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Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

I do lots of land, mostly commercial. And any reports, soil / perc test, surveys, documentation, disclosures that the seller has gets turned over within the first few days.

However, before that, we take a blank disclosure statement form and we begin working through it to answer our own questions using the experts. Actually, we do that for improved properties as well.

The first thing that you must know is what is the intended use of the land. That will drive your investigations.

Utilities, zoning, easements, floodplain, these are all things that will need to be looked at in order to improve raw land.

Sep 11, 2020 06:43 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Unfortunately, nothing is standard with land! It really depends on where the lot is located (state, town, HOA, etc) as to what is required and what should be part of an offer. 

The things that buyers need to know though, are (in general):

water: Will this parcel have access to community water? If not, is a well already in place, and if yes, what does the well log show? If no, how deep are wells in the area, and what might it cost to put one in? 

septic: Will town septic be available? If no, is it already in place? Are there permits already ready to go? Has the town already inspected the property? Has a perc test been done?

electric: Where is the closest electric? Is it already at the house site? 

cell service/Internet: Are these available on the property? 

survey: Is there a recent survey available? (If not, this is something that could be requested)

zoning: Is the parcel zoned? If yes, what are the zoning requirements? 

covenants: Are there particular rules for that piece of property? What can/can't be built? Are there pet limitations? etc etc

This is just a start to the info that might be required. If the above data is already public info, then that's great. If not, there might be specific things that should be requested from seller. It all depends on the particular piece of property and location though.

Sep 11, 2020 04:52 AM
Peter Mohylsky. Beach Expert
PrimeSouth Properties - Santa Rosa Beach, FL

everything, and request it in writing.  Not sure what inspections can be done but surveys, engineering assessments are all important.


Raw land is not for the novice

Sep 11, 2020 04:51 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Ask Endre Barath, Jr. as he is the vacant land man!

Sep 11, 2020 01:05 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Candice A. Donofrio answered your question, zoning is very important, and also testing the land.  We had land for sale in prime commercial zoning in Beverly Hills.  It turned out that when the land was tested it had creosote which is a toxic pesticide that was used at one time to preseve wood.  The cost of remediation made the land worthless...A

Sep 11, 2020 07:37 AM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

I get plot plans, perc test, any zoning rules or restrictions, availaibility of utilities or if it needs well and septic. Commercial lots i sell require different things from the residential lots i sell. 

Sep 11, 2020 06:57 AM
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

     Get 30 days Due Diligence.  Have an attorney look at the contract, make sure you and your Buyer can walk if problems are found.   

       As Candice A. Donofrio and Ron and Alexandra Seigel said in their comments, ENVIRONMENTAL is a major concern. 


      Buried fuel tanks, excessive fertilizer and pesticides, trash piles with TV sets and tires, abandoned septic tanks.

      Check the surrounding properties, too.  We looked at a parcel of vacant land in South Carolina recently.  About half a mile away, uphill, was a large automobile junkyard.   It had not been an environmentally-compliant junkyard.  How much gasoline, transmission fluid, brake fluid, etc. had been leaking underground, and flowing toward our subject property, from that junkyard over many years?   We walked away from that transaction.

   Someone who might be of help to you is  Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker .  He is an expert on the topic (Hi Mike, hope you don't mind the shout-out!).

Sep 11, 2020 09:46 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

You have some great responses here providing you with a useful laundry list. I wish you all the best with your endeavors. 

Sep 11, 2020 08:29 AM
Jerrill Ewing
N & J Lake Properties, LLC - Eatonton, GA

survey generally requested in offer.

Sep 11, 2020 07:57 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Yes, specifics matter.  Even questions when asked anonymously.   Consider this a "learning experience".  

Sep 11, 2020 07:38 AM
Buzz Mackintosh
Mackintosh REALTORS - Frederick, MD
“Experience, reliable, leadership”

If it is a buildable lot, you want the well report showing GPM and how deep, Perc information how many bedrooms for the septic capacity. Soil tests, flood plain and zoning information

Sep 11, 2020 04:29 AM
Jerry Thomas-Construction Loans
Cranbrook Loans - Farmington Hills, MI
Construction Loans in MI, OH, VA, GA, FL and AL

The majority of my business is construction lending. I always advise a buyer to have their builder and plans lined up before they go looking for land. When they find a lot they are interested in they should have the builder "walk the property" with them. The builder should visit the local building department to see if their are any issues with the property. And of course there is always the need for perk test if there is no sewer system.

Sep 11, 2020 03:56 AM
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

You need to check everything, zoning - what's allowed, hoa's and covenants, easements, access, setbacks, drain field sites / what type and location, conventional or alternantive, well, environmental, pollution sources, power, is high speed internet/ cable/fios available, road maintenance agreements, building height limits, airports, hospitals, public transportaion, driveway permits, what % of lot can be covered with buildings, mountainside overlay districts, limestone overlay districts, size of building envolope, can power be overhead or is underground required, is property in land use program, who will pay roll back taxes if property is taken out of land use, are farmers rights protected, any active leases, encroachments from neighboring properties, if lot is served b public water and sewer, are water and sewer taps availabe and how much do they cost?, etc, etc, etc

Sep 11, 2020 12:31 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

I have never been involved in any land/lot transaction. I am enjoying the expert answers of others here. 

Sep 11, 2020 08:37 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Must ensure whether water conveys, (share or rights) otherwise it is dead land and water must be hauled in. Soils tests, perc test, surveys, established property lines, any litigation tying up the land.

Sep 11, 2020 07:58 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Where is it located?

What type of land?

What is the buyer's reason for buying?

and so many more questions come to mind before I would begin to start answering your quesion.

Sep 12, 2020 12:28 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Talk with your broker about the information you need to include in your contracts.

Sep 11, 2020 10:38 AM