Eminent Domain/Condemnation Appraisals
The State is required to professionally appraise the acquired property rights -- either using a State appraiser employee, or by retaining an independent certified appraiser. An appraisal on your behalf, performed under the standards of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), is powerful evidence of what you're entitled to, and protects your rights.
We also perform work for government clients needing to offer and provide "just" compensation in eminent domain cases. A USPAP-compliant appraisal is the best way to determine fair market value of any property.
It is important to hire an appraisal firm that has experience and training in all types of eminent domain valuations. Eminent domain appraisals are much more complex than say, an appraisal for securing a mortgage. There are many legal and procedural issues involved in an accurate condemnation appraisal. Further, a Federal eminent domain acquisition can requires an entirely different analysis and report format than a State or local acquisition/taking. Additionally, the jurisdiction acquiring the property is likely to have its own rules for appraisal that must be followed.
Appraisers always consider a property's "highest and best use" when formulating an opinion of value. For many condemnation appraisals, it is necessary to consider the highest and best use of the property before taking and after the development or use resulting from the taking. Again, it is important to have a professional appraiser with experience and proper training.
Because an appraiser often has to testify about his or her condemnation appraisal, it is important that certain steps in valuation methodology -- such as selecting and analyzing appropriate comparable sales -- be performed more thoroughly. You rely on your appraiser to know what's necessary, so again, it's important to select an appraiser that has experience and training.