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    How To Do It Successfully

You have dreams you want to explore, and you've decided there's no time like the present.  Why wait, when your future could start today?

Perhaps this is the right time to sell your land. But you have questions, and you aren't sure how you should proceed.

The good news is that the right real estate professional, with experience and an understanding of community and family needs, can help you through this process.  It looks complicated and arduous, but it doesn't have to be.

Information is the key to success.  That's why we have developed this website -- to help you and your family become as informed as possible. If you would like a guidebook containing the information we are sharing here, call us at 206.403.3144.  We would be honored to help you navigate through the process of selling your land.  Whatever decision you make, it is our sincere hope that you enjoy the success you have earned and begin exploring your dreams, starting right now.

We have experienced Land Officers available, whose job it is to advocate for your interests.  And we will be happy to refer you to trusted specialists who can give you information about tax strategies and offer financial advice that will help you reach your goals.


Overview

A land sale begins when you and a real estate Officer decide to explore the possibility of selling your land.  The Officer conducts an initial study of the land to loosely determine if it would be a good prospect for development.  Once he decides it might work, the Officer puts together a proposal for you, the landowner.  This proposal indicates the amount of money the market is willing to pay and also describes what is known as a "feasibility contingency."  At this time, if the landowner accepts the proposal, the Officer provides information to various potential buyers who research the property and conduct various studies to determine if the property is feasible for their use.

After evaluating the land and securing agreement with you, the buyer must file the appropriate documents to obtain approvals and building permits before construction can begin.  At that point, the sale closes and the buyer issues a check to you, the landowner.  In general, this process can take anywhere from three to nine months.

Feasibility Studies

Feasibility studies explore certain environmental and regulatory elements of the property.  These tests can take anywhere from 45 to 120 days to complete in most jurisdictions.  This phase begins when the buyer orders a title report and reviews the report for easements and restrictions that may be placed on the land.  They then may survey the property to confirm the layout, boundaries, and encroachments.

As many as 80% of feasibility tests are completed within 60 days.  We work hard to help them determine, in the shortest time possible, whether your land is appropriate for development.

Next, the buyer determines the availability and location of utilities such as water, sewer, power, gas, phone, cable, and any subsequent utility fees.

The buyer may conduct a "wetland delineation study" to determine if there are any wetlands on the property.  If wetlands are found, the buyer analyzes their size and location and determines if the land is still a good prospect for development.

A wetland study can be fairly subjective.  The specialist who prepares your wetland study is often significant to the sale of your land.  A real estate Officer who has established good working relationships with professionals can streamline the process.

Finally, the buyer performs an initial traffic review to determine if there are any traffic problems in the vicinity which may adversely affect plans for development.

The buyer uses the information which has been obtained to prepare a preliminary design.  The buyer then may conduct a geotechnical analysis to examine soil conditions and research the downstream drainage of the land.

Once these land-use issues have been examined, the buyer moves into the regulation phase of the feasibility study.  First they meet with city, county, and municipal district officials to determine if there are any regional or property concerns.  At this stage, the buyer may revise the preliminary design of the project to incorporate what they have learned from all the previous studies and surveys.

Next the buyer obtains a "traffic concurrency," a form required to obtain plat approval.  They then prepare a preliminary cost estimate and conduct a market analysis on the project.

Once all the studies are complete and the analysis is done, the buyer performs a final review of the results and makes a final decision on whether to continue with the project.  If the project is a go, the buyer issues you, the landowner, an "earnest money deposit."  This is a non-refundable deposit that demonstrates they are serious about purchasing your land.  This money is yours to keep, no matter what happens throughout the rest of the process.

Preliminary Plat Approval

After the buyer completes the feasibility tests and makes a final decision to proceed, they must receive approval to develop from the county hearing examiner or city council.  In order to obtain this approval, there are several steps the buyer must take.  First they must submit an application.  The county or city has 28 days to determine if the application is complete.  If the application materials are complete, the county or city returns a letter to the buyer confirming a completed application.  If additional information is needed, the county or city sends a letter notifying the additional information needed; the buyer must then submit the requested information.

Approximately 30 to 45 days after they receive notice that the application is complete, the buyer receives a State Environment Policy Act (SEPA) determination examining the expected environmental impacts of the proposed development.  The county holds a hearing on the project approximately 60 days after the SEPA determination is made.  The county hearing examiner or city council then has 15 days to render a decision.  There is a 21-day period following the decision in which appeals to the ruling may be filed.

At any time during this process, outside parties may appeal the project and jurisdictional agencies may request more information from the buyer.  It is important to work with an experienced real estate Officer who has established good working relationships with government officials and has earned a reputation for working conscientiously to support community interests.

The Home Stretch

Once the plat approval has been granted and all appeal periods have been fulfilled, the buyer begins the process of obtaining construction plan approval.  First they submit the construction plans to the county, city, and utility districts.  Approximately six weeks after submission, the buyer receives "red-lined" plans which include any corrections needed for the project.  The buyer then re-submits the corrected plans within two weeks.  Finally, within three to four weeks, the districts review and approve the corrected plans.

