Help! I Need to Sell My Land in Alaska Quickly

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Help! I Need to Sell My Land in Alaska Quickly

Bart Waldon

Alaska, known for its rugged natural beauty and abundant wilderness, holds over 365 million acres of raw land within its borders. For the average landowner in Alaska, selling property quickly can seem like an impossible task. Recent statistics show that vacant lots and raw land take over 9 months on average to sell in Alaska’s market. With nearly 60 million acres of the state still in private ownership, many factors impact the marketability of empty plots.

Understanding these dynamics is key for landowners who find themselves needing to offload their acres rapidly in the Last Frontier State. Whether financial pressures, changing life circumstances, or other reasons are pushing an accelerated sale, this presents unique challenges. Though raw land typically comes with slower sale timelines, taking the right strategic approach can help landowners successfully secure a buyer even within restrictive time constraints.

Challenges of a Far Flung Real Estate Market

While beautiful, Alaska has one of the smallest populations among U.S. states, with only 733,391 residents as per 2020 census data. The vast majority are clustered around Anchorage and other larger cities, while small towns and rural areas remain sparsely inhabited. This lack of population density poses a challenge when trying to market land to potential buyers. Wide open spaces mean fewer eyes on ads and listings.

In addition, much of Alaska lacks basic infrastructure that buyers desire, like water, sewer, electricity and internet connectivity. Building on raw land is difficult and costly. Without road access or county maintained streets, even accessing certain remote parcels can be nearly impossible depending on weather and season.

Alaska's climate also plays a role, with extreme winters limiting the real estate selling season primarily to late spring through early fall when temperatures are more mild. Even during these months, consistent rainfall, bugs and other obstacles can hamper viewings.

Finally, due to factors like climate change and being at the edge of developed land, property values can fluctuate more than other U.S. states. Determining accurate pricing can therefore be tricky for those trying to sell.

Tips for Selling Land Quickly in Alaska's Challenging Market

While challenges exist, with the right strategy and savvy approach, selling land swiftly in Alaska can be done. Let’s explore some key tips for motivating buyers.

Price Aggressively

Due to pent up demand but lower overall population size, Alaska’s real estate market goes through more extreme boom and bust cycles. When the market is booming, inventory flies off the shelves. During slower cycles, parcels can sit unsold for years due to lack of demand.

Pricing strategically can make or break a successful sale. Overpricing is one of the biggest mistakes eager sellers make. Reasonable offers often get rejected unnecessarily in hopes of waiting for a higher one. This almost always backfires.

Instead, research recently sold “comps” (comparables) in the local area to determine fair market value pricing. Then deduct at least 10-20% below that number. This signals opportunity to buyers and can ignite bidding wars that drive up final sale prices. Being at the upper end of perceived value leaves little room for negotiations.

Also, consider unbundling improvements that add complexity for buyers. Sell raw land first, then equipment like storage sheds, hunting cabins or temporary structures separately. Less complications equal faster sales.

Leverage Online Listing Sites

While Alaska is remote, internet connectivity has grown substantially allowing the power of online marketing. Make use of popular real estate listing sites like Zillow, and LandWatch. Augment with locally oriented platforms like, and which specifically target in-state buyers.

Craft compelling listings with eye-catching photos showcasing the property’s best attributes and potential. Describe terrain, surrounding natural features, availability of utilities/services, permissible land uses and more. This allows buyers to better assess fit.

Also list on classified and community bulletins like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace to increase visibility. Utilize both local and regional groups related to Alaska real estate, land or general classifieds.

Market to Out-of-State Buyers

While lower in overall numbers, out-of-state buyers make up a reasonable portion of land sales in Alaska. These buyers are enticed by low prices compared to their home states and envision lifestyle changes, like relocating for retirement, recreational property or off-grid living.

There are a few ways to tap into this demand pool:

  • Leverage sites like Landwatch and LandsofAmerica which target nationwide land buyers
  • Advertise in magazines like Alaska Beyond featuring real estate
  • Network with lower-48 investment groups known to purchase Alaskan land
  • Post in niche out-of-state forums focused on relocation, off-grid living, recreational property, etc.

Be Creative with Advertising

Beyond digital listing sites, creative guerilla marketing tactics can also garner interest. Especially in rural areas, simple signage along roadways near the property can capture eyeballs. Include an eye-catching header like “Land for Sale Cheap – $9,000” rather than just a boring “For Sale by Owner” template.

Print full page classifieds in small town newspapers and penny savers to tap into the population that still relies on these for info.

For larger parcels, temporary signage, balloons and visual markers can denote boundaries and help buyers orient themselves on-location during showings.

Consider Private Cash Buyers

While most focus efforts on marketing to end-user owner-occupants, private cash investors and land buying companies specializing in hard-to-sell rural property provide another strategic option.

These professional buyers like Land Boss purchase qualifying land anywhere in Alaska using internal funds. This avoids financing contingencies that can delay or derail traditional sales. And they pay all cash at closing, sidestepping appraisal issues.

Selling directly to an established cash buyer can translate to selling on your own timeline, regardless of market conditions. Though offered prices are often below retail market rates, there are no listing costs, save on commissions, and the seller gets simple guaranteed cash. For those needing to sell Alaska land fast, this avenue provides an ideal exit strategy.

Final Thoughts

While certainly not the easiest place to offload real estate, Alaska does present unique rewards for those willing to put in extra effort. With hearty determination, some creative marketing tactics, flexibility on pricing, and understanding one-of-a-kind local challenges, selling land swiftly can become reality even in America’s most rugged and least densely populated state. For urgent sellers more concerned with speedy exit than maximum profit, direct cash buyers also offer a viable fast-track option. Despite bigger obstacles, with the right approach, possibilities do exist to capitalize on Alaska's considerable natural appeal and demand for wide open spaces from pioneer-spirited buyers seeking refuge in the last frontier. Where challenges loom large, so do fortunes for those cunning enough to stake their claim.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What paperwork do I need to sell my land in Alaska?

To sell land, you typically need to show proof of ownership via the recorded property deed, property tax ID number, plat maps showing boundaries and a clear title without liens or other encumbrances. Hiring a title company can help assemble clean title documentation.

How long does vacant land take to sell in Alaska?

On average, marketing periods for vacant land range from 6 months to 2 years in Alaska. Property inaccessible by road or lacking utilities can take even longer. Pricing competitively and using creative selling tactics can help reduce average timelines.

Is it better to sell land myself or through an agent in Alaska?

FSBO (For Sale By Owner) helps avoid real estate commissions, but reduces marketing reach. Agents charge fees but leverage MLS listing networks and have experience pricing and negotiating deals. Cash buyers offer no commissions and guaranteed offers, providing a third option.

What are closing costs for selling land in Alaska?

Closing costs average 3-5% of the sales price and include the title policy, legal document prep, recording fees, applicable transfer taxes and more. Net proceeds would be the final sales price minus liens, mortgages and closing costs.

Can I sell my Alaska land from out of state?

Yes, those living outside Alaska can sell property remotely by granting power of attorney to a local real estate lawyer or title company to handle signing paperwork. Travel may be needed for closing if unable to accommodate remote options. Listing through a capable agent also aids remote sales.

About The Author

Bart Waldon

Bart, co-founder of Land Boss with wife Dallas Waldon, boasts over half a decade in real estate. With 100+ successful land transactions nationwide, his expertise and hands-on approach solidify Land Boss as a leading player in land investment.


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