So when you find out your property may be taken in eminent domain for a public project, what is the role of the right of way agent? That's usually the first person or company you have contact with in an eminent domain case.

They work for the project builder, they do not work for you, and understand that their job is to help get your property for the least amount of money possible because they got a lot of properties to acquire over the course of any kind of sizable project.

And they may be friendly, they may know a lot about the process, but they're not your advocate. They're not there to give you the most money, in fact, they're there to get the land for the least amount of money for the project builder, the condemning authority or the condemnor is the legal term.

So how do you deal with that? Be polite, hear what they have to say, get all the information they have to tell you. But then it's good to learn how this process works and maybe even talk to an eminent domain attorney before you do anything, negotiate or sign anything with a right of way agent on the other side, to make sure you don't undervalue or undersell your property.

You only have one chance to get this right, and you want to make sure that you do it correctly to make sure you're fairly compensated.

David Todd
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Austin TX Family Law, Personal Injury and Eminent Domain Attorney