How to Sell Land by Owner in Texas?

Written By Sarah Ford

Selling land is no easy feat, especially when you are a first-time seller in Texas without a real estate agent.

However, if you subtract the stress from the equation, selling without a realtor comes with the biggest benefit of them all- saving thousands of dollars in commission. But, is it possible to bypass the traditional realtor route without compromising your sale? The answer is a resounding yes.

In 2021, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that approximately 8% of sales were successfully conducted by the owners, a figure that underscores the feasibility of such an endeavor. These homeowners are commonly referred to as FSBOs (For Sale By Owners). A prominent example is the 2017 sale of a $35 million mansion in Malibu by the owner. Despite its unique challenges, the transaction was executed flawlessly, setting an inspiring precedent for potential FSBOs. And trust me when I say this, selling land is much easier than selling a home.

That’s because there are fewer variables to consider- no home inspections, fewer appraisal concerns, and less worry about what’s inside a structure since there isn’t one.

However, selling land does have its unique challenges that can puzzle first time seller. Let’s talk about each of these aspects in detail.

1. How tough could selling Land without a Realtor be?

Let’s be honest: Selling land without a realtor can be tough, but it’s doable! Here’s what a North Carolina realtor shared about FSBO land sales:

Your success hinges on several factors:

  • Location of the land
  • Current market conditions
  • Your experience with real estate transactions
  • Your ability to effectively market the property

If you’ve previously sold a home, selling land won’t be a huge leap. You’ll mostly follow the same protocols and need all the necessary documents for selling land in Texas. However, you’ll take care of the tasks typically handled by an agent: listing the property, actively seeking a buyer, marketing, negotiating, preparing the contract, and closing the deal.

Selling commercial land? Expect additional steps and consider hiring an attorney for assistance. We ill talk about it later. For now…

1.1. Here are a few situations when selling land as FSBO makes sense for you

Selling Texas Land FSBO

1.1.1.  If you want to save on commission

Choosing the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) route can offer considerable savings on commission, particularly in a state like Texas, where traditional real estate commissions tend to hover around 5-6%. With FSBO, while you’re still obligated to pay the buyer’s agent commission in Texas, you can save the half that typically goes to your listing agent.

Though a savings of 2.5-3% might not sound like much in the grand scheme of the sale, this percentage can translate to significant dollar amounts. For instance, if you’re selling a piece of land valued at $500,000, opting for FSBO could keep $12,500 to $15,000 in your pocket, which otherwise would have been spent on commission. Thus, adopting the FSBO approach can indeed be a financially prudent decision.

1.1.2. When you are familiar with selling

If you have prior experience selling land in Texas even for Cash, this can aid in the FSBO process. Texas has unique land and property laws and market trends that someone with previous experience would be more likely to understand. For example, knowledge of how mineral and water rights impact land value in Texas can be crucial in selling.

1.1.3. You have plenty of time on your hands

Selling land in Texas, as with other places, can be time-consuming. This is especially true in rural areas where buyer demand can be less consistent. If you have time to devote to tasks such as researching comparable land prices, understanding local zoning laws, crafting a compelling land listing, and patiently waiting for the right buyer, then FSBO could be a viable route for you.

1.1.4. Lands are in High Demand in your Area

In areas of Texas experiencing growth, like Austin, Dallas, or Houston suburbs, land could be in high demand. If your land is located in these high-demand zones, it might sell quickly and for a reasonable price, even without the help of a realtor. Factors such as proximity to the city, the potential for development, and local amenities can significantly increase the demand for your land.

1.1.5. If you Already Having a Buyer

You may have a neighbor or local developer who’s expressed interest in your Texas land. In this case, much of the work is already done. You won’t have to market or show the land. 

Still, it’s essential to ensure you fully understand Texas’s real estate contract laws or engage a real estate attorney to help with the transaction process to protect your interests.

Here’s an in-depth YouTube video focusing on selling land by owner specifically in Texas, which could offer additional valuable insights:

2. What is the Advantage of Selling Land with a Realtor in Texas?

    Selling land directly as the owner in Texas can make the process smoother, more profitable, and more satisfying. Here are some key advantages:

    2.1. You Get Control Over the Sale

    As the owner, you have complete control over the sale process. This means you can set the price, choose the buyer, and negotiate terms that best suit your needs. You do not have to feel pressured to close a deal just because your realtor said so. If you’re looking for a quick sale, you can price the land competitively. Conversely, if you’re aiming for maximum profit, you can hold out for the right offer.