After the buyer receives approval on the construction plans, they then must provide insurance and obtain right of way permits and bonds.  Finally, after all these steps have been completed, the buyer receives construction permits and is ready to begin construction.

At this point you, the landowner, receive a final check for the remaining negotiated purchase price of the land.

What Will Happen to My Land?

We have helped many families like yours who are considering whether or not to sell their land.  We have also helped many families realize their dream of owning a home.  We do our best to create appealing and affordable housing of the highest quality.

We are citizens, as well as investment officers, so we are able to maintain more control over our projects than a company who merely develops or builds.  We work closely with sellers, officials, neighbors, and community groups to create win-win situations for everyone.  You can be assured, after your land is sold, that we will enable the kinds of homes promised.

We recognize that you may have some very special concerns about the property you own.  At Delphi Real Estate we have often worked with family members to preserve areas that have special personal meaning.

Why Choose Delphi Real Estate?

Selling your property can be a rewarding experience if you choose the right team to help you. Delphi Real Estate is that team.

We know how to help navigate through government regulations and red tape and have established a reputation for buyers meeting timelines in every phase of the process, from feasibility studies to final plan approval.  Our positive relationships with government officials often help minimize or eliminate problems as they arise.

You can be sure, that the offer you receive from Delphi buyers is the best fair price for your land.  Since large buyers don't have to pay the taxes and fees associated with re-selling your land to another party, their transfer costs are minimized.  This can allow them the ability to offer a higher price for your property.

We recognize that you may have some very special concerns about the property you own.  Perhaps you have a grove of trees you would like to protect.  At Delphi Real Estate we have often worked with family members to preserve areas that have special personal meaning.

One of the most frustrating experiences a landowner can face is working with a buyer who ties up their land sale.  Buyers have timelines and closing dates to meet throughout the process, yet many buyers draw out this process as long as possible and extend or even miss deadlines along the way.

At Delphi Real Estate, our goal is to ensure delivery of your money to you as quickly as possible.  We work to keep on schedule and complete the phases of the process early whenever possible.  If we identify any unworkable situations, we let you know up front.

As many as 75% of feasibility tests are completed within 60 days.  We work hard to help buyers determine, in the shortest time possible, whether your land is appropriate for development.  If they determine that your land is not appropriate for development, we let you know up front and provide you with all the information discovered and studies performed at no charge.

We Take Care of Our Clients

We have earned a reputation for fairness and honesty in all our business dealings.  Our mission is to take care of our clients, whether buyers or sellers.

We have helped many families like yours who are considering whether or not to sell their land.  We have also helped many families realize their dream of owning a home.  We are proud of the communities we've helped build and proud that we have been able to help make living in a quality home affordable.

Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it typically take to sell my land?

On average, a land purchase can take anywhere from three months to a year for the close of the sale.  The amount of time it takes depends upon the complexity of the project, the local municipalities, and the neighboring community.

What is a "feasibility contingency?"

The process of purchasing your land begins when a buyer makes you an offer.  That offer typically includes a "feasibility contingency".  This contingency is a time for the buyer to determine, after studies, if they can move forward with the sale.

What is a "feasibility study?"

It is a group of studies that buyers perform to determine if the property is suitable for development.  These studies look at environmental and regulatory factors, aesthetics, marketability, and costs.  If, after the "feasibility study", the buyer does not go forward with the project, they typically give the property owner all information discovered and any studies performed at no charge.

What is an "earnest money deposit?"

Once a feasibility contingency has been successfully removed, the buyer presents an "earnest money deposit" to the landowner.  This deposit is paid if the buyer accepts the "feasibility study."  It is typically paid within 90 days of the initial offer.

When will I receive final payment for my land?

The buyers deliver final payment of the remaining price of the land once they complete the application, design, and approval processes.  This typically takes from four months to one year (or longer), depending upon a variety of factors that affect the project.

What happens if I change my mind during the process?

Both parties have entered into a Purchase and Sale Agreement.  This is a legal contract. Both parties are then bound by the legal terms of the agreement.

My family's property includes a small wetlands area.  Can it still be developed?

Wetlands are regulated by state and local jurisdictions.  Small wetland areas can sometimes be filled, if there are other areas on the site that can be mitigated and enlarged to make up the difference.  While most wetland areas cannot be developed, the remainder of your property should be developable.

My property has been listed as a "flood zone."  Can it still be developed?

Yes it can, although there are restrictions and limitations.  These can be determined through the "feasibility study".

Do I continue to pay all taxes on the land during this sales process?

Yes.  The property remains yours until the final close of the sale.  Until then, the taxes are your responsibility.

What will happen to my property once I sell it?

Land buyers create communities.  If you choose to sell your land through Delphi Real Estate, you can be assured that you have helped many families follow their dreams of owning a home.

My family's property includes a grove of trees that has special significance to me.  Is it possible for me to request what happens to these trees?

Yes.  We realize that sometimes the property may hold elements that have personal meaning for family members, and can build this into the deal.  In order to preserve these places we often fulfill special requests from sellers.  We can even design projects to include parks or open areas where the trees or other special objects are memorialized.


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