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Should you Negotiate with the Government when impacted by Eminent Domain?

Property owners that are affected by eminent domain have few options once they receive an offer for their property. Typically, the owner is dealing with the Government, which has vast experience acquiring property.

Depending on the state the property owner is in, it may not make sense negotiating when an offer is made. Total takes are much easier for the Government appraiser to give a solid estimate of the property value, although, every property and situation is different. Typically, partial takes can cause the largest difference in the offer and “just compensation”. An owners first step is finding an attorney to review your offer and appraisal, which should be a no cost to you. In most states, the offer is made along with the appraisal, however, states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Georgia and New York do not have to provide an appraisal report which makes determining the “just compensation” more difficult.

Some property owners feel like they have the upper hand and strong negotiating skills, while this may be true, it could damage the claim. Some states allow for attorney fees and costs being recoverable, so finding out all options before spending money is best. Consult with an attorney prior to hiring an appraiser, because there is a chance the attorney would take the case and bring in their own appraiser. Like we mentioned above, some states allow for fees and costs to be recovered, so in some cases negotiating will hamper the potential claim. Should you negotiate in eminent domain? We recommend not to as it will not cost you anything to consult an attorney to determine your next best step.

If you have questions or concerns about your property being affected by eminent domain or any other questions, feel free to contact us at (866) 693-6572.