    2.2. You save on a lot of money

    The math is simple. In an FSBO deal whatever you owe to agent goes into your pocket. You avoid paying hefty real estate agent commissions, which typically range from 5% to 6% of the sale price and add it to your profits. Just think, on a $100,000 land sale, this can save you up to $6,000.

    2.3 You’d do a better job at Marketing!

    You know your Texas land better than anyone else. This allows you to create personalized marketing strategies that highlight the land’s unique features. For example, if your land has a picturesque view of the Texas Hill Country, you can emphasize this in your listings and promotional materials, attracting buyers who value such aesthetics.

    2.4. Lightening Fast Sales Process

    Without the middleman, the sale process can be quicker. Direct communication with potential buyers means you can swiftly address their queries and concerns. The decision making is faster and you can close your deals in days. A friend of mine sold his 5-acre plot near Austin in just a month, all he did was social media and promotions in local community boards to attract buyers. If you are up for the task you can significantly reduce the sales process.

    2.5 You take the call in the Negotiations.

    Negotiating directly with buyers allows for more transparent and flexible discussions. You can better gauge the buyer’s intentions and respond immediately to their offers, making the negotiation process more efficient.

    3. Should You consider hiring an agent if the commission is lower?

    Hiring an agent is always a good choice. Properties that are sold through agents often achieve higher sale prices compared to those sold by owners. If you see the recent stats by NAR, the median selling price of agent-assisted sales were 30% higher than that of FSBO (For Sale By Owner) sales. It translated to a difference of $95,000, which can easily make up for you Texas realtor fee.

    Plus, if you are able to hire an agent at a lower commission, there is nothing like it! That’s because:

    3.1 You Expertise and Experience

    Agents have access property databases, and can provide valuable insights on pricing, marketing, and negotiation. For example, if your land is in a competitive market like Dallas-Fort Worth, an agent can help position your property to stand out among numerous listings.

    3.2 Marketing Power

    They have all the tools you need in their arsenal to make your property shine. They list your land on Multiple Listing Services (MLS), host open houses, and use their connections to find potential buyers quickly. A lower commission might still be worth it for the expanded reach and marketing expertise an agent offers.

    3.3 Handling Paperwork and Legalities

      An agent can handle all the necessary documentation, ensuring that everything complies with Texas property laws and regulations. This reduces the risk of errors that could lead to delays or legal issues.

      3.4 Time and Effort

        Selling anything is time-consuming and lands are no different. You need to go through fielding inquiries, showing the property, and negotiating with buyers. If you have a busy schedule or lack the inclination to manage these tasks, hiring an agent can save you a lot of time and hassle.

        4. still want to go ahead with the fSBO route? Here’s a CHECKLIST of the roles and Responsibilities for you

        5. Bonus: Understanding Land Buyer Requirements In texas

        Understanding Land Buyer Requirements In texas

        To sell land effectively and achieve a good price, it’s essential to understand the requirements and motivations of potential land buyers. Tailoring your approach to meet these needs can make the selling process smoother and more profitable.

        5.1. Zoning Laws

        Understand the local zoning laws to inform buyers about what can be built on the land. For example, a buyer interested in building a residential community will want assurance that the land is zoned for residential use.

        A study by the Texas A&M Real Estate Center shows that land values can increase by 10-20% when zoned appropriately for the buyer’s intended use.

        5.2. Buildability

        Determine if the land is suitable for construction. Provide information on soil quality, flood zones, and access to utilities (water, electricity, sewage).

        Example: John wanted to sell his 10-acre plot near Austin. He had a soil test done and provided the results to potential buyers, showing that the land was ideal for building homes, which helped him secure a 15% higher sale price.

        5.3. Liens or Deed Restrictions

        Check for any liens or deed restrictions on the property. Ensure these are cleared before listing to avoid complications during the sale process.

        According to Zillow, properties without legal complications sell 30% faster than those with unresolved issues.

        5.4. Real Estate Agent’s Commission

        Understand typical real estate agent commissions in your area. Highlight the cost savings to potential buyers if you are selling without an agent.

