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How to Sell Land You’ve Inherited – Top things to Consider

On March 16, 2018 /

Selling Inherited Land

Selling land you have inherited – What you should know.

The loss of a loved one is a difficult and challenging time for families and what makes these times even more stressful is dealing with all the matters that must be decided when distributing assets that have been inherited personally or among family members. In many cases, real estate including land properties may be one of such assets for which it must be decided what to do with next. Land, unlike homes, often do not provide the same level of utility as a home, which can be lived in, rented, or put on the local market and sold to a buyer looking to use it for such purposes. Land often poses a unique set of challenges in marketing and selling due to limited financing available for buyers and a limited local market if it’s in a remote area. Land is often an inherited asset that may families or individuals don’t have any immediate or intended future use for and decide to sell.

Selling Land you’ve Inherited

Often times people who have inherited land decide that it serves them no purpose or isn’t something that they see the value in hanging on to. In this case, it must then be decided how to go about selling the property which is a decision that may involve multiple family members who may or may not see eye to eye on the sale of the property. The first step to deciding whether or not to sell your land is to have a discussion with all family members who have an interest in the property and making sure everyone is on the same page. This step alone may be a challenge for some families as people may have grown apart or may have challenged relationships, however having everyone on the same page and willing and able to sign off on the required documentation is crucial to making sure that the sale will inevitably go through and will save a lot of time for everyone involved when everyone is clear on what to expect from a sale.

Probating the Estate

Before you are able to offer clear title to the property you’ll likely need to file probate, which typically requires legal counsel and requires a legal proceeding and can take a few months to complete. During the probate proceedings, the court gives executor of the will the authority to distribute to assets including the land property on behalf of the estate. The property then can be transferred into the name of the executor which allows for a marketable and clear title so it can be transferred or sold. In some states, an estate of small value, or a value of a few thousand to a few hundred thousand can file a summary probate which doesn’t require an attorney and can be completed much faster. Check online with the state you are in if a summary probate can be filed if it is a smaller estate that won’t require the full probate process.


Preparing to sell the land

If you or your family have inherited the land you’re are trying to sell, the first step is gathering any required information so you can be informed about the property you’re are trying to sell and can answer questions potential sellers may have. The types of information that you will want to know are the tax ID for the property which can be found on a tax bill, that will provide you with a reference number you can use to research the property location by contacting the county offices where the property is located, in many cases you can find the information you need online. Check out netronline.com for a directory of county offices in the US. You will want to know where the property is located, what type of road access exists to it, and if any utilities are available to the property. This information can be determined by contacting the county the property is located in. The county assessor can provide you with property assessment values and basic zoning code and will often have online access to an online GIS map of the property that will show you it’s location, and you can typically ascertain what type of road access exists to the property by viewing an aerial satellite image of the property from either the county GIS or google maps if you have the GPS location or address.

Finding the right buyer

The first step may require you to contact an experienced land buyer or professional with experience in real estate title or an attorney experienced in handling probate or estate distribution to get clear on what will be required to transfer the title or your inherited land to a buyer. Knowing exactly what will be involved to make the sale possible will prepare you or your buyer for the necessary steps involved in selling your land.

Once you have all your ducks in a row there are a number of options that exist for marketing and selling your land depending on how involved you want to be in the process of marketing and selling land. In today’s day and age selling land online is an option that is available to you and depending on the type of property and the value you may want to consider selling land on your own. A quick google search will produce a number of land buyers who you can wholesale your land to including ourselves if you decide you’d rather not deal with the hassle of selling your land.