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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an appraisal?
A real estate appraisal is an objective opinion of the value of a particular parcel of real estate given by a professional appraiser.  The process is detailed and systematic.  The appraiser must thoroughly inspect and gather information about the subject property and the surrounding area.  Legal, physical, and economic influences are considered in the development of an opinion of value.
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Typically, the purpose of the an appraisal is to estimate market value and the means of doing so is through the application of one or more of the three valuation approaches: the sales comparison, cost, or income approaches.

What is commercial property?

Commercial property, also known as investment or income property, refers to buildings or land intended to generate a profit, either from capital gain or rental income.

What is eminent domain?

Eminent domain is the right of the government or a public utility to acquire property for necessary public use by condemnation.  The owner must be fairly compensated.

What does a condemning authority do?

A condemning authority acquires private property necessary for public use.  The condemnor will attempt to negotiate a price with the property owner.  If the property owner (condemnee) refuses or resists, the condemnor will initiate legal options to force the transfer.

Am I entitled to any money if the government takes my property by eminent domain?

You are entitled to ‘just compensation’ for your property.

Am I entitled to a copy of the condemning authority’s appraisal report?

Yes, upon request, the law requires the condemning authority to provide you with a copy of the appraisal report on which it is basing its offer and good faith estimate of value.

How much does an appraisal cost?

Fee structure varies based on the complexity of the assignment.  If property you own is subject to condemnation, reasonable expert fees (appraiser, engineer, and others) are reimbursed by the condemning authority.

How long does an appraisal take?

Timing depends on the complexity of the assignment, availability of data, and the balance of completing existing assignments.  If you have a particular deadline, we are often able to accommodate that need.


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