What the current real estate market means in eminent domain cases

On Behalf of | Aug 3, 2022 | Eminent Domain

Most property owners in Georgia expect to retain possession of their real property until they decide the market is right for them to sell or they die and pass the property on to their children. Although it is rare, some people will lose their real property to condemnation because of eminent domain.

The courts can essentially force the sale of private real estate to promote large-scale projects, like highway expansions. When individual homeowners do not readily accept offers to purchase their property, they then face condemnation efforts wherein the courts use eminent domain laws to force the sale of the property.

Whether you intend to negotiate a better sale price for your property or you want to fight the eminent domain claim, you may worry about what the current drop in real estate prices might mean for your rights as an owner. There are two potential consequences of dropping home prices for those facing eminent domain claims in Georgia.

They will likely receive lower offers

Those handling the transactions for a large project utilizing eminent domain to compel the sale of large areas of land are used to opposition and big demands. They likely appreciate how the market has cooled in recent months.

Georgia property values saw double-digit price appreciation in recent years, with some properties commanding intense competition when on the market. Purchasing large tracts of land in such market conditions would be very challenging and very expensive. Dropping prices favor developers and will put homeowners on the defensive when it comes to the value of their real estate.

They may need to go to court

Homeowners who want to get a fair price for their property may have a hard time negotiating when prices slump. You may have expectations based on where the market was before it started to soften and where it will eventually be again, but you may face an uphill battle when dealing with eminent domain claims during a slower market.

Typically, those facing the loss of their home can only expect to receive fair market value for the property, which fluctuates. However, they may be able to present expert testimony showing that the offered amount is inappropriately low given where the market will predictably go in the next few years.

Realizing that your home is in the path of a big incoming project might make you worry about the financial devastation of losing your home. Learning more about eminent domain claims and the current real estate market can empower you to at least recoup the investments made in your home.