Questions to ask when buying land

Here is a checklist of useful questions to pose to a seller or seller’s representative when looking at a specific piece of land or property.

We hope this helps you get the full lay of the land, so to speak, but please note that this checklist is intended as a general guide rather than exhaustive outline. Every piece of land differs, just as real-estate transactions will vary based on different locations, property uses and individual buyer and seller circumstances. Please consult with a qualified land professional to assure you are getting the right information and advice for your land or property purchase.

Read More: What You Need to Know When Buying Raw Land Online

what to ask when buying land: picture of forest path
A tranquil forest path might lead to your dream country escape. But what does it look like under a full winter snowfall, or will it support heavy equipment for building a new homesite? These and other property-access questions are important to understand when buying land.
  • What are the access rights on the property? For example, does the land offer legal access to a public road or is access provided via an existing deeded easement?
  • Is this land or property served by existing utilities like electricity, sewage, water? Are any wells or septic systems installed on the property?
  • Has the land been surveyed recently? Are the boundary lines painted or marked?
  • Who are the adjoining neighbors? Are you aware of any current property line disputes with neighboring landowners?
  • Do any mineral rights such as for timber, water or gas convey with the sale of this property?
  • Are there existing easements in place on the property, including for conservation, utilities, access or adjoining owners?
  • Are there any known environmental issues with the property? Have the current owners received notice from any governmental entities about future assessments that would affect this property?
  • How is the property zoned? What are permitted uses or special exceptions for this piece of land? (This is also a question that can be asked of the local government or municipality where the property is located.)
  • Is the property governed under the terms of a Homeowners Association? If so, what restrictions apply to future development of this land of property?
  • Are you aware of any development proposal for any adjoining land or properties?
  • Are there existing tenant or lease obligations to others on the property?
  • What are annual property tax obligations for the land or property?
  • Are there any tax exemptions as a result of the investment in the property? (such as agricultural, horticultural, or timber exemptions)
  • Why is the property owner selling this particular property? (Please note, the seller or seller’s representative is not required to disclose this information, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.)
  • Is the seller offering financing on the property?
  • How soon can the seller close on the transaction?
  • Does the property include any water features such as lakes, rivers, springs or ponds? What about internal access routes such as fire roads, trails or pathways?
  • Where are the nearest public access lakes or waterways? What are the closest public lands (i.e. state or national forest, state or national park, BLM land)?
  • Do any property improvements not convey with the sale (e.g. fencing, outbuildings, gates)?
  • Will my purchase of this land or property include a fee simple General Warranty deed?
  • Am I able to obtain clear title to the property with title insurance?
  • What is the quality and value of timber on the property (e.g. types of timber, age of trees, planted or natural species)? Where are the nearest timber mills and outlets? Is any of the current timber stock sellable?

The above questions should help you paint the picture of a property’s existing state as well as future potential. In addition, of course, there will be many questions that may relate to various state and local conditions and regulations that should be fully discussed with the seller.

More Useful Resources

Tell us in the comments section if you think we have missed anything in our above checklist!

what to ask when buying land: picture of a fence
A simple fence line can denote the property boundaries, but what does it tell you about the neighboring landowners, the quality of the terrain, or unseen environmental concerns? Be sure to ask about boundaries, easements and other important land considerations before you buy.
what to ask when buying land: picture of windmills
Ensure you have a full understanding about all the mineral rights as they relate to land for sale, which could include everything to above-ground wind, water and timber rights as well as subsurface rights for everything from natural gas to coal to copper and zinc.

Originally published 4/24/2018, updated 12/21/2020.

  • avatar

    The Network is the largest online marketplace for the purchase and sale of rural land and real estate. The network includes online marketplaces, and, plus the LAND Magazines publications, LAND and TEXAS LAND magazines.

  • Show Comments

  • avatar
    Nooron Khan

    Thank you for the information. Can you also explain the situations, ifs, and buts, with each of these points that you have listed above about buying ” raw land on line”? I would really appreciate receiving this information.

    Best regards

    Nooron Khan

  • avatar
    Roy Leslie

    You missed a really big question!
    Must add this to the signed disclosure statement:

    “Have you ever received, on the subject property, a cervid (whitetail deer, axis, sika, elk, red deer, or fallow deer) from a breeding facility or any other wildlife seller. If so, what specie, when, how many, and from what facility. List the owner, the address, the phone number, and email address of the Breeder facility.”


