How to Buy Land for Cash in Arkansas

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How to Buy Land for Cash in Arkansas

Bart Waldon

With over 33 million acres dedicated to agriculture, forests, and natural splendors, Arkansas offers abundant land investment potential. Nearly 18% of the state’s total acreage falls into private hands according to census data, providing fertile ground for profit. However, challenges like remote locales and fluctuating commodity prices can stall land sales. Listings often languish on the market for over 15 months on average as per industry analysis. And securing financing poses another hurdle for buyers attempting to capitalize on Arkansas’ alluring raw lands. But pay-cash buyers wield negotiation leverage that motivated sellers readily respond to despite broader economic conditions. 

Let’s review key strategies for sourcing discounted properties directly from owners and closing wholesale all-cash land deals at lightning speed across the Natural State, bypassing lender limitations. Creative deal structuring, win-win terms and localized networking provide access to off-market opportunities. The remote terrain tests typical investors, but seasoned land experts discover deals everywhere once they master the art of cash buying Arkansas’ countryside gems using proven tactics.

Key Things to Know About Arkansas

Before jumping into the process, let’s level-set on some key details about Arkansas:

  • Arkansas is in the South Central United States, bordering states like Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Missouri and more.
  • There are 75 counties in Arkansas covering about 53,000 square miles. Northern Arkansas tends to be more mountainous and heavily forested while central and southern areas of the state feature more farmland and open plains.
  • The population is approximately 3 million residents. Little Rock is the state's capital and largest city.
  • There is no state income tax on retirement income like pensions and 401ks in Arkansas. Property taxes are also reasonably low compared to other states, averaging around 0.55% of assessed home value.
  • Agriculture and farming are major industries, along with poultry, soybeans, cotton, rice and more. Timber is also important to the state’s economy.
  • Outdoor recreational activities like fishing, hunting, hiking, boating, etc. are popular throughout the state given its abundance of lakes, rivers, mountains and wilderness areas.

How Does Buying Land for Cash Work?

Purchasing raw land for cash means you buy a vacant lot, acreage or undeveloped parcel outright without financing. This typically provides faster and easier closing versus trying to qualify for a land loan. However, you need to have enough cash readily available to cover the purchase and associated fees.

The process works like this:

  1. Find - Research and identify land for sale that meets your size, budget, use case and location preferences. Local real estate agents can help you target qualifying properties.
  2. Visit - Tour the property in-person and assess its condition, boundaries and any other positive/negative attributes.
  3. Make an Offer - Once you find a suitable parcel of land, decide on an offer price based on property comps, market factors and your own budget. Submit the official offer in writing with earnest money to indicate your serious interest.
  4. Negotiate Terms - If your offer is accepted, move forward hashing out the purchase details with the seller. If not, you may go back and forth negotiating details like price, closing timeframe, included fixtures/utilities, etc.
  5. Close and Take Ownership - After coming to agreement on the specifics, move towards closing. As part of finalizing everything, you will need to pay the remaining cash balance and associated closing costs.

Tips for Getting a Good Deal

While buying land for cash provides more flexibility and speed, here are some tips to help you score a property at a reasonable price:

  • Work with an experienced real estate agent - They will guide you to better deals and ensure the process goes smoothly. Don’t be afraid to make the first move and ask about an agent's average sale price on comparable listings.
  • Be flexible on exact location - Expand your geographic filters and don’t get hung up on one perfect spot. Sometimes widening the radius even just a few miles can dramatically open up options.
  • Offer seller financing - Propose spreading payments over 1-5+ years instead of a lump cash sum. This gives you more affordability while providing regular income to the seller over time.
  • Time your purchase right - Wild price fluctuations are uncommon with raw vacant land. However, buying during off-seasons and avoiding highly popular seasons can help secure better pricing.
  • Purchase as-is - Opting to buy the property in its current condition waves contingencies and shows the seller you are serious about closing quickly. This can give your offer an advantage over those with complex demands.

Out-of-State Buyer Considerations

Arkansas attracts out-of-state land buyers due to its natural beauty, small town atmosphere and low cost of living. Here is what to keep in mind as an external investor:

  • On-site Visits - Make time for an in-person tour before committing to ensure it aligns with your expectations and plans for the property. If unavailable, hire a proxy to assess or consider a virtual tour.
  • Closing Logistics - You don’t need to physically be present to close in Arkansas, but will need to coordinate paperwork and payments carefully with title agents. A local real estate attorney can help manage technicalities.
  • Research Market Values - Land prices can shift county-by-county. Check Zillow and loop in a local realtor to help benchmark fair deal ranges in sub-regions of interest. Don’t assume one static statewide standard.
  • Understand Tax Implications - Consult a tax professional to discuss potential tax liabilities for an out-of-state land purchase in Arkansas. This will depend on intended use, income generation plans and other aspects.
  • Connections - The right realtor and attorney contacts will streamline the buying process and help you avoid missteps as an external buyer. Lean on referrals from those who have successfully invested from afar.

While buying Arkansas land outright demands some upfront capital, it removes the complexities of acquiring financing and can help external investors jump on promising deals. Consider the tips above to smooth negotiations and land on favorable terms. Reach out to the local professionals well-versed in land deals to assist with your unique situation.

Final Thoughts

Buying raw land for cash in Arkansas can be a rewarding path to land ownership whether you are an in-state resident or out-of-state investor. The Natural State offers plenty of scenic, affordable properties to choose from. Keys to success include acting at the right time, working with experienced professionals, understanding market dynamics in your focus area and properly assessing properties before purchase. While buying land outright demands some financial resources upfront, it provides a streamlined route to closing on a deal quickly. Following the tips above around pricing negotiations, seller financing options and navigating the processes as an external buyer can help satisfied the considerations around buying for cash. Do your Arkansas land buying homework, be realistic about budgets and timelines and partner with the right real estate agents so you set yourself up for success when considering this type of real estate investment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What types of land can I buy with cash in Arkansas?

You can purchase all kinds of undeveloped land with cash in Arkansas - from open tracts for hunting or camping to cleared acreage for farming and building. Some common cash purchases include wooded recreation properties, ranch land, pastures and fields for livestock, developable properties, and off-grid or survivalist parcels.

How much land can I buy for $50,000 cash in Arkansas?

With a $50,000 cash budget, you could reasonably acquire 5-15 acres of vacant land in many parts of Arkansas. As a very general rule of thumb, poorer quality or remote properties go for around $1,000-$2,000 per acre. Higher quality parcels with road access, power and other infrastructure can go for $4,000 to over $10,000+ per acre.

What fees are involved in closing a cash land deal?

When you buy land outright with cash in Arkansas, expect to pay closing costs including title searches, document filing fees, any due diligence like surveys, legal fees and more. These can tally 3-5%+ of the purchase price. You’ll also owe capital gains taxes later on selling.

Can closing paperwork be handled remotely?

Yes, you do not need to physically be in Arkansas to close on a cash property purchase. However, you will need to coordinate carefully with real estate attorneys and title companies to handle all legal documentation and payment transfers appropriately from afar.

How quickly can a cash deal close versus seller-financed?

Closing times vary. But all-cash deals can often finalize in as little as 1-2 weeks since buyer financing contingencies are waived. Meanwhile, seller-financed deals may take 30-60+ days to facilitate approval processes, document land contract terms and complete additional due diligence items first. Cash drives faster transactions.

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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