Document / Practice

Practice 9H: Purchasing Land or Conservation Easements

Posted 2017 Updated March 21, 2023
Land Trust Alliance
About This Practice

This guidance covers Practice 9H, which includes two elements:

  1. ⬤ When buying land, conservation easements or other real property interests, obtain an independent appraisal by a qualified appraiser in advance of closing to support the purchase price

    1. ⬤ a. However, a letter of opinion from a qualified real estate professional may be obtained in the limited circumstances when:

      1. ⬤ i. A property has a very low economic value

      2. ⬤ ii. A full appraisal is not feasible before a public auction

      3. ⬤ iii. Or the amount paid is significantly below market value

  2. ⬤ In limited circumstances where acquiring land, conservation easements or other real property interests above the appraised value is warranted, contemporaneously document:

    1. ⬤ a. The justification for the purchase price

    2. ⬤ b. That there is no private inurement or impermissible private benefit

Accreditation indicator element | ■ Terrafirma enrollment prerequisite | ▲ Required for both

March 2023 update: Added accreditation requirement for addressing appraisal concerns under Practice Element 9H1.