How Much is an Acre of Land Worth in Arkansas?

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How Much is an Acre of Land Worth in Arkansas?

Bart Waldon

Arkansas, known as the Natural State, boasts beautiful scenic lands across its over 52 million acres of total area. With agriculture and forestry key to the state economy, raw undeveloped land maintains important commercial and investment value for buyers and sellers. But how does one determine a fair per acre price in Arkansas real estate transactions? This guide examines key considerations Arkansans weigh when buying and selling land locally.

According to 2018 data from the United States Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service, the average per acre value of non-irrigated cropland in Arkansas equaled approximately $3,800. Values can fluctuate greatly based on scarcity in a given county and other localized demand factors. For example, land parcels near expanding residential developments often garner higher per acre pricing due to anticipated near-term housing construction needs.

Key Factors That Impact Arkansas Land Valuations

Determining acreage pricing involves weighing several variables including:

  • Location - Land in proximity to industrial zones or metro areas typically commands higher valuations than rural parcels. Easy access to transportation corridors also lifts values.
  • Utilities Availability - Properties adjoining electricity, natural gas, water/sewer lines and broadband internet trade for premiums versus sites needing infrastructure built first.
  • Improvements/Readiness - Cleared, flattened, fenced acreage with roads established sells faster and garners better offers than raw undeveloped land needing extensive prep work done before utilization.
  • Buyer Vision - Developers picturing housing subdivisions for example have far different budget calculations than hunters simply needing recreational wilderness, driving major per acre variance.
  • Zoning Designations - Land zoned for commercial applications often valuates substantially higher than otherwise comparable agricultural or residential designated properties surrounding them.
  • Competitive Market Conditions - During hot real estate cycles with tight inventory, per acre prices tend to spike upwards and owners can dictate favorable terms. In cooler cycles, buyers gain negotiating leverage to lowball offers seeking discounts.

Performing a Competitive Market Analysis

The above factors showcase why inconsistent per acre pricing abounds even for land plots located close together within the same Arkansas county. The path to reasonably determining one's acreage true current market value involves conducting diligent research called a Competitive Market Analysis (CMA). Steps in a CMA include:

  • Examining various listing websites and county records to identify 3 to 5 recently sold "comparable" land parcels with similar location, zoning, size, improvements in one's local vicinity.
  • Reviewing price histories and key details on those comparable properties to establish value benchmarks from actual selling prices in today's market conditions. Sites currently only listed but not sold skew data.
  • Adjusting up or down from the comparable selling prices as warranted based on unique attributes of one's own land asset like added utility infrastructure availability, prime access road frontage etc. that lift value over the benchmarks.

While not overly complex, compiling an accurate Competitive Market Analysis does require dedication and local operational knowledge many land owners lack. Thus, many seek professional guidance navigating the formulaic process from a trusted land real estate advisor before determining asking prices or accepting purchase offers.

Maximizing Returns Through Competitive Bidding

Once a well supported per acre value range has been set via thorough comparable analysis, selling one's land practically always requires active promotion marketing to potential buyers. A common pitfall lies in simply listing land passively say on a Multiple Listing Service and expecting rapid responses at or near asking price. Instead, owners should take charge steering a competitive bid process for optimal results. Tactics to drive proposals from serious buyers include:

  • Aggressively networking within both commercial and residential development circles to connect with likely purchasers first before wider listings.
  • Compiling professional quality marketing packages touting the land parcel's strengths with visual aids which can be presented both digitally and in-person.
  • Being flexible structuring deals on buyers' timelines - few wish to pay lump sums upfront, so creative seller financing terms often massage win-win solutions.
  • Continuous follow-ups checking bid status to infuse urgency as interested parties know other offers cook simultaneously.

Mastering these proactive bidding facilitation skills allows motivated sellers to shop around proposal terms and pricing to ultimately identify the optimal fit for their land divestiture objectives.

