February 11, 2024 / By Bob Williams
Whether gazing out over Seattle’s soaring skyline or wide-open acres of tranquil countryside, there is no doubt that land ownership brings with it an opportunity to build wealth and a new lifestyle. The real estate investment is not without its risks, but those who are patient and savvy can secure solid gains over a long term horizon. Like all properties, land prices fluctuate based on market conditions and supply and demand factors. Preparing a property well, pricing it keenly and marketing widely all factor into a land sale’s success. In periods of strong demand, a property can sell faster than expected.
Vacant land sales are typically slower than those of developed properties, with the average listing time on the market reaching over a year. However, a few simple steps can speed up the process significantly. Prior to placing a property on the market, it is essential to resolve any outstanding mortgages, tax debts and other encumbrances attached to the land title. Resolving these issues early on will make the property more appealing to buyers and prevent delays and costly complications down the road.
A common way to sell vacant land is to work with a “we buy land” company. These companies are experts in the business and can often close deals within weeks or even days. They are able to do so because they purchase properties with cash, which eliminates the need for inspections, appraisals and other financing contingencies that can prolong the closing process.
Many states have programs that help local governments and private citizens acquire state-owned land for development or other uses. For example, the Efficient Land Sales in Washington Department of Natural Resources DNR auctions off parcels that are no longer fit for its management, and the proceeds from those sales help fund schools and public services.
Selling land in the Evergreen State can be a lucrative endeavor, especially in areas where population growth is high. Coastal areas and lakefront property have a lot to offer, as do farmland and timberland in the Columbia Basin and in the Yakima Valley. The Olympic Peninsula is also a popular destination for recreational buyers looking to escape urban life and enjoy the rugged beauty of nature.
Agricultural land is another area of high interest in the state, particularly around Spokane and the Tri-Cities, where booming wine industry opportunities have driven acreage prices higher. In the longer term, rising global food demand will likely further boost agricultural land values in this region.