Understanding The Value Of An Access Easement

Our appraisal experts often field questions about the value of easements that provide access to a parcel owned by others. This is an appraisal request that we can help with.

There are a variety of ways to look at the value of an access easement. One method examines the encumbrance on the parcel that it crosses. Generally, any encumbrance on a property can be viewed as impacting the market value, as owners may consider how it impacts the use of the property or simply view the easement as a nuisance they would rather not accommodate. The methodology for valuing an easement with this perspective often uses a “before and after” appraisal that considers the value of the property without the easement. Then, an “after” appraisal determines the property value with the easement in place.

Another option for looking at the value of an access easement examines the impact to the property benefited by the access. The real estate market does typically show a higher value for accessible property as opposed to land that is “landlocked.” A “before and after” appraisal approach may also be appropriate in this instance.

Our appraisers are often able to document access easement transactions that provide actual market evidence that can be used as a comparable sale in the appraisal. There are a variety of factors that come into play when determining an access easement value that relate to the specific instance.

Our appraisal experts are ready to work with landowners who are considering granting an access easement, formalizing a “handshake” access agreement, or otherwise needing to determine the value of an easement.

-Tom Hittle, Senior Vice President: Project Coordination/Client Services