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3 reasons to counter an offer in an eminent domain forced sale

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2024 | Real Estate |

Most of the time, those who own real property in North Carolina have control over what happens to that property. They decide when and if they want to sell the property, and they can maintain control over the property indefinitely if they remain in good standing with their mortgage lender and local tax authorities.

Unfortunately, there are occasionally scenarios in which property owners could be at risk of losing their real estate holdings despite their desire to retain the property. Eminent domain condemnations allow state authorities to seize control of private property for projects that benefit the public. Generally speaking, those facing the condemnation of their real property for an eminent domain claim may only have a few options for fighting the condemnation. One of those options would involve questioning the price offered by the condemning authority.

When do property owners likely have the option of countering a low price in an eminent domain scenario?

When the offer is lower than recent sale prices

Sometimes, the condemning authority might try to manipulate property owners into accepting far less than the likely fair market value for a property. It may only take a few moments of research to find properties nearby that have recently sold for a substantially higher price than the amount offered by the condemning authority. Bringing in real estate professionals to discuss what similar properties have sold for on the local market recently could raise questions about whether the price offered is a reasonable approximation of the fair market value for the property.

When they have invested heavily in the property

Whether the property at risk is a commercial space or a residential property, the owner may have invested in improvements that make the property far different from the average parcel or office building in the area. Condemning authorities typically only have access to basic public records regarding a property and therefore do not know much about the actual condition of a property or what might make it special when compared to other nearby properties.

When the local market is on the upswing

Property prices change constantly based on factors ranging from recent criminal activity to the performance of local public schools. When there is evidence that demand for housing or commercial space in an area is on the rise, property owners can potentially raise questions about what the property is actually worth. The faster prices rise, the better the chances that they could potentially convince the courts that the offer they received is unreasonably low given market trends in the area.

Even in scenarios where property owners cannot prevent the eminent domain sale of their real estate, they may still be able to request more compensation for the forced sale of their property. Questioning the price offered is one way for property owners to protect what they have invested in real property in an eminent domain situation.