  • avatar
    Dean Phillips

    I thought it was great how you said to ask if the land that you are planning to buy has existing utilities like electricity and water. My father has been wanting to buy some land that he can build a cabin on and stay in during the summers. It may be beneficial for him to work with a real estate company that can give him a wide variety of residential lots to choose from.

  • avatar
    Anil Suriya

    Here are the some keypoints we have noted:
    1. What is the token advance amount that you need to pay while booking the plot?
    2. Is there any Bank Loan facility available for the said plot?
    3. Check if all the titles of the said plot are cleared by the local governing authorities?
    4. Probe and get the update of the current condition of the said property?
    5. Also find out – what are the various amenities that the said property is giving along with the plots?
    6. Investigate if the said plot is prone to any environmental hazards?
    7. Find out the various route maps to reach the property for sale – like Rail Route, Roadways etc…?
    8. Are the plots covered with boundaries? 
    9. Is the said plot properly surveyed?
    10. Find the asking rate of the land owner before making a counter proposal for the said plot?

    Once you are done with the above mentioned list of questionnaire – It will be definitely help you in taking the right decision as far as the future investment is concerned.

  • avatar
    Eli Richardson

    It makes sense that one should keep in mind if one will receive a clear title with title insurance. My grandfather has been thinking of buys some acres to build a house. I’ll be sure he keeps these questions in mind when buying the land.

  • avatar
    Rachel Frampton

    I have been wanting to buy a land where my apartment building will be constructed; that’s why I’m currently looking for a drone surveying service, so I can make sure that I am making the right choice. I’m glad you shared this; I’ll make sure to choose a lot that is accessible to public transportation. I’d also keep in mind to scrutinize the place for any existing easements.

  • avatar

    Good luck getting answers to these questions from realtors. Maybe you’re 500 miles from the property and don’t have the time to travel so you can inspect a parcel of land and its surroundings.
    A new question being asked by the growing number of amateur astronomers this country has is: Does this land have outdoor lighting covenants ?

  • avatar
    Eli Richardson

    I’m glad you talked about the importance of asking about a land’s title before purchasing one. Recently, one of my cousins mentioned he’s looking for a lot to buy. He wants to build his dream house in it, so I’ll be sure to share this article with my cousin. Thanks for the tips on what to consider before purchasing land.

  • avatar
    Claire Masters

    Thanks for reminding me to check if the land I’m about to buy already has existing utility lines. I’m planning on building my dream house soon. I’ll take these tips into consideration while I look for a lot that is big enough for the house I am envisioning.

  • avatar
    Eli Richardson

    I’m glad you talked about how to purchase land without complications. Recently, my brother mentioned he wants to build his own house and is looking for a lot. I’m not sure if my brother knows about land surveying and its boundaries, so I’ll be sure to share this article with him. Thanks for the information on what to check before buying a piece of land.

  • avatar
    John Koshy

    When we are planning to buy a plot there are many thoughts are coming to our mind. Is it worth or it is the right time for investing in a plot. Also, when we looking a plot there are a lot of questions in our mind to ask the plot owner. This article is very helpful. I read an article that explains the benefits of investing in plots in Trivandrum, Kerala. It clearly explains the benefits of investment in plots. For more, please visit:

  • avatar
    Baldivis land

    Perfect! Informative ways to invest in real estate. Many real estate investors don’t have such knowledge. I hope these ways may help. Thanks a lot!!

  • avatar
    Serena thomas

    This was a really good information,keep posting.when i was planning to buy a apartments or land,i was not much familiar with realestate,buying lands,cost,good location to buy a apartments Etc at that time i was about to see one blog :
    Now the article was really useful for me to know the questions we could ask while buying a land too.I think this i easily useful for adults ,youngsters etc…keep sharing such useful blogs Thank You

  • avatar
    Victoria Addington

    I also agree that it’s important to know why is the property owner selling the property. My friend is looking for lots for sale since she wants to custom-build her house. I’ll share this post with her so she can ask these questions to the realtor.

  • avatar
    Builders in trivandrum

    Wow !! thats a good article about apartment application process.Actually I was in emergency in purchasing a flats for my family and i had got acquainted with heather homes and they provided me with beautiful flats.If any one interested have a look of it

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