Finding Your Property's Highest & Best Use and Identifying Your Values
One often forgotten step in the consideration of the sale of a church is the values of the organization. One church may prefer to sell their property for top dollar and donate some proceeds, while another may decide to give a new church a discounted opportunity. It is important to analyze and discuss the values of your church organization with your listing agent before listing the property for sale.
Deciding on the technique to use for the sale of your church property involves analyzing both the values and Highest & Best Use of the church.
Below is a compiled list of a few possible designation options when selling:
1. Current Use
As a result of low supply in assembly approved properties, it is most common to find church properties with their Highest & Best Use as their current use. This often allows the marketing and sale of the property to occur with minimal alterations. It is important to keep in mind that keeping a parcel designated for assembly use does not prevent the potential buyers to convert the property to a different religious organization or type of assembly. If it is important to your organization to maintain the use of the property for the buyers for Christian purposes, it is possible. This is example stresses the importance of an experienced and specialized agent in the field as it can become complicated.
2. Highest & Best Use (HABU)
As with any piece of real estate, there is an evaluation stage to find the property's "Highest & Best Use". This term is used to describe the usage of the property in which the parcel is worth the most money. Factors including the zoning, Official Community Plan (OCP), and Neighbourhood Concept Plan (NCP) designations all influence the Highest & Best Use of the property. This analysis is important to perform for both marketing and sales purposes.
Note: Even when the Highest & Best Use of a property has been identified, each buyer still has a different intended use for the property.
3. Beneficial Use to Society
Designating a property as a beneficial use to society is another option to churches. There are a number of examples of this including but not limited to:
- Redevelopment into low-income housing
- Converting to or leasing to a daycare
- Designating part or all of the property for public use
- Changing to or creating a homeless outreach space