Documents Needed To Sell Land By Owner

documents needed to sell land by owner

If you’re looking to sell your vacant land or underdeveloped lot, it’s not at all uncommon to go the DIY way and skip the broker fees. You may have inherited some land or are simply looking to sell off some of your distressed property that has become a burden. Either way, real estate agents usually take a hefty commission and going the For Sale by Owner (FSBO) route makes sure you get the most out of a cash sale for your land. 

The good news is San Diego is one of America’s hottest real estate markets. The not-so-great news? You’ll often need a bit of patience and diligence to pull off the sale if you’re not working with the right people. Normally, realtors handle the majority of the selling process, but take their associated fees. Lucky for you, we’ve worked with hundreds of owners in the San Diego area to make the cash sale process as easy as possible, while covering all of the costs ourselves.

This is usually the best route if you want to save the associated agent commissions and pocket as much cash from the deal as possible. It’s important to have all of the necessary expertise and documents needed to sell land by owner, in order to have the process go smoothly. 

The documents required when selling your home by yourself can vary from one state to the next. But the standard paperwork you’ll need here in California to successfully wrap up the deal includes: disclosure document, contract of sale, land contract, and the title deed, among others.

Disclosure Document

Land sales rarely require drastic changes or renovations to make the land appealing to prospective buyers. However, that doesn’t mean you should be underhanded about the process by concealing any defects in the land.

It’s in your best interest to prepare a disclosure document for potential buyers detailing any defects present. That way, the buyers know exactly what they are purchasing and you can avoid any unnecessary confrontations in the future. 

Buyers like us, however, specialize in cash sales for distressed land and can save you the hassle of preparing your land for a traditional market sale. No need for costly inspections, appraisals, or repairs done on the property as we buy all of our houses as-is.

For other buyers, any improvements to the lot (other than basic weeding, lawn care, or maintenance) may not be seen as added value.. You never know what the buyers plan on doing with the land, so any over-the-top changes you make might end up being removed by the new owner. 

Contract Of Sale / Land Contract

After you find a buyer, they will reveal how they intend to secure financing for the land. The buyer will either purchase the land with a full cash payment, or will obtain a loan from a financial establishment. Whatever the case, you need to draw up a contract of sale specifying the terms of the sale. 

That also includes any financial documents from the buyer required to secure financing. Apart from the financing aspect, the contract of sale may also highlight any insurance provided for the land. A contract of sale mostly covers the buyer’s end of the transaction. For the seller’s part, a land contract must be drawn up. 

The land contract is a separate document explicitly detailing everything you and the buyer have agreed to so that no one goes back on their word. The key details to be included in the land contract are the property address, description of the land, purchase price, and fees for late payments.

These contracts can be stressful and cumbersome to most land owners, and that’s why we focus on handling every aspect of the sale process to minimize headaches for sellers.

Title Deeds

Naturally, you can’t sell land that you don’t legally own, so you’ll be required to provide legal proof that you are the current owner of the property. That’s where the title deed comes in. 

This legal document will aid in transferring the legal title of the land to the new owner after the final payment is made. In the meantime, an attorney, financial institution, or title agency will hold on to the deed. 


Selling land by yourself doesn’t need to be a tedious or intimidating task if you have the right information and are working with the right people. Going the real estate agent route isn’t mandatory, and often isn’t the best course of action for owners looking to sell their land. Dealing with agent commission fees usually means you don’t get your full asking price, as you’d be carving out part of the proceeds for the realtor. 

Fortunately, selling land as an owner is a fairly straightforward process, all things being equal. The documentation required can differ from one state to another, but here in California, there is generally a standard set of documents you’ll need to conclude the process successfully. 

A disclosure document detailing any defects on the land, a contract of sale, land contract, and deed are just some of the documents you’ll need to be ready for sale. Just bear in mind that you may need to exercise a little patience because it can often take some time before you find a trusted buyer that offers a fair price. If you’re looking to sell your land here in San Diego, we can give you a cash offer sometimes within just hours of reaching out.

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