Market value means the most probable price that a property should bring in a competitive
and open market. This should be under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, the
buyer and seller should each act prudently and knowledgeably, and the price is not
assumed to be affected by an undue stimulus.
Implicit in this definition is the consummation of a sale as of a specified date
and the passing of title from seller to buyer under conditions whereby:
Buyer and seller are typically motivated;
Both parties are well-informed or advised, and acting in what they consider to be
their own best interests;
A reasonable time is allowed for exposure in the
Payment is made in terms of cash in U.S. dollars or in terms of financial arrangements
comparable thereto; and
The price represents the normal consideration for the property sold unaffected by
special or creative financing.
Gus M. Shihab is a Licensed Professional Engineer, Mr. Shihab is a former ODOT transportation
engineer who has counseled property owners in numerous eminent domain matters. He
can be reached at 1-877-479-4USA
When I meet with property owners, many times I encounter the following: “I know a
piece of grounds which sold a few doors from my property for ‘X’ dollars.” In the
legal sense, this is what is called a “comparable sale.” It is a yard stick against
which you measure the value of your property. I have learned through the years that
one source of information which an attorney should never ignore is the client!
It is important to remember, however, that the sale of such parcel near your property
may or may not necessarily be a good indication of your property value. As explained
in more details below, a good “comparable sale” is one that satisfies certain legal
criteria. Aside from such criteria, there are adjustment factors which apply to the
these comparable sales to bring them “closer” in characteristics to your property.
These adjustments compensate for other property characteristics such as location,
time, topography, utilities, and others. So, please be careful when relying on a
Although it may have occurred near both in time and place, that sale may or may not
be reflective of