        In Texas, real estate commissions can range from 5-6%. For a $100,000 property, this could mean a saving of up to $6,000 if sold directly by the owner.

        5.5.Difficulty and Work Involved in Selling Land by Yourself

        Assess the time and effort required to sell the land independently. Be prepared for tasks such as marketing, negotiating, and handling legal paperwork.

        5.6. Advertising Land for Sale

        Utilize various platforms to advertise your land, including online real estate websites, social media, and local classifieds. The National Association of Realtors reports that 51% of buyers find their land online.

        Create compelling listings with detailed descriptions and high-quality images. Consider using drone footage to showcase the land’s features.

        5.7. Negotiating with Buyers

        Be ready to negotiate directly with buyers. Understand the buyer’s needs and be flexible with terms while ensuring your minimum acceptable price is met.

        Example: Mike negotiated directly with a buyer for his rural land in West Texas. By understanding the buyer’s interest in agricultural use, he highlighted the fertile soil and existing irrigation system, resulting in a 10% higher sale price.

        5.8. Necessary Documents

        Gather essential documents, including the land deed, property survey, tax receipts, and any relevant permits or zoning information. Ensure all paperwork is in order to facilitate a smooth transaction.

        Having all necessary documents prepared can expedite the sale process by up to 20%, according to real estate experts.

        6. Let’s Do a Final Rundown of Selling Your Land in tEXAS!

        6.1 Prepare Your Land for Sale

        Before putting your land on the market, it’s crucial to prepare it properly to attract potential buyers. This involves:

        • Clearing the land of any debris, marking the boundaries clearly, and ensuring that access points are unobstructed.
        • If your land has overgrown vegetation, consider trimming it back to make the property more presentable. A well-maintained piece of land not only appeals more to buyers but also allows them to better visualize the potential uses of the property.
        • Take high-quality photos and consider using drone footage to showcase the land’s features and layout. Presenting your land in the best possible light can significantly enhance its attractiveness and value. According to the National Association of Realtors, 51% of buyers find photos very useful in their decision-making process.
        • If the property has unique characteristics such as a scenic view, proximity to water, or historical significance, highlight these in your listing.
        • Texas offers exemptions for property taxes on land used for wildlife management. Highlight this as a potential benefit for buyers interested in wildlife conservation.

        Additional things to keep in mind.

        Manage your brushes as well: In Texas, depending on the location and type of brush, there may be specific regulations regarding brush removal. Check with local authorities or the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service for guidance to ensure you’re compliant.

        6.2 Know the Best Value of Your Land

        Accurately determining the market value of your land is essential for setting a competitive price. Start by researching comparable properties in your area. Factors such as location, size, and unique features will influence your land’s value. Websites like Zillow and can provide valuable insights into recent sales and current listings.

        Texas land prices rose by 5% to $4,670 per acre from 2022 to 2023, even as total sales volume dropped by 44.6%. The average acreage per transaction also fell by 7.5%, reflecting a trend towards smaller, high-value tracts being sold​. Keep in touch with land insight resources like the Texas Real Estate Research Center to understand the market.

        Hiring a professional appraiser can give you a more precise valuation. Knowing your land’s worth helps in pricing it correctly, attracting serious buyers, and avoiding prolonged time on the market.

        6.3 Advertise on Different Platforms

        To reach a wide audience, advertise your land on multiple platforms. Online real estate websites like:

        • Texas Homes and Lands
        • Texas Realtors
        • Texas Land
        • Land Search
        • Zillow
        • LandWatch, and
        • Craigslist are great places to start.

        These platforms attract a large number of potential buyers looking specifically for land. Additionally, use social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to share your listing. Joining local community groups or land-for-sale groups on these platforms can also increase visibility.

        Don’t overlook traditional methods like placing ads in local newspapers and real estate magazines. Also, consider putting up signs on the property itself. Talk to neighbors and local businesses who might know someone interested in buying land in your area. The broader your reach, the higher your chances of finding the right buyer. According to a survey by the National Association of Realtors, 96% of buyers found their purchased property through online searches, emphasizing the importance of a strong online presence.

        6.4 Choose the Best Offer

        Once you start receiving offers, it’s important to evaluate them carefully to choose the best one. Look beyond the offer price; consider the buyer’s ability to close the deal, their timeline, and any contingencies they may have. A cash offer might be lower than a financed offer but could close faster and with fewer complications.

