or sell it. Here are some factors to help decide:

Financial Considerations

If keeping the land, estimate costs for maintenance, repairs, taxes and insurance. Will the land generate income through activities like farming, drilling oil or gas, or rental as storage space? What financing options are available if extra funds are needed?

What is the current market value based on comparable land sales and property assessments in the area? Does current market timing seem favorable for selling, or likely to increase if you retain ownership longer? Market conditions can directly impact how much you can sell for.

Personal/Family Reasons

Are there personal or sentimental reasons to keep the land such as preserving family legacy, using as a vacation retreat or future retirement homesite? How does location accessibility fit into future plans or travel expectations? These types of personal considerations may play a big role in deciding whether to keep or sell.

Effort Involved

Also weigh obligations that come with land ownership like managing tenants, maintenance responsibilities, community relations and legal liability. Selling relieves these duties, but takes significant time and effort to market effectively, negotiate with buyers, handle paperwork/closing details. Know that the process typically takes 1-2 years for vacant land.

If keeping the land, develop a long-term strategic plan. Or if selling, consider all options - wholesale, retail, auction houses, real estate agents or direct to an established land buying company. They each have pros and cons to evaluate related to convenience, speed, maximum sale price and more.

Tips for Maximizing Returns When Selling Land

If choosing to sell inherited land, here are tips improve chances of maximizing financial returns:

Verify Boundaries

Having clear, updated boundary maps and survey data makes the land far more attractive to potential buyers. Consider hiring a surveyor to mark boundaries. Legal verification of exact total acres and ensuring clear title will position listing for best offers.

Check Local Zoning Laws

Review area zoning, land ordinances and development plans. In rapidly growing regions, vacant land near new housing or commercial centers likely has increased chance of sales potential. This also impacts appraisal value when setting an appropriate asking price.

Find an Expert Realtor

Research realtors thoroughly experienced selling vacant land parcels similar to what you have inherited. They can best advise listing strategies specific to your situation given location, market trends and type of land involved. Be sure to discuss optimal pricing approaches to avoid over- or under-valuing.

Market Aggressively

Work closely with your real estate agent to market the land actively across multiple platforms - print publications, digital ads, listing services, relevant industry groups. Produce visually appealing marketing materials highlighting property attributes. Implement innovative marketing strategies for widest reach among buyers actively looking in the area.

Prepare for Lengthy Timelines

Understand that realistically selling vacant land often takes 12-24 months. There’s significant upfront effort required for surveys, lawyers, title insurance, deed paperwork - before even formally listing for sale. Be patient responding to buyer inquiries and negotiating offers to maximize sale price. Avoid rushing the process only to sell for less than fair market value just to quickly unload inherited land.

Selling directly to an established land buying company like Land Boss for cash can be an option for those inheriting land to consider as well. We have extensive experience navigating the nuances that come with vacant land transactions. While sale offers may be at a discounted rate compared to full appraised market value pricing, there are also advantages to this sale avenue depending on personal priorities or situational factors.

Additional Considerations to Weigh

Here are a few other items inheriting landowners should evaluate while deciding next moves:

Check Existing Mineral Rights

Confirm documentation on who retains rights to any oil, gas or mineral deposits underground - or timber or water sources on the land. These details directly impact appraisal value and buyer interest level. Ensure rights transfer legally to new owner upon sale.

Review Other Usage Contracts

If you decide to sell the land, check whether any existing leases, easements or usage agreements with tenants transfer over to a new owner upon sale. Important to disclose relevant legal documentation early when listing land for sale.

Solve Any Access Restrictions

If the inherited land is remote, a critical question is whether there’s accessible road access for potential development or usage. Buyers want reassurance they can legally access the property. If limitations exist, consider whether access rights can be secured from neighboring owners - increasing attractiveness for resale.

Confer with Tax Experts

Meet with business tax specialists to identify all available tax deductions related to the inherited land. Owning land conveys tax liabilities but also potential credits or income write-offs you may qualify for. Knowledge in these areas can impact net financial benefit of retaining land vs selling immediately.

While navigating the many facets related to newly inherited land can feel complex, breaking key considerations down into smaller steps makes the path forward clearer. Identify priorities based on your situation and consult professionals to ensure you make the most out of this valuable asset as the new land owner. With sound planning and patience, inherited land can become a great opportunity. Best of luck charting your course in the great state of Kansas!

Final Thoughts

Inheriting land presents a multifaceted set of considerations. By first confirming details of property ownership transfer, inspecting the land condition, evaluating financial impacts and usage options - you establish a foundation for strategic decision-making. Determining personal priorities, expectations for the land, and availability of resources helps drive conclusion on whether to retain or sell the inherited asset. If opting to sell, thoroughly researching options and implementing savvy marketing tactics is key to maximize returns. While evaluating offers, ensure selection aligns with goals. Establish a plan mapping specific next action steps. Lean on guidance from professionals like surveyors, real estate agents, lawyers and tax specialists to navigate technical aspects. With proper diligence and planning, inherited land can become a valuable asset as a new owner in the great state of Kansas. This marks just the start of an exciting journey ahead as the story of your land unfolds.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What taxes do I need to pay if I inherit land in Kansas?

You may need to pay inheritance tax, income tax on any proceeds gained from the sale or use of the land, and annual property taxes. Consult a tax professional to understand your full obligations.

Is there a time limit for how long I can retain inherited land before needing to transfer ownership?

There is no time limit for retaining ownership of inherited land in Kansas. As long as you remain compliant with property taxes and maintain the land as required, the inherited asset can be retained indefinitely.

I inherited rural farmland hours away from where I live. What are my options?

Hiring a local property management company to oversee day-to-day operations is an option. Or consider selling to a trusted farm operator looking to expand, who may pay premium since surrounding uses and soil are ideal for their needs. Other options are selling to a land buying company or real estate investor for cash.

What key documents do I need when selling inherited land?

You’ll need to provide the deed, title insurance or attorney’s title opinion, survey maps and drawings, tax statements, mineral/water rights data, lease agreements, and disclosures about condition or access related to the land parcel.

How can I determine fair market value for inherited vacant land?

Research prices for recent comparable vacant land sales in the same geographic area. Consult an accredited appraiser specializing in local land valuations. Also connect with area real estate professionals focused on land sales to discuss pricing based on various influencing factors. Local county assessor’s data provides initial guidance but does not necessarily reflect true market value.

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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