How to Sell Land by Owner in Texas
Selling land by owner can be daunting if you've never done it before. Where will you find a buyer? And what paperwork is required to sell vacant land?
Fortunately, selling land by owner in Texas is straightforward once you break it down into a few manageable steps. Learn how to sell land without a realtor in this guide.
First, we'll cover how to market a plot of land. If you already have a buyer such as a neighbor or family member, you can skip to the documents needed to sell land by owner in Texas.
Second, we cover the paperwork for selling land by owner including the important legal documents for selling land such as the deed. We'll also guide you on selecting a template contract to sell land by owner in Texas.
Lastly, we provide an alternative to going through all these steps yourself - selling land for cash. If you want to learn how to sell land fast, this may be a good option to consider.
Best way to sell land by owner in Texas
If you're looking for a buyer for your Texas land, you're going to need to market the property for sale in several ways. The best way to sell a piece of land is a combination of local outreach and online marketing. Since you're trying to sell land without a realtor, you're going to have to replicate many of the steps a real estate agent would take.
For sale sign
A simple sign is a low-tech method to let passersby know that you're selling land. The point of a sign is simply to let people who are passing by know that your land is for sale. It also helps buyers to find your property.
A for sale sign helps to:
- Alert passersby that your land is for sale
- Help a potential buyer find the property
To learn more, see Sell Your Land for Less than $100 with a Sign.
A neighbor may purchase
A For Sale sign is good for catching the attention of passersby. But wouldn't it be good if there was a way to reach everyone near your property? You can do that with a neighbor letter campaign. What do we mean by campaign? It's an organized way of sending out many letters at once.
The people living closest to your land are some of the most likely buyers. Through a neighbor letter campaign, you will get in touch with these potential buyers quickly and easily. For that reason, neighbor letters should be one of the first things you do when promoting your Texas land.
To learn how to do this easily WITHOUT addressing all the envelopes yourself, see Sell Your Land with a Neighbor Letter Campaign.
List your real estate for sale online
After you have your sign up and have notified your neighbors, the next step is to list your land online.
With millions of visitors per month, Craigslist.org is one of the most visited websites in the US. If you only know Craigslist as a place to find a used sofa, there's much more to it. Craigslist is also home to millions of listings for properties.
The main reason to use Craigslist is that it has high traffic. It also has a specific category for placing a listing for land for sale, and it is free to use.
There are some downsides to the platform too. Craigslist attracts bargain buyers, so it's not the ideal website to use for selling the most valuable kinds of properties. There's also a lot of 'tire kickers' - people that will ask questions, but are not serious about land buying.
Still, since it's free and allows you to create detailed land listings, it should be one of the first places you list your land for sale. To see our full guide including a full walkthrough of creating an ad and examples of successful land listings, see How to Sell Land on Craigslist.
Facebook Marketplace is another free place to list your land for sale by owner. Facebook is used by approximately 200 million Americans, so it's not surprising that it's a great place to get exposure for your land listing.
The 'classifieds' area of Facebook is called Marketplace, where you can buy and sell just about anything, including real estate. But, there's no specific category for land.
The unique thing about Facebook is that people can share your ad with their friends who are looking for land. Facebook Marketplace encourages people to share your listing. It's also free!
To learn more about selling land on Facebook Marketplace, see How to Sell Land on Facebook Marketplace.
When it comes to buying or selling land online, many people first think of Zillow. Zillow is the number one most visited real estate website, with tens of millions of visitors every month.
Zillow makes it easy to create attractive real estate listings, like those offered by real estate agents. Zillow's interface makes it simple for you to connect with potential buyers. Also it's free to post your listing on Zillow!
The main problem with Zillow is it makes it hard to find for sale by owner listings. That's because it priotitizes listings by real estate agents. That's why for many sellers, it may make sense to list your property for a flat fee on the MLS (described below). This will still get your listing on Zillow where it will be shown with listings from realtors.
Either way, as the number one real estate website it's an essential step in advertising your land for sale. To learn more about selling land on Zillow, see How to Sell Land on Zillow.
What is the MLS? MLS is the acronym used for multiple listing service, and there isn't just one MLS. Hundreds of MLSs cover various local areas and overlap each other.
An MLS is simply a database for realtors to post their listings for sale. Other realtors participating in that MLS can view these listings through websites such as Zillow or Realtor.com. The public can also view these listings via the internet.
