How do You Protect Yourself From a Scam When Selling Bare Land? (Part1)

How do You Protect Yourself From a Scam When Selling Bare Land? (Part1)
Hi, I’m Beth with TB Properties Buys Land. Did you receive a letter in the mail with an offer to buy your rural vacant land? How do you know it’s not a scam? How do you protect yourself if you’re finally ready to sell your vacant land for cash quickly rather than put it on the market, and wait several months, and have to deal with a realtor, all that good stuff? I’m going to have a multi part series discussing how to protect yourself if you’re looking to sell your vacant land to a land investor. Please note this does not take the place of legal advice and if you have any questions about a transaction, you should consult your real estate attorney.

At TB Properties Buys Land, we are land investors and we purchase bare land for cash. We pay cash and we close through a title company. But if you are looking at another offer, and you’re trying to vet whether they are legit or whether we are for that matter, there’s a couple things that you need to do and need to know in order to protect yourself. The very first thing I’m going to discuss today is the contract itself. So if you get a contract… And this goes for any kind of contract, whether it’s medical, or real estate, or a work contract, you always need to read and understand that contract. Do not sign any contract if you are not a hundred percent clear on what it means.

One of the reasons that TB Properties Buys Land has a simple one page purchase agreement is that we want to make sure that the seller of their land, understands it completely and feels comfortable moving forward. You will want to make sure you read through that and understand it in full. A couple other things that we include in our contract, in our very specific contract, is we’re always going to have… We’re going to identify the land that is being sold. We will have a APN or assessor’s parcel number. We will have a shortened legal description of the property, and you’re going to be able to find this legal description on your tax statement from your assessor. We’re going to have that so that the title company properly understands which property in particular is being conveyed.

In addition to that, we call out the terms of the agreement. At TB Properties Buys Land, we cover all closing costs and we call that out specifically. Make sure that things are specific on your purchase agreement, or you may end up being surprised. Even though we say verbally we’re going to cover all closing costs, we are specific on our contract because the contract is everything when it comes to the title company. In the contract, we say that we’re going to cover the buyers’ and the sellers’ escrow fees. These are the fees that are paid to the title company for preparing all the documents. We say that we’re going to cover title insurance. We also say we’re going to cover any transfer taxes if those exist, as well as any recording fees that go to the county.

As for the seller, which would be you, we do a “cover your rear” clause and state that the seller will pay for any liens they have against their property or any encumbrances. So if you’ve got a lien or a loan against your property, we’re not going to cover that. We do say in there that you will cover those. Hopefully that you don’t have any liens against your property, but if you still have a mortage to be paid off, we include that in the contract and then we also have a closing date.

This first point about protecting yourself is really important. I’m going to cover a couple other things in the next series on protecting yourself when working with a real estate investor, but the most important thing is the contract. If you don’t understand the contract, get some understanding of it, have them rewrite the contract or remove parts or add parts. If you’re still not sure about it and you need to hire a real estate attorney, that’s something else that you can do. But if it’s so complicated you can’t understand it, then chances are there’s going to be something in there that you may not feel comfortable with when it comes down to closing the transaction.

Thanks again for listening and next week, we’ll come back with more ways to protect yourself when selling your rural vacant land. Thanks.
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