How to Close a Land Cash Transaction

How to Close a Land Cash Transaction

Cash transactions are typically more expedient and less risky than mortgaged sales. They are especially advantageous to sellers who may be under pressure from lenders to move quickly and close the sale. In Virginia, buyers and sellers must bear some closing costs regardless of the transaction type. These expenses differ by transaction type and can add up to 8%-10% of the purchase price. Seller closing costs include attorney fees, escrow fees, HOA fees, deed preparation fees, property survey fees, and pro-rated property taxes. Buyer closing costs may include home inspection fees, real estate agent commission, mortgage application fees, loan origination fees, credit report fees, appraisal fees, land survey fees, and soil percolation tests.

The most important step in a Virginia land cash transaction is finding the right property. This requires persistence and creativity. Search online land listing sites like Lands of America and filter for specific criteria such as location, acreage, and price. Check county clerk websites for notices of upcoming land tax sales, which can yield off-market deals. Scan classified ads on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace using keywords like “Virginia land for sale by owner.” Drive backroads in target counties looking for roadside “for sale by owner” signs, and visit local feed stores, diners, and bars to get word-of-mouth referrals.

Once you have found a potential parcel, carefully review county planning docs for zoning restrictions, utilities easements, and other factors that could affect development or improvement plans. Walk the entire property to assess any encroachments, boundary issues, and to see how well cell phone reception works from the site. Verify that existing roads and access to power lines are in good condition, and check with utility companies about the cost of extending services. Examine the property for septic system and well locations, and consider hiring an engineer or environmental consultant to evaluate the soil quality.

Cash buyers continue to play an outsized role in the Northern Virginia real estate market, despite rising interest rates that make borrowing more expensive. They are focusing on higher-end single-family homes in the region’s most desirable neighborhoods, which have increased in value and offer greater income potential than low-priced condominiums.

As cash sales increase in this region, investors should expect to face more competition for properties in high-demand areas. To gain an edge in the marketplace, investors should focus on identifying neighborhoods with high population growth and low unemployment. They should also seek out local real estate agents who specialize in selling new construction homes and can provide the best market data and insights to help them locate the most attractive investments. They should also work with discount real estate brokers who charge lower than traditional realtor commissions. These brokers can also offer additional concessions to attract cash buyers, such as covering the cost of a home warranty. In addition, these brokers can help sellers navigate the complicated transfer tax laws of Virginia.