Appraisal, Eminent Domain, Lake State Realty & Appraisal Blog

Eminent Domain / Condemnation Timeline

September 12, 2022

The order of these events is not exact but approximate. If you have any questions regarding this process, please do not hesitate to call or email us!

Project Planning

The project planning and development phase is the first and often longest phase of the condemnation process. During this stage, many different options for the construction project are weighed to determine which is the best to solve the problem at hand at the lowest cost. By the end of this stage, it should be clear whether eminent domain will be required to move the project forward.

Open Houses

Several public open houses are usually held to introduce the project to the public and to gather input.

Design Plan Finalization

At this point a route/construction plan is determined and finalized. This takes form in a map that looks a lot like the one above.


A survey crew is sent to delineate the temporary easement, permanent easement, utility easement, and/or new fee right-of-way areas. This is done to aid property owners and especially the eminent domain appraisers that will be valuing the taking.

Acquiring Authority Appraisal

At some point soon after the survey is completed, the acquiring authority will hire an appraiser with experience in eminent domain to appraise all of the affected properties. They will need to do interior inspections of any and all affected improvements at this time.

Offer Letter Sent

At some point within a few months after the inspection by the eminent domain appraiser, you will receive an offer letter with the appraisal in the mail. At this time you have one of a few options:
1. You can accept the offer, which would be the end of the eminent domain process.
2. You get a second opinion which is reimbursable by the acquiring authority meaning it would ultimately be of no out-of-pocket cost to you.*
*According to MN State Statute 117.036(b)
3. You can consult with legal counsel on how to proceed. (Highest cost.)

If you are thinking about getting a second opinion, contact us today!

Second Opinion Appraisal

Once you contact one of our appraisal experts for a second opinion appraisal on your property we will set up a time to inspect the property and to view the previous appraisal. We will need to view the appraisal in order to determine if the comparable properties are the most contemporaneous, if all impacted items of value are considered, and/or if there are any severance damages.


Condemnation may seem like a daunting process but in reality it is nothing more than an administrative function. The date of acquisition (sometimes referred to as the date of quick take) is a date in which title is seamlessly transferred from the property owners to the acquiring authority. There is no benefit to signing the offer letter before this date; in fact, in some instances it might actually be a bad idea. Property owners and the purchasing authority can negotiate well after condemnation proceedings.

Receipt of 2nd Opinion Appraisal

Once we have completed your second opinion appraisal we require payment for the appraisal before we release it to you with a paid invoice. Upon receiving the appraisal and invoice, you forward them to your contact at the acquiring authority and they have 30 days to reimburse you fully for the appraisal according to MN State Statute 117.036.


After the acquiring authority has reviewed our appraisal, negotiation is usually quick and relatively easy for property owners.

WRITTEN BY: Alex Schwartz

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