Partnering With a Trusted Land Advisor

For Arkansas land owners lacking specialized expertise or bandwidth managing a high-stakes marketing and sales process, partnering with an experienced land real estate advisor brings immense value levelling the playing field. These professionals handle the full gamut of operational burdens from establishing pricing, creating promotional materials, identifying likely buyers, and negotiating great contracts through to closing transactions. Partners like Land Boss have closed over 100 Arkansas land deals simplifying convoluted efforts for clients into smooth profitable outcomes. Sellers benefit from tapping proven high-performing distribution channels and seeing objective per acre bids reflective of true current market appetite. Exploring advisor partnerships makes strong sense assessing options before endeavoring to sell Arkansas properties alone.

Final Thoughts

Determining acreage worth and ultimately maximizing investment returns when buying or selling Arkansas land hinges first on gathering quality localized market data. While statewide per acre benchmarks exist courtesy of agencies like the USDA, relative values fluctuate substantively between different counties, zoning categorizations and intended usage plans. Conducting diligent comparative analysis followed by savvy buyer sourcing and auction-like bidding drives success. Land owners can self-navigate these steps, but working with experienced advisor partners often streamlines profitable results.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Arkansas land types typically valuate the highest on a per acre basis?

In Arkansas, land parcels zoned for commercial use or industrial applications often sell for significantly higher per acre pricing than residential or agriculture designated sites. Reasons include commercial/industrial buyers willing and able to pay premiums based on planned inventory warehousing, manufacturing plants, distribution hubs and similar projects set to generate major future revenue streams from the properties. Undeveloped sites adjoining or easily accessible to retail zones also sell at premiums to parties like restaurant chains picturing high customer visibility locations.

How might pricing per acre of land in Arkansas vary by county or region?

While the USDA provides general statewide cropland values, pricing fluctuations tied to localized supply and demand factors in smaller Arkansas geographies exists. A glaring example is seen when comparing acreage values of seemingly similar rural cattle grazing land parcels located in Newton County versus Clark County. Newton County features one of Arkansas’ lowest inventories of ranch properties available on the market. At the same time several large cattle operations wish to expand regional footprints. These dynamics allow Newton County land owners to often dictate premium sales terms above state benchmarks. Conversely in Clark County, stagnant rural community economics paired with ample ranching acreage availability leaves buyers empowered to lowball bids seeking bargains.

What precautions should prospective buyers take inspecting undeveloped land sites in Arkansas?

When evaluating raw vacant land parcels in Arkansas, prospective buyers need to practice thorough due diligence before finalizing purchases. Critical precautions include assessing access drives that may require tree clearing/grading expenditures post-purchase, hunting illegal trash dump sites that could necessitate clean-ups down the road, and checking for flooding risk indicators during wet seasons. Surveying property boundaries to confirm claimed acreage listed on plats also ranks among vital steps. Buyers must budget post-purchase work and factor such costs into formal offers to avoid problematic surprises once site preparation projects begin in earnest.

What selling costs might Arkansas land owners face?

Common third party fees Arkansas real estate sellers encounter when divesting land range from 2% to 6% of the final sales price. Outlays potentially include commissions for buyer’s agents, property appraisal costs, title search/insurance fees, documentation preparation charges, legal fees linked to contract reviews and tax/lien verifications, government deed transfer taxes, and possibly municipal development related assessments if land being rezoned from agricultural to commercial use. Forecasting and accounting for these items ensures minimal friction finalizing transactions.

How can land owners in Arkansas objectively determine fair asking prices?

Honestly assessing fair market value for land in Arkansas relies upon a methodology called "Competitive Market Analysis" involving research, not guesswork. The process compares extremely recent finalized sales prices for 3 to 5 very similar nearby plots from one's own in terms of size, location, improvements and zoning designations serving as value benchmarks. Comparable land that is only listed but not sold skews accuracy. Final sale records filed with county officials provide evidence. Tiny value differences get factored in when considering unique advantages to one's own land, but the database gives reliable per acre targets. Periodic updates check for broader trends impacting local pricing, but why this technique surpasses general statewide land pricing statistics.

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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