Receiving a phone call or a letter from either the government or a private company threatening eminent domain can be an extremely daunting experience and for understandable reasons. While you have likely worked hard to purchase your home in the first place, you may have also invested a lot of time and money into maintaining and improving your property. Even though holding onto ownership of your dream home may not entirely be a reality, you will still have the option to ensure you are compensated fairly.
Finding The Right Attorney
Rather than risk handling the situation on your own, you should immediately consult an eminent domain attorney to guide your case in the right direction. It would be wise to opt for legal assistance from a specialized attorney with vast knowledge in these types of circumstances rather than merely hiring just any attorney. Even though the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution allows the government the right to seize your property lawfully only if the property owner receives just compensation. This means that you will be able to insist on fair settlement rather than settling for an insultingly low offer made to you. Because this type of situation is less of a real estate transaction and more of a lawsuit, you should ensure adequate legal protection.
Getting A Second Opinion
The government will have your property appraised to determine its value, and in the event that you feel you will not be fairly compensated, you can opt for a second opinion from an appraiser of your choice. This decision may provide you with the leeway you need to negotiate unfair compensation. If the condemner and the property owner are unable to settle the matter, either party will have the legal right to take the case to court. If you have not already consulted an attorney, it is highly recommended to consult one before the matter is handled in court.
Standing Your Ground For Fair Compensation
You will have the choice to either accept the initial offer or aim for a higher amount. However, even though it is somewhat unlikely that you will be able to hold onto the ownership of your property, you do have the choice to fight for your property with the help of a professional attorney. It is crucial to understand that the decisions are entirely yours and that you will need access to appropriate resources in order to be successful.
While you may feel that you should simply accept the initial offer upfront, it is more often than not a wise decision to reject the first offer to get a better deal. Eminent domain is not at all similar to selling your property privately which is why you should brush up on your legal knowledge and rely on a professional attorney that specializes in the matter to ensure a positive outcome. If you believe that the government may be abusing their power to seize property with eminent domain for gain that is used for public use, you may be able to maintain ownership of your property.