An easement is a right to use a portion of a property that you don’t actually own. Easements may be established on or attached to a property for a number of reasons. Whether you’re selling an easement or selling an easement-attached property, it's important to understand what factors may affect the transaction.
Disclosing an Easement
If you own a property that already has an easement attached to it, you’ll need to disclose this fact when you sell it. You're essentially selling the easement along with the property; the two cannot be separated without a court judgment. You also must inform the beneficiary of the easement -- the person or party who has the right of use -- of the sale and disclose the new owners of the property.
Selling an Easement
Outlining the Details
Selling or creating an easement requires you to outline the specific location and dimensions of the easement, and to designate who holds the rights to the easement and what the holder is allowed to do on the property. For instance, an easement that allows your neighbor to build a road to his property would be much different than an easement that allows the city to install sewer lines on your property. A real estate attorney can help you specifically outline the easement terms and details.
If you’re selling a property, you may actually be selling an easement along with it without even knowing it. That’s because most easements are perpetual, meaning that they do not expire and will remain attached to the title of the property unless legally removed. For this reason, conducting a title search when you’re buying or selling property can help identify an easement that may be associated with your property. If you find an easement that you didn’t know existed, it could affect the value of your property when you sell.
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