How to Sell Inherited Land in Florida

Inheriting land can be both a blessing and a burden. Whether it’s a piece of cherished family history or a parcel of undeveloped property you don’t have plans for, knowing how to sell inherited land in Florida can be daunting. I wrote this guide with the goal of simplifying the process, based on my numerous experiences working with sudden and accidental landowners. I’m not a licensed attorney however, and if you have more in depth questions about things like probate, it’s best to reach out to an attorney.

Let’s get started

Selling inherited land in Florida involves various legal, financial, and emotional considerations. For some landowners and their property(ies), the process is actually quite straightforward. For many other landowners however, there’s numerous challenges that can complicate, stall, or prohibit a sale. Understanding these potential hurdles and knowing how to navigate them is crucial. Let’s begin with the essential steps to selling inherited land.

Steps to Selling Inherited Land

1. Understand the Legal Aspects:

  • Probate Process: Before you can sell inherited land, it often needs to go through probate, a legal process that validates the will (if one exists) and transfers ownership. In a typical scenario, this is a months long process and usually requires the assistance of an attorney. Costs start around $2,500 and go up from there, depending on the number of probates required (there can be more than one needed to gain clear title!)
  • Clear Title: Ensuring the title is clear is crucial – you won’t really be able to sell your land without it. This means there are no outstanding liens, unpaid taxes, or disputes over ownership. A title search can help identify and resolve these issues.

2. Assess the Land’s Value:

  • Professional Appraisal: Hiring a professional appraiser will give you an accurate value of the property. This helps in setting a realistic price and negotiating with potential buyers.
  • Market Analysis: Researching recent sales of similar properties in the area can provide additional insights into the land’s value.

3. Prepare the Land for Sale:

  • Clean and Maintain: Ensure the land is presentable. This might involve clearing debris, maintaining the landscape, or addressing any environmental concerns.
  • Surveys and Reports: Providing potential buyers with recent surveys or environmental reports can enhance the appeal of the land.

The above process is for a typical scenario. However, I’ve run into plenty of situations where landowners have additional circumstances that require additional assistance and support. If this is you, don’t panic! We do have options. Let’s run through some common problems (and solutions!) Florida landowners face when trying to sell inherited land.

Common Problems and Solutions

1. Multiple Heirs:

  • Consensus: When multiple heirs are involved, reaching a consensus on selling the land can be challenging. Open communication and, if necessary, mediation between all the parties help resolve disputes.
  • Partition Action: If an agreement cannot be reached, a partition action, which is a legal process to divide the property among the heirs or force a sale, might be required.

2. Financial Liens and Taxes:

  • Liens: Outstanding liens must be paid off before the sale can proceed. My team and I work with a professional title company to identify these and get them removed.
  • Property Taxes: It’s not uncommon for the property to have unpaid property taxes – sometimes several years’ worth of delinquent taxes! This creates a lien that would prevent your property from having that all-important clean title. Depending on your situation, we might preemptively pay these taxes once you’ve signed a purchase agreement to stop a tax sale where you would lose your land at auction. If a tax sale is unlikely, I pay your owed taxes at closing.

3. Zoning and Land Use Restrictions:

  • Zoning Laws: Verify the zoning regulations and land use restrictions, especially things like covenants. These can greatly affect the property’s marketability and potential uses.
  • Variances and Permits: If the land’s current use doesn’t align with its zoning, we might need to apply for variances or permits before closing on the property.

4. Environmental Issues:

  • Contamination: Land with environmental contamination requires remediation. This can be costly and time-consuming but is essentially required to ensure a sale.
  • Wetlands: If the property includes wetlands, Florida has extensive regulations and restrictions to consider. I unfortunately won’t buy properties that are 100% wetlands (sorry.)
  • Flood Zone: If a property is not in a flood zone X, specifically if it’s a special hazard flood zone, reduces the value of the property. It’s not a dealbreaker, but you should reset your expectations on the property’s resale value. The general instability of Florida’s insurance market in recent years as only made this reality more clear.

Ok, those are the most common issues I’ve come across when working with landowners trying to sell inherited land. With all that in mind, what are your options to actually sell the property, and their pros and cons?

Selling Options

1. Listing with a Real Estate Agent:

  • Pros: Once you’ve completed the probate process, you can hand off the property to your listing agent. Agents can handle the marketing, negotiations, and paperwork, making the process smoother.
  • Cons: Most agents won’t work with you until you’ve completed the probate process. Selling the property on the open market can add yet more months (sometimes longer!) to an already tedious and lengthy process, and agents’ commissions along with closing costs will take a bite out of your earnings.

2. Selling to a Land Investor:

  • Pros: Land investors, like my team and I at All Acres Land Company, specialize in buying vacant land with, uh, some hair on it. We earn our keep by handling the extensive preparation and legal complications that often come with trying to sell inherited land.
  • Cons: You won’t get top dollar for your property, but you’ll have expert help at every step of the way. You’ll sleep easier at night knowing problems are being handled, and you’re being communicated with consistently. At the end of the day, the speed and convenience of our work more than offset the smaller sale. At least, that’s what landowners who’ve worked with us have told us time and time again.

3. Auctioning the Land:

  • Pros: Auctions can quickly attract buyers, potentially driving up the price. Buyers at auctions may be willing to purchase your land even with some imperfections like owed property taxes and liens attached the property. These issues should always be disclosed.
  • Cons: Speak with a probate attorney first, but in all likelihood you still need to complete the probate process before going to auction. Otherwise, it won’t be clear who gets the proceeds of the sale. As with any auction, there’s no guarantee of a high sale price, and auction fees can be substantial.


Selling inherited land in Florida involves navigating legal, financial, and practical challenges. By understanding these obstacles and exploring various selling options, you can make informed decisions that best suit your circumstances. Whether you choose to list with an agent, sell to an investor, or auction the property, being well-prepared will help ensure a successful sale.

If you’re considering selling your inherited land and need expert assistance, All Acres Land Company is here to help. We specialize in buying distressed and inherited properties, offering a seamless and efficient process to ensure you get the best value with minimal stress.

Next Steps:

  • Contact All Acres Land Company: Reach out to my team and I for a free consultation and property evaluation. I love helping landowners figure these situations out, or at least get them going in the right direction.
  • Legal and Financial Advice: Consult with legal and financial professionals to ensure all aspects of the sale are handled correctly. If you work with my team and I at All Acres, we’ll connect you to the relevant experts to help you through the process.
  • Prepare Your Property: If you’re going out on your own, make sure you follow the steps outlined previously to make your land as appealing as possible to potential buyers.

Selling inherited land doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With the right guidance and resources, your inherited property will be turned from liability into asset!

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