Real estate brokers are now permitted to testify as experts

May 22, 2008 Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal

One critical aspect of any eminent domain case is selecting the right valuation expert. Recently, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania ruled that real estate brokers can serve as valuation experts in eminent domain cases even if they do not have a real estate appraiser license.

In King v. West Penn Power Company, a power company acquired a portion of a privately owned airport for an electric transmission line by its power of eminent domain. Utilities have the power of eminent domain -- also known as the power to condem -- in certain circumstances. The Constitutions of the United States and Pennsylvania require that a property owner be paid "just compensation" for property taken through the power of eminent domain. The property owner in King challenged the amount of "just compensation" that was offered by the power company.

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