I want to sell some of my garden to a neighbour. How do I set the price?
Q: I want to sell some of my garden (around 780 sq. ft.) to a neighbour. I have no mortgage on my property. I've read it could be sold for 5% of the value of the purchasing property. I would rather avoid appointing expensive professionals. How do I set a realistic price?
780 sq. ft. of a typical garden is a fairly substantial parcel of land which may be capable of enhancing the value of your neighbour’s house. The loss of this land from your property could also have a depreciating effect on the value of your own home.
Assuming that the land could not alternatively be sold to other adjoining owners and there is only one potential buyer because the parcel of land is ‘land-locked’, our advice is:
- You should consider how much the parcel of land will increase the value of your neighbour’s house, i.e. the difference between the value of the neighbour’s house a) with, and b) without this additional land
- You should also separately consider how much the loss of this parcel of land would reduce the value of your property. In our commercial view, you should not sell the land for less than this figure
When selling to your garden to a neighbour, you may be creating something called marriage value. By marrying the neighbour’s house with the garden land and thus enhancing the value of the neighbour’s house, this additional financial benefit to the neighbour should be split between the neighbour and yourself. Traditionally, marriage value is split 50:50. However, in this case I would say the 50:50 split would be on the basis that the price given to you for the land is also greater than the loss in value of the garden.
An experienced valuer will consider the above and arrive at an opinion. If that is not economically viable then you could estimate these figures yourself.
The reference to 5% is not known to us, not least because circumstances of each garden land sale will be different.
Answered by Duncan Locke, McWhirter Locke Associates, Chartered Surveyors
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