When a condemning entity (State of Texas, a city, a county, Gas, Electric, telephone, Pipeline or other agency) in exercising its eminent domain authority offers you compensation for your property, the offered compensation is based on a real estate appraisal of your property. The government hired the appraiser but that does not mean the appraisal should not be scrutinized to determine whether the offered compensation is accurate.

Eminent domain is a complicated process on its own, but you can still defend your rights and secure the actual value of your property. An experienced attorney can help defend the actual value of the property by reviewing the appraisal report to confirm its accuracy and point out any discrepancies.

What errors can look like

There are many ways that an appraisal report can inaccurately create a deficiency in the value of a property. Common errors in the real estate appraisal include:

  • Improperly adjusting the sales price of comparable properties
  • Failing to identify, review and report any changes to the market trends
  • Inaccurate assessment of the neighborhood to suit the appraisal of the property
  • Citing inaccurate replacement or repair costs
  • Underestimating the impact of the proposed property use on the remaining property
  • Failing to accurately identify the actual scope of the work
  • Improperly identifying the property appraised and the project necessitating the eminent domain proceeding

Any of these mistakes can cost a property owner dearly. Knowing how an appraiser can devalue a property will help owners assess whether the appraisal represents compensation due as a result of the property acquisition.

Do not settle for the first offer

Fair market value may seem anything but fair at first. It is important to remember that this value will not include other items like the costs of moving, including expenses, stress, time and more. Property owners across Texas and the rest of the country should understand that they have rights and can challenge the compensation offer from a condemning authority.