Surprises or Risks? What Does it Cost to Sell Your Vacant Land Lot Part4

Surprises or Risks? What Does it Cost to Sell Your Vacant Land Lot Part4
Beth :
Hi, I’m Beth with TB properties Buys Land. In the last several segments we’ve been discussing what it might actually cost you as a land seller in order to market and sell your rural vacant land. Maybe you’ve got bare empty land that you want to sell, but you might actually have to spend money before you can even market your property. On top of this, when it comes to the close of the transaction, there may be some major deductions that you weren’t considering once you sold your property. We discussed this in the first three segments. Today we’re going to talk about some surprises that you might run into when selling your vacant land lot. And by surprises the word I should probably use is risk. And how much risk do you want to take when it comes to selling your vacant land lot?

One example that I’ll talk about is when it comes to selling through the title company, what title might actually find. In pulling the Title Commitment they may find that there are plenty of back taxes, or maybe even some back HOA or POA dues that are past due, maybe this land that you’re trying to sell isn’t yours. Maybe it was inherited land and you weren’t even sure that there were back taxes that weren’t being paid on it. So title’s going to find this when they close a transaction and they’re going to say, Hey, this is going to deduct from the proceeds that you’re going to make. Maybe on top of the past due taxes they find past due HOA fees. This could end up being thousands of dollars. We’ve seen where there’s thousands and thousands of dollars owed for property taxes, as well as HOA fees. That might be a surprise that you might run into. And that would reduce the proceeds coming to you at the close of sale.

Another thing that might be a surprise or a risk is if you’re required to survey your land. Maybe a potential buyer is looking at your property, but they’re saying they need a survey before they’re willing to buy the property. Or maybe the title company is requiring a survey in order to insure a good title to the land buyer. Most of the time it would be you as the seller that pays for the survey, because that survey stays with you as the seller, even if that buyer backs out. So you pay for that survey. On the low end, maybe it costs you $1,500, $2000, maybe it costs you closer to $5,000. A bigger piece of property, it might cost you a lot more.

There are some risks to getting your land surveyed. I don’t know if people actually told you about that. The survey might find that your land actually is smaller than you thought it was. We’ve seen that. We’ve seen where we were buying a property and once it was surveyed, we lost half the acreage. Half the acreage was gone. This poor land seller thought he had 42 acres and it was closer to the mid to low 20s. So that’s a big deal. So maybe you thought you’re going to sell your land for $20,000, but now it’s only worth $10,000 because you’ve got half the acreage there. It is possible and we have personally seen it. You may end up with extra acreage. That is possible, but there is a risk that it could be less. Another risk with the survey is the boundary lines could change and we’ve seen that too.

We’ve seen the difference between thinking there was a squatter on a property because of someone having built a small cabin and living out there to that property line shifting and no longer being a squatter. That was a good thing to find out, but it could be the opposite is true as well. We have seen another property where the county GIS maps are showing a road going to the property. We saw the property and thought, “Yay, it’s a county road so we’ve got legal access because it’s a public road going through the property.” The, it was uh oh, the survey’s done and we find out that the property lines had shifted north of the county road. That landowner, that land seller no longer could offer legal or physical access to the property. So what are they left to do? Now they’ve got to go and see if they can pay to secure an easement from the other landowner, in order to access his property and he’s got to put a road in. He’s got to get that approved and recorded with the county in order to have legal access to the property.

What happens if that landowner says, no, I don’t want to give you an easement? I don’t want you crossing my land to get to your property. Now you have no legal access. And for the most part, not having legal access can reduce the value of your property. It can cut the value in half or it could be worse. That landowner whose property you’re traversing to get to yours, he could put up a locked gate there. He could put a fence with no trespassing signs. And now whoever’s trying to get to your property is breaking a law and they’re trespassing to get to your property. That can be a big risk in getting your surveyed. Another survey risk that we ran into in the past is that this particular land owner, his property had not been surveyed since the early 1900s. The cost that the surveyors were estimating just to survey the land was over $10,000 and they couldn’t even put a cap on their estimate since they didn’t know what they would run into when doing the survey. The survey cost was really a question mark.

They couldn’t give a good estimate because the last survey was so long ago and there were no property owners in the vicinity who’d had a survey done that they could use. So there was really a huge question mark on what the cost of that survey could be. So maybe you go with the intention of getting a survey for your property, but what’s it going to cost you? These are some very real risks when it comes to selling your vacant land lot that we have personally run into or you might call them some “surprises” when selling your property. But the question you want to ask yourself is where do I want this risk to be when I’m selling my property? Do you want the risk to totally be on your shoulders? And maybe that’s okay, maybe you’re fine and you don’t have a risky situation. But if you want something easy and you don’t want to take the risk of some of these surprises happening to you, there are easier and more concrete, definitive ways of selling your property.

Working with a land investor is a very viable and safe option. Companies like TB Properties Buys Land, we do this every day. We buy property, we buy vacant land. We have surveyor connections, and we work with title companies. We pay for the cost of the survey, if that’s needed. We pay for all the closing costs. If there’s attorney fees that’s needed to remedy your chain of title, the escrow fees, the title insurance, the recording fees. If there’s back taxes or HOA fees that are due. These are things that we cover. If we find out that there are issues with the survey, these are things that we deal with on a regular basis and we know what to do. On top of this, you don’t have 10% realtor fees involved in selling the property. You don’t have to worry about marketing the property yourself and answering the phone calls of “where is this place located” and “how do I get there?” Or “I’m lost!” And “there’s a gate here. I came from this direction.” And “how far is it from this city?”

There is an easier, faster way of selling your property. Working with TB Properties Buys Land is a very viable solution. Give us a shout. We’re happy to walk through the process. We only close through reputable title companies. We always pay cash. And the price that we quote you is exactly what you’re going to get paid. If you have any questions, reach out to us. Thanks again for listening.
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