Three Bits of Information You’ll Need to Sell Your Land

Three Bits of Information You’ll Need to Sell Your Land

At Land Pearl, we’ve helped hundreds of landowners sell their property smoothly and easily. From our years of experience in the land business, below are three helpful tips we hope will help you get your affairs in order when selling your vacant land property.

The three primary items you’ll need that will be covered in this blog article will be:

  1. Legal Right to Sell Your Land/Title
  2. Purchase and Sell Agreement (aka Real Estate Contract).
  3. Property Parcel Number of Tax Identification Number

We go over each of these items in further detail below. If you’ve been contacted by Land Pearl Ventures already, we often already have your property parcel number information, which is a matter of public record. The other two items shown below still need to be addressed in any real estate sale before a sale can move forward. Speak with your Land Pearl Ventures rep if you are unsure about any of these items, and many times they can either help you through the process or point you in the right direction as to where to look.

Legal Right to Sell Your Property/Title Information

Before you sell your property, you need to be sure you have the legal right to sell the property. This may seem on the surface as common sense, and not much of an issue, but it comes into play more often than you might think, particularly with family/inherited property.

Assumptions are often made when tax bills are received, but – just because you may be paying for and receiving tax bills each year from the county does not mean your property has been properly titled in your name.

Land Pearl Ventures has seen numerous situations over the years on property that was inherited, where there may have been more than one heir, legally, to a property but only one person was receiving and paying the tax bills. That person paying the tax bills often believes that they have the sole right to receive all funds if/when the property sells, and often have the expectation that no other owners have to sign legal paperwork. Not true.

What the county recorder has recorded on the current deed, and what the assessor has as the billing address for tax bills are two totally separate things, two totally different departments that work independent of each other. Do not assume your title is correct and in order just because you receive the tax bill in your name each year. Most counties simply send the tax bills to whomever will pay them, not caring a whole lot where the funds come from. Legal title is an entirely different matter than tax billing. You must have legal title in order to sell the property. If multiple people own a property, then they must all agree to sell the property collectively, as well as sign various types of legal paperwork, in order to legally sell it.

If you are unsure about who exactly is on the title or deed of your property, and you can’t find a copy of your deed, not to worry. Simply contact the county recorder and ask them for a copy of the most current deed of your property, and read over it to make sure it is accurate and reflects the current owner(s). If it is not correct, consider hiring a title company or real estate attorney to help address it for you.

One of the benefits of working with Land Pearl Ventures is that we will usually perform some sort of informal, surface level title research on the county level, and then later hire a title company to perform much deeper title research/abstract work, to ensure the title is correct and that the transaction is closed properly and legally. One of these two checks, especially the title company’s work, will usually uncover any sort of title issues that may need to be addressed before a closing takes place. The vast majority of properties we purchase have no title issues, but occasionally there may be property titles that need to be fixed before a closing can take place.

Purchase and Sell Agreement (AKA Real Estate Contract)

In order to sell a property, there needs to be a legal contract between you (the land seller) and the buyer wishing to purchase your property. Most title companies cannot open up title without such a document. Both parties must sign and date the form and turn it in to the title company in order to open up title.

Without such a document, the title company usually cannot proceed in opening up the title process to sell a property to someone. Documentation is the name of the game here, and a purchase agreement addresses several issues to show a proper legal paper-trail between a buyer and seller in a real estate transaction.

The agreement need not be complex, just a simple straightforward contract is often all that is needed to move forward with selling a property. Most title companies can supply you with a buy/sell agreement for vacant land, for free, upon request, and sometimes they may even have multiple options to choose from  – just ask!

Property Parcel or Tax Identification Number

The land buyer will need this information in order to research the property, legal description, pull parcel boundary maps showing the approximate parcel boundaries of your property, and a host of other things about the property. Each county will assign a unique parcel number (also called a tax identification number) to every property in the county. The county needs such a number for good record keeping, to help identify your property from another’s, and to send you correct tax billing information each year, among other reasons.

To find this information, simply go to your most recent tax bill from the county. The parcel number or tax ID number will usually be listed somewhere on your most recent tax bill.

Can’t locate your most recent tax bill? Go online to the county’s assessor or treasurer department, most counties often have an online lookup available that will allow you to pull your most recent tax bill for the current year. If that doesn’t work, just phone the assessor or treasurer, and ask for your help in getting a copy of your most recent tax bill.