Whether you’re buying land to build your dream home or need to sell your existing house to buy land, it’s important to get expert guidance through the process. Unlike a home purchase, land transactions are much more complex due to local land laws and regulatory requirements. Buying land to build requires specialized expertise in assessing and understanding the physical characteristics of the property, its zoning status, soil types and potential building Immediate Land Purchase Offers in California issues, and the history of the property ownership. Unfortunately, real estate agents often avoid land purchases, and those that do specialize in it typically earn a lower commission than home sales, so it is rare to find an agent who has the specialized knowledge you need.
When you do, however, you should beware of any agent who is quick to push a deal through without the usual steps of screening a buyer through financial qualification, inspections, and closing logistics. This is a red flag that he or she doesn’t fully understand the complexity of this type of transaction and could be looking out for their own financial interests rather than yours.
Other red flags to look out for include:
-Excessively high initial offers hoping you won’t scrutinize the deal. -Lack of clear information about how the land was sold in the past, such as the previous owner’s name or why they were unable to develop it. -Requiring you to waive your legal rights to mediation or arbitration if disputes arise during the closing process.
It is also a good idea to have an experienced real estate lawyer review the terms of your sale. They will be able to provide you with the right contingencies and an appropriate escrow arrangement to protect your earnest money should you need to back out of the sale for any reason. This is particularly important for buyers in the case of an immediate land purchase since you may not be able to find another property with similar value in the short term.
Once you are satisfied with the terms of your purchase, and the escrow officer has received your earnest money and proof of funds, he or she will transfer ownership to you by recording the deed at the county recorder’s office. This is the final step of the process and usually only takes 30 days if you are paying cash, and 30-45 days if you are financing the purchase with a loan.
Before purchasing any property, be sure to do your homework by interviewing several real estate agents and checking their license records with the California Department of Real Estate. In particular, find out how long they have been licensed and if there are any disciplinary actions on their record that would reflect poorly on their ability to assist you with your real estate purchase. Also, ask for referrals and review their past client satisfaction reports. This is critical to ensure you’re working with an ethical and knowledgeable agent who can guide you through the process of purchasing land to build your dream home.