It’s not just a good idea, and it’s not just the law. It’s your constitutional right!
If the government wants to condemn your property, or take it from you by means of eminent domain, you must receive “just compensation”. Just compensation is required to be paid by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (and counterpart state constitutions) when private property is taken or damaged for public use. For reasons of expedience, courts have been generally using fair market value as the measure of just compensation, reasoning that this is the amount a willing seller would accept in a voluntary sales transaction and therefore it should also be payable in an involuntary one. However, the U.S. Supreme Count has repeatedly acknowledged that fair market value, as defined, falls short of what sellers would demand and receive in voluntary transactions.
Condemnation appraisals are not simple. There are many legal and procedural issues involved in an accurate condemnation appraisal. A federal condemnation will require a different analysis and report format than that of a state or local condemnation. It is important to hire an appraisal firm that has experience and training in these types of valuations.
An eminent domain action may reserve certain rights in the property to the current owner. The government may petition to take only part of, or a partial interest in, the property. This requires the appraiser to value the "larger parcel" -- the currently undivided, contiguous property -- and the "remainder" of the property, or rights to use the property, that will be held by the owner after condemnation and factor that into the overall value of the taken property. For an added wrinkle, it will often be necessary for the appraiser to determine the value on the "remainder" before the action and after the development or use prompting the taking, because they are likely to be very different.
Since an appraiser may have to testify in court, it is important that certain steps in valuation methodology -- such as selecting and analyzing comparable sales -- be performed thoroughly.
To ensure your settlement doesn’t fall short, you need an expert with the experience and knowledge to make sure you are compensated fairly. RU Appraisals, LLC has both condemnation and eminent domain experience. A private appraisal, performed under the standard of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), is powerful and essential evidence of your entitlement and protects your rights.
Browse our website to learn more about our qualifications, expertise and services offered.
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