If the government or any other condemning authority wants to acquire your land, they should follow the correct procedures and pay you just compensation. Unfortunately, eminent domain has been associated with unfair practices. Thus, you should be careful when your land is of interest, as you may end up with an unjust deal.
But how can you tell if a deal is unfair? Below are three signs:
1. It’s the first offer
You probably should not accept the first offer because the chances are it’s low. Like any other land buyer, the government would like to reduce costs. Thus, they will suggest a lower amount, but make it sound high, perhaps an individual buyer may not offer such an amount. Nonetheless, view the first offer with caution until you obtain more information.
2. You feel pressured to accept
If you are being pressured to take an offer, it may be unjust. The respective authority may inform you of other potential options and would like an answer sooner so they don’t go in another direction. In some instances, they may give you a deadline to accept the offer. If you feel pressured, take a step back and consider your options.
3. You know it’s unreasonably low
It will be best to determine your property’s market value by considering its size, accessibility, features, current and potential use and level of development, among other factors. With this information, you will quickly tell when an offer is lower than you deserve.
Upon asking the authorities about this, they may inform you of aspects that led to their lower valuation. However, this is not always true. They want your property because it’s valuable. Therefore, they should treat the deal accordingly.
Eminent domain cases can be complicated. They need the right knowledge and experience to get a satisfactory outcome.