So, you’ve got this vacant land property you’re not using, or perhaps inherited or came by some other way, and you’ve decided you’d like to finally sell it. Someone (hopefully Kahlil Turner with Land Pearl Ventures, LLC) has contacted you inquiring if you’d like to sell it to them. It all sounds great, but now you’ve got to decide if they can be trusted and if you want to do business with this person or entity or not.
Selling your land through a reputable land buyer like Land Pearl Ventures, LLC can be surprisingly safe, easy, and painless, allowing you to get paid quickly with little fuss. That being said, some people are often skeptical that the company who has contacted them is a legitimate company, and want to avoid being scammed, and rightfully so. There are stories of people being taken advantage of in all walks of life, and being careful is never a bad idea.
Here are a couple of helpful tips to help keep you safe while considering who you will sell your property to:
Research the Land Buying Company
If the company has a registered business or LLC, try researching their LLC by doing a simple Google search to determine which state their business is formally registered in. Do not assume the same state they are located in is the same state they may have their business domiciled or
registered in. While not common amongst land buying companies, entities domiciled offshore or in foreign countries could be a red flag.
If you have trouble locating that information, just ask the land buyer that you are doing your homework and would like to know – a legitimate firm will tell you what state their business is domiciled in.
Most states’ secretary of state websites or a similar state department will allow you to search for the business entity, see how long they have been in business, if their reports are up to date, etc.
Also look to see if the land buying company has a website where you might be able to glean more information about them. Other places to look: check YouTube in case they may have posted videos about themselves, and also Facebook to determine if they have an account there where more information about themselves may have been disclosed. (Land Pearl Ventures has information about ourselves on all three of these places. We are an open book.)
Close Using a Middleman such as a Title Company or Real Estate Attorney
Having the land buying company (like Land Pearl Ventures) to close using a title company or real estate attorney will ensure the property is closed through a licensed, experienced person to prevent errors from occurring. Most title companies (and even some real estate attorneys) can offer title insurance to help ensure title in the event something does go awry later on with the title.
Title companies and attorneys generally do the same thing when it comes to real estate closings, in fact most title companies employ attorneys to prepare documents. Many title companies are owned and operated by real estate attorneys. Title companies are tend to be more affordable than hiring individual attorneys when it comes to closing costs for a vacant land transaction.
The general process of using a title company is a purchase agreement/contract is signed by buyer/seller, title company collects the money from the buyer upfront and holds it in escrow, they collect the signed/notarized deed rom the seller, then record the sale and release the funds to the seller. Title companies are legally obligated to make sure the seller gets their funds, making it an excellent safeguard to prevent any issues from occurring.
(At Land Pearl Ventures – most transactions, unless the property in question has an extremely low value, are automatically closed using title companies.)
The one caveat to all of this – if your property is lower in value– let’s say, for example it’s a small rural desert vacant land property somewhere in the Southwest with no utilities, and is valued at a very low amount, such as $1,000 or $2,000 or so – getting a title company to process the paperwork may not be financially feasible, since closing the transaction with a title company would cost just as much as the property is worth. Most realtors will offer no help on such properties either, as there is no income to be made on such a property.
In those types of situations, your best bet is to work with an experienced land buying company that has closed such transactions before, can conduct the necessary research themselves, pay all cash for the transaction, and can prepare the deed to be closed using a notary before recording the sale themselves. Typically, the notary meets with the seller to sign the paperwork and is paid at the same time in such types of closings.