Why Should Landowners Hire a Broker When Negotiating Conservation Easements?

May 01, 2023   |   Conservation Easements

The benefits of selling your land or developmental rights for conservation are great, however, the process can be cumbersome and landowners should hire qualified land professionals to assist in the conservation planning and negotiation process.

Conservation easements (CEs) allow landowners to sell the developmental rights to a
qualified agency while retaining sole ownership of the land. The negotiated language in the easement encumbers the property and guides its future use in perpetuity. Government agencies or various conservation authorities typically purchase these rights.

Conservation easements can provide a wide range of benefits to landowners. The issue arises when attempting to negotiate the rights within these conservation easements.


These designated agencies aim to conserve as much land as possible. However, landowners may want certain uses or to build a house or barn in the future. This is where effective negotiation comes into play.

Usually, landowners know what they want to do for the future of their property, but they don’t always know what to look for when negotiating the language of an easement. Certain CEs contain specific wording that may look good, but its implications may not align with the goals of the landowner. As an extreme example, a proposed easement may allow the development of residential units. However, they cannot be connected to the city’s sewage system. Knowing what to look for before signing is key.

Hiring a Broker

This is where SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler comes in. Our expert land advisors know what to look for when negotiating development rights. They want to ensure that the landowner gets the most out of their easement without selling away all of their rights.

When hiring a land broker for negotiating conservation easements, here are a few topics to keep in mind:

  • Identifying your goals: Qualified land professionals can help you determine the conservation values and goals you hope to achieve through the easement.
  • Keep the future in mind: Know that these easements are incredibly difficult to overwrite. When referring to your advisor, they will discuss any, and all potential land uses you may want to consider in the future.
  • Willing sacrifices: Selling to conservation requires sacrifice. Land professionals will ensure that you only sell what you are willing to sacrifice while selling your development rights.
  • Review and finalize: Before signing any agreements, have a qualified land professional review the agreement to ensure it meets legal requirements and that all terms are clear and enforceable.

Final Considerations

Our brokerage boasts expert land advisors who specialize in conservation land. Whether you’re looking to sell development rights on your property or are looking to purchase surplus conservation land, our advisors are supplied with the appropriate resources to fit your specific needs.

Selling Development Rights

As a landowner interested in conservation, you may want to consider selling development rights to protect your land from future development and maintain its natural beauty and ecological value. SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler’s expert land advisors specialize in conservation land sales throughout the Southeastern United States. These advisors can guide you through the process of selling development rights by exploring the best conservation options that are available to you. They have extensive knowledge in land management, market positioning, and quality assessment, allowing them to provide industry-leading land valuation services to help you make informed decisions about your long-term investment and conservation goals.

Conservation Land for Sale

If you are looking to sell your land or development rights for conservation, it's essential to work with expert land management consultants to ensure that you're making the most effective investment solution for the current market. Our advisors are highly skilled, providing clients with an accurate land valuation of their property and helping set a fair price that reflects the true value of the land.

By combining the expertise of our land management consultants, land valuation services, and targeted marketing strategies, you can increase the visibility of your land. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve your real estate goals and protect your land for future generations to enjoy.

Free e-book

Conservation Easement Primer

Written by Dean Saunders, ALC, CCIM
This book is written to give insight and answers to your questions about Florida conservation easements and other landowner rights. 
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Jeremiah Thompson
Being a fourth-generation Floridan, Jeremiah “JT” Thompson is a huge advocate for Florida land and conservation easements. He has a strong passion for the wildlife and natural resources within the state and has held this passion since he was young. JT puts his client first in ever...