Pros and Cons of Selling to a Alaska Land Company

Return to Blog

Get cash offer for your land today!

Ready for your next adventure? Fill in the contact form and get your cash offer.

Thank you! We got your info and will reach out with any questions ASAP.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Pros and Cons of  Selling to a Alaska Land Company

Bart Waldon

Selling unused private land in Alaska to a land company provides quick returns, but also poses risks of undervaluation. According to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, over 100 million acres of land in the state remains in private hands with opportunities for sale and development. However, prices widely vary from $347 per rural acre to over $100,000 for accessible, urban land based on location and resources.

Additionally, annual carrying costs can diminish returns through property taxes exceeding $100 per acre for undeveloped land. While an immediate payout appeals to sellers, Alaska's remote land often increases in value if oil, mineral or strategic development potential emerges. Yet land companies aim to acquire such lands before speculation raises prices. 

Evaluating factors like comparables, carrying costs, and resource potential is crucial when weighing the pros of quick revenue against the cons of relinquishing unknown future value. Key statistics provide context around ownership, typical valuations and emerging risks or opportunities. Understanding the landscape is vital when considering the advantages and disadvantages of selling undeveloped Alaska land.

Pros of Selling Land to an Alaska Land Company

Speed and Certainty

The remote nature and lack of infrastructure in Alaska makes it extremely difficult for individual land sellers to find buyers. Local land companies have existing resources and demand driving land purchases. This provides more certainty of sale for the landowner. Sales to companies also tend to close much faster than sales aimed at individual buyers.

Cash Purchases

Alaska land companies typically purchase property with cash. For those needing money more urgently or wanting to avoid bank financing, this provides clear value. Land companies have funding sources allowing all-cash buys. For Alaskan landowners struggling with mortgage, property tax, and maintenance payments on vacant land, an all-cash purchase from a local company can provide financial relief.

Rather than letting the land sit idle while expenses pile up, a cash payout enables reinvestment of those funds into new opportunities. Even at a discounted sales price, alleviating inactive land costs brings its own benefits.

As-Is Condition

Land companies are experienced assessing value based on the as-is condition of land. Whereas retail buyers may request multiple repairs or drive down price for any defects, companies will buy as-is. No need to spend extra on landscaping or cleanup.

No Marketing Necessary

The remote plots of land in Alaska require extensive effort to photograph, stage and market to prospective buyers. Land companies eliminate this need by assessing value internally and making fair cash offers. No need for the hassle of listing on MLS, hosting open houses or coordinating showings. Outside of the valuable time savings in avoiding traditional sales campaigns, land companies also take on closing coordination responsibilities. 

They handle details like title transfer paperwork, deed recording, and paying any applicable taxes from proceeds. The streamlined process minimizes administrative burdens the seller would otherwise have to manage themselves.

Cons of Selling to Alaska Land Companies

Below Market Value Offers

The biggest downside of selling land to a local land buying company is often the price. Companies need to purchase properties at discounts substantial enough to make a profit on resale. So, they cannot pay full retail market value for land. Their cash offers come in below comparable sales.

Contingencies May Still Apply

Depending on the property, some contingencies including title checks, surveys, etc. may still be written into a land company’s purchase offer. So, the sale is not necessarily guaranteed just because an offer is extended. Make sure to review the details before signing.

Use of Third-Party Brokers

Some land companies rely on acquiring inventory through independent wholesale brokers. It’s important to verify exactly who will be transacting for any property sale and ensure there is transparency on how fees/commissions will be handled.

Tax Implications

The below market offer from a land buying company may have an impact on capital gains owed from the sale. Consult a tax professional to discuss potential implications before finalizing a discounted sale.

