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When the government wants your private land for highway expansion, a utility project, or another type of development, it will likely approach you as the landowner and make an offer to purchase your land. The law requires that a government pay just compensation to any owners when it takes land for public use, however, initial offers made by the government are often significantly less than you deserve.
You should never accept an offer from the government for your land unless you have a skilled and knowledgeable eminent domain lawyer review its adequacy. Our attorneys know how to assess when you are entitled to more compensation for your land. Fortunately, you do not have to simply accept whatever the government offers; you have the right to make a counter-offer and negotiate for the full amount you deserve.
Making a counter-offer requires more than just submitting a higher number, though. If you simply ask for more compensation without providing support for the higher value of your land, it will certainly be ignored. The government may pursue a condemnation action in court at that point and you will need to prove to the court the amount of just compensation you deserve. Again, this requires legal justification and support for the amount you seek.
Just compensation is based on what your property would be valued at on the open market, considering the various uses for the land. The government will base its offer on an appraisal conducted by an appraiser of its choice. You can then have an independent appraiser analyze the value of your land and present its findings, arguing that your land is actually worth more than the government’s offer.
All of this must be done in accordance with court rules and procedures and within a certain time frame. Too many landowners lose their battle for higher compensation because they do not understand how to legally back up their arguments and assertions.
With the skilled legal team of Sever Storey on your side, you can make a qualified and justified counter-offer to the government before an eminent domain action is ever filed. Often, this can result in more successful negotiations, which we will handle for you. If your case does make it to court, we know how to make the legal arguments necessary to demonstrate the full amount you deserve for your property.
If you have received notice that the government or another entity wants to take your land, you should never try to handle the matter on your own. Instead, to best ensure your rights and interests are protected, call the eminent domain attorneys at Sever Storey. We help clients across many states and know we can help you. Call us today at 1-888-318-3761 to discuss your case.
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