        Negotiation is key at this stage. Understand your bottom line and be prepared to negotiate terms such as the closing date and any included contingencies. If multiple offers come in, use this to your advantage to potentially drive up the price. Ensure you communicate clearly and promptly with all potential buyers to maintain their interest. According to, properties that receive multiple offers tend to sell for 3-5% above the initial asking price.

        6.5 Prepare Your Documents

        Having all the necessary documents ready is crucial for a smooth sale process. Key documents include:

        • Land Deed: Proof of ownership.
        • Recent Survey: A detailed map showing property boundaries and features.
        • Property Tax Receipts: Proof of current tax payments.
        • Zoning Information: Details on how the land is zoned and any restrictions.
        • Environmental Assessments: Reports on soil quality, potential contamination, and suitability for development.
        • Utility Maps: Information on available utilities and their locations.
        • Permits: Any relevant building or development permits.

        Ensure that all legal and non-legal documents are organized and accessible. It’s wise to consult with a real estate attorney to review these documents to ensure everything is in order and to avoid any legal pitfalls. Proper documentation not only speeds up the closing process but also builds trust with potential buyers. According to the American Land Title Association, having clear and organized documentation can reduce the time to close a deal by up to 30%.

        6.5 Closing with a Texas Title Company

        Briefly mention that most closings in Texas involve a title company to handle paperwork and ensure a smooth transaction.

        In Texas, most real estate transactions, including FSBO land sales, involve a title company to handle the closing process. A title company acts as a neutral third party, ensuring a smooth and secure transaction for both the buyer and seller.

        6.5.1 Here’s what you can expect when working with a Texas title company:

        The title company will conduct a thorough title search to identify any outstanding liens, judgments, or ownership claims against the property. This protects the buyer from inheriting any unexpected issues with the land’s title. Additionally, the title company can offer title insurance, which safeguards both buyer and seller from financial losses due to unforeseen title problems.

        The title company acts as an escrow agent, holding onto all funds and documents related to the sale until the closing. This ensures that the buyer receives clear title to the land only after they have paid the agreed-upon purchase price.

        The title company will coordinate the closing process, including scheduling the closing date, preparing the closing documents, and facilitating the signing of all necessary paperwork by both parties.

        Texas title companies are familiar with the state’s real estate laws and regulations. They will ensure that the closing process adheres to all legal requirements, protecting both the buyer and seller.

        6.5.2 Benefits of Using a Texas Title Company (even for FSBO):

        While you can technically sell land by owner in Texas without a title company, there are significant advantages to using one:

        • Reduced Risk: A title search conducted by a professional can uncover potential problems that you might miss on your own. Title insurance provides additional peace of mind.
        • Smoother Transaction: Title companies handle the complexities of the closing process, ensuring everything is completed accurately and efficiently.
        • Neutrality: A title company acts as a neutral third party, fostering trust and transparency between the buyer and seller.
          Expertise: Title companies have the knowledge and experience to navigate the legal intricacies of real estate transactions in Texas.

        While using a title company adds some cost to the FSBO process, the benefits it offers in terms of security, efficiency, and peace of mind can be highly valuable

        6.5.3 Here are a few title companies you can opt for:

        • Texas National Title Company: A Texas-based company with offices in major cities across the state, specializing in residential and commercial real estate title services.
        • Capital Title of Texas, LLC: A regional title company serving Central Texas, offering title insurance, closing services, and notary services.
        • J.M. Lyon Company: A Texas-based company with over 100 years of experience, providing title insurance, closing services, and real estate brokerage services in some areas.

        Selling land on your own in Texas is like a thrilling rodeo—full of challenges, but incredibly rewarding if you hold on tight! From prepping your plot to setting the perfect price, and from advertising far and wide to closing the deal, you’ve got all the reins in your hands. With the right mix of market, keen negotiation skills, and patience, you can steer this adventure towards a profitable finish. ALL THE BEST!

        Written By:

        • An experienced marketing consultant with a decade of hands-on experience in real estate. You might catch her at a local jazz bar on a Friday night or at home experimenting with vertical kitchen gardens.

          View all posts

        Leave a Comment

        Table of Content