Things to Consider When Selling Land in Alaska

Prior to making a firm decision on selling to a land company, research details on factors like:

  • Property/parcel number - used to pull title, deed and detail records
  • Classification - e.g. residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural etc. Details zoning restrictions.
  • Acreage/square footage
  • Accessibility
  • County assessed value
  • Existing liens or legal activity like divorce/estate sale
  • Deed type - warranty, quit claim, trustee’s, etc.
  • Survey maps with clearly defined boundaries
  • Mineral/water rights - determine what transfers with the land sale
  • Road or riverfront access - enhance value
  • Drainage and terrain - susceptibility to erosion/flooding
  • Vegetation and timber - valuable resources?
  • Existing structures - do old buildings or debris need removal?
  • History of permits, zoning requests, violations

It also helps land sellers set realistic expectations by educating themselves on which property attributes are important to land buying companies valuing potential purchases. Characteristics driving value from these buyers include:

Raw Acreage - Land companies prefer vacant land for holding and later resale. Existing buildings or tenant properties create additional risks and closing delays. Intact wilderness and wildlife spaces bring highest upside.

Future Development Potential - Land near infrastructure grids with likelihood of housing/commercial development expansion holds opportunity for price appreciation over time. Companies logically target promising growth areas.

Water Access - In Alaska's outdoors-focused culture, lakefront, riverfront or ocean access parcels often mean strong demand from future interested parties. Even if currently remote, water access indicates future development value potential.

Final Thoughts

Selling through conventional means is still possible to achieve top dollar but requires great time and effort. An educated land seller in Alaska can discern when foregoing maximum resale value in exchange for efficiency gains from selling to a local land company is prudent. For those with vacant plots of land in Alaska, liquidating through these buyers provides advantages like speed, certainty and cash sales. Yet it also requires tradeoffs such as below market value offers. Conduct thorough research ahead of opting to sell land directly to an investment company. And consult qualified professionals like attorneys and tax experts to best protect your interests in the transaction. With information empowering smart decisions, selling land in Alaska can make sense for both buyers and sellers alike.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What kind of land do Alaska land buying companies purchase?

Alaska land companies typically purchase vacant, undeveloped land with future investment potential. They do not usually buy improved property with existing residential buildings or commercial structures. Priority land features that attract buyers include large acreage parcels of 100 acres or more, waterfront (lake, river, ocean) access land, properties near infrastructure development, and land conducive to recreational use. Cabins may be purchased if secondary to a major purchase of raw surrounding acreage.

How long does the sale process take selling to a company?

The land sale process to an Alaska land buying company generally completes within 1-2 months which is faster than selling independently requiring 6 months to multiple years to finalize. After submitting property details, expect an offer letter within 2 weeks if interest is firm. Due diligence like title review follows next before contract paperwork gets signed within 30 days. Closing occurs on average 45 days out from initial offer depending on buyer’s arranging for payment transfer and recording.

How do Alaska land companies value property? What determines their offer price?

These land buyers use comparative market analysis to value land based on metrics like recent area sales, supply/demand conditions and growth indicators. Adjustments get made to account for property specific attributes, both positive factors like water access and challenges like poor drainage. No firm formula exists for their offers. Location and inspecting the viability of future development primarily guide offer amounts made. Negotiation opportunities also exist if more information highlighting property potential gets presented.

What closing costs will I pay selling directly to a company?

Closing processes handled directly by a land buying company place minimal burden on the seller. Typical seller paid closing costs selling to a company might include: 

- Title search/insurance fees 

- Legal document administration fees (~$500) 

- Recording charges

- Any still outstanding property taxes 

- Real estate transfer taxes 

Broker commissions and extensive document prep fees are avoided through the company's in-house processing. confirm expected seller costs before finalizing any transaction.

What precautions should I take in this sale process?

Those selling Alaska land directly to a buying company should still take reasonable precautions like: 

- Researching reputation of the company online 

- Confirming legitimacy by requesting proof of funds before final acceptance 

- Negotiating contingency clauses allowing exit if red flags emerge 

- Inspecting terms carefully to guarantee understanding

- Double checking title cleared to transfer ownership 

- Consulting a real estate attorney for transaction overview if uncertain 

While companies aim to enable smooth purchases, verifying credentials, protecting rights in the contract, and questioning anything suspicious encourages an optimal sale experience on significant land assets.

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.


Related Posts.

All Posts