Government appraisers

Having a qualified eminent domain attorney on your side can help.

Is the government’s appraiser being fair when offering me compensation for my property?

If the government decides it needs your land, home, or business property for a public use project, it will generally send an appraiser to evaluate it. Make no mistake about it – these appraisers work for, and are paid by, the government. They know that the entity requesting the appraisal, whether it’s the NC DOT, a city, or the state, will likely want to pay as little as possible for the property.

As a result, some may tailor their appraisals to meet these expectations because they usually want to be hired for the next appraisal. Read on to learn more about why some appraisers may not be as fair as you think.

Can I assume that appraisers the government uses are fair?

No, you cannot assume that appraisers are fair (to you) or that their appraisals are even 100% accurate. Appraisers look at your property from the point of view of the purchaser. They want to provide an appraisal that the government can use to create an offer to you. And they know that the government wants to pay as little as possible.


How can a government’s appraiser impact my compensation offer?

Once the government decides to take your property, it will usually have an appraiser inspect it and perform an appraisal. Appraisers may miss things about a property that can affect the property valuation. For example, will access to your remaining property be restricted or even eliminated? Will any parking for your business be lost? The impacts of factors like these may not make it into the government’s appraisal – or your compensation offer.

As the owner of the property, you want the appraiser to consider the total economic impact that the taking of the property may have. For our clients, we investigate both the immediate impacts of the taking on the property, as well as possible future impacts, and we try to ensure that the appraiser has included these in the appraisal.

Also, we almost always request the full appraisal (which can be 40-100 pages long) to see if the appraiser made any mistakes that may affect the compensation offered. We get the name and contact information of the appraisers the government has sent to our clients’ properties so we can compare their appraisals. Sometimes the government will base their offer on one of the lower appraisals – it’s best to try to keep track of them all.

Eminent domain law states that the government is required to pay you fair market value for your property, but this amount can vary significantly depending on which “highest and best use” is considered. Appraisers sometimes select lesser highest and best uses, which can impact the amount the government will offer you. It’s often wise to consult with an eminent domain attorney who can try to help ensure that the most appropriate highest and best use is selected.

Fighting to protect your rights

The NC Eminent Domain Law Firm will look out for your interests. Our team includes several experienced eminent domain attorneys who have worked on behalf of the NCDOT. We are familiar with the tactics of the appraisers many government entities use, and we are focused on trying to get our clients the highest possible compensation. Since we’ve been in business, we’ve increased the average offer for our clients by 207.9%.1

How have we done this? We have helped clients navigate the complicated eminent domain process by:

  • Identifying possible future issues created by the taking
  • Analyzing the appraisal and pointing out errors
  • Helping you recognize if the compensation offer is too low
  • Hiring independent surveyors, civil engineers, appraisers, and land use planners
  • Advising you on what to say to the appraiser
  • Negotiating on your behalf with the condemning authorities
  • Litigating in court, if needed

Call us today at 1-877-393-4990 for a free case evaluation or contact us online.

Get a free case evaluation

Get a free case
evaluation today.

There are only a handful of attorneys in NC who practice eminent domain exclusively, and even fewer with NCDOT experience. We have several. That’s why its worth getting in touch with us for a free case evaluation.

Here’s how it works:

1) Tell us about your situation.

2) We research your property as needed, using DOT maps, our own technology, and experience to see the exact effects.

3) We let you know what we think a fair offer would be. This evaluation is free, and there’s no
pressure or obligation to hire us after.

But please don’t wait to act. Waiting can hurt your case, and the cost is the same: free.

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