Is your property being taken by eminent domain? If so, you are entitled to fair value of your property. But how is fair value determined?
Initially, the governmental agency responsible for the project under which your property is being taken will have the first line responsibility for determining property value. The government is not confined in terms of how valuation is determined, so they can use any valuation methodology that they believe is fair.
Often, however, valuation will be determined based upon an appraisal of the property, which in turn will be highly influenced by recent property sales for similar properties in the area. With residential properties, typically there will be home sales in the neighborhood that may provide an indication about what the property is worth. With business properties and with properties that are highly unique (such as properties involving large tracts of land), this valuation may be more difficult.
The Offer to You
Once the government has determined the value of your property, it will send you information about such valuation. At this point you can either accept the government’s determination, or you can appeal it.
The government will naturally try to pay as little as possible. Our firm, therefore, is dedicated to helping property owners get the full value of their property.
Who Makes the Final Property Value Determination? The Courts (or a Jury).
We represent property owners in making the case for the full value of their property through using land and property experts. Once we have built the case for our clients in determining what we and our clients believe to be full value, we negotiate with government representatives. If an agreement acceptable to our clients cannot be reached, we take the cases of our clients to trial, where ultimately the court (or a jury) will determine fair value based upon the evidence presented.