Some property owners in Amarillo Texas might face the stressful and unfortunate situation of having the local government, the State of Texas, or a private entity want to buy their property for a purpose that would benefit the public. Some examples of when eminent domain is exercised include road construction projects and the installation of pipelines. While the law requires the government or private business that wants to acquire the property to negotiate with the property owner to establish a fair price for the property, often the two parties cannot agree on the price. The proceedings then move to a condemnation process where the court orders the price that the government or private entity must pay for the property.
The court will order that the government or private business pay to have a professional real estate appraiser provide an objective valuation of the property. While real estate appraisers are obligated not to demonstrate any favoritism when forming their opinions, the attorney representing the homeowner might recommend that property owner hire their own real estate appraiser.
The role and duties of a real estate appraiser in eminent domain and condemnation cases differs significantly from that of an appraiser who does valuations for standard real estate transactions. An appraisal in an eminent domain or condemnation case must take into account the current fair market value of the property, as well as any damage the property owner might incur on any remaining parcels because of the condemnation. Some examples of damage include restricted access to the remainder of the property and a decrease in value of the property caused by the project that is built on the seized land. Additionally, the real estate appraiser must be able to qualify as an expert witness in the court proceedings and have the ability to rigorously defend the appraisal in court.
The Keystone Pipeline and Eminent Domain
Property owners in Amarillo might find that they are faced with eminent domain proceedings as the Keystone Pipeline project starts. A September 2012 court ruling has already approved the use of eminent domain to secure the land that is needed for the construction of the pipeline. If a property owner receives a notice that their land is affected, it is highly recommended that he or she contacts a qualified real estate appraiser that specializes in eminent domain and a real estate attorney that has expertise in eminent domain cases.