Reasons Why You Should Never Accept the First Offer in an Eminent Domain Case


It might seem unfair, but the government has the right to seize your property, if it is necessary for public use, through the power of eminent domain. Of course, they will not simply take it from you without paying for it. The government is required to compensate you for your property at a fair market value to legally obtain it. Therefore, you can expect to receive an offer for your property as soon as they begin pursuing it. Is it wise to accept it?

Below are some reasons why accepting a first offer is generally not a good idea, even if it appears to be:

  • If you have yet to seek legal counsel, accepting an offer right out the gate could result in you settling for a deal that is less than fair. Most of us lack the experience required to handle these types of negotiations and understanding how settlements work. The first offer you receive is not your only option, so take the time to think things over and reach out to an eminent domain attorney. He or she will give provide some much-needed clarity and assess what a more fair offer would entail.
  • Having a substantial amount of information to support your decision, whether it involves accepting the offer or not, is a critical step in this process. Unfortunately, when you receive the first offer, chances are that you have not yet had enough time to gather enough information to justify accepting or rejecting it. Have an appraiser take a look at the property to find out what its fair market value is. This is a vital piece of information to have since it is generally regarded as the price point a person would pay if they wished to purchase the property.
  • Lastly, there is often always room to negotiate further. Your eminent domain case will continue until you accept an offer, or you end up in court and allow a judge to decide what constitutes fair market value for your property. As you can see, rushing to accept the government’s first offer is not in your best interests. Always consider at least one counter-offer to obtain a more reasonable value for your property.

Eminent Domain Attorneys in San Diego

If you have received an offer from the government from your property, it is crucial that you seek skilled legal representation from an experienced eminent domain attorney before you proceed any further. At Allen, Semelsberger & Kaelin LLP, our eminent domain attorneys have the experience and knowledge that is necessary to handle even the most complicated cases.

For exceptional legal guidance, contact us today at (888) 998-2031 to request your free initial case evaluation.