5 Ways to Avoid Scams When Buying Land Online

What are the best ways to save your wallet from a would-be scammer…

Most of these are common sense, or at least you think they’d be common sense. But you know what Grandpop said about assuming

Let’s go over these to make sure that you’ve checked all the boxes and are feeling 100% on your new land ownership. Let’s get into it!


  1. Talk to the Owner (or an actual human being)

    A lot of the time the person answering the phone could be a salesperson. Although they may know some things about the property and be able to send some information, the Owner is the person who is on the actual deed. They may have some additional information to share about the property and it’s always good to chat with them directly if you can. Knowing who owns the land or when they purchased it is important. This will also help you to verify ownership.

  2. Call the County Assessor’s office where the land is located

    The Assessor can tell you many things about the land, who owns it, and when the deed was officially transferred. Trust but verify. I know, it’s scary to think that you might have to pick up the phone, but trust me the county is helpful if you’re nice and you may even learn a thing or two about the land you’re interested in owning.

    If you’re not sure where to get the local Assessor’s phone number, just Google the County name + Assessor’s phone number. If you’re working with a top-notch land seller, they may provide it for you, and at the same time, confirm the County of the property you’re considering.

  3. Read the Agreement

    Most professionals will have detailed paperwork as part of the purchase process. Agreements are meant to protect both parties. Fully understand what the paperwork is saying and ask questions! The more questions you ask upfront the better. Any reputable land seller should be happy to answer your questions.

  4. Do your own Due Diligence.

    Online research and multiple phone calls to the County — sounds exhausting! It might be time to get your birds, and boots dirty and head out to the property yourself. You can learn a lot about a location, road conditions, neighbors, and utilities, and you may even see some cool stuff along the way. Physically going to the property may help you decide. This could be a great way to spend a weekend and to know for sure whether you like a property.

    Try not to rely completely on reports or anything that you receveid from the Seller. Most of the time this information is fine to add to your due diligence, but you want to make sure that you get your own unbiased opinion as much as possible. The best way to do this is to talk to the local County and, if possible, to do some boots-on-the-ground research.

  5. Yeah, but is there a Guarantee?

    Refunds, returns, exchanges? Fortunately, with land sales the property is not transferred until the land is completely paid-in-full. This makes guarantees common. It gives you a window of opportunity to continue your due diligence on the property, usually for 60 to 90-day guarantee, depending on the company.

    If you’ve ever had buyer’s remorse, this is a great way to cover your butt in the unlikely event that you find something you don’t like about the land.

    Bonus Tip:
    Asking for testimonials or asking to talk to a current customer. The best land sellers will have a few customers who might be willing to speak with you on their behalf. All you have to do is ask for a testimonial or to chat with another customer who has a similar type of property in that area. Not every Seller will provide this, but it can’t hurt to ask!

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