How an Appraiser Might Be Used in Land Partition

In this video, Land Partition Attorney Philip Hundl talks about how an appraiser might be used in a land partition case. Call or text 800-266-4870 for an appointment.

How an Appraiser Might be Used in Land Partition

Summary of How to Use an Appraiser in a Land Partition Case

Hi, I’m Philip Hundl. My practice area focuses on representing landowners facing condemnation matters and also landowners involved with land partitions.

Clients often ask if we can have one appraiser for both parties or all parties? The problem in doing that is that not everyone wants the same kind of partition. If all the parties agreed on the partition, you probably would have reached an agreed partition from the beginning.

If you hire an appraiser, he or she will work on an appraisal and get comparable sales and work on the shapes of subtracts that conform to how you would like the land to be partitioned. Hopefully that fits with an equal value for everyone that’s getting particular tracts of land. That doesn’t always happen.

I believe that the role of your expert is to focus on what your suggested partition is. So it would be extremely difficult for an appraiser to be able to do that for all parties.

Often I will hear parties say, “Well, we just need to get an appraiser.” Or the opposing party will say, “Well, we need to get the land appraised.” And that’s a little tricky because sometimes it’s not just one tract — It’s multiple tracts. Then sometimes there’s a disagreement on how the land should be divided or not divided. If there’s a disagreement on how land should be divided, then there’s a disagreement on how the land should be valued.

Just as an example, suppose there’s a 2,000 acre tract and one party may want all 2,000 acres valued and the other party may object and say the land is divided by highway, or an irrigation canal, or just county road. There are lots of different ways that this land is already divided into six tracts let’s say.

And so you’ve got one side saying value it as one tract, and the another side saying value it as six tracts. Although it all may add up to 2,000 acres, most of us agree that a larger tract is going to be valued at a lower amount per acre than smaller tracts. So the valuations can vary depending on the number of tracts and the size of those tracts.

There have been cases where the parties have agreed on one appraiser for settlement purposes. And I’ve had that same appraiser value the land two different ways according to how the parties thought it should be divided. Using my example, the appraiser would value the land as one large tract and value it as six separate tracts. And that’s been something that has been effective solely for settlement purposes. Both parties agreed that no one would use that appraiser moving forward in the case if the case didn’t settle. The parties also agreed that the appraiser’s report wouldn’t be used by any party in further litigation. It was inadmissible.

So that’s something to think about. Once again, if you’re facing condemnation matter, it’s a very different proceeding. It requires an attorney who understands and has experience with partitions in Texas.

Call or text 800-266-4870 for an experienced legal guide to help you through your Texas land partition case.