With the approval of the Secretary of Interior or authorized delegate, you, as a landowner of a restricted Native allotment or townsite lot can advertise all or a portion of your land for sale. You must have title to your restricted property, which is confirmed by Certificate of Allotment, Restricted Trustee Deed, Probate decision, or other approved conveyance document. For property that has two or more owners, an Application for Advertised Sale must be completed by all of the co-owners. The property will be advertised for a thirty day period, with a bid opening scheduled following the advertisement. If you are considering using a realtor, please remember that you must advertise through the BIA before entering into a contract with a realtor.
Since most of the fieldwork required for this transaction is accomplished during the summer months, early notice is appreciated. During the winter months, the land is usually not accessible for field visits.
NOTE: If you are receiving any income-based public assistance money such as: AFDC, Food Stamps, Adult Public Assistance, BIA General Assistance, Supplemental Social Security, or certain VA benefits, the sale of your land may result in those programs disqualifying you for each dollar amount you have received for the sale, or they may stop their services until you have foregone the equivalent amount of benefits.
The following is an outline of the steps involved in the sale process:
1. Initial Contact: You must express your desire to sell your land by writing to our office. Upon receipt of your request, a Realty Specialist will be assigned to the transaction.
2. Application & Counseling: After a request to advertise land for sale has been received, the Realty Specialist will follow up with the landowner(s) to discuss the process, and other alternatives which may be available to them. The Specialist will also send an Application for Advertised Sale for you to complete and return.
3. Survey: If the advertisement is for just a portion of your land and an adequate aliquot parts description is not possible, a subdivision survey is necessary and required. If a subdivision is necessary, it is your responsibility to procure the services of a registered land surveyor. A list of Certified Federal Surveyors (CFedS) in Alaska can be found at Certified Federal Surveyor website. The subdivision will have to be completed before we can advertise the property.
4. Appraisal: An appraisal of the land being sold is necessary to ensure that you receive fair market value for your land. The Appraisal and Valuation Services Office will conduct the appraisal at no cost to you. Appraisals can take 18 months to two years to complete. However, you may, at your own expense, have a private appraisal done. The private appraisal report will be subject to review and approval by the AVSO staff and must be prepared in accordance with their guidelines. The private appraiser should contact or meet with the AVSO prior to conducting and preparing the appraisal report.
5. Archeological Inventory: Your allotment or townsite lot must be inventoried for potential cultural or historical artifacts. Like the appraisal, BIA Archeology staff will conduct the inventory at no cost to you, but can take 18 months to two years to complete. You, at your own expense, can acquire the services of a private archeologist. The private archeological report will be subject to review and approval by the BIA Archeology staff and must be prepared according to their guidelines.
6. Environmental Compliance: Compliance with NEPA regulations is required. The assigned Realty Specialist can determine the extent of compliance based on the appropriate regulations and their knowledge of the land being sold.
7. Timber Clearance: If the land is valuable for timber, a timber clearance and/or timber report may be necessary. The Realty Specialist assigned to your case can determine the necessity based on his/her knowledge of the land area and from discussions with you. If a timber clearance is necessary, BIA Forestry staff will be responsible for conducting the fieldwork.
8. Re-counsel/Finalize Documents: After the archeological inventory, environmental, appraisal, and if applicable, the timber report, have been received, you will be contacted for another phase of counseling to discuss the appraisal, and assistance will be provided to you on setting your selling price and any terms you may be willing to accept.
9. Report of Investigation: Once all the previous requirements have been met, a report of investigation will be prepared with a recommendation to the BIA Alaska Regional Director or other authorized approver for review and approval. Once approved, your land can be advertised in selected media and a bid opening date determined.
10. Bid Opening: If a bid is received that meets the minimum requirements, the Realty Specialist assigned to your sale will contact you to inform you of the bid, and determine whether you would like to move forward with the sale. If multiple bids are received, you will be contacted to determine which bid you would like to accept.
11. Deed Signature or Acceptance of Terms for Deferred Payments: Once a bid is accepted, if it is for a cash payment, a Deed will be drafted for your signature. If the bid is for a deferred payment contract, a Memorandum of Agreement and Promissory Note will be drafted for both the purchaser’s signature and yours. A deed will also be drafted for your signature, but will not be forwarded for the Regional Director’s approval until all payments have been received.
12. Final Approval: After all necessary paperwork is completed, final sale documents will be submitted to the Regional Director or other authorized official for review and decision:
a. If approved, the Deed or sales contract will be signed by the authorized BIA official, forwarded to the BIA Alaska Land Titles and Record Office for recording, and then returned to the Realty Office for further processing.
b. If disapproved, you and the purchaser(s) will be notified of the action taken.
All affected parties have the right to appeal either decision and will be provided with information regarding the appeal process.
Please keep in mind that the above described advertised sale process can take anywhere from 6 to 24 months (under ideal conditions), or longer.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Bureau of Indian Affairs Alaska Region
Real Estate Services
3601 C Street, Suite 1200 MC-304
Anchorage, Alaska 99503-5947
(800) 645-8465, Extension 2-1