What you may not know is that listing on the MLS without a realtor is also an option. A flat fee MLS listing is when the seller pays a flar fee to a broker instead of a commission.
To learn more about listing your Texas land on the MLS without a realtor, see Should I list my land for sale on MLS?
Lands of Texas
Lands of Texas is a website dedicated to selling rural land in Texas. It's not free and unlike listing on the MLS, listing on Lands of Texas will not get your ad on other websites like Zillow.
Still, they have thousands of listings at a time, so this could be a great place to find a buyer. Lands of Texas is actually part of a network of websites that gets approximately 14 million visitors per month.
Lands of Texas has dedicated categories for hunting, farms, ranches, and waterfront properties. This makes it one of the most 'land friendly' websites.
If you're not having luck with the free websites to list land for sale, you might try Lands of Texas as another option to sell land in Texas.
Paperwork for selling land by owner
Here's a brief overview of the documents required for selling a property:
- Getting things organized
- Preparing the contract
- Closing on the sale
For a complete guide, see Documents Needed to Sell Land By Owner in Texas.
Before marketing the property for sale
The paperwork for selling your land by owner may start even before you market it for sale. These documents provide key information that a prospective purchaser will want to see. It will also show them that you have everything required to transfer ownership to them. Here are a few of the most important ones:
Survey or topographical map of the property
It's often wise to have land surveyed before selling. The survey shows the property boundaries, and nearby objects, such as fences, trees, and buildings. Buyers will want to visualize these boundaries when considering their intended use.
Title to the property
Evaluating the title to your property early on is important when selling land. The title is proof of ownership, so it is important to understand who is on the title to ease transfer of ownership. You don't want any uncertainty about the ownership of the property. It's also important to know who is on the title before preparing the purchase and sale agreement.
List of assets to sell with the land
You may be selling the land along with the rights for other items included in the sale, such as farm equipment or timber stands. This often happens with ranch and farm sales in Texas. Listing all the items included in the sale can help potential buyers understand what they are getting, and it can even speed up the sale process.
Contract to sell land by owner
One of the most important legal documents for buying and selling land is the contract between buyer and seller. The purpose of the sale contract or purchase agreement is to create a legally binding land agreement between two parties. This document sets out the terms of the purchase, including price, closing date, and any contingencies.
In Texas, you will find free contract templates provided by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC). The public can use these contract forms which are available for download on the TREC website.
The two main land sale contracts to choose from are the Unimproved Property Contract and the Farm and Ranch Contract.
The Unimproved Property Contract is for land that does not have improvements such as buildings or fixtures. It's normally used for property that has been platted and has a Lot/Block legal description.
The Farm and Ranch Contract covers items specific to farms and ranches such as tanks, barns, pens, fences, gates, sheds, outbuildings, and corrals.
Regardless of which template you choose, certain basic information is in every contract. The following will should be in the contract:
- Identity of the seller and buyer
- Description of the property
- Sale price
- Earnest money deposit
- Closing date
Closing on the sale
In the closing statement, the financial details of a transaction are listed. This includes the amount of money paid by each party, as well as any taxes or fees associated with the sale. The closing statement ensures that both buyer and seller are aware of all costs involved in the sale of that transaction.
You may want to use a title company for the closing when selling land without a real estate agent. The title company can create the closing statement and prepare and record the deed for you. They will also transfer the purchase funds from the buyer to the seller when the deed is signed.
If you decide to prepare the deed yourself, you should be aware that under Texas law certain rules apply for a deed to be considered valid:
- Buyer and seller must be named
- Wording must make clear the intent to convey the property
- Property must be adequately described
- Deed must be signed by the seller and delivered to the buyer
Typically, the buyer will want the deed to be recorded in the county clerk's records. To do so, plan on having your signature witnessed by a notary so it can be submitted for recording.
Alternative - selling land for cash
If all this paperwork sounds tiresome, one alternative is to sell your property to a cash buyer. Our business buys land as-is, so we're able to use a simple, one page land sale agreement in most cases.
When you sell to a we buy land company, you sell the property at a discount. But you won't have to pay any real estate commissions. The other benefit of selling land for cash is that it's fast - usually the entire process takes in less than two weeks.
If you'd like to find out more, consider selling your land fast by requesting a fair cash offer from us.